Ford Contour/Mystique/Cougar 1995-1999 Repair Guide

System Service


See Figure 1

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Fig. Fig. 1: The driver's side air bag is usually retained with tamper proof bolts

Some vehicles are equipped with an air bag system. The system must be disabled before performing service on or around air bag system components, steering column, instrument panel components, wiring and sensors. Failure to follow safety and disabling procedures could result in accidental air bag deployment, possible personal injury and unnecessary SRS system repairs.


See Figures 2 and 3

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Fig. Fig. 2: Be sure to observe any precaution labels on the vehicle regarding the air bag system

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Fig. Fig. 3: This label is placed on all passenger side air bag equipped vehicles warning of placing children in rear facing car seats

Whenever working around, or on, the air bag supplemental restraint system, ALWAYS adhere to the following warnings and cautions.

Always wear safety glasses when servicing an air bag vehicle and when handling an air bag module.
Carry a live air bag module with the bag and trim cover facing away from your body, so that an accidental deployment of the air bag will have a small chance of personal injury.
Place an air bag module on a table or other flat surface with the bag and trim cover pointing up.
Wear gloves, a dust mask and safety glasses whenever handling a deployed air bag module. The air bag surface may contain traces of sodium hydroxide, a by-product of the gas that inflates the air bag and which can cause skin irritation.
Ensure to wash your hands with mild soap and water after handling a deployed air bag.
All air bag modules with discolored or damaged cover trim must be replaced, not repainted.
All component replacement and wiring service must be made with the negative and positive battery cables disconnected from the battery for a minimum of one minute prior to attempting service or replacement.
NEVER probe the air bag electrical terminals. Doing so could result in air bag deployment, which can cause serious physical injury.
If the vehicle is involved in a fender-bender which results in a damaged front bumper or grille, have the air bag sensors inspected by a qualified automotive technician to ensure that they were not damaged.
If at any time, the air bag light indicates that the computer has noted a problem, have your vehicle's SRS serviced immediately by a qualified automotive technician. A faulty SRS can cause severe physical injury or death.


The air bag system must be disarmed before performing service around air bag components or wiring. Failure to do so may cause accidental deployment of the air bag, resulting in unnecessary repairs and/or personal injury.

  1. Position the vehicle with the front wheels in a straight ahead position.
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  5. Disconnect the positive battery cable.
  7. Wait at least one minute for the air bag back-up power supply to drain before continuing.
  9. Proceed with the repair.
  11. Once complete, connect the battery cables, negative cable last.
  13. Check the functioning of the air bag system by turning the ignition key to the RUN position and visually monitoring the air bag indicator lamp in the instrument cluster. The indicator lamp should illuminate for approximately six seconds, then turn OFF . If the indicator lamp does not illuminate, stays on, or flashes at any time, a fault has been detected by the air bag diagnostic monitor.


  1. Connect the positive battery cable.
  3. Connect the negative battery cable.
  5. Stand outside the vehicle and carefully turn the ignition to the RUN position. Be sure that no part of your body is in front of the air bag module on the steering wheel, to prevent injury in case of an accidental air bag deployment.
  7. Ensure the air bag indicator light turns off after approximately 6 seconds. If the light does not illuminate at all, does not turn off, or starts to flash, have the system tested by a qualified automotive technician. If the light does turn off after 6 seconds and does not flash, the SRS is working properly.