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Old 12-06-2010, 12:06 PM   #1
metalmarquis
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Airbag Light On in '99 Taurus

Hey guys,

I just bought a 1999 Ford Taurus SE from a friend's grandparents. This is a reliable friend and I was informed the airbag light was on prior to purchase. It is an out of state, reconstructed vehicle and in the state of PA this requires something called an Enhanced Inspection. This is all well and good, because the car is in great shape and runs really well, but the airbag light is constantly on. Now, I've been through many a forum and site searching for the solution, and I've found that the light is supposed to blink and you can use that code to solve the issue. Unfortunately, when I turn on the car, no matter what position the key is in, the airbag light comes on and stays on, no blinking, no code, nothing but a little man being punished by an airbag.

Anyone know why this particular Ford doesn't give me a code, and what this light might mean? There was one forum out of hundreds I've visited that mentioned this light could be on because the airbags in fact ARE working... it sounds like crap to me but if that is the case I'd be ok watching the little man getting beaten up by the airbag every time I turn on my car. Also, I do not have access to a scan tool, aside from taking it to the shop, but seeing as it isn't legal by state law to drive yet, I'm hesitant. I'd like to make the Enhanced Inspection and any repairs done all in one trip. Thanks guys, hope to hear something soon.

Sincerely,
Eduardo
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:39 PM   #2
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Re: Airbag Light On in '99 Taurus

I'll have to take a look at the wiring diagram for the SRS light. Since it doesn't flash out a Lamp Fault Code (LFC) you'll either need to get access to a professional scan tool that will access the SRS system or you can start by checking all fuses related to the SRS system. Maybe, just maybe, the lamp is configured such that a non-functioning, non-powered SRS module will trigger the SRS lamp and all it needs is to have a fuse replaced.

The light being on with no LFCs would NOT be an indication that the SRS system is working properly. Maybe people suggesting that think that because they connected a powertrain scan tool and did not get any codes. A standard consumer-grade scan tool will not be able to pull diagnostic codes for the SRS system.

-Rod
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:43 PM   #3
metalmarquis
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Re: Airbag Light On in '99 Taurus

Thanks for the response! I certainly do hope this is nothing more than a fuse, however unlikely that may be. I am willing to check the fuses for the SRS system, but I'm not too car savvy in this respect. I have a digital copy of the manual up right now here:

http://www.motorcraftservice.com/pub.../99tauog1e.pdf

This details all the fuses, but besides two that mention the Airbag on them, it doesn't explain which ones are involved in the SRS system or if there could be any repercussions should I remove one to check it. I just don't want to make things any worse, but if I know what to look for, I am certain I could do this. If you have the time, please let me know which fuses to check, and the proper way to check them. Thanks a bunch!

Sincerely,
Eduardo
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: Airbag Light On in '99 Taurus

From looking at the wiring diagram, there are three fuses that provide power to the SRS module - fuse 16 (10-amp) in the Engine Compartment Fuse/Relay Box, fuse 11 (5-amp) and fuse 13 (5-amp) in the Instrument Panel Fuse Panel.

Additionally, there is apparently a shorting bar that will short the Airbag light to ground if the SRS module harness is disconnected. The shorting bars would turn on the Airbag light via fuse 11 (which is obviously good) if the module is not connected and the key is in the START or RUN positions. Maybe the first step is to make sure the SRS module is still installed and connected. The SRS module should be located on the driver's side of the center tunnel, near the accelerator pedal.

Per the factory service manual:
An air bag indicator that is continuously illuminated could be caused by:
  • the ECS module disconnected from the vehicle harness.
  • the battery or ignition circuit damaged.
  • a loss of ECS module ground circuits.
  • the ECS module inoperative.
  • the NGS tester damaged.

-Rod
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