Chrysler Caravan/Voyager/Town and Country 1996-1999

General Information


The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), found on all vehicles covered by this guide, is designed to be used along with the front seat belts to reduce the risk or amount of injury by deploying one or both air bags during certain frontal collisions.

The air bag system is made up of an Air bag Control Module (ACM), clockspring, air bag modules for the driver (in the steering wheel) and front passenger (right side instrument panel above the glove compartment), all system related wiring and an SRS warning lamp in the instrument cluster.

This SRS system only utilizes one impact sensor, which is an integral component of the ACM along with the energy reserve capacitor.

The SRS system is designed to deploy when in impact is severe enough to cause the ACM micro processor to send a signal that completes the electrical circuit to the driver and passenger's side air bags. The sensor is calibrated for the specific vehicle and reacts to the severity and direction of the impact.


When working on the SRS or any components which require the removal of the air bag, adhere to all of these precautions to minimize the risks of personal injury or component damage:

Before attempting to diagnose, remove or install the air bag system components, you must first detach and isolate the negative (-) battery cable. Failure to do so could result in accidental deployment and possible personal injury.
When an undeployed air bag assembly is to be removed, after detaching the negative battery cable, allow the system capacitor to discharge for two minutes before commencing with the air bag system component removal.
Place the inflator module (air bag unit) on a bench or other surface with the bag and trim cover facing up.
When carrying a live inflator module, hold securely with both hands, and ensure that the bag and trim cover are pointed away from your body.
Replace the air bag system components only with Mopar® specified replacement parts, or equivalent. Substitute parts may visually appear interchangeable, but internal differences may result in inferior occupant protection.
The fasteners, screws, and bolts originally used for the SRS have special coatings and are specifically designed for the SRS. They must never be replaced with any substitutes. Anytime a new fastener is needed, replace with the correct fasteners provided in the service package or fasteners listed in the parts books.
Never carry the inflator module by the wires or connector on the underside of the module.
With the inflator module on the bench, never place anything on or close to the module which may be thrown in the event of an accidental deployment.
SRS components should not be subjected to heat over 200°F (93°C), so remove the SRS control unit, air bag modules and clock spring before drying or baking the vehicle after painting.
Never use an analog ohmmeter to test SRS components.

Handling a Live Air Bag Module

See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Always hold a live air bag module away from your body as shown

At no time should any source of electricity be permitted near the inflator on the back of the module. When carrying a live module, the trim cover should be pointed away from the body to minimize injury in the event of accidental deployment. In addition, if the module is placed on a bench or other surface, the plastic trim cover should be face up to minimize movement in case of accidental deployment.

When handling a steering column with an air bag module attached, never place the column on the floor or other surface with the steering wheel or module face down.

Handling a Deployed Air Bag Module

The vehicle interior may contain a very small amount of sodium hydroxide powder, a by-product of air bag deployment. Since this powder can irritate the skin, eyes, nose or throat, be sure to wear safety glasses, rubber gloves and long sleeves during cleanup.

If you find that the cleanup is irritating your skin, run cool water over the affected area. Also, if you experience nasal or throat irritation, exit the vehicle for fresh air until the irritation ceases. If irritation continues, see a physician.

Begin the cleanup by putting tape over the two air bag exhaust vents so that no additional powder will find its way into the vehicle interior. Then, remove the air bag(s) and air bag module(s) from the vehicle.

Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any residual powder from the vehicle interior. Work from the outside in so that you avoid kneeling or sitting in an uncleaned area.

Be sure to vacuum the heater and A/C outlets as well. In fact, it's a good idea to run the blower on low and to vacuum up any powder expelled from the plenum. You may need to vacuum the interior of the car a second time to recover all of the powder.

Check with the local authorities before disposing of the deployed bag and module in your trash.

After an air bag has been deployed, the air bag module and clockspring must be replaced because they cannot be reused. Other air bag system components should be replaced with new ones if damaged.


See Figures 2 and 3

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the SIR system is disarmed before removing the airbag module from the vehicle

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Live airbag modules should be stored as shown

The Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (SIR) system must be disarmed before working around the air bag or SIR wiring. Failure to do so may cause accidental deployment of the air bag, resulting in unnecessary SIR system repairs and/or personal injury.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Isolate the battery cable by taping up any exposed metal areas of the cable. This will keep the cable from inadvertently contacting the battery and causing accidental deployment of the air bag.
  3. Allow the SIR system capacitor to discharge for at least two (2) minutes, before performing any removal procedures.
  5. The air bag system is now disabled.

When carrying a live air bag, be sure the bag and trim cover are pointed away from the body. In the unlikely event of an accidental deployment, the bag will then deploy with minimal chance of injury. When placing a live air bag on a bench or other surface, always face the bag and trim cover up, away from the surface. This will reduce the motion of the module if accidentally deployed.


A DRB or equivalent scan tool is necessary to test the SRS after the system has been rearmed. If no scan tool is available, arm the system by simply removing the tape and reconnecting the negative battery cable.

If a scan tool is available, perform the following procedure:

  1. Connect a DRB or equivalent scan tool to the Data Link Connector (DLC), located near the steering column and at the lower edge of the lower instrument panel.
  3. Turn the ignition key to the ON position. Get out of the vehicle with the scan tool. Make sure you are using the latest version of the proper cartridge.
  5. After making sure no one is in the vehicle, remove the tape, then reconnect the negative battery cable.
  7. Read and record any stored Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs). If any diagnostic trouble codes are recorded, take your vehicle to a reputable repair shop for diagnosis.
  9. If there are no DTCs, and if the AIRBAG warning lamp either fails to light, with the ignition switch ON , or the light goes on and stays on, there is a system malfunction. If any of these conditions exist, you should take your vehicle to a reputable repair shop for diagnosis.