Replaced clock spring, now air bag light wont turn off

Tiny
BUS933S
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 247,000 MILES
There was a short in turn signal switch. Was not a replaceable arm had to replace entire combination switch with a new clock spring included. There was no air bag light on previously. Brought a brand new combo switch with clock spring from local toyota dealer, OEM part. Set clock spring by directions. Hooked everything back together air bag light on dash is staying on. Horn and cruise works. Pulled code 14 (bad clock spring or air bag module) but I'm having trouble accepting that - there was nothing wrong before, and the clock spring is powering horn and cruise fine and is brand new. Reset codes, light came back on same code. I have read about manual ways to reset this dash light with grounding certain box terminals. Toyota dealer wont help, and says part is not returnable since its electrical and been installed. Suggestions?
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Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:18 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The first thing to consider is the diagnostic fault codes in many Air Bag Computers can only be reset with a scanner, and even some aftermarket scanners won't do it. The code would have set originally if the ignition switch was turned on while the air bag or clock spring was not plugged in.

The next concern is the fault code did not say to replace a part. They never do. Fault codes only indicate the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis, or the unacceptable operating condition. This code refers to an open circuit in the "squib", or "initiator" circuit. That is the circuit that goes to the rocket fuel pellet in the air bag. Given that new parts are involved, a good suspect is a connector terminal got bent over or pushed out. Parts for safety systems go through a real lot of testing on the assembly line, so it is very unlikely the new clock spring is defective. It is also unlikely the controller developed a problem just at the time you were working on the system. Double-check the part number and application. Be sure the same number of terminals are in each connector, then check closely for bent or spread terminals.
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Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 4:38 PM
Tiny
BUS933S
  • MEMBER
I will check all connections, but they are all seated plugs so hard to see one getting bent, but I will check. I also found this http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/103-3rd-4th-generation-1992-1996-1997-2001/1505-gen3-airbag-light-4.html#post3149648 . There is an image partway down this post from a Toyota manual about airbag memories will not clear with a scanner and require a special "dealer only" tool to ground computer connections terminals in a sequence to truly clear the code. Seems some people are having success manually doing this. Thoughts there? And all work to replace was done with battery disconnected, if that helps. Thanks!
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Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 5:00 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
A problem would not have been detected when the battery was disconnected. That would suggest there is indeed a break in the circuit someplace, as the fault code suggests.

My only personal experience with failing to erase fault codes was on a mid 1990's Dakota ABS system. The codes could be read by ground a wire, then watching the flashing of the warning light, but it could not be erased except with the factory scanner. They only did that for one year. The aftermarket scanners never gained that ability because it pertained to such a low number of vehicles that used that rather basic system.

The reason for requiring a factory scanner to erase codes is they are in a safety system, and the manufacturer wants to be sure any problems were repaired properly and nothing was bypassed. They are doing that for liability reasons since so many people sue for anything today.
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Friday, February 17th, 2017 AT 6:26 PM
Tiny
BUS933S
  • MEMBER
So I failed to mention that the clock spring was replaced twice. The first one was faulty (symptom, no horn). Since I had no stuck airbag light before the first attempt, I imagine this is where the fault code tripped. I returned that aftermarket and went to the Toyota dealer for OEM. I installed that, hooked everything up, horn and cruise work so I figure clock spring must be good, but light still on. Took it to my mechanic for a scan and reset, he pulled code 14 and argued the second clock spring must be bad (and charged me an hours diagnostic time). I followed Caradiodoc advised and unplugged and checked every connector - all was well. Plugged it all back in airbag light still on. So recalling what Caradiodoc doc said, that a typical scanner may not always work, I called Toyota. They had no idea what I was talking about! So I went back to the post/link I previously mentioned, where there is a obdc1 diagram, stuck wires in AB and Tc in the diagnostic connector in engine compartment, followed the instruction to alternately ground Tc then AB then Tc then AB then hold ground on Tc for a few seconds, all with key in ACC position. Airbag light turned off! Took out key, back in turned to on position air bag light comes on with all other lights (self test), started car, light stayed on a couple seconds and went off. Did start>remove key a few times to make sure not just a fluke. Self test airbag light comes on, goes off a few seconds after car starts. All is well!
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Saturday, February 18th, 2017 AT 8:22 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
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Great you got it fixed then it looks like looks like cardiodoc's advise helped you out.
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Saturday, February 18th, 2017 AT 11:13 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Yeah; feel free to think I am a genius. Even a blind mouse bumps into a piece of cheese now and then.

Happy to hear it is solved. I am adding your solution to my memory banks.
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Saturday, February 18th, 2017 AT 7:32 PM

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