Volkswagen Cars 2000-05

Service Precautions

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The Air Bag system or Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) is designed to provide additional protection for front seat occupants when used in conjunction with a seat belt. The system is an electronically controlled, mechanically operated system. The system contains two basic subsytems: the air bag module(s) (the actual air bag(s) themselves), and the electrical system. The system consists of:



The crash sensors
 
The safing sensor
 
The air bag module(s)
 
The diagnostic monitor
 
The instrument cluster indicator
 
The sliding contacts (clock spring assembly)
 

The system is operates as follows: The system remains out of sight until activated in an accident that is determined to be the equivalent of hitting a parked car of the same size and weight with the vehicle receiving severe front end damage. This determination is made by crash and safing sensors mounted on the vehicle which when an sufficient impact occurs, close their contacts completing the electrical circuit and inflating the air bags. When not activated the system is monitored by the air bag diagnostic monitor and system readiness is indicated by the lamp located on the instrument cluster. Any fault detected by the diagnostic monitor will illuminate the lamp and store a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC).

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.
 


CAUTION
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.

Several precautions must be observed when handling the inflator module to avoid accidental deployment and possible personal injury.



Never carry the inflator module by the wires or connector on the underside of the module.
 
When carrying a live inflator module, hold securely with both hands, and ensure that the bag and trim cover are pointed away.
 
Place the inflator module on a bench or other surface with the bag and trim cover facing up.
 
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.
 

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, also refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2.  


WARNING
The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) must be disabled before performing service on or around 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 system repairs.

Please take note of the following precautions whenever working on or near SRS air bag system components:



When carrying a live air bag module, point the bag and trim cushion away from your body. When placing a live air bag on a bench or other surface, always face the bag and trim cushion up, away from the surface. Following these precautions will reduce the chance of injury if the air bag is accidentally deployed.
 
Use only a digital multimeter when checking any part of the air bag system. The multimeter's output must be 0.01Amps (10mA) or less when it is switched to its smallest ohmmeter range value.
 
Do NOT bump, strike, or drop any SRS component. Store SRS components away from any source of electricity, including static electricity, moisture, oil, grease, and extreme heat and humidity.
 
Do NOT cut, damage, or attempt to alter the SRS wiring harness or its yellow insulation.
 
Do NOT install SRS components that have been recovered from wrecked or dismantled vehicles.
 
Always disconnect both battery cables when working around SRS components or wiring.
 
Always disable the air bag when working under the dashboard.
 
Always check the alignment of the air bag cable reel during steering-related service procedures.
 
Take extra care when working in the area of the dashboard. Avoid direct exposure of the SRS unit or wiring to heat guns, welding, or spraying equipment.
 
NEVER carry the inflator module by the wires or connector on the underside of the module.
 
When carrying a live inflator module, hold securely with both hands, and ensure that the bag and trim cover are pointed away.
 
Place the inflator module on a bench or other surface with the bag and trim cover facing up.
 
With the inflator module on the bench, never place anything on or close to the module which may be propelled in the event of an accidental deployment.
 



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. If removed, always place the inflator module facing up to avoid injury should accidental deployment occur



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Cut away view of a spring-loaded SRS electrical connector. NEVER modify any SRS component



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. During removal, keep your body hands and fingers away from the center portion of the air bag should it accidentally deploy



Disconnect the driver's/front passenger's air bag and if equipped, the seat belt tensioner connections before working below the dashboard close to the SRS control unit.
 
If the vehicle is involved in a frontal impact or after a collision without airbag deployment, inspect the SRS unit for physical damage. If the SRS control unit is dented, cracked, or deformed, replace it.
 
If removed or replaced, make sure the SRS control unit is installed securely.
 
NEVER disassemble the SRS control unit.
 
When installing or replacing the SRS control unit, be careful not to bump or strike the area around the SRS control unit. Avoid using impact wrenches, hammers, etc. in the area surrounding the SRS control unit
 
NEVER reach through the steering wheel to start an air bag equipped vehicle.
 
If the air bag has deployed, the air bags, control unit, and if equipped, the seat belt tensioners must be replaced.
 
Individual components of the air bag system must always be replaced rather than repaired
 
Do NOT treat air bag system components with grease or cleaning agents
 
Avoid physical contact with a deployed air bag. Wear protective equipment such as necessary
 
Do NOT expose air bag components to temperatures above 167°F (75°C)
 
Replace any air bag component that has been dropped a distance of 1 1 / 2 feet (0.5 m) or more
 
A replaced component of the air bag system must always be properly disposed of
 

Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable before beginning any airbag system component diagnosis, testing, removal, or installation procedures. Allow system capacitor to discharge for two minutes before beginning any component service. This will disable the airbag system. Failure to disable the airbag system may result in accidental airbag deployment, personal injury, or death.

Do not place an intact undeployed airbag face down on a solid surface. The airbag will propel into the air if accidentally deployed and may result in personal injury or death.

When carrying or handling an undeployed airbag, the trim side (face) of the airbag should be pointing towards the body to minimize possibility of injury if accidental deployment occurs. Failure to do this may result in personal injury or death.

Replace airbag system components with OEM replacement parts. Substitute parts may appear interchangeable, but internal differences may result in inferior occupant protection. Failure to do so may result in occupant personal injury or death.

Wear safety glasses, rubber gloves, and long sleeved clothing when cleaning powder residue from vehicle after an airbag deployment. Powder residue emitted from a deployed airbag can cause skin irritation. Flush affected area with cool water if irritation is experienced. If nasal or throat irritation is experienced, exit the vehicle for fresh air until the irritation ceases. If irritation continues, see a physician.

Do not use a replacement airbag that is not in the original packaging. This may result in improper deployment, personal injury, or death.

The factory installed fasteners, screws and bolts used to fasten airbag components have a special coating and are specifically designed for the airbag system. Do not use substitute fasteners. Use only original equipment fasteners listed in the parts catalog when fastener replacement is required.

During, and following, any child restraint anchor service, due to impact event or vehicle repair, carefully inspect all mounting hardware, tether straps, and anchors for proper installation, operation, or damage. If a child restraint anchor is found damaged in any way, the anchor must be replaced. Failure to do this may result in personal injury or death.

Deployed and non-deployed airbags may or may not have live pyrotechnic material within the airbag inflator.

Do not dispose of driver/passenger/curtain airbags or seat belt tensioners unless you are sure of complete deployment. Refer to the Hazardous Substance Control System for proper disposal.

Dispose of deployed airbags and tensioners consistent with state, provincial, local, and federal regulations.

After any airbag component testing or service, do not connect the battery negative cable. Personal injury or death may result if the system test is not performed first.

 
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