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Old 07-28-2013, 04:08 PM   #1
sfisher01
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Knowledgable RCM recommendations anyone?

Hello again everyone!

Long story short I would like some advice from someone knowledgeable with regard to my RCM.

First, we have a 03 Focus ZX3, 2.0 Automatic. Involved in a front end collision with a small amount of damage now repaired. The driver side seatbelt tensioner was blown and has now been replaced along with all sheet metal needed.

Once the tensioner was replaced I took the car to a body shop I know and they reset the computer. This cleared the codes and worked till the car was turned off and restarted. Then the airbag light was on again. I then replaced the front end collision sensor over the radiator and took the car to a friend with a body shop 50+ miles away. He was able to reset the computer with his Snap On meter and then got a code B-1231.

He says this means the RCM needs to be replaced.

My questions are:
1. Do you think B-1231 means the RCM needs to be replaced?
2. Can it be reprogrammed by the dealer, as some have suggested?
3. If I get a RCM from a salvaged but not wrecked Focus, should it work?

I've spent too much time already on this nifty lil' car and I would like to get it right this time before spending a whole lot more money and time on it.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might offer or any clarity you can give.

Steve


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Old 07-28-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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You don't mention whether the front airbags deployed.
LFC = lamp fault code, DTC = Diagnostic Trouble Code

From Ford (italics are mine):

"LFC 13/DTC 1231— LONGITUDINAL ACCELERATION THRESHOLD EXCEEDED (CRASH OCCURRED)
WARNING: The RCM orientation is critical for correct system operation. If a vehicle equipped with an air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) has been involved in a collision in which the center tunnel area has been damaged, inspect the mounting and bracket for deformation. If damaged, install a new RCM whether or not the air bags have deployed. In addition, make sure the area of the RCM mounting is restored to its original condition. Failure to follow this instruction may result in personal injury.

WARNING: Install a new RCM if the air bag modules have deployed. Failure to follow this instruction may result in personal injury.

WARNING: Clearing DTC B1231 will potentially remove all record of the crash event. Failure to follow this instruction may result in personal injury.

NOTE: Most faults are due to connector and/or wiring concerns. Carry out a thorough Inspection and Verification before proceeding with Pinpoint Test.

NOTE: It is possible to clear a continuous memory DTC B1231 after a deployable collision but LFC 13 will remain.

NOTE: Normal Operation

When the air bags are deployed during a collision the RCM will flash an LFC 13 on the air bag indicator and store DTC B1231 in memory. The LFC 13 and DTC B1231 will indicate that the crash has been stored by the RCM.

NOTE: Possible Cause

Crash data memory full is caused by the following:

A crash event that deployed the air bag."
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:25 PM   #3
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Knowledgable RCM recommendations anyone?

Thanks for the reply and no, neither airbag deployed. I have either read the information you posted here or elsewhere but I guess I'm just not clear.

No, that would be an understatement. I'm totally confused. Most of what is posted would indicate the RCM needed to be replaced due to airbag deployment but since they did not deploy brings me to my current position. I just don't know how to proceed on my own if there is a way or just suck it up and spend the "big bucks" at the dealership. A new RCM is apparently over $300.00.

Still like any first hand experiences if anyone has any.

Thanks again.
Steve
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:26 AM   #4
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Odd that pretensioner blew and not airbag to me. If pretensioner goes off that airbag should have too. The tensioner blown should mean to module that accident occurred. The module logs information that the lawyers want at crash time and simply wiping the code does not clear that as the memory must be fully wiped and all car info reflashed back in. There are people online that can wipe and reload the module for much less than $300......................................

I chose not to and just disabled bag system since not required in my state for it to work.

Read closer what the above post says just about LFC 13, that tells you module has written and needs the reflash.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
Odd that pretensioner blew and not airbag to me. If pretensioner goes off that airbag should have too. The tensioner blown should mean to module that accident occurred. The module logs information that the lawyers want at crash time and simply wiping the code does not clear that as the memory must be fully wiped and all car info reflashed back in. There are people online that can wipe and reload the module for much less than $300......................................

I chose not to and just disabled bag system since not required in my state for it to work.

Read closer what the above post says just about LFC 13, that tells you module has written and needs the reflash.
AMC49:

Thanks for the reply. It is starting to clear a little then. So you are saying that the RCM can and should be "reprogrammed" in my words as you say "flashed". Do you think it is possible to get a salvage unit from the wrecking yard and have the programming still work in a different vehicle?

Me, I'm going to have to have the light off to pass state inspection or I would not worry about it on this little car either. I guess I shouldn't event think that way as my granddaughter drives over 35 MPH on her way to school. Gotta get it working.

I'll look online for "flash RCM" and see if I can find someone reputable. Any suggestions?

Steve
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
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Get the EXACT SAME YEAR module with SAME NUMBER on it. Same model Focus too. Yes, they can reflash that. Some have even used them as is if you can match all that and it will work, the VIN will just not be the same. Reflash matches EVERYTHING including VIN.

You'll get far better result using the term 'reflash airbag module'. RCM is not going to be as well understood by google. For instance, the first result:

http://www.myairbags.com/?gclid=CMOV...Fcd_Qgod-koAAQ

I have not done a reflash myself nor do I lean toward any company, there, the disclaimer.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
Get the EXACT SAME YEAR module with SAME NUMBER on it. Same model Focus too. Yes, they can reflash that. Some have even used them as is if you can match all that and it will work, the VIN will just not be the same. Reflash matches EVERYTHING including VIN.

You'll get far better result using the term 'reflash airbag module'. RCM is not going to be as well understood by google. For instance, the first result:

http://www.myairbags.com/?gclid=CMOV...Fcd_Qgod-koAAQ

I have not done a reflash myself nor do I lean toward any company, there, the disclaimer.
Thank you so much! You have given me a direction to go forward. I'll keep you posted on my progress later this week when I get some time off.

Steve
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sfisher01 View Post
Thank you so much! You have given me a direction to go forward. I'll keep you posted on my progress later this week when I get some time off.
Did you ever get a resolution to this? I also have a B1231 that won't go away.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:29 PM   #9
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RCM repair

Sorry I didn't post follow up information here. I did get results. I followed links here and there and found http://www.airbagsystems.com/ My experience with them was very favorable. I sent them my RCM and unfortunately they could not repair my module but sent me a replacement that was very reasonably priced. This followed up with a visit to my Ford dealer and it was good as new. Please don't quote me but I think I only paid them $49.00 for the module after they had tested it.

Good luck with yours. My granddaughters Focus is still running strong.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfisher01 View Post
Sorry I didn't post follow up information here. I did get results. I followed links here and there and found http://www.airbagsystems.com/ My experience with them was very favorable. I sent them my RCM and unfortunately they could not repair my module but sent me a replacement that was very reasonably priced. This followed up with a visit to my Ford dealer and it was good as new. Please don't quote me but I think I only paid them $49.00 for the module after they had tested it.
Thanks for the update. Sounds like the dealer re-flashed the RCM to match the VIN of the car and possibly re-zeroed the passenger seat OCS. I'm wondering if perhaps the OCS re-set is all that might be needed for me, or perhaps a failure there is the root cause of all this in the first place and the RCM didn't actually need to be replaced.
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