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    Thread: I shut off my airbag lights! SWEET!

    1. Member redcorradoguy's Avatar
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      10-10-2010 12:37 AM #1
      Hey Guys!

      I set about replacing a couple parts on my cabriolet that I bought from a fellow list member a few weeks ago--a dash surround and headlight. Since I was working on the Cabriolet anyway, I decided to finally try out my theory of being able to somehow blink out and clear codes in the airbag system. I could do it with my Corrado's ABS system, and figured that there was probably a similar system in the airbag system.

      My lights had been on since last fall when I mistakenly started the car with the instrument cluster out. (I think I had to move it around while installing the cruise control system or something.) I was quite sure the system logged a code or two due to the lights not being plugged in.

      I looked up the how-to for doing this on the Corrado, and when messing around with it, I knew I had made the airbag light blink, but wasn't sure what I had done exactly and couldn't repeat it.

      Did some googling and found that the Cabby Info page had been updated since I last looked there for airbag info.
      http://www.cabby-info.com/airbag_system.htm

      Blinking the codes out worked just about like what was described on the page, with a couple things to add.

      First, both codes were four digits. You see one long blink, then a pause, then each of the four digits are blinked as described. (blink blink blink *pause* blink blink blink blink *pause* blink blink etc)

      It will repeat perpetually following the same pattern. As soon as the long blink comes again, you can move to the next code. Simply reconnect the jumper to ground for a couple seconds, and then disconnect it. The next code will blink like the first.

      Eventually you will see a pattern like this:

      long Blink *pause* blink blink blink *pause* long blink *pause* blink blink blink repeatedly.

      This means you are at the end of the codes.

      To clear the codes, I reconnected the ground and disconnected a couple more times and each time got the final pattern of long blink *pause* blink blink blink.

      Once I completed this, the lights were off! I started and stopped the car several times, and the left light came on and went off after a few seconds, just like is used to do!

      YESSS!

      Dave Cook

    2. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      10-10-2010 12:58 AM #2
      Nice simple method. We also found a way to reset the airbag light using vag com type cables and a pc.
      I was able to get the lights cleared on my 91...but the 92 had a real problem and the lights came back on.

      Still though, just to get those lights off is major accomplishment..good job!

    3. Member briano1234's Avatar
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      10-10-2010 01:49 AM #3
      interesting as all hell.

    4. Member dandydanny's Avatar
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      10-10-2010 03:20 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by redcorradoguy View Post
      As soon as the long blink comes again, you can move to the next code. Simply reconnect the jumper to ground for a couple seconds, and then disconnect it. The next code will blink like the first.
      Sweet!

      I've always suspected there was a way to erase airbag codes without using any scantools (Porsche system is resettable with a jumper), and your findings have confirmed that it's actually possible.

      So that 3-2-3 code means "end of codes" of some sort. Strangely, that's the only code my car blinked (my car is a 1992 also).

      Come to think of it, the California Digifant cabby blink code readout / erase procedure is similar; codes aren't erased until they all blinked out, one after another.

      You have shown a way to erase airbag codes with minimal expense (just a piece of wire), and I think a lot of cabby drivers will find this information very useful.

      Now if we can get a hold of that mysterious VW Cabriolet airbag code list we'll be set, passive restraint-wise

      Addition (2010/10/10): Original VW Cabriolet airbag blink code read procedure post (With updated illustration)
      Addition (2010/10/15):
      Last edited by dandydanny; 10-15-2010 at 03:26 AM.

    5. Member redcorradoguy's Avatar
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      10-10-2010 07:31 PM #5
      3-2-3 was not the end of code signal, it was one long blink followed by three blinks, and that repeated.

      I connected and removed the jumper two or three times when it got to that sequence and that seemed to turn off the lights.

      It seemed like that all of the codes were 4 digits long (both of mine were), with a long flash between each code's sequence. Each code repeats itself until you reconnect for a couple seconds and remove the jumper at which point it goes to the next.

      Like I said, my lights were on because I had the car on after unplugging the instrument cluster.

      I can't remember the first code for sure, but I think it was 3569. The second was 3399. Those were the only two.

    6. Member SB_GLI's Avatar
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      10-11-2010 07:39 PM #6
      This is awesome!

      I set off my airbag lights when I reconnected my ground on the battery when I had the steering wheel off. Bah!

      I ended up bending down the contacts that go to the two airbag LEDs to "fix" this. Maybe someday if I ever need to take out my cluster again I will give this a shot.

      Thanks!

    7. Member cabrio2k's Avatar
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      10-12-2010 09:48 PM #7
      WOW! That worked on mine! I had a ton of codes to clear and took a bit long (maybe 15 minutes) but in the end, it cleared! There were probably about 10-13 total codes and you have to do it in one setting or it will force you to start over...

      FYI:
      On my 93 Cabby, I got to the last code being three solid blinks and had to clear that one about 5-6 times...You will know you're done clearing the codes when the blinking code light stays lit solid...Turn off, turn on and you will be code free!

    8. Member briano1234's Avatar
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      10-14-2010 09:58 AM #8
      Re-enabled my lights, and tried the above method, and it failed. I could get the light to blink one time, then that was it.

      So I disabled the LED's again.

    9. Member redcorradoguy's Avatar
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      10-14-2010 10:19 AM #9
      I found that it took a few tries to properly initialize the code-blink sequence. If you wait too long to disconnect the jumper wire, it won't work and you'll see what you saw. If you don't hold it long enough, you'll probably have the same problem.

      If I remember correctly, with the jumper grounded (I had one paperclip in the bottom hole of the airbag connector-the red one-and one paperclip in the bottom hole of the black connector for the ground, then touched them together to ground the airbag connector) you turn on the ignition. If you wait long enough, the left light will blink and then stay on.

      What you need to do is have the airbag connector grounded, then turn on the ignition switch and before the airbag light comes on, unground the airbag connector. I would say leave it grounded for approx 2.5 seconds.

      So I wonder if you just weren't jumping it for the correct amount of time? Like I said, it took a few tries to get the timing right.

    10. Member cabrio2k's Avatar
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      10-14-2010 04:12 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by briano1234 View Post
      Re-enabled my lights, and tried the above method, and it failed. I could get the light to blink one time, then that was it.

      So I disabled the LED's again.
      Here's what worked for me on my 93 Cabby:

      Had one piece of cable going to each #2 pin (bottom pin) on both black and red plugs.

      Turn key, then soon take off the cable of the right plug (i think it's the black one)...

      Wait and look at your lights...If you did it correctly, only the left light of the two will be on...

      the blinking sequence will start after one long blink/pause....

      it will go through a series of codes. after each code, you have to plug your cable back in to right plug (bottom pin) and take right off after no one second...

      the trick to this is to wait till the end of the code sequence. You will know it's the end of the sequence when the one long blink starts to happen

      Another note: I had tons of codes...Some were 3 digits, some 4, and the end code was one digit (3 blinks). The last code I had to clear about 6 times...The first couple ones I had to clear several times each...

      You have to plug in as soon as the end sequence starts (one long blink). plug in and plug right out, and that light will blink telling you it's cleared, and that it's going to the next code...

      Read what I just typed a couple times or take your laptop with you and you will succeed! Took me a while to get it and I almost gave up as I thought nothing was happening...I just didn't know I had to keep clearing so many codes of the same type...

      Try again and post here...

    11. Member redcorradoguy's Avatar
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      10-14-2010 05:41 PM #11
      Sounds about like what I did. But I used two separate wires (bent paperclips), one in the red plug and one in the black plug. Doing it that way, I was able to just touch the two wires together instead of trying to put it back into a plug.

    12. Member SB_GLI's Avatar
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      10-14-2010 05:44 PM #12
      this is one of the coolest threads ever in the cabby forum. (no offense to briano)

    13. Member briano1234's Avatar
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      10-14-2010 05:59 PM #13
      Now, along with every Pro-there has to be a con, I tried the above and it failed. I didn't get any codes nor did I get a reset.

      My airbag lights were on the cabby when I bought it. I snipped the wires that ran to the cluster to extinguish the lights.

      Today, I re-enabled the connections, and tried the above and it failed. I was reporting on a failure to reset, and not a failure to comprehend the written word or the inability to follow directions.

      If you look at the schematics that are on Ron's link, you will see that the 2 connectors are as follows.

      The black connector has ground on one pin and 12V on the other that is fed from the courtesy light.

      The Red connector has a choice of 2 wires green or blue, and both failed to enable the blink codes.

      For those that think I can't follow instructions, come on......
      For those that think this will resolve all airbag issues,,,, to dream the impossible dream........

      There are gonna be times when the magic fix will work for some and not work for others, this was one of those times.

    14. Member cabrio2k's Avatar
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      10-14-2010 07:19 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by briano1234 View Post
      Today, I re-enabled the connections, and tried the above and it failed. I was reporting on a failure to reset, and not a failure to comprehend the written word or the inability to follow directions.

      If you look at the schematics that are on Ron's link, you will see that the 2 connectors are as follows.

      The black connector has ground on one pin and 12V on the other that is fed from the courtesy light.

      The Red connector has a choice of 2 wires green or blue, and both failed to enable the blink codes.

      For those that think I can't follow instructions, come on......
      For those that think this will resolve all airbag issues,,,, to dream the impossible dream........

      There are gonna be times when the magic fix will work for some and not work for others, this was one of those times.
      Woah! Briano, not sure if that was directed towards me but I never said you don't know how to follow directions...I was just trying to explain it a little better to help you out since you've help me, and so many out so much and one of the main reasons my Cabby is in the state is in right now...Sorry if you took offense...

    15. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      10-14-2010 09:49 PM #15
      Brian, out of everybody here...I'll make this offer. If you want to try to reset your cabby lights, I'll ship you the cables I already bought...just send them back after.


      Let me know if you care to do this.

    16. Member briano1234's Avatar
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      10-14-2010 11:07 PM #16
      Not worried, I just figured that I would give it a go, and see if it could be reset. It couldn't so I suspect that there are other issue with the system.... Thank you for your offer, but I humbly decline.

      Besides I drove for quite a few years sans Air Bags.

      Besides if Air Bags are so great, why do they only open after impact.

    17. Junior Member onemean6's Avatar
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      05-28-2011 09:19 PM #17
      hey, did as you said and it worked for me. my daughters car flashed the light after i removed the turn signal switch . i had the battery disconnected but then reconnected it to test the switch. duh! your method worked while the one on cabby info did not.
      At first i though they were the same but your instructions say to ground it to pin one. cabby info says pin 2 on the red connector. this made the diff. mine only had one code. 4 digits long.it flashed the same code 20 plus times. i wish i knew what i did to make it go out. i messed with it for a few hours. it seemed like it was a hit or miss operation. i would like to know exactly when it was grounded it reset itself. i was just grounding the wire at different times. anyway, thanks for sharing. i think this may only work if there are no faulty components in the system

    18. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      05-28-2011 09:46 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by onemean6 View Post
      your method worked while the one on cabby info did not.
      At first i though they were the same but your instructions say to ground it to pin one. cabby info says pin 2 on the red connector. this made the diff.
      But:

      Quote Originally Posted by cabrio2k View Post
      Here's what worked for me on my 93 Cabby:

      Had one piece of cable going to each #2 pin (bottom pin) on both black and red plugs.


      Going by Western alphanumerical standards, top = one, bottom = two (Danny, did you get the "Pin 1" label from a diagram?). I have, however, changed the wording on Cabby Info ("whichever has the green wire") to make things a bit clearer for everyone.
      Cabby-Info.com -- Your online guide to VW Cabriolets/Rabbit Convertibles
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    19. Junior Member onemean6's Avatar
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      05-28-2011 09:58 PM #19
      if you look at the connector it has numbers on it. i took the pin number literally. on pin number one (blue)the light did flash one time, then remained on.

    20. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      05-28-2011 10:09 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by onemean6 View Post
      if you look at the connector it has numbers on it. i took the pin number literally. on pin number one (blue)the light did flash one time, then remained on.
      No airbag in my car, otherwise I'd look.

      Didn't know the numbers were on the plug; re-edited the airbag page. Thanks for the clarification!
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    21. Member dandydanny's Avatar
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      05-29-2011 02:05 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86 View Post
      Danny, did you get the "Pin 1" label from a diagram?
      The left side of the red airbag diagnostic connector has 1 and 2 marked. 1 (green wire) is the one to ground.

      I've updated my illustration to include the pin number and wire color. The changes should be visible in a few minutes in all threads.

      Feel free to use my illustrations Kammy


    22. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      05-29-2011 02:24 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by dandydanny View Post

      Feel free to use my illustrations Kammy
      I've had links to your thread and this one up for quite some time, but I just added a direct link to your fabulous illustration.

      The dealer instructional videos have finally been added as well.
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    23. Member mtemal's Avatar
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      05-30-2011 09:11 AM #23
      Thanks Kammy!

    24. 08-15-2011 08:47 PM #24
      I purchased this car a couple of months ago and the airbag lights were on. Anyway, I followed the procedure to the tee to no avail; the lights were still on. Then I decided to try it again but this time when it began flashing the long blink and then the 3 blinks indicating the end of the code sequence, as soon as the long blink started again I grounded it once more and kept it grounded and after a few moments there wasn't anymore flashing, just a solid light. After disconnecting the ground I turned off the ignition and removed the key for about a minute. Then I started the engine and the airbag light blinked for a few moments and extingished itself. System back to normal. The codes were 3259, 3258 and 3399.

    25. 02-08-2012 01:53 PM #25
      My wife's car, a 93 Cabriolet had codes 3259, 3399 and the last one was 111. I used the previous methods listed in this forum and yours was the only one that resolved the issue. Now I'd already purchased a Dorman replacement airbag clockspring off of amazon (I was skeptical that this is what the issue was because the horn works, no problem) and I hadn't fitted it yet. I can now return this item and save $140.

      You basically just saved me $140. I cannot thank you enough.

      I honestly don't think that people realize that when all codes are cleared, that when they get to the long blink and three short blinks that they then have to ground for ten seconds until the left light goes solid.

      If you ever need advice (I am an experienced mech) feel free to contact me.

      All the very best,

      Rob.

      Quote Originally Posted by the93CabbyClassicGuy View Post
      I purchased this car a couple of months ago and the airbag lights were on. Anyway, I followed the procedure to the tee to no avail; the lights were still on. Then I decided to try it again but this time when it began flashing the long blink and then the 3 blinks indicating the end of the code sequence, as soon as the long blink started again I grounded it once more and kept it grounded and after a few moments there wasn't anymore flashing, just a solid light. After disconnecting the ground I turned off the ignition and removed the key for about a minute. Then I started the engine and the airbag light blinked for a few moments and extingished itself. System back to normal. The codes were 3259, 3258 and 3399.

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