Replaced tranny now air bag light stays on

11-18-2011, 11:33 PM
I just replaced the transmission in a 96 Sunfire. The Transmission is working fine but now the Air Bag light flashes several times and stays on. The only thing that I had happen out of the ordinary during the change was that I forgot to disconnect the steering column when I dropped the carriage to get more clearance for the tranny. It pulled the shaft apart. I put it back together and it works fine. Does anyone have any ideas. I checked the fuse and it is good.

Tech II
11-19-2011, 08:52 AM
Should not have had a problem with the SIR coil, UNLESS you somehow rotated the steering wheel before putting it back together......then could have a coil problem......

The place to start, is get the code read.....

11-19-2011, 09:40 AM
Agree with Tech II, sounds like there could be SIR coil damage.

11-19-2011, 02:01 PM
Yup, sounds like the clock spring was rotated too far and broke off.

11-19-2011, 09:39 PM
SIR coil? I have never messed with an airbag system. Is this an easy fix. Looks to me like I will have to take apart the steering wheel.

11-19-2011, 10:24 PM
Not a difficult repair, yes the steering wheel needs to come off and some column disassembly is required. With the air bag lamp on the system is disabled, but pull air bar fuse before repairing.

11-20-2011, 04:51 PM
I will try to get codes out of the computer tomorrow. Will the codes flash the same way the check engine light does or will it have to be hooked up to a testing unit? If it is the coil I have a manual and after reading it I feel okay with going ahead. I have searched online for a sir coil. They seem hard to come by, Is there a way to test one out of a salvage car to see if it is good before putting it in and finding out that way. I have access to several salvage vehicles.

Tech II
11-20-2011, 09:47 PM
The check engine light DOES NOT flash codes in this car......SIR codes have to be read with a scan tool capable of reading Sir codes..........

11-20-2011, 10:02 PM
Is there a way to test one out of a salvage car to see if it is good before putting it in and finding out that way. I have access to several salvage vehicles.[/quote]

You can measure resistance end to end and across the circuts to check for open wires on shorts to each other on the SIR coil.

11-21-2011, 02:12 AM
When measuring the resistance will I be looking for resistance within a range or looking for dead shorts. (I kind of feel like an idiot asking all these questions. I have worked on lots of cars in my life,but, this electronic stuff drives me crazy) What will happen if I unplug the SIR coil from the SDM. Would that remove the short (if it is there) and make the light go out. I don't have a GM dealer near me to get it tested and I don"t figure Oreilly's tester will retrieve these codes. So I am at a disadvantage right now.

11-21-2011, 08:03 AM
If you unplug the SDM the light my still be on because another module might not "see" the SDM anymmore and turn on the light. I don't know off hand what the excact resistance values are, but with what happenend to yours I imagine you either have contiuity or not and I'm sure that it needs replaced given what happened. You stated that you had access to several salvage vehicles, the info was more to test the used units than yours. There should be a yellow connector near the bottom of the column that one end runs up the column. That is for the coil. You will have to pull the air bag to access the connector between coil and the air bag. I think most salvage yards pull the air bag anyway, so they may save you a step there.

Tech II
11-22-2011, 09:45 AM
Should we warn him about the "lever" on the back of the clockspring?

12-23-2011, 11:06 PM
I finally got tome to work on the Sunfire. Thanks for all your help. The SIR coil was the problem. Was an easy fix. I really appreciate all the input.

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