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Old 02-18-2020, 06:39 PM #1
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Flashing air bag light

Hey all. This morning I moved my truck from the street to my driveway and noticed that my airbag light on my cluster is flashing. It was parked for an hour or so before I drove to run an errand, the light did not turn on for this drive. Leaving that parking lot and every drive from there on has had the light flashing again.

Help me trouble shoot this...

I've checked the connections under both front seat and they all seem to be connected. Should i clean the prongs on these connections? If so which are for sure the airbag sensors? I can find it in my manual...

I'm now thinking it the clock spring/ spiral cable ( whatever you want to call it)

Cruise control seems to be working, horn definately working.

Thanks for and insight.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:07 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G_Raw View Post
Hey all. This morning I moved my truck from the street to my driveway and noticed that my airbag light on my cluster is flashing. It was parked for an hour or so before I drove to run an errand, the light did not turn on for this drive. Leaving that parking lot and every drive from there on has had the light flashing again.



Help me trouble shoot this...



I've checked the connections under both front seat and they all seem to be connected. Should i clean the prongs on these connections? If so which are for sure the airbag sensors? I can find it in my manual...



I'm now thinking it the clock spring/ spiral cable ( whatever you want to call it)



Cruise control seems to be working, horn definately working.



Thanks for and insight.
That light will continue to flash if your airbag system has an issue. I bumped the connector behind the glovebox for the air bag once. My light flashed. Once I verified everything was snug and tight. It never flashed again.

Any recent work in the areas where the seat wiring is. The bags or the body sensors themselves?

As if you did I would take the neg terminal off and verify everything is good so you don't accidentally set your bags off when checking all the connections.

I could be wrong but that system has all the self checks in it and will only flash when there is an issue with something.

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Old 02-18-2020, 07:12 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brillo_76 View Post
That light will continue to flash if your airbag system has an issue. I bumped the connector behind the glovebox for the air bag once. My light flashed. Once I verified everything was snug and tight. It never flashed again.

Any recent work in the areas where the seat wiring is. The bags or the body sensors themselves?

As if you did I would take the neg terminal off and verify everything is good so you don't accidentally set your bags off when checking all the connections.

I could be wrong but that system has all the self checks in it and will only flash when there is an issue with something.

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I haven't done anything behind the glove, but have opened and closed it a bunch. I cleaned my broken window glass with a shop vac last month. This included sticking vacuum hose under seats. My passenger seat also has a sub the hits decent, maybe enough to loosen a connector?
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:17 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G_Raw View Post
I haven't done anything behind the glove, but have opened and closed it a bunch. I cleaned my broken window glass with a shop vac last month. This included sticking vacuum hose under seats. My passenger seat also has a sub the hits decent, maybe enough to loosen a connector?
Mostly though it dosent stop flashing or the airbag stay on if the system has a problem.


You can check those wires are making good connections but if the light goes out the system is self checking ok. :/


You only seen this once? I guess keep an eye on it and see how it behaves.

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Old 02-18-2020, 08:18 PM #5
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The airbag is a small explosive device, please be careful. Normally I don't disconnect the battery when I am working on my car but DEFINITELY do it before checking the wiring on the air bag system!

The seat occupancy sensor are indeed the sensors on when to deploy the front airbags. You'll also want to check the wiring connection of the dash airbag by opening the glove box and next to the light to the left (yes, your glove box does have a light it's probably just burnt out) you'll see a hatch. Pop that guy open and you'll see a yellow connection. Yellow designates an airbag circuit and should be handled with care. Make sure it's snug and not dried out, it should be caked up good with grease. If you have a newer 01-02 (may also apply to 99-00 though not sure) you also have the front seatbelts with miniature air bags that lock the seat belt instantly upon impact. You'll have to remove the lower door trim pieces from all four doors and the lower B pillar trim to get to those connectors.

In the engine bay, you'll find an Air Bag Sensor that looks something like this:

There are two bolted to the frame above the wheels. One is hidden below the air box, the other just below the battery tray. Make sure those are also clean & connected.

That should be enough to figure out where the issue is.
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:21 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brillo_76 View Post
Mostly though it dosent stop flashing or the airbag stay on if the system has a problem.


You can check those wires are making good connections but if the light goes out the system is self checking ok. :/


You only seen this once? I guess keep an eye on it and see how it behaves.

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Light doesn't stop flashing. On 3 seconds off 2 seconds as long as power is on.

Connections all appear good. Did a second check. Anyone know where the wires run to the passenger airbag?

I removed and replaced 2 screws I use to keep my phone mount from bouncing. I'm wondering if I was lucky the first time I mounted but not so lucky when I adjusted the mounts screws yesterday. That is the only thing I can think of... see photo.i can't imagine wires run here...
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:06 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G_Raw View Post
Light doesn't stop flashing. On 3 seconds off 2 seconds as long as power is on.

Connections all appear good. Did a second check. Anyone know where the wires run to the passenger airbag?

I removed and replaced 2 screws I use to keep my phone mount from bouncing. I'm wondering if I was lucky the first time I mounted but not so lucky when I adjusted the mounts screws yesterday. That is the only thing I can think of... see photo.i can't imagine wires run here...
No, they don't run there. From the passenger airbag, there's the connection I mentioned above and then they run down from there to the base of the center dash. If you remove the center dash bezel (not as hard as it looks but yours will probably disintegrate if you try) and remove the shifter trim bezel, you'll find the ABS Assembly module bolted on the bottom on the body, covered by a piece of clear but probably very dirty plastic. All air bags and sensors connect to this module:

They normally have to replaced only after an accident and air bags have deployed but yours might have gone bad. I am unaware of any testing procedure though. The are held in place by large Torx screws which are notorious for stripping. I've removed 5 of them and 3 of them stripped, 2 so bad I never actually got them out.

Between the sensors in the engine bay, the seat belts, the assembly module and the air bags themselves, that's the entire circuit.
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Last edited by gamefreakgc; 02-19-2020 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:44 PM #8
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I just went though this a couple of months ago on my 2000. There is a data test port in the engine compartment right near the top of the intake manifold (about a 1X2" black box. It has a removable cover. In the service manual under the supplemental restraint system it will show you where to install a jumper in this test port to set off the diagnostic codes for the Air bag warning light. After you install the jumper, the air bag warning light will blink a numerical code (you count the flashes) and that should highlight the area of the system that is causing the issue. I am guessing the '99 has the exact one or something similar.

Mine issue was the passenger side restraint (i.e. Seat belt). On line videos show how to use a multimeter (measuring resistance) to test the seat belt squib. Mine tested bad. Rather than the dealer recommended replacement ($400),I sent my seat belt asssembly off to a company in Atlanta that rebuilds them (about $100). Fixed my problem.

Like you, I initially suspected the clock spring because that seems to be common.... but I would suggest you read the codes first.

The system is actually very simple.... other than the air bags and seat belt restraint parts themselves is a SRS computer just below the radio and the two sensors located in the engine bay that sets the system off. And anything with yellow wiring should warn you that it is part of the SRS and to diconnect the battery and wait before doing any work on it. The Toyota manual advises not using a meter to measure for continuity across the squibs..... but the on line videos show that it is effective without setting the devices off. The connectors connecting the air bags and seat belt squibs are "special". They have a little shorting bar that shorts the contacts when you pull it off..... I assume this is to keep from having any stray voltage or currents from setting it off. To test these devices you will have to use something like a toothpick or non-conductive pointy ended thing to hold the shorting bar open while you test for continuity.
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:59 PM #9
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Update. I have recheck connections in engine bay, steering wheel, glove, both seat belts, etc. At this point the only connection I haven't checked is the actual module at the shifter. Jumper sire at the DTC in engine bay only gives code 64. According to FSM it's an open circuit on P/T squib RH side. The options are:
Seatbelt pretensions squib rh
Airbag sensors assembly
Wire harness


I ran out of time today to keep chasing but FSM has options to check relays, system, connectors, etc. For further trouble shooting . I'll run those options in a few days. Thanks all for pointing me to the FSM and DTC codes.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:46 PM #10
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I forgot to mention the torx screws on the Airbag Sensors Assembly have locktite on them. I use a 2' breaker bar with the tiny torx bit on the end. It doesn't always work. Not much space for an impact with the dash in the way.
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Old 02-21-2020, 09:40 PM #11
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I forgot to mention the torx screws on the Airbag Sensors Assembly have locktite on them. I use a 2' breaker bar with the tiny torx bit on the end. It doesn't always work. Not much space for an impact with the dash in the way.
I found that out on my own. I just used my torx driver and my old man strength.
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:28 PM #12
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Mine was the same exact code (64). After disconnecting the battery I removed the trim to get to the Passenger side seat belt squib connection located at the bottom rear floorboard. Pulled the connector and after using a toothpick to lift the shorting bar on the seat belt asssembly itself, measured continuity. That is where I found the seat belt pretensioner as the culprit and sent it off for repair.

Good luck.
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