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Dashboard Lights and Gauges
Alarm Systems
Ford Aerostar XL

Ok i have had the airbag system checked and told it is fine but the light is still flashing what should i do?


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October 01, 2009 4:37PM

1. The most likely culprit on Aerostars is the sensor mounted to the front of the top horizontal radiator support, visible through the grille. It looks like a little grey box retained by a single bolt (I think). What happens is that corrosion develops between this sensor and the thing it's bolted to, which prevents it from getting ground and working. Easy fix: unbolt it, sand the spot it bolts to and the surface of the sensor bracket that contacts the radiator support, and reassemble it. Boom. It's that easy.

Speaking of "boom," be sure to do this with the key off! Otherwise there is the slight possibility that you could accidentally trigger the airbag.

2. The other possibility is the "clock spring" that is located inside the steering column under the steering wheel. The clock spring is basically an electrical ribbon cable which is wrapped around the steering column and attached to the column frame at one end and the steering wheel at the other. The ribbon winds up as the steering wheel is rotated to the right and unwinds as it it rotated to the left.

This ribbon cable controls the connection to the airbag, the horn and the cruise control buttons (if the controls are on the center pad of the steering wheel). What happens is the ribbon cable (clock spring) has developed one or more worn or broken connections You may lose one, two or all three functions. A new one will cost you about $70-100 and can replaced by removing the steering wheel.

First you want to disconnect the negative side of the battery for about 20 minutes prior to working on removing the steering wheel cover, to allow the capacitor for the the air bag to discharge so the airbag will not deploy on you while you are removing it to get to the steering wheel. You can most likely borrow a steering wheel puller from Auto Zone or Advance Auto. Once the steering wheel is off, the old clock spring can be removed and the the one installed. I repaired mine and saved the $70-100, but you need some knowledge on electrical and mechanical repair, based on where the break is.