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The Masked Tulip

Mk 6 Vw Golf Airbag Light - How To Turn Off?

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A friend of mine owns a VW MK 6 Golf.

Last week a mate of his was getting out of his car whilst holding a large carton of cream. Things did not go well at that time. The result was the entire contents of the cream falling on the floor of the car and saturating the carpet.

My friend has spent this week removing the front seats and the carpet to remove the cream which was laying, on a rubber surface, underneath the carpet. The internet is awash - no pun - with stories of people who have had to sell their cars being unable to remove the smell of stale milk.

Luckily, after hard work, my friend has removed all the cream, has no smell in the car and has put the seats back on.

However, the airbag light is now on on the dash. The airbag is connected to the driver's seat and a connection had to be disconnected to remove the seat.

How can he turn the airbag dash light off and, just as importantly, check that the airbag is still working - without driving at speed at a brick wall? Apparently the airbag light on is an MOT fail.

So, to all the HPC cars enthusiasts, any ideas?

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Why not crash it into a hard object at speed? That will show whether the airbag works! :huh:

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Its probably a latched sensor that once it cannot connect it latches on full stop because its such a safety critical part.

Buy one of those thingys that plugs into the cambus.

Yes. Get an OBD-II reader (=canbus). Apparently the 'U281' one will do it, but I've not got one and I don't have a VAG so don't want one. Google "u281 golf airbag" and see what you think.

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Its probably a latched sensor that once it cannot connect it latches on full stop because its such a safety critical part.

Buy one of those thingys that plugs into the cambus.

CanBus BTW. Hmm an ODB2 analyser?

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Don't know about VWs specifically, but in every car I've worked on, the air bag light will automatically go out next time you start the car after the fault has been fixed.

It's possible that on VWs, the light stays on for intermittent faults, and doesn't reset itself. In which case, disconnecting the car battery for 15 minutes will usually do the job (air bag ECUs contain a backup capacitor so that the airbags can still fire if the battery is damaged during a crash, and this means it's a long wait for the air bag system to discharge after disconnecting the battery).

Air bag systems have a comprehensive built-in self test. If the self test passes, then it will be indicated by the air bag light coming on for 5 seconds when you start the car, then going out.

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Had quite a bit of experience with this when restoring cars and replacing worn seats and finding that on different model years although the seats will fit there are air bags, or not, in the seat thus triggering a dash fault.

You can usually bypass the wait for capacitors to discharge, after disconnecting the battery, by touching the +ve and -ve leads together

When you turn on the ignition it will check the air bag electrical connections usually for an expected resistance. If it finds an open circuit (ie connector loose) or unexpected resistance, as has already been said, the airbag light will iluminate and stay illuminated when you switch on the ignition on.

So once you're sure the connections are good, much easier with dealer level software on a laptop - will also mention be a bit careful using continuity testers etc. as it can risk deploying the airbag. If the airbag is bad or missing you may be able to mimic its presence with a carefully chosen load resistor.

So, assuming that's all ok it's then model specific which way it goes in turning off the airbag light. Some models it will just be a case of turning on the ignition, and if everything is ok the light will go on then off, some you will need to disconnect the battery and touch the leads, as above, to clear the fault and other will need a diagnostic tool plugging in - if you're lucky there might be a cheap generic one on ebay but worst case you might need dealer level software on a laptop.

The depressing part of plugging in is that you will often find a load of other fault codes to vex you.

This is what happens if you dick around with air bags - wait to the end - funny but wouldn't want to live nextdoor to them.

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Thanks - there is a post online showing photos of someone using a resistor to connect both wires together. Some say it works, others say that it does not. Som say that on the VWs once a light is on it is in the car's computer memory and can only be removed using the correct code - in this case there apparently is one code which temp removes it and one which removes it permanently.

Impressed by the knowledge of some of the posts on here. Thanks all.

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Someone I know went down the route of a carefully chosen resistor to mimic an airbag when the seat airbag in his Octavia developed a fault. That worked ok, but I'm not sure what other procedures were required regarding resetting the light but it did not go to a garage. I think an aftermarket OBD stick tool was involved, not sure though.

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Thanks - there is a post online showing photos of someone using a resistor to connect both wires together. Some say it works, others say that it does not. Som say that on the VWs once a light is on it is in the car's computer memory and can only be removed using the correct code - in this case there apparently is one code which temp removes it and one which removes it permanently.

Impressed by the knowledge of some of the posts on here. Thanks all.

Its not a fault as such - don't bother going down the resister route etc as the airbag is fine, you only need to do this if you have removed airbags completely or they have failed - just a logged fault as he switched the ignition on with an airbag missing.

Generally with VWs that is the case, you'll need a fault code reader capable of resetting the codes (not all will) or a garage/friendly person with the correct diagnostic gear (VCDS from RossTech is what I use).

If you read the code it will be something along the lines of "Resistance too low (intermittent)".

Fords clear the codes them selves once you fix the problem (from experience replacing a slip ring on my brothers Focus), far easier.

In future if he unplugs the battery, removes seats, cleans, reassembles completely before plugging the battery back in he shouldn't get a fault logged.

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