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proautotech, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
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Experience:  College Training. Current Lead Tech
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Ford Escape: Do i need to replace rcm? I have a code 33, but

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Do i need to replace rcm? I have a code 33, but I did NOT have an event that I know of.

Dealer says replace driver side pretensioner and rcm.
Thanks for trusting us with your problem. I have trained in the automotive field and currently work as a shop foreman. I will be helping you today.

A problem with the driver side pretensioner will cause the SRS light to flash a Code 33. The passenger side pretensioner will cause it to flash a code 34.
The pretensioner assembly is part of the latch assembly (not the belt assembly). The pretensioner deploys to tighten the seat belt around the driver and/or passenger holding them into the seat, lessening the impact of the person's body with the air bag if it deploys. The RCM is smart enough to know that the rate of deceleration is not high enough to require airbag deployment.
The pretensioner deployment circuits for the driver side assembly are a Light Green/Red wire and a Light Green/Black wire.

To verify the problem the dealer should have Monitored the RCM Parameter Identification (PID)s through the scan tool for the resistance value as displayed for the driver side pretensioner and passenger side pretensioner. Normal resistance will show values of 1.8-3.2 ohms. Disconnect the pretensioner assembly electrical connection for the driver side and install a jumper wire between the two deployment circuits to verify that the high resistance value as shown for the faulty pretensioner drops below the low resistance limit indicating a faulty pretensioner assembly only. You do not need to replace the RCM. I have loaded the steps on how to do this from the ford manual Click here-Pretensioner Replacement

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I understand, but does the RCM need replaced?

Thanks for the reply

No. It does not only the pretensioner assembly will need to be replaced many times they want to throw additional parts. This is not needed. Replace only the pretensioner assembly for the passenger side seat.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
33 is the driver's side seat! Thank you for your reply.
Paulla, Please take a moment to positively rate my answer or I will receive nothing.

Sorry I had 34 stuck in my head. Yes 33 is the drivers side. Replace the pre tensioner assembly only to correct the problem. I have included the steps which I loaded for you directly from the ford manual. Click here-Pretensioner Replacement You can order the pre tensioner online for about 1/2 the cost most of the times. Having a friend or independant shop do it will cost less per hour as well. Hope this helps.

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