Air bag light comes on periodically

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Thread: Air bag light comes on periodically

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    Air bag light comes on periodically

    My '08 GP has been acting up the past couple of days. Yesterday when I finished my shift and was on the way home the air bag light came on. I pulled over, shut the car off for a minute then fired it up again, the light stayed on so I decided to go home and call the dealer. A few minutes after pulling back onto the road the light shut off, so I figured it was just a little glitch and that was it. Drove a fair bit today and on the way home again, the light came on for 2 minutes or so and then shut off again.

    I'm assuming it's a wiring issue or something, but can't help but wonder if I should even be driving the car if I don't have to be. Anyone have any ideas? Guess I'll be taking it for another service Monday, second time in two weeks that it's needed to go in.

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    It's onstar capable but I don't have the service. Also just over 9000km's of warranty left as I'm guessing that something like this would be repaired under the bumper to bumper warranty.

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Basically there are crash sensors mounted around the vehicle and air bags. The wiring to these devices is monitored.

    So say you have 2 airbags and 3 crash sensors. That would be 5 different electrical wires which could have a problem.

    The thing to do is get the code read at the dealer and this would say which specific wire/device was having the problem.

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Without knowing what Diagnostic Trouble Code it set you are just guessing.It could be a number of things.
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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Will the light have to be on for them to get the code? Or would these codes be logged?

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by Asinity View Post
    My '08 GP has been acting up the past couple of days. Yesterday when I finished my shift and was on the way home the air bag light came on. I pulled over, shut the car off for a minute then fired it up again, the light stayed on so I decided to go home and call the dealer. A few minutes after pulling back onto the road the light shut off, so I figured it was just a little glitch and that was it. Drove a fair bit today and on the way home again, the light came on for 2 minutes or so and then shut off again.

    I'm assuming it's a wiring issue or something, but can't help but wonder if I should even be driving the car if I don't have to be. Anyone have any ideas? Guess I'll be taking it for another service Monday, second time in two weeks that it's needed to go in.


    At 999 miles, the "service air bag" warning displayed on the driver information center on my 2008 Chevrolet Impala - also a "W" body platform vehicle (as the Grand Prix is). I bought the car new.

    I took it to the dealer who determined wiring had to be repaired / replaced in the front of the car. The car was not damaged or wrecked.

    I was very upset regarding the poor quality of this vehicle - such a serious defect so quickly. Perhaps your Grand Prix has a similar problem - you should immediately take it to the dealer and have it fixed. It is a serious safety problem. The code(s) will be stored in the car's computer and the dealer can quickly determine what went wrong.

    While at the dealership, the technician determined there was also a campaign to repair the dual-zone HVAC system - which required the system to be reprogrammed. Don't believe the stories that GM's quality is improving. It isn't.

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by Asinity View Post
    Will the light have to be on for them to get the code? Or would these codes be logged?
    The code(s) should be stored.

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Thanks, I'll be taking it to the dealer in the morning.

    I do believe GM's quality is improving, after all my old '06 Ion was fantastic, the most serious problem was one fuel injector failing, which was replaced outside of warranty by Saturn. I bought a W-Body because I've heard of very few issues with them, but I'm definitely questioning the electrical in the car because 2 months ago for reasons unknown to me and the dealer was unable to figure out, the battery drained (everything was off, and besides the car has battery rundown protection in case something was) and wouldn't accept a boost. 2 weeks ago a solenoid failed which caused me to get evap codes, and now this. I love GM but if this keeps up I'll be worried when my warranty expires.

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by Asinity View Post
    Thanks, I'll be taking it to the dealer in the morning.

    I do believe GM's quality is improving, after all my old '06 Ion was fantastic, the most serious problem was one fuel injector failing, which was replaced outside of warranty by Saturn. I bought a W-Body because I've heard of very few issues with them, but I'm definitely questioning the electrical in the car because 2 months ago for reasons unknown to me and the dealer was unable to figure out, the battery drained (everything was off, and besides the car has battery rundown protection in case something was) and wouldn't accept a boost. 2 weeks ago a solenoid failed which caused me to get evap codes, and now this. I love GM but if this keeps up I'll be worried when my warranty expires.


    Good luck - let us know what the dealer determines was wrong.

    It sounds like you've already had some quality issues with the 2008 Grand Prix. I had a variety of things go wrong (or were wrong at time of the new-car delivery), which has frustrated me. The car now only has 13,500 miles and is 1 1/2 years old.
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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    All is well. Turns out it was a problem in the sensor in the passenger seat which turns the airbag on or off depending on whether there is somebody in that seat. The wiring underneath the seat came loose, I suspect my wife is to blame for this as she has the tendency to move the seat back and forth to make sure she is far from the airbag (She's got a bit of a phobia) and has recently complained that the seat was 'stiff' to move. My thinking is that the wiring got snagged from when she was sliding the seat up and down the track last week when she was complaining it was stiff. Going to need to have a bit of a chat with her about that

    Ultimately I'm glad it was that and nothing serious, although I'm thinking there should be a way to prevent the wiring from getting snagged in the first place. I bought the car in October of '08, and it was a rental vehicle prior to that. It's got 51,000km's (31,000mi's) on it and with so many different drivers it's no doubt been well worn in for it's mileage. For a car that's a year and a half old, I shouldn't have had the couple issue's I've had, but again with 35,000 unknown kilometers to me, who's to say if a driver or twenty didn't abuse it a bit.

    I'm going to keep an eye on it though, and if it acts up again I'll let you know. Definitely can't hold this against the vehicle quality though, it's just not wife proof :P

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Sorry to dig up this old thread of mine, but I need to vent a little bit.

    Over the course of the last few months, it was determined that the entire sensor system in the passenger seat had failed, the dealership replaced the system and the red indicator light has not come on since. Of course, I only got this far by contacting GM Canada about the problem. I am pleased with this, however a new problem has risen.

    Shortly after the assembly was replaced, my wife and I were out for a drive and the airbag activity light above the radio showed the airbag was inactive, it would then turn back on, and then off again. I've taken it to a couple dealers and both are blaming my wife saying that she isn't sitting in the seat properly and that she's on the borderline weight for the airbag to turn on. My wife is 130 pounds, this sounds like bull to me. I've taken the car in to have them look at it numerous times, and nothing. I've played phone tag with the service manager at my dealer, only to have it get to the point where I've left messages and he no longer even bothers to call back. I am probably just going to stop in right after work tomorrow, without calling ahead as I normally do.

    The warranty that covers this is running out in 2500km's, and I am growing tired of this problem. Not only are the visits to the dealership driving me nuts, but more than anything I'm worried about what could happen to my wife if we were ever in an accident, even more now that she's pregnant.

    I did a few google searches for this and have found a few people have had the problem and are in the same boat as I am where the dealer can't diagnose the problem.

    I am at the end of my rope, and am contemplating taking whatever loss I take by getting rid of this car before something terrible happens. It simply seems that they just don't give a damn about us.

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    That is funny. It was the airbag light in my 2006 LaCrosse that led to my earlier than planned purchase of my G8 GT. While I was waiting for the five hour repair at the dealership to replace my passenger airbag sensor I made the decision to test-drive an Enclave (awesome) and a G8 GT (really awesome). I will never know if that solved the problem all the way because I went home with my G8 GT. They sold my slightly used 36,000 mile LaCrosse in about six weeks on the used lot.

    They need to get this right for you before that warranty expires. Good luck.

    I believe the weight to activate the airbag sensor light is about 40 lbs or so.
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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Ask the dealer to try re-zeroing the system. This sometimes helps as the seat essentially contains a scale and over time the zero can get skewed. It is important that all passengers sit squarely in the seat in an upright position as this is the position the system is designed to work at. If the passenger is sitting at an angle or leaning back too far the air bag can do more harm than good. I am assuming that there are no codes in the SIR or the PPS systems. If there are codes present they should be addressed first. Another thing to watch is to avoid getting the seat wet. The water can short out the sensor bladder in the seat, we have a bulletin to disassemble and dry the seat for 48 hours when certain codes are present.
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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    Sorry to hear that you're still having a problem. It is a shame that your dealer is unable or unwilling to repair your GM vehicle under the new-car warranty.

    When the dealer repaired my 2008 Impala (W Body platform) for the defective air bag system, the technician called Chevrolet Technical Assistance. He was instructed on what to repair. Perhaps you can convince the service manager to call and see if they have any suggestions.

    Like I said in my earlier post - I don't believe the stories that "GM's quality is improving". Recently the dealer replaced the driver seat bottom cushon because the leather was separating, and the driver's door latch and actuator because it would not lock/unlock with the remote or door switch. The car now has 15,000 miles.

    Good luck - keep us posted.

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    Re: Air bag light comes on periodically

    I stopped in today and spoke with several people, their service manager, a used car salesman, and his manager (I spoke with them as I went for a walk while waiting for my car)

    The service manager wants to replace the entire airbag bladder and module again, so he's ordered up the parts. I hope that it was simply a defective replacement part, but part of me thinks otherwise and will be very discouraged if it happens again. Their manager insists the weight is 100lbs to activate the airbag, which seems like an awful lot, and even then, a 130lb person should definitely activate it. I've also made sure my wife sits in the seat properly, at a recline that's comfortable for her, what with her being pregnant - and honestly, her recline is barely more than mine, and I sit quite straight while driving.

    The previous two times at the dealer this assembly has been zeroed, so either there's a problem in the system, or in the person who is zeroing it. And there are no codes present, nor has the seat been wet (leather does help with spills, although they never have happened during my ownership).

    While waiting and wandering, an '05 GP GXP caught my eye, particularly because aside this problem, I do love my GP and call me foolish, I'd consider another one - especially since in '05 they weren't equipped with a passenger sensor. While speaking with the salesman and used car manager they seemed, although it could have been simply for show, to be sympathetic to the situation, what with me buying the car there a year earlier and having the problems and concerns that I have, and seemed like they might be willing to do a close enough trade for the GXP without me dishing out much coin... that and the sales manager also had a few words with the service manager about the problems and seemed to understand how fed up I am.
    Last edited by Asinity; 09-29-2009 at 04:38 PM.

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