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  • 1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

How do you reset cavalier 2001 air bags light?

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βˆ™ 2010-11-02 05:52:11

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By first having a professional repair the problem that caused the light to come on. Do not attempt to repair yourself. Serious injury can occur when dealing with the SRS.

Okay, I some what agree with the answer above, but if you are a backyard mechanic with electrical and electronic know how, "attempt it at your own risk!" No one put a gun to Your head and told you to do it. At least let me give you the guide lines. I will tell you first and again "attempt at your own risk!". Make sure you have the owners manual and the automotive repair manual. Check battery cables. Replace if needed. Check for bad grounds. Make sure there are at least two grounding straps from the motor to the body that are in good condition and check all wires that are grounded to the engine block and body. If you must, crimp new loops onto good wire. If you must extend a wire that had to be cut back use the same gauge wire, soldier all connections and seal tight with electrical tape. Have the charging system checked. A bad alternator can make a car go electrically crazy. Disconnect battery for 1 min and reconnect. Light go out? If yes! Get the heck out of here and take a Sunday drive! If not. Go to step 1.

1. Disconnect battery negative terminal. Make sure it will not make contact with the negative of the battery. Wrap with Duct Tape. (To be safe.)

2. Let car sit for 5 min.

3. Remove SRS (Airbag) Fuse/s. Refer to owners manual or repair manual.

4. Remove SRS relay/s. (If applicable) Even if you are looking for an electrical problem that has nothing to do with the airbags. Remove airbag fuses and relays! You can still set them off by accident while trouble shooting other components.

5.If it is really dry and you have static build up. Make a grounding strap. Use a thick rubber band, some speaker wire and a metal clip. Strip speaker wire on both ends. Wrap one end around the rubber band to make a ball that will contact your skin at all times when you put on the rubber band. Use lotion on the skin where the wire touches. Wrap other end around the metal clip. Use the clip to ground yourself to the car, to any bare metal under the dash. Static electricity has been known to set these off, at least that is what I was told. Ive never had one go off and I work with car electrical all the time.

6. Under the dash will be connectors that go to the airbags. Some are located under the front seats for 4 passenger SRS systems. They have a plastic pin that must be pulled out before you can disconnect them.

7. Locate the diagnostic/airbag sensor. Usually under passenger seat or in dash. Disconnect it.

8. Pull airbags. Refer to the repair manual for dash and steering wheel removal. Remove steering wheel. Make sure the wheel is straight before removing airbag coil spring. Use tape to stop it from rotating when you remove it. ( See manual. ) When removing do not put yourself in front of the airbag. Some have a battery deployment backup that can still go off.

9. Locate accelerometer sensors and disconnect them. You guessed it! Repair manual! "Note: Some repair manuals have limited schematics and information. Find one that does or buy the airbag repair manual for your make of vehicle. $20 manual is better than a big headache or dislocated body part." Common locations are, inside front grill, rear bumper, under dash. Some are built into the passenger airbags and there is even one in the diagnostic/airbag sensor.

10. Get some speaker wire that is thin. Use soldier to tin the ends to a nice straight pin. you will also need a volt meter that reads ohms and beeps when you have a direct short. Generally the color coded wire will stay the same from the diagnostic/airbag sensor socket to the other sensor and airbag sockets. Look for socket corrosion and bad grounds and repair as needed. The worst thing you could use is a test probe! You will leave a little hole that will allow moisture to rot the wire. Use the volt meter and set it to ohms and run your speaker wire to the socket in the grill of the car and test the wire from the sensor socket to the diagnostic socket. If you are not reading a direct short then follow the wire to the outer firewall. As you follow the wires, look for pin holes, junctions and fusible links that may have corrosion. Now plug in the connector for the airbag coil spring and test from the steering wheel socket to the diagnostic socket. Unplug when done. Does everything look good so far? There will be some wires at the diagnostic socket that go to the ECU ( The cars computer ) That should be tested at the ECU socket. Do not test with the ECU connected. Some may go to the ABS ECU. If you have corrosion in these sockets, the units may be unrepairable. You may have to buy a new ECU or ABS module. These wires are so the two or three can share information like speed, breaking, and airbag status. THAT'S WHATS KEEPING THE LIGHT ON! ( Note: Some SRS systems require that the ABS system be in full working condition before diagnostic/airbag sensor reset. )

11. If everything looks good or has been repaired from here then the next step you will need the help of a Pro. Take the diagnostic/airbag sensor to the dealership, auto mechanic that has the code retrieval reset tool or send it to one of those on line code retrieval and reset company. Sometimes the dealership is the wrong way to go. They may tell you it is no good and they could not get the codes off of it and offer to order you a new one or try to talk you into bringing the car in for service. The on line company will charge less and give you instructions on the ECM reset procedure. When you get the unit back they will give you the trouble codes and what they mean. Make sure you find a company that does that for you! If it was a failed sensor and you had to replace a socket or bad wire then it should be fine. If the wiring tested okay then the sensor or airbag is most likely bad. Replace as needed.

12. Connect and mount everything back into place following reverse order except the fuses, relays and diagnostic/airbag sensor.

13. Most auto parts stores have ECU readers that you can use in the parking lot. You will need to follow the instructions the on line company gives you to clear the code from the ECU. Disconnect the battery wait 5 min and plug in relays and fuses. Make sure you completely mount the diagnostic/airbag sensor. Don't try doing this with the unit flopping around. Then pug it in and reconnect the battery. Make sure that no one is in the car! If something went wrong in your repairs the airbags could go off the second you attache the battery! If this does happen, don't feel to bad. It happens to the Pro's too.

14. No big POOF!? Good. You made it this far. Just one more hurdle. Lean across from the passenger side to turn the ignition on. If it goes off now, your better off in the middle. Once the ignition is on and you see your gauges light up, look at the SRS light It should blink for a moment then turn off. If not, repeat the reset instruction.

15. If the light blinks and goes out! Your in business! If not. Take it to the dealer or auto mechanic and have them pull the codes on it again while its in the car and attempt another reset. Maybe a sensor got missed, but if they do have to do anything else it should be minor, you have done most of the work.


Airbag systems are a lot more stable than they used to be, But you can still get hurt, burn up and possibly die. No worse than traveling by plane.

2010-11-02 05:52:11
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