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Go Back   Chevy HHR Network > General Discussion > Problems/Service/Repairs > *Service Airbag* light keeps coming on
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Problems/Service/Repairs If you have a problem with your HHR, want a tip on repairing or performing a particular service to you HHR here is the place to post!

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Old 03-02-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
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*Service Airbag* light keeps coming on

Started a few weeks ago, had a passenger in the front seat, the center console passenger airbag light went from ON to OFF and *Service Airbag* message came on the DIC. This was odd I thought as I was just explaining to the passenger how much I hated airbags and the thought of something exploding in my face as I'm being thrusted towards it. The message went off when I turned off the vehicle and restarted it. I then called the service manager where I bought the vehicle and said to bring it in to check it out.

First time I took it in, they checked for the code in the OBD and found that it did indeed give a fault signal, cleared it and repaired it in about 2-3 hours (something about the seat sensor that tells the computer that someone is sitting in the seat). Later that night, I was driving around with another passenger and the same thing happened, so I called the dealership and they told me to bring it in again. Again 2-3 hours and off I went.

A few days later, AGAIN it happened and this time when I called, the service manager explained that it might be something more elaborate, so when I took it in they set me up with a loaner vehicle, 2 days later picked up and they said that they replaced a different piece that deals with the passenger airbag system.

This morning while I was warming up my ride, with nobody sitting in the passenger seat, the *Service Airbag* was displayed again, the center console passenger airbag ON/OFF light flickered, and a few moments later, the Service Airbag display went away. Now the other previous times that it displayed, it would go away if I pressed the INFO button on the steering wheel and would not be displayed if the vehicle was shut off and turned back on.

This is starting to consern me for several reasons:

1) There is a false sence of security for the passenger.

2) There is a fault in the system that controls the airbags, and in my experiences, faults, shorts or anything "wrong" can cause bad things to happen. Is an airbag going to go haywire and blow up in my face while im driving??!!

3) Since the vehicle has all this ONSTAR safety crap, how come I have NOT been notified via ONSTAR, or an email alert or SOMETHING? What the hells the point of all this safety stuff being tied into ONSTAR if nobody at the other end of the system is detecting faulty airbag function?

4) How much more of my vehicle will eventually be replaced before this issue is fixed? The wire harnesses are going to look like someone did a hack and slash job, bolt heads are going to be scuffed so the resaleability of the vehicle is going to drop as soon as someone sees that stuff has been taken apart, harnesses cut into blah blah blah.

5) Has anyone else had this happen to their vehicle? I have an 09 LS half panel that I purchased back in 10/08.

6) Last but not least, http://www.nsc.org/partners/facts1.aspx where it says: "The Risks of Air Bags" I have a real problem with this. It is ***DOCUMENTED*** that these things may, can, and HAVE caused harm/death. Anything in the vehicle between YOU and that @#$% airbag is a potential weapon of destruction for your well being!! MYTHBUSTERS did a show on this, and PROVED that if your hand is in the wrong place when one goes off, you will receive broken bones due to the force released upon impact. I wear glasses... does that mean that this air bag MIGHT save my life, but gouge out my eyes in the process? Next thing we know, its going to be manditory **in the name of safety** that anyone wearing glasses must get corrective eye surgery so that their vehicles air bag wont blow up in our face and gouge out our eyes.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:39 PM   #2
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Recently I was driving around with the passenger seat missing - same display on the dash. When I unplugged the two electrical connectors under the seat to remove the seat I noticed one of the connectors was not plugged in all the way. You might check the plugs(connections) under the seat to see if it helps.

Your problem could be an intermittent connection somewhere and until the dealer goes through the whole vehicle they may not find it. In our day of believing computers they might not have taken this simple step.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:19 PM   #3
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That doesn't sound good! I would be worried too that if I got in an accident, the airbags wouldn't work, or like you said, go off when they shouldn't! Have you tried taking it to another dealer? Perhaps another opinion may help? Maybe not, who knows.

Hope that you can get that fixed soon!
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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i guess the saying still goes "if ya want something done right, do it yourself"

ill check to see if i can get at the wire harness connectors myself and toy with them, if not, then if they cant fix it ill break out the lemmon laws and get another new HHR with the AA5 package and just put the panel doors on that. Its a real good thing i havnt actually done any major modifications to my ride other than the doors and running boards.

what really gets me is that the whole reason i bought a new vehicle was so that i didnt have to deal with the headache of all this crap going wrong.... all the "used" vehicles ive bought anything that went wrong with them was basic wear and tear issues which happen to EVERY vehicle no matter how well they are taken care of... i get this "new" vehicle with only 4 miles on the odometer and ive taken it to the "shop" more than the beat up vehicles ~_~ wheres the logic in that??? only thing is, instead of me dumping out money for parts, the warrenty takes care of it but it doesnt put any gas in my car for the hour long drive to get to the dealership
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:10 PM   #5
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Express your concerns to the dealer. That is what your warranty is for. DONT LET UP. They get paid by the "book time" so the more times you bring your vehicle in, well, the more that dealer gets paid. I have had mine in 3 times for the brake lights not working. I admit it was sporadic, but that is not the point, they were faulty! I finally told them that the fault must lie in the turn signal switch since the third brake always works. Guess who was right...
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:46 AM   #6
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i found out the 'source' of the problem which i tested several times before i took it in for the 4th time to the dealership.

i have this cigarette lighter plug in plasma globe light which ive been using to light up the ashtray area and it seems that whenever its plugged in, the light for the service air bag comes on. at first i thought that there might be some EMI happening but when i asked if there was any other wireless devices in the vehicle other than the tire pressure monitors, i was assured that there wasnt... so that basicly rules out that...

well on my way up to the dealership wednesday morning, i tried to replicate the problem a few more times just to make sure that it was infact the issue, and again i replicated it flawlessly over and over, i then noticed that the bezel for the center 2 vents was pulled out just a little bit and upon pushing it back into place the way it should be, i could not make the problem happen again,

so while still on my way up to the dealership, i pulled that bezel open so i could get at the wires that connect to the passenger air bag ON/OFF light, then i wiggled the wires in the connector without the light plugged in, and i couldnt get the fault to occur, i plugged in the light and sure enough, blam, the service air bag displayed

well to be a good "customer" i relayed this information to the service manager, and they found the same results but could not replicate any problem with the wires that connect to the passenger air bag light, but did also conclude that the problem revolved around the use of the light in the lighter plug

now mind you, i do not have the smokers package so the "cigarette lighter" isnt acutally a lighter plug but a plug for 12V devices such as phone chargers, laptops etc... now knowing this, a laptop pulls quite a bit of power, cell phone chargers dont really draw much power, so my next step is to test and see how much power this plasma light actually draws and compare that to other 12V devices that are designed to fit.

Now the big problem i have with all of these new findings is that if something is designed for a specific purpose then any device should be able to be used reguardless of what it is and that interference with safety devices should not be an issue.

the light in question is part #IP-139PL from pilot automotive http://www.pilotautomotive.com/pdfs/...ccessories.pdf at the bottom of page 18, now these things have been designed to run off of 3 AA batteries so they cant require that much "power" so i think im getting smoke blown up my tailpipe... this light was only like 10 bucks so if anyone wants to see if this is the problem or if the dealership in fact has no idea whats going on, please buy one and test it for me on your hhr, im going to test this same exact light on my moms 06 HHR LT i bought her to see if its a vehicle wide problem that GM needs to address

IF i do infact get the same message on my moms HHR, then this is a serious issue if 12V plug in devices can interfere with safety!!! either its pilot automotives design or its something wrong with GM's wireing, but either way, as a driver/consumer i shouldnt have to be worried about plugging in something off the shelf and causing problems with my safety
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindDrive View Post
i found out the 'source' of the problem which i tested several times before i took it in for the 4th time to the dealership.

Now the big problem i have with all of these new findings is that if something is designed for a specific purpose then any device should be able to be used reguardless of what it is and that interference with safety devices should not be an issue.

the light in question is part #IP-139PL from pilot automotive http://www.pilotautomotive.com/pdfs/...ccessories.pdf at the bottom of page 18, now these things have been designed to run off of 3 AA batteries so they cant require that much "power" so i think im getting smoke blown up my tailpipe... this light was only like 10 bucks so if anyone wants to see if this is the problem or if the dealership in fact has no idea whats going on, please buy one and test it for me on your hhr, im going to test this same exact light on my moms 06 HHR LT i bought her to see if its a vehicle wide problem that GM needs to address

IF i do infact get the same message on my moms HHR, then this is a serious issue if 12V plug in devices can interfere with safety!!! either its pilot automotives design or its something wrong with GM's wireing, but either way, as a driver/consumer i shouldnt have to be worried about plugging in something off the shelf and causing problems with my safety
The light you have plugged in to the cig socket may be inserting harmful interference into the electrical system. There are many ways this can happen. GM is required to test vehicle systems for shielding against harmful interference and for broadcasting harmful interference. However, they can only test for devices NOT directly connected to the vehicle. There are literally thousands of devices that could be connected to that socket and it's impossible to test all of them for interference. It's actually the responsibility of the manufacturer of the offensive device to test their products for generating harmful interference.

I believe this matter is also addressed in the owner's manual ad infinitum, where GM recommends AGAINST the use of accessories or devices that may cause interference to critical systems. I'd say the SIR system is very critical.

Also, the airbag will most likely NOT blow up in your face. Once a fault is detected in the system, everything is disarmed. The last controller in the chain before the airbag module in the steering wheel is actually a device with a powder charge under the center console. If it doesn't go because everything else is turned off, your airbags won't deploy.

In short, just stop using the silly little light, or find a new one that doesn't generate harmful interference. You might try reading the link you posted a little further as well, and keep in mind that airbags are a lot safer in 2009 than they were even in 1999.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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That light you bought can really put out a lot of interference if it is at all like the household units it replicates. My household lamp like it will distort my TV picture, make my hand and the surrounding air smell funny. It is like having a high emission fluorescent light. No wonder you were having problems. My household unit only uses 12VDC stepped down from the regular 12VAC.

Put the light in the back for the passengers. No, don't do that either, there is another important module contained in the center console it may affect.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:31 PM   #9
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those globes are essentially solit state tesla coils. i have built full on tesla coils and they emit alot of interference. one even made my sprinkler system at our house turn on. i would just put it in a closet somewhere and leave it there.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:18 PM   #10
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*sigh* so much for a spaceship mod ~_~
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:18 PM
 
 
 
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