Intermittent airbag light 03 Forester...

M

Mark

My wife has a 03 Forester. Recently the airbag light has been staying
on while driving. When the light initially appeared I called Subaru
and set up a time to have them look at it. They couldn't get me in
till 3 days later. Well as fate has it, as we were driving to the
dealer, the light went out. They check the car out anyway, but
couldn't find the source of the problem. They said the onboard
computer does not store airbag error codes if the light goes out.
(plus, the need to capture the code to know what to fix).

Anyway, 4 days later, the light appeared again. So, I called the
dealer and set up another appointment. Once again, I had to set up an
appointment for Monday. Well, the weekend prior, the light went out
again.

Does anyone know what could be causing this problem?

Also, I'm thinking about buying a OBD-II code reader so I can catch
the error when it happens. Does anyone have any experience with these
$50 units?

Here is one I'm thinking about buying..

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=46030
 
Mark said:
My wife has a 03 Forester. Recently the airbag light has been staying
on while driving. When the light initially appeared I called Subaru
and set up a time to have them look at it. They couldn't get me in
till 3 days later. Well as fate has it, as we were driving to the
dealer, the light went out. They check the car out anyway, but
couldn't find the source of the problem. They said the onboard
computer does not store airbag error codes if the light goes out.
(plus, the need to capture the code to know what to fix).

Anyway, 4 days later, the light appeared again. So, I called the
dealer and set up another appointment. Once again, I had to set up an
appointment for Monday. Well, the weekend prior, the light went out
again.

Does anyone know what could be causing this problem?

Also, I'm thinking about buying a OBD-II code reader so I can catch
the error when it happens. Does anyone have any experience with these
$50 units?

Here is one I'm thinking about buying..

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=46030


Murphy's law strikes again. Or, as I once heard a service manager
exclaim, "Lady, you have to make it not work before we can make it work!"

On a more constructive note: when the light is on do you experience
problems with any of the other electrical devices that are attached to
the steering wheel, such as the horn or the cruise control? I once had
an airbag fault on another car, and the horn malfunctioned at the same
time. Problem was in the flexible wiring between the steering wheel and
the steering column. Replacement was not cheap, but you're probably
still in warranty. If you're lucky, it might be just a loose connector.

I'd also be interested in any insight that people might have into the
Harbor Freight device. I've bought lots of utilitarian stuff from them
but tend to shy away from getting precision stuff there. Was just
thumbing one of their catalogs as a matter of fact. They send out so
many, and all are just a bit different from each other. I sent in an
order yesterday and already I need more stuff.



--
 
On a more constructive note: when the light is on do you experience
problems with any of the other electrical devices that are attached to
the steering wheel, such as the horn or the cruise control? I once had
an airbag fault on another car, and the horn malfunctioned at the same
time. Problem was in the flexible wiring between the steering wheel and
the steering column. Replacement was not cheap, but you're probably
still in warranty. If you're lucky, it might be just a loose connector.

Nope, I tried the horn when the light was on and it worked correctly
(so did everything else on the stearing column).

I did talk to Subaru today and they said to bring it by when it
appears again so they can do a quick diagnostic.


On the OBD-II thing.. I've seen that modem sold under different names.
So I guess HF does not make it, they just put their name on it. If I
do buy this code reader, where can I find a listing of the codes and
their meaning?

Thanks for all the help.
 
Our 03 Forester has had the same problem. It's going back to the dealer on
Monday for the FOURTH time in the last 6 months. The first time the light had
gone out by the time they got around to looking at it. The next two times they
claimed to have fixed a loose wire. Allegedly no computer codes were
generated. I'm running out of patience with the dealership.

Good luck with yours.

JS
 
My wife's Forester is also having this problem. It is in the shop today
because of it.
 
Dthree said:
My wife's Forester is also having this problem. It is in the shop today
because of it.

Just an update to this problem. We finally got the dealer to read the
code while the light was on. Turned out to be a bad passenger airbag
sensor. They replaced the entire passenger airbag under the warranty.
Good thing, cause the cost to replace the airbag part along was about
$600.
 
Brings to mind a statement attributed to a local service manager -
"Lady, you have to make it not work before we can make it work!"
 
BBB said:
Brings to mind a statement attributed to a local service manager -
"Lady, you have to make it not work before we can make it work!"

Well, Let me tell ya....

I also had problems with my 02 WRX grinding in 1st gear. So, I tell
the dealer that "Driving in 2nd gear, slow down and press in the
clutch. As you slow down, shift into 1st gear. As you put the car
into first gear it will grind". So what does the service departmart
do??? They take the car onto the highway and drive at 55MPH come back
and say, "We can't reproduce it". WTF?

Most of these [lack of] service guys don't have a clue how to diagnose
a problem. In the case of a warning light, they need to see the code
to tell what caused the problem. However if the problem is not spelled
out in flashing lights (no pun intended), they can't (or more likely,
won't) use their brain to *think* about the problem.
 

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