Technical Airbag sensor/control problem

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Technical Airbag sensor/control problem


New member
Oct 3, 2018
Hi all,
First timer....
Another airbag problem here, but I think, with a twist. Car is a 1996 Bravo 1.4 sx. Airbag light stays on continuously. Wasn't a problem before in France until they upped the regs for the controle technique earlier this year. Now I need to fix it. There are no sensors in the seats, only a driver side airbag in the steering wheel. After some research thinking that faulty codes may be the problem, I tried to have a Midas garage diagnose the problem to see if there were some fault codes, but no too old for them. So, off to the local Fiat dealer garage who told me the crash sensor/airbag control was shot. Since Fiat no longer makes these, they took my 100 euros and said "Good luck!":(

I've been searching online for a replacement but have had little luck. Used parts exist but no one will guarantee that they work. As far as I know, the parts could be pulled from junkyard crashed cars, so the sensors will be non-functional. I've looked into resetting my sensor, but no one will guarantee that it can be reset if it hasn't been crashed (it hasn't; fault could be due to an electrical surge or some such). I do not want to buy a junk sensor and then send it for resetting...

On that note, another fact is that the fuse keeps blowing. Normal fuse is 5 amp but I've used a 10 amp and it still fries after a few starts. Could this be due to a faulty sensor? Or does it indicate that the whole system is whack?

Any ideas? I'm trying to be correct and fix the problem, but it seems the last resort-solution may be to remove the bulb from the dashboard. Yeah, I know it's supposed to go on and then go out, but I think I can get someone to pass the car without that particular sequence of events.

Thanks for listening,
Hi. A faulty sensor won't blow the fuse,it will put the light on. A faulty control unit may blow a fuse,or short in wires.Firstly, remove the control unit plug,visually check for bare wires touching ,and replace the fuse. If the fuse blows,you have a short. Not sure but don't think the ecu will be affected if the car is "crushed" unless the ignition is on. Otherwise you could not post ecu's in the post. The G force hitting an object will send a signal to the ecu to deploy the air bag. Unless some one knows different,the sensor on the front of the car can be reused so in not single use. I would be tempted to buy second hand ecu but must have same amount of airbags and be like your car left or right hand drive. If all else fails, don't remove the warning lamp bulb,but cover it up with black tape. Not advised as your Safety Air bag won't work to protect you or driver should you have a crash.
Hello Multipete,
Thanks for the feedback and advice. I'm a little confused here b/c I thought the airbag control unit (ecu?) was also the sensor, which senses the G forces. Is there another sensor in the front of the car? The control unit is under the dash in front of the console.

I haven't yet done the fuse test as you recommended, but on further inspection, I discovered corrosion and dried residue on the control unit, which I think may be coolant from a leaking heater core. Not sure about that, but obviously not good, and the likely cause of any short. If it's the heater core, I hope it doesn't blow at some point.

I might take a chance on a unit from a "crushed" car, but the question is whether the car was "crashed" before "crushed" ;-). I may have to go down that road, but for now, I am trying the "no airbag light" option. I removed the instrument panel and obscured the light with tape, though before you had responded. Not possible to remove the bulb.

Thanks again!