The crash sensors are located behind the radiator support, and behind the center console on 1994-95 vehicles. On 1996-00 vehicles, the crash sensor is part of the air bag diagnostic monitor. In the event of a head-on impact, the sensing mass inside the sensor breaks away from the bias magnet. The sensing mass rolls along a cylinder toward two electrical contacts. If the deceleration is sufficient, the sensing mass will bridge the contacts and complete the primary deployment circuit to the air bag module.
The mounting and orientation of the sensors is vital to system operation. The sensors should be inspected by a qualified individual after any impact where the sensors could have been damaged. If any structural damage is evident, the area must be repaired to its original condition, otherwise the sensor orientation could be compromised. If the sensors are damaged, they must be replaced.
The diagnostic monitor is located under the driver-s side of the instrument panel on 1994-95 vehicles. On 1996-00 vehicles, it is located behind the center console. The main purpose of the diagnostic monitor is to monitor the operational status of the system through continual checks of the system-s circuits. In the event the diagnostic monitor detects a fault, the air bag warning indicator on the instrument panel will fail to illuminate when the ignition switch is turned on, remain lit continuously, or flash.
The diagnostic monitor also contains the back-up power supply. In the event of a impact severing the battery or other electrical sources to the air bag system, the back up power supply contains enough power to deploy the air bag(s). The diagnostic monitor contains several small capacitors that store power. The back-up power supply must be discharged before air bag service can be performed.
The safing sensor is part of the center console crash sensor on 1994-95 vehicles. On 1996-00 vehicles, the safing sensor is part of the air bag diagnostic monitor. The safing sensor operates identically to the crash sensors, except for the calibration. This is accomplished using a slightly weaker bias magnet. If the safing sensor contacts close simultaneously with the crash sensor, the air bag(s) will be deployed.
The safing sensor is essentially a safety for the air bag system. It protects the bag(s) from deploying due to an electrical short. The safing sensor is used to verify the force of a collision and complete the air bag(s) deployment. The sensor is located inside the passenger compartment so that a forceful enough impact could be detected, and a false signal from the crash sensor would not deploy the air bag(s) at an inappropriate time.
The sliding contact (spiral cable) assembly is located in the steering column, behind the steering wheel. The function of the sliding contact assembly is to maintain the electrical connection to the driver-s air bag while the driver is turning the wheel to steer the vehicle.