Honda Civic/CRX/del Sol 1984-1995 Repair Guide

General Information



The SRS (air bag) is a safety device designed to be used in conjunction with the seatbelt. Its purpose is to help protect the driver and passenger in a frontal impact exceeding a certain set limit. The system consists of the SRS unit (including the safing sensor and impact sensor), the cable reel and driver's air bag, and, in most cases, a passenger's air bag. On models equipped with dual air bags, one air bag is stored in the steering wheel and the other in the passenger's side of the dashboard, above the glove box. An air bag system is ineffective if seat belts are not worn.

The air bag is a fabric bag or balloon with an explosive inflator unit attached. The system employs impact sensors and a safing sensor as well as an inflator circuit and control module. A back-up power system is connected in parallel with the battery. No single sensor can trigger SRS deployment. The safing sensor, and at least one of the impact sensors must engage together for at least 0.002 seconds. This "agreement" of the sensors is required to help prevent accidental deployment.

When the control unit receives these signals, power is supplied to the inflator circuit, either from the battery or back-up system. A small heater causes a chemical reaction in the igniter; the non-toxic gas from the chemical mixture expands very rapidly (in milliseconds), filling the bag and forcing it through the cover pad. Since all this is happening very rapidly, the expanding bag should reach the occupant before he/she reaches the steering wheel/dashboard during a frontal collision. The chemical reaction is complete by the time the air bag is fully inflated; as the occupant hits the bag, the gas is allowed to escape slowly through vents in the back of the bag.

The control unit contains a self-diagnostic circuit. When the ignition switch is turned ON , the SRS dash warning lamp should light for about 6 seconds, then go out. If the light does not come on, does not go out or comes on when driving, the system must be diagnosed and repaired by a Honda dealer or reputable shop. The system is NOT repairable at home.


See Figures 1 and 2

this information does not cover SRS repairs or replacement as such work should be left to a trained professional. The following precautions then, are only to inform the do-it-yourselfer and give him a greater appreciation for the system when required to work in proximity to SRS components.

All SRS wiring can easily be identified by its yellow outer protective covering.

Replacement of the multi-function light and wiper/washer switches and cruise control switch can be done without removing the steering wheel. See the appropriate portion of this section for these procedures.
To disconnect the SRS connector, do so at the under-dash fuse/relay box. First lift the connector lid with a thin pry tool, then press the connector tab down and pull the connector out. To re-install the connector, push it back until it positively clicks into position.

Be careful to not break the double-locked connector.

Connect the short connectors before working below the dashboard near the SRS unit. To connect the driver's side short connector, first disconnect the battery negative cable, then the positive cable, then wait a minimum of three minutes. Next connect the (red) short connectors for the driver's side by removing the steering wheel access panel and removing the red short connectors from the panel. Then disconnect the 3-pin connector between the driver's air bag and cable reel and connect the short connector to the air bag side of the connector.
To connect the short connector to passenger side, remove the glove box and access panel and disconnect the 3-pin connector between the front passenger's air bag and SRS main harness. Then connect the (red) short connector to the air bag side of the connector.
If air bag has been deployed, do not repair the wiring harness, replace everything damaged with new parts. Inspect also the cable reel for heat damage. If any, replace.
No SRS component should be used if it shows any sign of being dropped, dented or otherwise damaged.
SRS components formerly installed in another car should never be used. Only new components should be installed.
Whenever working on SRS components (except for electrical inspections), always disconnect both the positive and negative battery terminals and then wait at least three minutes before beginning (and taking other precautions as necessary).
Whenever the air bag has been activated, replace the SRS unit.
Whenever the ignition switch is ON or has been turned OFF for less than three minutes, be careful not to bump the SRS unit; the air bags could accidently deploy and do damage or cause injuries.
Do not try to take apart the air bag assembly. Once deployed, it cannot be re-used or repaired.
For temporary storage of the air bag assembly while servicing the vehicle, place it with the pad surface UP. Store the air bag assembly on a secure, clean, flat surface away from heat, oil, grease, water or detergent.

If the air bag is stored face down, it could spontaneously deploy and cause serious injury and damage.

Take extra care when doing paint or body work near the air bag assembly and keep away heat guns, welding and spray equipment from the air bag assembly.
Make sure SRS wiring harnesses are not pinched, and all ground contacts are clean. Poor grounding can cause intermittent problems that are difficult to diagnose.

If removing the steering wheel, make sure the road wheels are straight ahead to avoid misalignment of the steering wheel or air bag on reassembly.

Before removing the steering column, first disconnect the connector between the cable reel and the SRS main harness. If the steering column is going to be removed without dismounting the steering wheel, lock the steering by turning the ignition key to 0-LOCK position, or remove the key from the ignition so that the steering wheel will not turn.

Upon re-installation of the steering wheel, rotate the SRS cable reel clockwise until it stops. Then rotate it counterclockwise (approximately two turns) until the yellow gear tooth lines up with the alignment mark on the cover and the arrow mark on the cable reel label points straight up.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Attachment points for connecting the SRS short connectors

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Component and wiring locations for Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)-1992-95


This procedure MUST be followed whenever working on or near SRS components and when otherwise noted. The shorting connector must be installed whenever the air bag is disconnected from the harness. If equipped with dual air bags, always disarm the passenger's air bag as well.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable, then the positive cable from the battery. Wait at least three minutes before proceeding.
  3. Remove the maintenance lid below the air bag on the steering wheel; it is secured by two screws. Remove the red shorting connector stored inside the lid.
  5. Disengage the connector between the air bag and the cable reel in the steering wheel. The connector can be reached through the opening provided by removing the maintenance lid. Install the shorting connector into the air bag side of the wiring connector.
  7. To disarm the passenger's side air bag, first remove the glove box. Now disengage the connector between the SRS main harness and the air bag. Install the red shorting connector into the air bag side of the connector.
  9. DON'T forget to enable the system after the repairs are finished.


  1. Remove the shorting connector from the air bag, then engage the air bag and cable reel (driver's side) or SRS main harness (passenger side) connectors.
  3. Reinstall the maintenance lid and glove box (as applicable).
  5. Reconnect the battery cables, positive cable first.
  7. Turn the ignition switch ON , the SRS dash warning lamp should light for about 6 seconds, then go out. If the light does not come on, does not go out or comes on when driving, the system must be diagnosed and repaired by a Honda dealer or reputable shop.