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Old 07-03-2012   #1
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Exclamation Airbag light / Control Unit

Hi the other day the airbag light came on with a warning saying "airbag failure see handbook" I looked at the handbook and it said contact the dealer. After phoning Arnold Clark and being told it was 80 for them just to run a diagnostic check i decided otherwise.
Took it to an auto mechanic today and he said it was the airbag electrical control unit that was faulty but that a dealer should look at it.

Still reluctant to give Arnold Clark my money i was doing some research and found that you can buy a new control unit for 75.

My question is, how easy is it to replace and where is the ecu to start with. Any other suggestions to resolve this are welcome. Thanks in advance
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Old 07-03-2012   #2
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Airbag stuff really isn't for mucking around with. If you don't already know is it wise to try?
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Old 07-03-2012   #3
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

What he said. Airbags are best left to the pros
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Old 07-03-2012   #4
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Well since some1 on this forum was quoted 400 for a similar repair I guess the light/warning is just going to have to stay on for a while as there is no way I can afford to fix it. If only it happened 6months ago while it was still under warranty
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Old 07-03-2012   #5
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Quote Originally Posted by Lorna_99 View Post
Hi the other day the airbag light came on with a warning saying "airbag failure see handbook" I looked at the handbook and it said contact the dealer. After phoning Arnold Clark and being told it was 80 for them just to run a diagnostic check i decided otherwise.
Concerning the diagnostic check, if you have to have one to diagnose the fault, then so be it, but please phone around a couple of other dealers about the cost of just hooking the car up to diag and checking. Three dealers I have spoken to in my own area, all quoted 60. 80 quid seems a bit steep.

As others have said, I wouldn't personally mess about with the airbag unless you are qualified. Best left to the dealer.
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Old 07-03-2012   #6
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Maybe a local specialist who can do it cheaper. Auto electrician may be of more help?
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Old 07-03-2012   #7
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

It was at an auto electricians today and he diagnosed the faulty control unit but said the dealer needed to fix it, I found most local garages will do a diagnostic check for free in the hope that they then get the business to fix any problems. Arnold Clarks 80 is a clear rip off
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Old 07-03-2012   #8
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Quote Originally Posted by Lorna_99 View Post
It was at an auto electricians today and he diagnosed the faulty control unit but said the dealer needed to fix it, I found most local garages will do a diagnostic check for free in the hope that they then get the business to fix any problems. Arnold Clarks 80 is a clear rip off
I would have thought that a qualified auto electrician could do the job, but clearly, if the one you've seen can't do it and is referring you to a dealer, there must be a very good reason. Does he think you are still under warranty?
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Old 07-03-2012   #9
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Im not sure maybe he thought it was under warranty............

I had a hard enough time getting anyone to look at it once I said it was a Fiat 500, most garages just said they couldnt (or maybe wouldnt) deal with it. Glasgows not overly fiat 500 friendly it would apear
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Old 07-03-2012   #10
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Quote Originally Posted by Lorna_99 View Post
Im not sure maybe he thought it was under warranty............

I had a hard enough time getting anyone to look at it once I said it was a Fiat 500, most garages just said they couldnt (or maybe wouldnt) deal with it. Glasgows not overly fiat 500 friendly it would apear
I would hazard a guess from what you've just said, he thinks you are still under warranty. Speak to him again just to make sure. If he says he really can't do it, give several Fiat dealers a call explain you believe you know what the problem is and get a quote. This could be difficult I realise if there aren't many Fiat dealerships about but looking at dealers in the Glasgow area, there is still Parks Motor Group and Morrisons Whins of Milton, Stirling you can get quotes from.

You are undoubtedly going to have to sort this out soon because MOT will most likely require it to be fully functional.
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Old 07-03-2012   #11
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Quote Originally Posted by Lorna_99 View Post
It was at an auto electricians today and he diagnosed the faulty control unit but said the dealer needed to fix it, I found most local garages will do a diagnostic check for free in the hope that they then get the business to fix any problems. Arnold Clarks 80 is a clear rip off
80 for connecting computer (costing 3k+monthly subscription) , reading error codes, gaining access to module(s) and carrying out wiring checks with the relevant resistor kit (250 each kit) takes time.
May I also point out that at present your airbag system is non-functional, your car will not pass a MOT and if involved in a accident they airbags will NOT deploy and if the insurance company find this out you may not be fully covered?

Under block exemption any one/garage can buy the required information to help diagnose your fault but taking this cost into account, time & other factors 80 isn't that bad...certainly better than severe injury or worse!
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Old 07-03-2012   #12
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

When i first phoned Arnold Clark they told me the airbags would still function in the event of an accident and not to worry about it too much.

And when most people will do it for free 80 is not a reasonable price to pay.

I will call the auto electrician tomorrow and double check with him bout warranty issue but even he said it was not an urgent repair and I could put it off for a few months if i needed to.
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Old 07-03-2012   #13
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Quote Originally Posted by Lorna_99 View Post
When i first phoned Arnold Clark they told me the airbags would still function in the event of an accident and not to worry about it too much.

And when most people will do it for free 80 is not a reasonable price to pay.

I will call the auto electrician tomorrow and double check with him bout warranty issue but even he said it was not an urgent repair and I could put it off for a few months if i needed to.
I agree with you reference the diagnostic charges, however, T14086 does put up a very valid argument. Still, if you got it diagnosed for free, then that is good news for your pocket.

I do agree completely with T14086 though, if your airbag(s) don't deploy as a result of a fault you already know about and you have an accident, any accident investigator worth their beans will find out that the airbag electrical control unit was faulty and it could well invalidate your insurance to the point of no pay out.

Injury, severe or otherwise, is a terrible price to pay if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident because you didn't get it fixed at the earliest opportunity.
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Old 07-03-2012   #14
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Quote Originally Posted by Lorna_99 View Post
When i first phoned Arnold Clark they told me the airbags would still function in the event of an accident and not to worry about it too much.
You really want to take that chance?

Quote Originally Posted by Lorna_99 View Post
And when most people will do it for free 80 is not a reasonable price to pay.
Please tell us who does free diagnosis including wiring checks so we can all go there.

Quote Originally Posted by Lorna_99 View Post
I will call the auto electrician tomorrow and double check with him bout warranty issue but even he said it was not an urgent repair and I could put it off for a few months if i needed to.
I would find another auto electrician if I was you! Airbag light/system in-operative is not urgent!!! If you want to dismiss the advice of the knowledgeable people on this forum (and there are many of them for the highest technical backgrounds) then thats 100% your choice.
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Old 07-03-2012   #15
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Re: Airbag light / Control Unit

Normally such an indication is one of faulty 'seat occupied' detectors or connection to them and do not mean the air-bags will not deploy.

Best to get diagnosed and fixed ASAP agreed, MOT failure, probably, will the air bags deploy, probably

OK to drive to an indy at your next opportunity to get it fixed at possibly less cost less than a main dealer? - yes, definitely.

I don't get the hysteria that suggests 'air bag light on' don't drive it...what do you do then?? recover it perhaps??
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