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Eric
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 24305
Experience:  Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician
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I have a 2003 ford windstar minivan. 71,000 miles. Any ...

Customer Question

I have a 2003 ford windstar minivan. 71,000 miles. Any ideas as to why the yellow air bag warning light would be flashing? Seems to be fairly intermittent. It will usually flash twice (ON...OFF...ON...OFF) and repeat for 4 times or so. Then it may stay ON, or go OFF and stay OFF. I have an OMD Reader and could not get it to give any codes. None. The only other clue that I can think of, I bought the van used 29,000 miles and it had been in a minor front end driver side fender bender....very minor. Any thoughts or ideas? Can you point me in the right direction. Thanks very much, Jim in Dover Delaware.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

There are literally dozens of reasons the airbag light can be set, ranging from a faulty control module, faulty airbag, faulty seat belt pre-tensioner, wiring harness connector, wiring short/open.

Unfortunately, Ford does not provide for self-diagnostics for the SRS(airbag) system. Code readers will not work either-they generally can only read PCM(powertrain control module), better known as engine codes. The only way to read stored fault codes is with a diagnostic scanner capable of SRS diagnostics, which means that it has to be taken into a shop. Once you have the diagnostics, you can decide whether to repair yourself or have a professional do the work.

Please remember though, as long as the Airbag light is on, there is the very likely possibility that in the event of an accident that the airbags may not deploy, or the seat belts will fail. There is also the possibility that the airbags may deploy on its own without being in an accident. The light is on to let you know there is a problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

I wish I could help more, but without a diagnostic trouble code number to go by, there are just too many variables to point you in direction without it being a distinct possiblity of wasting your money and time. If you are able to get the codes, you can re-open this question and I will help you in diagnostics to repair the problem at no additional charge. When you re-open this question, it will come straight to me.

Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 24305
Experience: Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician
Eric and 3 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hey Eric...I just pulled up something off of google. It says that the flashing sequence is the code. In my case, it flashes twice and then twice. THis would be a 22 code. After looking it up, a 22 code refers to "Safing Sensor Output Shorted to Battery Voltage". Does that help you diagnose it ? Thanks, Jim
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

Ok, dtc22 is a side airbag fault. Possible causes:

  • faulty side airbag
  • faulty wiring, terminals or connectors
  • faulty RCM (restraints control module)

This is a generic code for either side airbag. The troubleshooting is fairly long and will involve testing both the side airbags. With a diagnostic scanner a more specific code can be pulled and narrow it down.

Most of the tests will only require a good DVOM(digital voltmeter), but there are a few that require a diagnostic scanner with Airbag testing capability.

If you have access to a DVOM, let me know and I will forward the tests required, connector views, wiring diagrams, and component locations. It will take about 20 minutes to gather and upload all information.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, I have a VOM. Also, the flashing sequence might be a 1 1. Not a 2 2. But I couldn't find a code 11. A 12 is Low battery voltage. But no 11 is listed. Do you think I could just have a bad battery? It might be worth a try just to have the battery replaced. I have 25 servicing copy machines...so you send anything as technical as possible...I can handle it. Thanks again, Jim.
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.

Hi,

I do not show any code 11. Easy enough to check battery voltage. Check voltage at battery with no load-should be 12v or slightly better. then turn headlights on voltage shouldnt drop to less than 10v. If a great drop on load test, replace battery.

Assuming it is code 22 here are tests:

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Wiring diagrams:

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Diable and enable procedure for airbags:


2003 Ford Windstar 2003 Ford Windstar
2003 ACCESSORIES/SAFETY EQUIPMENT Ford Motor Co. - Air Bag Restraint Systems 2003 ACCESSORIES/SAFETY EQUIPMENT Ford Motor Co. - Air Bag Restraint Systems
DISABLING & ACTIVATING AIR BAG SYSTEM
WARNING: Unintentional air bag module deployment is possible. Personal injury may result. Back-up power supply holds a deployment charge for approximately one minute after negative battery cable is disconnected. Wait one minute after disabling air bag system before working on vehicle.
NOTE:When battery is disconnected, certain memory circuits will lose data. When battery is reconnected, it may be necessary to perform appropriate computer relearn procedure. See COMPUTER RELEARN .
DISABLING SYSTEM
WARNING: Unintentional air bag module deployment is possible. Personal injury may result. Never use radio key code (memory) savers when working on air bag system.
NOTE:There are 3 different disabling procedures. Please read and perform appropriate procedure.
General Disabling Procedure
This procedure should only be used when removing and installing air bag system components or when necessary to deactivate the system to facilitate other maintenance.
1.Record pre-set radio frequencies for reprogramming, if equipped. Disconnect negative battery cable. Wait at least one minute for back-up power supply to deplete stored energy. 2.Remove steering column opening lower finish panel screws. Pull out on finish panel to release clips and remove panel. Remove steering column opening lower reinforcement bolts and reinforcement. Push in on retaining tab and disconnect clockspring electrical connector, located at base of steering column. Install Air Bag Simulator (418-F403) to harness side of clockspring electrical connector. See AIR BAG SIMULATOR . 3.Open glove box. Press in on tabs on both sides of glove box and lower glove box to fullest downward position. Disconnect passenger-side air bag connector. Connect Air Bag Simulator (418-F403) to passenger-side air bag vehicle harness connector (in place of dual-stage air bag). 4.Connect negative battery cable. Move and tilt front seats to highest and most forward position. Disconnect negative battery cable. Wait at least one minute for back-up power supply to deplete stored energy.
CAUTION:Removing side air bag bridge resistor can cause low resistance fault. AIR BAG warning light illumination and Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) may result. Some models are not equipped with side air bags. Side air bag bridge resistors are installed in place of side air bags on these models. Do not remove side air bag bridge resistors unless
.

2003 Ford Windstar
2003 ACCESSORIES/SAFETY EQUIPMENT Ford Motor Co. - Air Bag Restraint Systems
directed.
5.On models equipped with side air bags, push in tab on right side air bag module under-seat connector and disconnect connector. Install Air Bag Simulator (418-133) on harness side of side air bag module connector. Repeat procedure for left side air bag module. 6.On all models, remove right front and rear door scuff plates. Remove right B-pillar weatherstripping. Remove right front seat belt lower anchor bolt. Pull out to release retaining clips and separate right B-pillar lower trim panel from B-pillar. Disconnect sliding door switch and courtesy light electrical connectors from B-pillar trim panel. Feed seat belt webbing out of trim panel and remove B-pillar trim panel. Push in on release tab, disconnect right seat belt pretensioner electrical connector. Install Air Bag Simulator (418-F088/105-R0012) on harness side of pretensioner electrical connector. Repeat procedure for left seat belt pretensioner. 7.Connect negative battery cable. With air bag simulators installed at all deployable SRS devices, perform system operation check. See SYSTEM OPERATION CHECK . Disconnect negative battery cable.
Diagnostics Disabling Procedure (Seats Removed)
This procedure should only be used when diagnosing/repairing seat side air bag problems, or when diagnosing/repairing any in-seat or seat mounted component of a seat equipped with a seat side air bag.
1.Record pre-set radio frequencies for reprogramming, if equipped. Disconnect negative battery cable. Wait at least one minute for back-up power supply to deplete stored energy. 2.Remove steering wheel access cover. Push in on retaining tab and disconnect clockspring electrical connector. Install Air Bag Simulator (418-F403) to harness side of clockspring electrical connector. See AIR BAG SIMULATOR . 3.Open glove box. Press in on tabs on both sides of glove box and lower glove box to fullest downward position. Disconnect passenger-side air bag module connector. Connect Air Bag Simulator (418-F403) to passenger-side air bag vehicle harness connector (in place of dual-stage air bag).
CAUTION:Air bag system fault is possible. Removing air bag bridge resistor can cause low resistance fault. Some models are not equipped with side air bags. Side air bag bridge resistors are installed in place of side air bags on these models. Do not remove side air bag bridge resistors during deactivation procedure unless directed. If diagnosing side air bag fault on models not equipped with side air bags, install known good side air bag bridge resistors.
4.Remove appropriate front seat(s). See FRONT SEATS . On models equipped with side air bags, install Air Bag Simulator(s) (418-133) on harness side of appropriate side air bag module electrical connector(s). On models not equipped with side air bags, and diagnosing a side air bag fault, install known good side air bag bridge resistor in place of suspected faulty resistor(s). 5.On all models, remove right front and rear door scuff plates. Remove right B-pillar weatherstripping. Remove right front seat belt lower anchor bolt. Pull out to release retaining clips and separate right B-pillar lower trim panel from B-pillar. Disconnect sliding door switch and courtesy light electrical connectors from B-pillar trim panel. Feed seat belt webbing out of trim panel and remove B-pillar trim

2003 Ford Windstar
2003 ACCESSORIES/SAFETY EQUIPMENT Ford Motor Co. - Air Bag Restraint Systems
panel. Push in on release tab, disconnect right seat belt pretensioner electrical connector. Install Air Bag Simulator (418-F088/105-R0012) on harness side of pretensioner electrical connector. Repeat procedure for left seat belt pretensioner. Reconnect negative battery cable.
Diagnostics Disabling Procedure (Seats Installed)
This procedure should only be used when diagnosing/repairing a problem that is not related to a seat equipped with a seat side air bag.
1.Record pre-set radio frequencies for reprogramming, if equipped. Move and tilt front seats highest and most rearward position. Disconnect negative battery cable. Wait at least one minute for back-up power supply to deplete stored energy. 2.Remove steering column opening lower finish panel screws. Pull out on finish panel to release clips and remove panel. Remove steering column opening lower reinforcement bolts and reinforcement. Push in on retaining tab and disconnect clockspring electrical connector, located at base of steering column. Install Air Bag Simulator (418-F403) to harness side of clockspring electrical connector. See AIR BAG SIMULATOR . 3.Open glove box. Press in on tabs on both sides of glove box and lower glove box to fullest downward position. Disconnect passenger-side air bag module connector. Connect Air Bag Simulator (418-F403) to passenger-side air bag vehicle harness connector (in place of dual-stage air bag).
CAUTION:Air bag system fault is possible. Removing air bag bridge resistor can cause low resistance fault. Some models are not equipped with side air bags. Side air bag bridge resistors are installed in place of side air bags on these models. Do not remove side air bag bridge resistors during deactivation procedure unless directed.
4.On models equipped with side air bags, install Air Bag Simulators (418-133) on harness side of right and left side air bag module electrical connectors. On models not equipped with side air bags, and diagnosing a side air bag fault, install known good side air bag bridge resistor in place of suspected faulty resistor(s). On all models, remove right-side front and rear door scuff plates. Remove right-side B-pillar weatherstripping. Remove right-side seat belt lower anchor bolt. 5.Pull out to release retaining clips and separate right B-pillar lower trim panel from B-pillar. Disconnect sliding door switch and courtesy light electrical connectors from B-pillar trim panel. Feed seat belt webbing out of trim panel and remove B-pillar trim panel. Push in on release tab, disconnect right seat belt pretensioner electrical connector. Install Air Bag Simulator (418-F088/105-R0012) on harness side of pretensioner electrical connector. Repeat procedure for left seat belt pretensioner. Reconnect negative battery cable.
ACTIVATING SYSTEM
General Activating Procedure (Seats Installed)
1.Remove air bag simulators from right and left pretensioner harness connectors and reconnect connectors. Connect sliding door and courtesy light electrical connectors and install right and left B-pillar lower trim panels. Install seat belt lower anchor bolts. Tighten anchor bolts to specification. See TORQUE

2003 Ford Windstar
2003 ACCESSORIES/SAFETY EQUIPMENT Ford Motor Co. - Air Bag Restraint Systems
SPECIFICATIONS . Install door scuff plates. On models equipped with side air bags, remove air bag simulators from right and left side air bag module harness connectors and reconnect connectors. 2.On all models, connect negative battery cable. Move and tilt front seats to lowest and most rearward position. Disconnect negative battery cable. Wait at least one minute for back-up power supply to deplete stored energy. Remove air bag simulator from passenger-side air bag module harness connector. Close glove box. 3.Remove air bag simulator from clockspring harness connector and reconnect connectors. Install steering column opening lower reinforcement and tighten bolts to specification. Position steering column opening lower finish panel in instrument panel and install retaining screws. 4.Connect negative battery cable. Perform system operation check. See SYSTEM OPERATION CHECK . Reprogram pre-set radio frequencies and set clock.
Diagnostics Activating Procedure (Seats Removed)
1.Disconnect negative battery cable. Wait at least one minute for back-up power supply to deplete stored energy. Remove air bag simulators from right and left pretensioner harness connectors and reconnect connectors. Connect sliding door and courtesy light electrical connectors and install right and left B-pillar lower trim panels. Install seat belt lower anchor bolts. Tighten anchor bolts to specification. See TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS . Install door scuff plates. 2.Install front seat(s). On models equipped with side air bags, remove air bag simulator(s) from side air bag module harness connector(s) and reconnect connector(s). On models not equipped with side air bags, and if known good side air bag bridge resistor(s) was installed, reinstall original resistor(s). On all models, remove air bag simulator from passenger-side air bag module harness connector. Close glove box. 3.Remove air bag simulator from clockspring harness connector and reconnect connectors. Install steering column opening lower reinforcement and tighten bolts to specification. Position steering column opening lower finish panel in instrument panel and install retaining screws. 4.Connect negative battery cable. Perform system operation check. See SYSTEM OPERATION CHECK . Perform computer relearn procedure. See COMPUTER RELEARN . Reprogram pre-set radio frequencies and set clock.
Diagnostics Activating Procedure (Seats Installed)
1.Disconnect negative battery cable. Wait at least one minute for back-up power supply to deplete stored energy. Remove air bag simulators from right and left pretensioner harness connectors and reconnect connectors. Connect sliding door and courtesy light electrical connectors and install right and left B-pillar lower trim panels. Install seat belt lower anchor bolts. Tighten anchor bolts to specification. See TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS . Install door scuff plates. 2.On models equipped with side air bags, remove air bag simulator(s) from side air bag module harness connector(s) and reconnect connector(s). On models not equipped with side air bags, and if known good side air bag bridge resistor(s) was installed, reinstall original resistor(s). On all models, remove air bag simulator from passenger-side air bag module harness connector. Close glove box. 3.Remove air bag simulator from clockspring harness connector and reconnect connectors. Install steering column opening lower reinforcement and tighten bolts to specification. Position steering column opening lower finish panel in instrument panel and install retaining screws. 4.Connect negative battery cable. Perform system operation check. See SYSTEM OPERATION
.

2003 Ford Windstar
2003 ACCESSORIES/SAFETY EQUIPMENT Ford Motor Co. - Air Bag Restraint Systems
CHECK . Perform computer relearn procedure. See COMPUTER RELEARN . Reprogram pre-set radio frequencies and set clock.
COMPUTER RELEARN (SEATS INSTALLED)
When battery is disconnected and reconnected, some abnormal drive symptoms may occur while vehicle relearns its adaptive strategy. Vehicle may need to be driven for approximately 10 miles or more to relearn strategy
.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks. Looks like I have a lot of fun ahead of me. Thanks very much for all the info and your expertise. Jim.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hey Eric. Just thought I'd let you know how the air-bag issue (intermittent flashing dash lamp) turned out. I unplugged and reseated each connector under both seats. Also, I had a piece of copier equipment pressing against the back of the drivers seat (really pressed). I don't know which fixed it, but the problem is GONE !!! yeah, and I am happy. Thanks again for your help, Jim.
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.
Great to hear it was something simple and better yet, a no cost repair.Those are always the best!

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