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Dashlight my airbag light stays this too costly?

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It depends on why it's on. If it's on because of a genuine failure of the igniter or the airbag controller, then it can be a costly fix. However it also may be a quick and fairly easy fix.

First thing to do is have the car scanned by a technician with VagCom (the Audi/VW scan software). That can tell you which bag is triggering the light. Do you have side airbags built into the side of the front seats? Take a look at the side of the seat - most of the time if there's a bag there, it'll have a small tag or an embossed lettering that says AIRBAG.

My Audi A4 has seat bags, and it's a common problem on that car that if the seat is moved too far back, it'll strain the airbag connector wiring beneath the seat, causing it to separate just enough to trigger the fault light. Mine did that. I scanned the codes and found that it was the driver's seat bag causing the light to come on. I moved the seat forward a bit to relax the tension, and then used small zip-ties to tightly bind the connector closed. Then I used VagCom to turn off the light and haven't had another issue with it since.

If you have a laptop computer, you can download the software for free from and you can buy the interface cable on eBay for about $20. Then you can do this yourself. If you don't have a laptop, find an independent euro-specializing repair shop to do this for you. It's going to cost some money, but likely far less than the dealer will charge (they'll hit you for upwards of $60 to do this).

The first step in any event is to have the car scanned to find out what the fault is, and then it can be addressed.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008


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