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Ford Ka Diagnostics

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Arrods | 17:13 Thu 24th Apr 2014 | Motoring
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The airbag warning light will not extinguish, suggesting problem with airbag module. This resulted apparently from battery becoming completely discharged. Have changed the module with a second hand one (OK it may be faulty) but without success. Been suggested that just may need resetting. Took it to Ford Dealer. They want £98.00 (plus VAT) just to put it on their diagnostics - with no guarantee that they will be able to reset (at best). They may have ulterior motives, but can that sort of charge really be justified? Sadly, it means that the vehicle, which is in pretty good condition for its age, will now have to be scrapped, as it will not get through the next MoT with such a fault. Rant over!

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That is true, diagnistic equipment cannot provide an instant fix, merely point you in the right direction. I'm not sure but it may be a simple wiring fault. There may be a fault related to either the seat belt stalk or the pressure sensor in the drivers seat cushion. This is'nt as daft as it seems, the seat belt stalks will be wired to check that the belt is fastened, the pressure sensor simoly detects if someone is sitting in the seat. The end result is that somewhere around the seat there MAY be a fairly simple wiring connector that is either unplugged or a less than perfect contact. I'm assuming you have some knowledge of how it all works basedon the fact that youv'e tried the airbag module. In any case it doesn't have to be plugged into EDIS , most smaller independant garages will have similar equipment.
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v64paul. Many thanks for your input. My Ka doesn't have any wiring connected to the seat belts and so I think it may be down to something else. Googling of my particular problem (airbag light on permanently) suggests either a module fault or the feed to the module. I did have it checked earlier at my local independent garage but they were unable to sort it out. I've just reinstalled the seats and carpets (necessary to access the module) but didn't bother (doh!) to check the connections. There's still some way to go before its MoT and so I'll keep persevering. I was rather hoping that the battery discharge caused the problem (quite common apparently) and that a simple reset would suffice, but I wasn't prepared to risk the Ford Dealer on this. Maybe I'll go back to my independent. Thanks again.
As an alternate to scrapping the car – you could remove (or otherwise disconnect) the bulb. With modern cars, even this could be easier said than done.

Although technically also an MOT failure – it would take an alert tester to spot that of the many warning lights that illuminate on powering up the car’s ignition – the airbag warning light had failed.
O.K. ! My experience is largely on trucks but sometimes they can cross over with cars in more areas than we might imagine, good luck !
its extremely rare for the module to be faulty, its fairly certain it will be a connection somewhere,as V64paul says its often the wiring in the seat area, there must be some there as they have pretentioners on the seat belt or stalk,a common problem.
The only issue you may have is by changing the module even if you cure the problem it will need resetting/programming.
Most independant garages have diagnostic/resetting equpment, they wouldnt survive without, local one to me charges £30.00+ vat.
Hymie, we checked a vehicle out a couple of days ago and someone had removed the dash fascia and put blobs of black silicone on each warning bulbs, quality...this had been done to sell the car.
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Chas2008. Thanks for this. I'll have another look, but I have to say I couldn't see any wiring - at least there was nothing 'dangling' when I removed the seats! I hate giving up and so I'll get the seats out again and see if I can get someone to confirm that there is power to the module and that there is a good earth (a possible fault I understand). If they're OK, I'll see whether I can get an independent to reset the module to see if that works. Thanks again all.
Hold fire !!!,
Im assuming yours is the old style KA ?? if so they were not fitted with pretentioners...so no wiring.
That only leaves a few options, air bag sensor, module or the air bag itself, diagnostics should pin it down
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Chas2008. Agreed! I assume I'll need to get back to the module itself to check the continuity? I'm getting quite proficient at removing the seats and carpets.

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