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Thread: air bag light intermittently comes on

  1. #1
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    Default air bag light intermittently comes on

    Hello folks, i just bought a 1993 mercury gran marquis, and the air bag light just started flashing on and of.. it will come on sometimes, and other times it's off... also, i'm getting a check engine light, that comes on when i go any distance at higher speeds, but will sometimes go off just driving around town... anybody had these problems before? and what did you have to do about it ?

  2. #2

    Default air bag light intermittently comes on

    What code is the airbag blinking? The airbag light should be blinking a code (for example, 5 blinks followed by a short pause, 1 blink, long pause, repeat (code 51, airbag internal fuse blown) or 1 blink, short pause, 3 blinks, long pause, repeat (code 13, fault to ground occurring)). Count the blinking and let us know. As for the check engine light, I'll leave that to the engine experts..

  3. #3
    Proud Owner Of A 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis! miamibob's Avatar
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    Without knowing the codes (which is the right way to go), the air bag light is probably the caps in the air bag module (usually requiring you replace that unit) and the engine code is for you to clean out the EGR channels/ports. Do let us know the codes so we can advise properly. Bobby


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  4. #4
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    Finally got back in.. was having password problems.... i checked the flashing code for the air bag, and i'm getting one long, two short flashes...
    the check engine light only comes on when i go over about 50, and when i turn off the key, and start it again,. the light is off, so i'll have to wait until light remains on long enough for mieneke to check it for me....

  5. #5
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    there may be a stored code for the check engine. the light doesn't have to be on for codes to be present.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    Those are engine codes. Airbag codes are one of two different code lists. 92 ought to have 2 digit codes:

    | Code | Description | Pinpoint Test |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | No Indicator | Inoperative air bag indicator circuit | A |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | Continuous Indicator | Diagnostic monitor disconnected or inoperative | B |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 12 | Loss of battery power to air bag firing circuit | C |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 13 | Front crash sensor or air bag circuit shorted to ground | D |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 21 | LH B-Pillar safing sensor not mounted to vehicle properly | E |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 22 | Safing sensor shorted or stuck closed | F |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 23 | Open connection in safing sensor feed circuit | G |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 24 | Safing sensor diagnostic circuit open | H |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 31 | All system air bag(s) open | I |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 32 | High resistance or open circuit in driver air bag circuit | J |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 33 | High resistance or open circuit in passenger air bag circuit | K |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 34 | Low resistance in driver air bag circuit | L |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 41 | Open connection in forward crash sensor circuit | M |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 44 | RH front crash sensor not mounted to vehicle properly | N |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 45 | Center front sensor not mounted to vehicle properly | O |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 46 | LH front crash sensor not mounted to vehicle properly | P |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 51 | Diagnostic monitor internal thermal fuse open | Q |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 52 | Backup power supply fault | R |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 53 | Diagnostic monitor internal fault | S |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------|
    | 99(1) | All crash sensors disconnected | T |
    |-----------------------+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------+



    If yours is single digit codes:

    Code Component/Fault Description
    No Air Bag Indicator - Inoperative Indicator Circuit
    2 All Primary Crash Sensor Disconnected
    3 Air Bag Deployment Circuit - Low Battery Voltage or Low Backup Power Supply Voltage.
    4 Safing Sensor - Diagnostic Circuit Open or Low Primary Crash Sensor Resistance
    5 Air Bag Circuit or Crash Sensor Circuit- Shorted to Ground
    6 Driver Side Air Bag Circuit- High Resistance or Open
    7 Passenger Side Air Bag Circuit - High Resistance or Open
    8 Primary Crash Sensor Circuit - Not Mounted to Vehicle Properly.
    9 Primary Crash Sensor Circuit - Open or High Resistance
    10 Diagnostic Monitor Internal Thermal Fuse - Open due to Intermittent Short to Ground

    from http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/airBag/
    code 12 means something is wonky in the power wiring to the module. May just be the connector having issues. Could be the capacitors in the module need replacing. If you mess with the module, disconnect the battery for at least a minute to let the system drain out so you don't accidentally set off the bomb.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  6. #6
    Proud Owner Of A 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis! miamibob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    there may be a stored code for the check engine. the light doesn't have to be on for codes to be present.



    code 12 means something is wonky in the power wiring to the module. May just be the connector having issues. Could be the capacitors in the module need replacing. If you mess with the module, disconnect the battery for at least a minute to let the system drain out so you don't accidentally set off the bomb.
    Please note "wonky" is a technical term!!


    "Hope and dignity are two things NO ONE can take away from you - you have to relinquish them on your own" Miamibob

    "NEVER trade your passion for glory"!! Sal "the Bard" (Dear Old Dad!)

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  7. #7
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    thanks guys... does the air bag system have it's own battery system, or are you referring to the main battery of the car ? and if it has it's own battery, where might that be located ???

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    it does have it's own battery system... it's a series of 4 large capacitors inside the module. Hence my comment about the caps.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Does the 93 style module have an external backup supply or is it internal? I know the design changed in 1992 but I don't know that much about it. My 91 has an external backup supply box. those caps were actually fine. The ones inside the bomb control unit itself were all bad and leaky though. I replaced them and it stopped acting dumb. The caps in the backup unit checked OK on my cap tester though so I let them be. My tester was made before the war though, so its not exactly the final authority on testing capacitors made in the last half century.

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  10. #10
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    the 93 has no external. It just has those huge internal caps that it calls a battery and of course mooches off the car's battery externally.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  11. #11
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    one other question... if i may,,, totally unrelated... my "whale" has the four headlight setup... now, when the brights are utilized, shouldn't all four be illuminated ? on low beam the outer lights are on with mine, and on high beams only the inner lights light up...

  12. #12
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    nope. they changed that up in 92. only 79-91 4-eyes will light all 4 on high.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  13. #13
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    Thank you all for your insight on this for a newbie like me... may have to bother you again in the future !!! hahaha Have a great day, all of you !

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    This is a good thread!
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    Quote Originally Posted by porschpow View Post
    This is a good thread!
    yep, just over 4 years old, way to resurrect it
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  16. #16
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    Good threads never really die... they just sleep for a while.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  17. #17
    I post a lot... porschpow's Avatar
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    dang straight
    "To Find yourself, you must first lose yourself"

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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    nope. they changed that up in 92. only 79-91 4-eyes will light all 4 on high.
    Since it's up for the moment, this one has always interested me.

    I'm well aware of the '92-'94 cars doing the low beams off with high beams, but I've encountered a few people with '95-'97 models who said their cars work like the '92-'94 models. On another forum someone thought I was crazy when I mentioned all four of my lights are on with the high beams, as their late Aero didn't do that. I've been curious if there is some weird differences in the '95-'96 LCMs versus '97.

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    Since we're here...to be technical...the boxes turn the low beams off when the high beams are on.

    The low beam lamp contains two filaments, one low and one high. Therefore, the high beams are just high beams. It just so happens that Ford specced a dual filament lamp and that's why we get four that light up.

    The exception is flash to pass, where the highs come on in addition to the lows.

    So electrically speaking, the lows are not on when the highs are on. The circuit is therefore probably more similar to the pre-LCM Aeros than one would readily assume. What I don't know is how many filaments an early area "normal headlight bulb" has.
    Last edited by kishy; 11-07-2018 at 02:35 PM.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    Since we're here...to be technical...the boxes turn the low beams off when the high beams are on.

    The low beam lamp contains two filaments, one low and one high. Therefore, the high beams are just high beams. It just so happens that Ford specced a dual filament lamp and that's why we get four that light up.

    The exception is flash to pass, where the highs come on in addition to the lows.

    So electrically speaking, the lows are not on when the highs are on. The circuit is therefore probably more similar to the pre-LCM Aeros than one would readily assume. What I don't know is how many filaments an early area "normal headlight bulb" has.
    Regarding the Boxes, IIRC, the "high beam" filament on the low beam lamps are 35W, which is why they appear considerably dimmer than the high beam only lamps, as the normal low beam filament is 55W. I know the low beam lamps don't really help much when the high beam lamps are switched on normally.

    The Aeros used a 9006 bulb on the low beam and a 9005 bulb on the high beam, so just a single filament for each position.

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