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Pontiac Repair/2006 Pontiac Vibe airbag sensors error

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Question
QUESTION: On new years day, my wife was rear-ended at low speed. There was no damage, no injury, so she just swapped information with the driver who suffered a crushed grill. Immediately, my wife notices an idiot light on the dash indicating the airbag system is "not ready" by staying lit all the time.  When a passenger sits in the right chair, the seatbelt chime does not sound, and the passenger airbag light initially lights both OFF and ON, but immediately settles upon OFF and stays that way.  The local dealer wanted 89 dollars to read the diagnoistic codes and tells us the most recent code is B1650.  The dealer says they don't have the sandbags to test the system and they'd have to dismantle the chair at 89-dollars an hour to explore to find the fault. What else can we do?  Money is tight. There was no accident report. What should we look for, and can I replace a module to reset this system?  We've already turned the inigition on and off three times rapidly...NO LUCK. And we've disconnected the negative battery terminal...NO LUCK.  HELP!

ANSWER: Hi Kirk:
the issue is with the passenger presence system part of the air bag. more then likely NOT related to the accident you had just a coincidence. Pretty common issue on that car it neds the passenger presence mat/module that goes in the seat. It's a complete assembly mat and module. there isn't much to diagnose the system it either works or it doesn't. there isn't any repair to be made with it other tyen to replace it and claibarte the new mat to the module in the car and get them sync'ed to each other. good luck :-)


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I find it odd that the airbag system "idiot light" has chosen to stay lit since the accident, but not before. How does that figure it be related to the passenger presence mat/module?  Is this something that I could locate if I removed the bolts from the seat track and flipped the seat? Does it make sense that the passenger's weight, thrown against the seat back and then forward against the seat belt would have damaged the mat or module?
Finally, what is the risk if I were to replace/repair this mat/module that the airbag might immediately "go off"?  (I've heard that one NEVER wants to try to service an airbag because of the danger of a deloying bag!)

Answer
The mat/module are not actaully part of the air bad they are an input to the air bag module to let the modeul know how hard to deploy the passenger bag. If a child was in the seat VS an adult it would apply it faster for an adult and slower for a child it's a dual stage bag. if there is a fault in that mat/module and it's causing the air bag light to go on then if your were in an accident the bags WILL NOT DEPLOY. so you could change that mat/module your self and not be at a rish for a bag issue BUT you need a GM scan tool to sync the mat's module to the air bad module. So it's really anot a do it your self job unless you do do it your self and take it into the dealer to get them to set the module up after you replaced it..

good luck:)

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Todd Puccio

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General auto repair,electrical issues,driveability issues,anti-lock brakes,SIR systems,HVAC,engine performance,Gm specific. I have worked at my current dealership since the 1990 model year anything much older than that I have limited exposure to. I do not have very much transmission experience so those question you may want to ask of another expert. When you send me a question let me know the exact make/model/engine and year for the car or suv you have it makes it easier to answer the questions that way. If your happy with the answer I gave you please feel free to Donate. This is a free service to you and I am not compensated at all by this web site. I have 22 years of experience to share with you and my knowledge wasn't free to me. I had to pay for my education.

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Experience in the area: I have been a technician in GM dealerships for over 22 years and I am a ASE master technician. I work at a Buick and GMC truck store Previously I worked at a Pontiac GMC store for 18 years. I Served a a lead technician when dealership was on a team system. I just recently moved to a Buick,Hummer,Saab Store when my franchise was purchased by this dealership. Organizations: ASE master technician

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Education/Credentials:High school diploma,2 year vocational school degree 2 year college degree. Associates degree in applied sciences (auto technology)Awards and Honors: GMC master technician

Awards and Honors
Master GMC truck technician Master ASE technician in 9 categories

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