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Used Cars for sale - Used Trucks for sale [2144184195] Buy Used Cars

airbag light

- Ford-Escape

Forum Post
06/09/08 16:07
linda snyder

airbag light

What can it mean when the airbag light came on in my 2004 Ford Escape?

I'm worried sick as I have only 10 miles left on my original 75, 000 mile warranty. And if the light decides to come on after the diagonistic work is done when I'm going home after being told nothing is wrong!!!!

Pressured by being out of work and the dealership service department is not necessarily truthful with me.

Archived Replies

This post has a total of 39 replies. The most recent 25 are shown below, you can view the complete archive here: airbag light archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 06/09/08 through 06/16/14, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

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Hello, I have a 2001 Ranger, and my air-bag light is not coming on at all! I'm not sure why, but the dash bulb is not out. Anyone have an idea why it would not be coming on anymore?


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What is the point of a driver side seat sensor anyways?? seems the ignition switch is the only driver side switch needed.

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Hi, I had issues a few months back, and they were completely fixed with a new alternator. Apparently the low voltage in the battery because of the alternator failing caused the airbag module to get confused. It went on for several weeks, and I kept trying things like cleaning the under seat connections. I only go a few miles each way to work, and thats all we really use the Escape for, and it was at a time of year when it was light out both ways, and I didn't need the AC, and I'm assuming the alternator was still charging some, just not as much as it should, which is what dragged out the duration. My dealer was nice enough to read the codes for me for free. I forget the #s, but it was the crash sensor on both the left and the right, and also a low voltage code. Neither I nor the technician tied the low voltage code to the airbag codes, but that was obviously what was causing the issue. A week or so later I puttered to a stop on the side of the road with a completely dead battery. The battery wasn't that old, so I brought that to the shop and did a warranty swap, dropped the new battery in the car, and drove it in for a new alternator. At no point, prior to the engine actually stopping, did the Low Voltage light ever come on. I did notice it crank a little slow a few times, enough for me to be testing the battery periodically through this whole experience. Before replacing the battery and alternator, the battery would test, at the very best, at the bottom of the green, around 75% on my inexpensive meter. Under normal circumstances it would be right at 100%.

In Summary - make sure your voltage is ok before you go digging at the airbag components.

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"What is the point of a driver side seat sensor anyways?? seems the ignition switch is the only driver side switch needed."

I know the passenger side ones are weight sensitive, under a certain weight in the seat and they don't go off. I suppose the same would apply to the drivers side as well.

**/**/** **:**

Thiago's advice about the plug under the seat works! I have had this airbag light problem intermittently over the last year and a half. Drove me nuts having that light all of a sudden come on one day, then 3 months later it would go off! I just went out to my cra, split apart the connector under the passenger seat, blew it out, and reconnected it.....started my car, left it running for 5 minutes and guess what!!! NO AIR BAG LIGHT!!!! Thank you so much!!!!
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My air bag light comes on and the dealer said replace it. My question is - does it affect the way the car runs? He said no, it is a safety issue.

Is it a law that we have to have the air bags?? Will my car insurance pay if I should, heaven forbird, have a wreck and the air bar does not deploy? Am I liable for any more damage if I have a passenger and have a fender bender and the passenger is injured because the air bag did not deploy?

Dealer wants $400 - had to order the sensor from Atlanta and I have to take a half day off work to have the thing put in. Is this reasonable? I should would like to know soon. Air bag sensor replacement is scheduled for tomorrow! Thanks.

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My 2002 Escape had the same airbag light problem. Initially it occured while under warranty and the dealer fixed it. It happened a second time under warranty and it was fixed again. It reoccured after the warranty expired and I just ignored it. Now that my son will be using the car for college I wanted to get it fixed. The dealer was going to charge me $95 just to diagnose the problem.

I learned through this forum about the yellow wire under the passenger seat. I disconnected it and sprayed both ends with an electrical connection cleaner and reconnected it. The result- the airbag light is now off! It cost me $6.43 for the cleaner and about 15 minutes of my time. If it reoccurs (which is probably likely given my previous experience)I'll just do it again.

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Sandy Huffman

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When a 2001 - 2004 Ford Escape air bag light flashes code 36, one of four problems could exist in the circuit from the Restraints Control Module (RCM) to the left side air bag (the side air bag in the seat, not the main air bag in the steering wheel):

1. DTC B1992 - Left side air bag circuit short to battery or ignition

2. DTC B1993 - Left side air bag circuit short to ground

3. DTC B1994 - Left side air bag circuit resistance high

4. DTC B1995 - Left side air bag circuit resistance low

In order to determine which of the four Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) exist, you will probably have to have the codes scanned at a repair shop. Most trouble code scanners available to the DIY mechanic only scan for powertrain codes.

It is likely that you have code B1994 (left side air bag circuit high resistance) since Ford has issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) for this code. The same service bulletin applies to code B1998 (same problem, right side air bag). The TSB states that this problem can be caused by a variation in electrical continuity at the electrical connector to the side air bag. The connector is located under the seat. Ford makes a replacement body harness pigtail connector (Ford part number 1L8Z-14A411-A) to fix this problem.

I had the same air bag trouble code 36 flashing intermittently on my 2004 Ford Escape which I bought used. In my case, I discovered that a Ford dealer had already replaced the pigtail connectors on both the left and right side air bags. Using my multimeter, I found high resistance in one of the pigtail splices that was made by the repair shop. They had just twisted the wires together and then sealed the connection with heat shrink tubing. I fixed it by making a solder splice and sealing the splice with heat shrink tubing.

You can identify the replacement body harness pigtail connectors because the wire color code is a bit different than the original. The replacement pigtail connectors have one WHT/LT BLU wire and one WHT/YEL wire (same replacement pigtail connector for both left and right). The original wire colors are:

Left - RED and WHT/LT BLU

Right - BRN/YEL and WHT/YEL

The side air bag connectors are located under the seat (driver or passenger). The wiring from either of these connectors goes directly to the RCM which is located under the center of the dash. The RCM is bolted to the transmission tunnel. There are two electrical connectors on the module. The side air bag wires are located in the smaller connector and can be identified by color code as described above. When you remove the electrical connector from the RCM, each pair of wires going to the side air bags are shorted together in the connector (safety feature to prevent accidental deployment of the side air bags). With the RCM connector removed, you can unplug the connector under the seat and place your ohmmeter across the two terminals located in the body harness side. There should be less than 1 ohm resistance. In my case, I found anywhere from about 0.5 ohms to around 65 ohms as I moved the wires around. If all Ford dealers make the repair by just twisting the wires of the replacement pigtail connector together, I would imagine that there are a lot of folks out there experiencing this same problem intermittently.

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airbag light comes on, have replaced control module and both side crash sensors, but still comes on. what next to look at?? please help
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sorry i forgot to say its on a ford escape 2004.
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Same experience as #17 with the low voltage issue being behind the airbag light coming on - I haven't replaced the alternator yet, just the battery. That appears to have fixed the issue as the light hasn't come on since the battery was replaced. I'll probably ask them to check the alternator the next time I go in for regular maintenance.

With mine, I noticed the engine was cranking a little slow at start-up a few times, then the airbag light started coming on intermittently. I checked this forum for ideas along with doing some other research as there was no reason that light should be coming on in my 06 Fusion. Then @3 weeks later, the battery died in the Lowe's parking light. There was never any warning from the battery light at all before the car died. Luckily there was a Ford service center across the street. They came over with a portable battery and gave me a jump so I could get my car over there to switch out the battery. Haven't seen the light come on at all since the battery was changed out. The guy at the service center did tell me that if the car would jump start, it was most likely a dead battery, if the car wouldn't jump start, then it was probably the alternator.

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Air Bag Fault Code Table


Priority Code Component/Fault Description

Highest -- No Air Bag Lamp - Inoperative Lamp Circuit or No Ignition Voltage to Diagnostic Monitor

| -- Continuous Air Bag Lamp - Diagnostic Monitor Disconnected or Inoperative

| 12 Low Battery Voltage

| 13 Air Bag Circuit or Crash Sensor Circuit - Shorted to Ground

| 21 Safing Sensor - Not Mounted on Vehicle Properly

| 22 Safing Sensor Output Circuit - Shorted to Battery Voltage

| 23 Safing Sensor Input Feed/Return Circuit Open

| 24 Open in Circuit 944B or Low Resistance in Crash Sensor(s)

| 32 Driver Side Air Bag/Safing Sensor Circuit - High Resistance or Open

| 33 Pin 7 Not Grounded at Diagnostic Monitor

| 34 Driver Side Air Bag/Safing Sensor Circuit - Low Resistance or Shorted

| 35 Low Resistance Across Pins 8 and 9 at Diagnostic Monitor

| 41 Crash Sensor Circuit - High Resistance or Open

| 44 RH Crash Sensor - Not Mounted to Vehicle Properly

| 45 Center Radiator Crash Sensor - Not Mounted to Vehicle Properly

| 46 LH Crash Sensor - Not Mounted to Vehicle Properly

| 51 Diagnostic Monitor Internal Thermal Fuse - Blown and Short to Ground No Longer Exists

| 52 Backup Power Supply - Voltage Boost Fault

| 53 Internal Diagnostic Monitor Fault

Lowest -- Rapid Continuous Flashing of Air Bag Lamp - All Crash Sensors Disconnected

**/**/** **:**

had our Ford Escape XLT 2004 repaired for alternator problems. The "check engine light remained on" before.

5 days after discharge from the CASA the airbag light went on. Could this be part of the repair done? Should I insist on Ford Global to check out our Ford for free??

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My 2001 Escape air bag light just starting coming on within a few days ago, but i will try the codes, the unplugging and cleaning wires under the seats before i will pay 500.00 plus to go to the off.... first thing hubby said take to shop, i say no! after you all had it happened more than twice to you all...thanks for the info everybody
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I read all the posts. My 2004 Ford Escape has had a blinking (then solid) then blinking air-bag light for a couple months. I can't afford to have repairs on items that don't affect performance. I checked under the passenger seat. There was a yellow wire with a yellow connection. I depressed the white tab and unplugged the connection. It looked fine, but I plugged and unplugged it several times to wear any residue off the contacts. I started the car and viola, no more light. Thanks for all the chatter.
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Just bought a 2002 Ford Escape and had the same problem after about a week. I did the recommended fixes and bingo, it did the job. Keeping my fingers crossed that I saved myself the ripoff fee dealers/mechanics charge.
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I had the same blinking air-bag light problem on my 2002 Ford Escape starting last week. I followed the advice on previous comments and unplugged/plugged the yellow connector under the passenger seat. It did the trick. The light no longer blinks! You guys rock :).
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I've had this issue a few times, but my blinking code is 3-7

I got under the site, moved the wires around and the light went off. Pretty messed up.

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The problem according to Ford is that the wiring harness is routed poorly. The constant moving of the driver and passenger seats causes stress on the wires which, in time, break. The plugging and unplugging is a temporary fix. The lights will come back on. The only permanent solution is to have the harness replaced. This harness is a dealer only item. So a Ford dealer must to the repair. As far as I am aware there is still no service bulletin on this but that may change. The harnesses are in a limited supply pre 2005 so they are not making them anymore. If you have this problem it is best to get it fixed sooner rather than later.
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Jim Bernier

I took my 2002 Escape to the dealer for a 'coolant' leak issue. It was the hose at the back of the engine and I could not get at it. They replaced the hose($172); and when I drove the vehicle home, I noticed what I thought was a 'seat belt' light stuck on. After supper, I did some more investigating. It was the 'air bag' lamp, and it was flashing a '47'. I searched on Google and came up with this site. It all made sense as both the driver and passenger seats had been slid back by the service techs. I re-seated each of the air bag connectors and restarted the vehicle - Problem solved!

Just for 'grins', I called the dealer this morning and told them that the lamp was flashing. $80 to 'look' at it, and maybe about $500 if they had to replace the air bag!


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Bob Christie

Hey everbody my wifes 2002 Ford Escape Air Bag light came on so i called Ford Dealer in Avondale, Az. The service dept said it would cost between $ 350.00 & $ 1, 500.00 depends on whats wrong it. From what i could see code 47 came on. So i desided to check out this form about Escapes. They basically said unplug the yellow wire on the drivers side and plug back in. That didn't work. So i tried the passenger side. Well guess what that worked. I do uuderstand that Ford wants make money but come on. Also if Ford made the wire harness to short. I think they should fix it for free. I don't care how long it's been. Well thaks to this form ill be checking it out more often. Thanks everbody.
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Thanks to all on this forum that have provided so much information on the issue. I have a 2003 Ford Escape that just started exhibiting the air bag light issue a couple of weeks ago. I checked and the code was 47, so I re-connected the passenger side yellow connector and the problem went away. I think code 46 is for driver side and 47 is for passenger side, based on the answer I have seen here.

I keep a can of fix a flat in the the car and lately it has been rolling around under the passenger seat, so it makes total sense that this issue just popped up. I've got it so that it will not roll around anymore and hopefully that is the last I will see of this issue.

Thanks again,


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Thank author of this post/comment"It worked"

I have a 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid. The passenger light keeps coming on when an adult is in the seat. One of the post suggest finding the connection under the passenger seat (mine were white capped ends) detaching the ends and reattaching it. My initial test suggest it did the trick, as I sat in the passenger seat and turned the car on, the light stayed off, as it should.

Good luck if you are having this issue.

06/16/14 13:46
Thank author of this post/comment"airbag light"

YA'LL ROCK!!! Had a solid airbag sensor light.....tried the YELLOW WIRE under Passenger side...went to blinking.....went to drivers side but couldn't disconnect the connector sonI just pushed/pulled on the wires gently....xStarted her up!! YES !!! $129.00 Ford Dealership scan fee SAVED !!! WOOO HOOOOO Who knows how much they would've screwed me for ! Thanks for ALL YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS PROBLEM ! Have a great day ....ya made mine! :-)
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    Archived Replies

    This post has a total of 39 replies. The most recent 25 were shown above, you can view the complete archive here: airbag light archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

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