96 Blazer 4.3 4x4 Air Bag Light - FIXED!!!
09-04-2011, 05:57 AM
Hi all, I'm new, but I've gotten a lot of info from this site already. Thought I'd share this perplexing issue I had. Tried posting under the Technical section, wouldn't let me. Anyway, bought this truck a year ago, nice looking truck. Was told by prev owner he had bought it damaged on front drv side as salvage. He's a body mechanic, the truck looked great, but it had a SIR light on(wopuld blink 6-7 times, then stay on). Had a brand new state inspection sticker, though, and he gave me a impact sensor for the front drv side, said it would fix it. I'm now curious as to how he got that inspection sticker, but oh well. I should have had him fix it, but didn't seem like a big deal at the time, and was a good deal on the truck. Anyhow, ffwd to last month when inspection came due this year, I still hadn't addressed the light. Nothing like waiting til the last minute. Anyway, the sensor was wrong. Looked the same, but was 4 wire instead of three. At this point, please refer to mt_2500's warnings on anything air bag related. A quick search of air-bag on youtube will show the dangers. I especially enjoyed the jack-wagon who sat on a bucket while his giggling buddy blew one off under it. Follow proper procedures, and you'll be fine. Luckily, the 95-97 years are about as simple as you are ever going to come across. Anyway, the dealership no longer stocks them for that age, and local salvage yards that sell parts won't sell air bag components, I assume for liability reasons. So a trip down to southern VA for a sensor at a pic-a-part was in order. I found a 96 that was in good shape and easy to work under(actually, there were so many 95-97 blzrs and jimmy's there it was a little disheartening). Oh hell, I'm going to wrap it up here. Bottom line, to clear it out, I made two trips. I got both front impact sensors, the arming sensor from the rear cross member, and the control module from the passenger kick panel. The original quote was 55 per sensor, 125 for the controller. I ended up paying 28 bucks for everything(except my time and gas, of course). Replaced everything and the code(whatever it actually was) went away. It blinks 7 times like it's supposed to and goes out. I'm leaving out a lot of the how, but this is getting long. Anyone wanting more info, I will be happy to get into details about where they are located, and how I removed and re-installed them. Bottom line, I have a new inspection sticker, and saved God knows how much had I done what my wife insisted and take it to a professional. (I had her help me by acting as my air bag blast shield while working around the steering wheel). I'm Kidding. Of course...
09-16-2011, 09:45 AM
i'm doing the same thing, my son crashed my 96 blazer, i went to the salvage yard found good condition front sensors, arming sensor, airbag and DERM, all from non-crashed vehicles. the new DERM shold take care of the steady on airbag light.thank god for the internet and my OEM shop manual.
09-17-2011, 12:13 AM
Cool. Hope your son was ok. That's an old school full power air-bag. Mine hadn't deployed, so I didn't have to dick with the steering wheel at all. And thank God for the one salvage yard in VA(that I know of) that still lets you drag a wagon full of tools around and do your own thing. To do it over, I wish I had checked it out after I had replaced the arming sensor. Not sure what was really causing the light to on, or if maybe it was stored in the control module(DERM, I guess?). Probably an 'impact detected' code or something. I just drilled out the impact sensor rivets, and then drilled new holes in the replacement sensors and ran self tappers through the bracket they bolt to so they be in the same location they're supposed to be in. If you do that, be careful the screwws aren't too long or you might run them through the radiator. Anyway, in the end it wasn't much, but I felt pretty damn good about fixing the stupid thing for $30. Frustrating to think something like that can make a vehicle basically un-inspectable, therefore undriveable and un-sellable, depending on what <adjective deleted> state laws you happen to live under. Some of the info I read said you can't just replace the DERM on newer vehicles, something about the VIN or something. Anyway, not the case in the older Blazers, thank God!
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