1997 Volkswagen Passat air bag

  • 1.9L
  • 315,000 MILES

I got an airbag light flashing and when I took it to the car shop they sad that I have blown a fuse, because the light was not always on. They sad that it was an easy jobb so I could save money and do it at home, but I cant find the fuse for the air bag. I got an 97 passat, 1.9L TDI. Please help. I know where the fuse box is, but I can not find the fuse for the airbag. Please help!

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Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 AT 12:29 PM

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When our time is costing you money, we don't have time to search for the right fuse or dig through service manuals and owner's manuals. We test them in the car with a test light or voltmeter. Each fuse has two small holes on top for this purpose. If you find 12 volts on both test points, that fuse is good and the circuit is turned on. If there's 0 volts on both points, that circuit is turned off. You won't know if that fuse is good unless you turn things on like the brake lights or wipers, and see the voltage show up. The air bag system is live when the ignition switch is on, so for now you don't have to worry about any fuses with 0 volts on both sides, as long as you're testing with the ignition switch turned on. We can test all the fuses in a fuse box in less than a minute this way. Remember there's usually a fuse box inside the car and another one under the hood.

What you're looking for is a fuse with 12 volts on one test point and 0 volts on the other one. You can replace that fuse, but you have to wonder what caused it to blow. Fuses don't blow for no reason, so unless you know that you did something that caused it to blow, simply replacing it is not fixing the problem.

As for that mechanic you talked with, finding a blown fuse is what takes time and is what we charge for. It sounds like that's what he did. Replacing the fuse takes all of another ten seconds so not doing that is hardly saving you money. I suspect he was also thinking about why that fuse blew and he didn't want to get involved with that. If he was just guessing that a fuse was blown, that did you a great disservice. The diagnostic fault codes should be read and recorded first so an accurate recommendation can be given. The repair might involve an expensive part but now he has you convinced it's "just a fuse". A lot of people run to a different mechanic when they can't find that non-existent blown fuse, then assume that one is trying to rip them off when he comes up the correct, but much more expensive diagnosis.

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Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 AT 3:27 PM

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