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Old 11-30-2010, 06:52 PM   #1
us1fountain
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Airbag control module, reset vs reprogrammed

Is this the same thing? For a bit of history.

I bought this car last week from a buy here pay type of lot.
The car has a rebuilt title. The dealer/owner said the bags weren't deployed when he bought it. He just did the rebuild.
For whatever reason, the module was removed and sent in. I have no idea if the seatbelt pretensioners and the rest of the SRS system had been replaced, but I would guess no seeing no signs of disassembly. He said the module tested no good for a reset, thus he bought another one of same model and gave that one to me to install, and said if the light flashes afterwards, I'd have to have the dealer reprogram it. I assumed that was done from when he bought it.
It flashed constantly, so I took it in today for diagnostic testing and error reading.
I was told the module was blank and would need to have all the info reloaded that is specific for my model/yr car, and then rechecked for errors codes if any showed up. $130 later, it was all good. Just needed all the info redownloaded. I see tons of ads for resetting the module for $30 or so all over ebay.
Question is, does a module need all the car info stored back in it after any 'crash' code situation, or does it simply get a reset? Dealer said if they had my original module they could have pulled the info off it and loaded into the new one, then do a reset and save me $50. Just not sure if the service counter guy was right, or is a little misinformed. He said reset and reprogram is the same thing as far as he knows.

Thanks in advance


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Old 12-05-2010, 08:30 AM   #2
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Seems really odd that the module was sent in to be reset and the airbags didn't go off. It is possible that the pre-tensioners went off and not the airbags. You can see the passenger side clearly and tell if it went off. The drivers side is in the door post and needs to be disassembled to check. If they went off, I don't think you can reset the module to work without replacing the pretensioners. I did an airbag/pretensioner/module replacement on the '01 I have. Not too bad a job.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:05 AM   #3
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Story fro the "Dealer" is a bit strange for sure - If all good now, be happy!

FWIW, many lower value cars (because of their age) get "totaled" when the airbags go off necessitating replacement of many expensive pieces including the windshield to repair to original condition.

I know of one local gent who had his Porsche totaled by insurance after a SMALL shunt, despite a reasonably high stated value policy, because original replacement parts are VERY expensive when they can be found... He bought it back & is searching for cheaper repair options right now (used pieces, rebuilt parts etc.)

The good thing in your case, was getting a dealer to check it out! Proper working airbag computer checks the electrical portion of the system, so you know THAT is proper now at least....
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:29 AM   #4
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Yes, I have no problem in what my Ford dealer did or charged just to know it's all good now. I was just curious if reprogramming and reseting are indeed the same thing.
I have no idea on why or what was done previous to me buying the car by the 'buy here pay here' dealer. He is the one who did the rebuild and told me the bags weren't deployed, otherwise he said he would not have bought the car to flip. I believe him on all info he gave me. How do you know if the passenger prentensioner is good by looking at it? Is the buckle cable pulled in tight? Mine looks ok and sticks up the same as the drivers side. The drivers side works and holds when I hit the brakes. I read where if it doesn't catch, that it is a sign that it was activated.

So the module has to get feedback from the SRS sytem in order to give an all clear sign? I'm reading the xracerbobs post as that. Kind of like the pretensioners have a open/closed circut built in in order to give the module feedback stating open or closed.
Thanks guys
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
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The passenger seat belt buckle/latch would be still useable but definitely down lower toward the seat if it had fired. Also, there is some "bunching up" of the covering that goes over the part that holds the seatbelt latch. It's pretty obvious. Sounds like yours is OK. My drivers side would also catch- the inertia reel still works even though the pre tensioner had blown.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:29 AM   #6
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srs module

I have changed the airbags and the belts on my firends focus and we left the same srs module, it only shows crush data (info for the accident) when a scanner is plugged in, but no CEL and he passed the inspection with no worries.
The guy who told you that he need to load the data to the new module is wrong, you only need to have the same production line (passenger air bags came with one or two connectors) and you can buy it from ebay for $50 with no crush data.
Btw I changed the bags and the belts+ srs module on another focus with ebay used parts that cost $250 with no CEL and no crush data after it.

I hope you find it helpful
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:44 AM   #7
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You are saying he rebulit it? If the airbags didn't deploy you might have a body damage that fired only the sensors (one under the bumper, one on each side under the rocker panels) and this can cause the light to go on, so check the sensros if they are good. Some focuses don't think have these sensors,might be wrong, so the srs module works on G-force and the air bags+the belts can deploy without any body damage like hitting someone with 10mph.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:45 PM   #8
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Yes, it had front damage. He showed me a pic of it how he bought it. Front bumper, hood, fenders and what I can see rad, AC cond and the frame support for these. (not sure how he made a profit on this car) So at least the front sensor,if equiped, would have registered a hit. Can these sensors be seen w/o removing parts? Just to confirm they are intact/replaced?
I can only say what I was told. I have no knowledge on this stuff.
The Ford service guy said if I had the original module, he would be able to retrieve the info off it and load into the new module for a $50 saving, not that was an issue. I was told the original was no good, so not sure how he could have retrieved anything off it. Eitherway, the new one was reloaded and light is off, so I assume all is good. Or at least I have the service work stating so incase the unforeseen happens.

I just want to make sure the all clear reading can not happen unless ALL the SRS features are present and in working order. And not simply clearing the module of any codes.
Thanks
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