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Lately on engine startup, the "Service Air Bag" light has been popping on intermittently on my 2013... only for about 5-10 seconds, then it goes off. I think it's associated with particularly cold mornings (the outside temperature) but I can't be sure on that. I'm trying to nail down the pattern of occurrence. It doesn't happen every time, so I know that it's not a "normal" test mode. Something is setting the light off, that clears itself up quickly. I'm fine with that for now, but I wonder if the problem will get worse eventually. Light on = airbags disabled (from what I understand) and I don't want that.

I seem to remember reading that 2014-2015's have a faulty connector in the airbag system that is covered by TSB or recall, so maybe my 2013 has the same problem? But probably isn't a covered repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's the thread I had seen, thanks for the link. Right now mine isn't really a problem, just seems like it might become one. I'm wondering if there are other 2013 owners that have a similar issue with their airbag light at startup.
 

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scottydl said:
Lately on engine startup, the "Service Air Bag" light has been popping on intermittently on my 2013... only for about 5-10 seconds, then it goes off. I think it's associated with particularly cold mornings (the outside temperature) but I can't be sure on that... I'm trying to nail down the pattern of occurrence. It doesn't happen every time, so I know that it's not a "normal" test mode. Something is setting the light off, that clears itself up quickly. I'm fine with that for now, but I wonder if the problem will get worse eventually. Light on = airbags disabled (from what I understand) and I don't want that.

I seem to remember reading that 2014-2015's have a faulty connector in the airbag system that is covered by TSB or recall, so maybe my 2013 has the same problem? But probably isn't a covered repair.
That sounds normal to me that it comes on for a few seconds right after startup. That's the time it takes for the system to check itself out. GM's have been doing this for decades. Maybe I'm not understanding what you are saying. So I went out to check my 2012 and I counted to 4 before it shut off right after the engine started. Right after that the rest of the lights turned off, like a second later. I found some info in the service manual that explains the function.

"SIR System AIR BAG Indicator

The SIR system AIR BAG indicator, located in the instrument cluster, is used to notify the driver of SIR system malfunctions and to verify that the Inflatable Restraint Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM) is communicating with the instrument cluster. When the ignition is turned ON, the Inflatable Restraint Sensing and Diagnostic Module is supplied with ignition positive voltage. The instrument cluster will momentarily turn on the SIR system AIR BAG indicator steady for 8 seconds. While the indicator is on, the Inflatable Restraint Sensing and Diagnostic Module conducts tests on all SIR system components and circuits. If no malfunctions are detected the Inflatable Restraint Sensing and Diagnostic Module will communicate with the instrument cluster through the serial data circuit and command the SIR system AIR BAG indicator OFF. The Inflatable Restraint Sensing and Diagnostic Module provides continuous monitoring of the air bag circuits by conducting a sequence of checks. If a malfunction is detected the Inflatable Restraint Sensing and Diagnostic Module will store a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and command the instrument cluster to illuminate the SIR system AIR BAG indicator via serial data. The presence of a SIR system malfunction could result in non-deployment of the air bags or deployment in conditions less severe than intended. The SIR system AIR BAG indicator will remain ON until the malfunction has been repaired."


If you are concerned you should take it to a shop and have it scanned with a capable scanner for codes in the Airbag system.
 

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It is not "normal" for this indication to appear on the two model years I have owned. I did have it occur intermittently on my 2011 LS and upon taking it in to dealer they found a loose connector under the drivers side seat. May be prudent to disconnect battery and then proceed to disconnect and reconnect electrical connectors under the seats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The reason it doesn't seem like a normal startup diagnostic (on my 2013) is because the light doesn't always come on / stay on for that extended length of time every time. I also get the "Service Air Bag" message on the DIC (which I forget to clarify before) while the light is on for those few extra seconds, but then it goes away as soon as the light clears. I'm not really concerned yet, because so far it all returns to normal within 5-10 seconds. It probably is a connector somewhere, at this point I'm just not interested in having to pay a shop $100 to tell me that. ::)
 

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My 2013 had the recall done with the seat connectors. I never had a problem.
If you bought yours used have a dealer look up your vin to see if the recall has been done. I have also had the seat belt recall and the water pump inspection done.
 

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scottydl said:
The reason it doesn't seem like a normal startup diagnostic (on my 2013) is because the light doesn't always come on / stay on for that extended length of time every time. I also get the "Service Air Bag" message on the DIC (which I forget to clarify before) while the light is on for those few extra seconds, but then it goes away as soon as the light clears. I'm not really concerned yet, because so far it all returns to normal within 5-10 seconds. It probably is a connector somewhere, at this point I'm just not interested in having to pay a shop $100 to tell me that. ::)
That helps knowing the message appears. There is a code stored and it can point in the right direction of failure. A common problem as mentioned here is the seat connector wires.

I checked under my seats and the connectors have been cut out. They spliced the wires together evidenced by the black heat-shrink in place of the connectors.

The wiring to airbag systems is covered in a yellow jacket and has yellow connectors. The harness connector has four wires under the seat so it's easy to find.

To fix these they use a metal crimp then solder the wires then apply heatshrink. To do this it's recommended to use a butane soldering iron since the electric ones can transmit current into the wiring to the diagnostic module. Another way would be to disconnect the connector at the module then proceed with a regular iron. I usually use heatshrink butt connectors on cars but since the airbag circuits are very sensitive they want it soldered.


edit: I found the campaign info(campaigns mean NO Charge to customers) Maybe you can look under the seats to see if it's done or call your dealer for a checkout:


Campaign - Faulty Impact Air Bag Connector

# 15536: Special Coverage Adjustment - Side Impact Air Bag Connector Faulty Recall Repairs - (Aug 5, 2015)

Subject: 15536 - Special Coverage Adjustment - Side Impact Air Bag
Connector Faulty Recall Repairs

Models: 2008-2013 Buick Enclave
2008-2013 GMC Acadia
2008-2010 Saturn Outlook
2009-2013 Chevrolet Traverse

Condition

Certain 2008 - 2013 Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, and Chevrolet Traverse vehicles were recalled to address corrosion and/or loose crimps in the driver and passenger-seat mounted side-impact airbag (SIAB) wiring-harness connectors, which could cause an increase in resistance that may disable the SIAB, front-center airbag, if equipped, and seat-belt pretensioners. GM has received reports that, in some cases, the required repair may have been incorrectly performed by the dealer service technician. The GM recall number was N14030 (GFPE number N-140030) NHTSA recall 14V118.

Special Coverage Adjustment

Dealers are to remove the section of the wire with the faulty repair and re-connect wires. The repairs will be made at no charge to the customer.

For vehicles covered by Vehicle Service Contracts, all eligible claims with repair orders on or after August 4, 2015, are covered by this special coverage and must be submitted using the labor operation codes provided with this bulletin. Claims with repair orders prior to August 4, 2015, must be submitted to the Service Contract provider.

Vehicles Involved

All involved vehicles are identified by Vehicle Identification Number on the Applicable Warranties section in GM Global Warranty Management system. Dealership service personnel should always check this site to confirm vehicle involvement prior to beginning any required inspections and/or repairs. It is important to routinely use this tool to verify eligibility because not all similar vehicles may be involved regardless of description or option content.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm relieved to see that there is coverage of some kind for 2013. I looked around under the driver's seat, but I can't quite tell what's original and what's not (possibly). Everything is covered in black tape/wrap as far as wiring goes. One of the strands has yellow wrap around part of it, so maybe that could be the airbag wiring? But I can't see the actual connectors without unwrapping everything.
 

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scottydl said:
I'm relieved to see that there is coverage of some kind for 2013. I looked around under the driver's seat, but I can't quite tell what's original and what's not (possibly). Everything is covered in black tape/wrap as far as wiring goes. One of the strands has yellow wrap around part of it, so maybe that could be the airbag wiring? But I can't see the actual connectors without unwrapping everything.
I'm seeing mfr's getting away from jacketing the harnesses with yellow but the connectors seem to be keeping this trend of yellow. If there's coverage on yours you can always call any dealer and give them your VIN number to see if it's still open.
 

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I have this issue. Some days the light will turn right off. Other days it will stay on for 5 or 10 minutes. At which point I shut off the vehicle and usually goes away.. However, more recently, it has been staying on after i restart the vehicle.. But usually goes away after a while. It happens intermittently. More often in cold weather. I checked the air bag connectors under both seats and seem to be seated properly. Anything else it could be?
 

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What year? On my 2008 there was a recall to re-do the airbag connectors under the seat, then another to eliminate those same connectors and solder them directly.
I had a problem driving one night where the airbag light came on, service stabilitrack, Traction control, Anti-theft lights on, the dash was brighter than usual and none of the gauges worked. I drove for 120 miles like this and the odometer stayed on the mileage when it happened. The problem was traced to the air bag connector under the seat. I eliminated the connector and did the soldering directly. The service bulletin says to use a non electric soldering iron so as not to introduce electricity to the air bag. Also, disconnect the battery before any airbag work! There is a kit that Lawson sells with the procedure for it, try a search for it.
Hope this helps. My 2008 has been trouble free since, although I only did the passenger side.
 
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