The airbag sensor light on my 97 ford escort has started blinking intermitently for seemingly no reason.
READ THIS ENTIRE SOLUTION BEFORE DOING ANYTHING!
On 1997 Ford Escorts there is a recall for the "Airbag Diagnostic Monitor". In some cases, water has leaked in the diagnostic monitor, causing different codes to appear, and sometimes even deployment. If your car has not already been through the recall procedure, you can schedule a appointment with your local ford dealer to repair the issue.
If your car has already been through the recall procedure, you are on your own.
The recall procedure consists of placing a plastic cover over the diagnostic monitor, and applying grease to the wire clips to help prevent water from entering the monitor.
It's quite easy to see if the vehicle has been through the recall procedure.
Note: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DISCONNECT ANY WIRES AT THIS POINT! YOU MAY BLOW YOUR AIRBAG IN YOUR FACE! IT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, OR EVEN BE FATAL!
The proper method to view the airbag diagnostic monitor is to remove the console that covers the parking break (2 phillips screws, and a few snap clips, a couple at the rear and couple at the front; but at the front pull straight up), then remove the console that covers the gear shift ( 2 screws, and a couple snap clips), then remove the lower console that is below the ashtray or storage compartment (4 snap clips), then remove the final panels of the console area; there is one on each side (2 snap clips, then pull straight back).
Once you have removed the final panel, you will be able to view the airbag diagnostic monitor.
The airbag diagnostic monitor in a 1997 ford escort is a "blue" box, that sits in a tight compartment near the floor toward the firewall.
If your vehicle has been through the recall procedure, it will have a plastic cover on the top of it, and the wire connectors on the passenger side will have grease on them.
IF THE AIRBAG DIAGNOSTIC MONITOR DOES "NOT" HAVE A PLASTIC COVER ON TOP OF IT, AND GREASE ON THE WIRES, SCHEDULE A APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR LOCAL FORD DEALER AND HAVE THEM REPAIR IT!
If your vehicle has been through the recall procedure, take the following steps to insure the airbags have not been deployed:
1. FIRST DISCONNECT THE NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE AND WAIT AT LEAST 1 MINUTE BEFORE THINKING ABOUT DOING ANYTHING ELSE! The airbag diagnostic monitor is designed to hold power for 1 minute after the vehicle power is cut off, and will deploy the airbags if you do not wait.
2. Inspect the airbags. Look for broken plastic, corrosion, burning, or loose connections (It is not necessary to disconnect the wiring to inspect the airbags). Remove the driver air bag by removing the retaining bolts on the back of the steering wheel (2 10mm bolts). Passenger airbag is accessed by opening the glove compartment, pushing the retaining bumpers "in", to drop it down. Passenger airbag is held in by 4 8mm bolts. If you see signs of prior deployment, you will need to replace the air bags, airbag sensors, and the airbag diagnostic monitor. If there are no signs of deployment they should be fine.
3. Remove the wire clips from the airbag diagnostic monitor.
4. Remove the diagnostic monitor retaining bolts (10mm, 2 on driver side, and 1 on passenger side).
5. Slide the diagnostic monitor out.
If you are going to use a used airbag diagnostic monitor as a replacement, make sure the vehicle you get it from "has not" had the airbags deployed, and you use the "same exact" model. The model numbers are on top of the monitor (the manufacturing date is listed last, and is irrelevant); Most ford vehicles of 1997 use the same monitor with different positioning brackets, and are generally located in the same area of the vehicle.
The positioning brackets can be removed, just use a little patience and care when doing so.
Make sure you install the recall plastic cover, and put new grease on the wire connections when you install the new monitor.
Assemble everything in reverse, AND "DO NOT" CONNECT THE BATTERY UNTIL THE REPAIR IS COMPLETE!
Apr 09, 2009 |
1997 Ford Escort