Resetting or Replacing your Airbag Ecu

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The Airbag ECU

The airbag ECU is like the brain of the airbag system, it is connected to all the main components of the airbag system like the impact sensors, airbag units and seatbelt pre-tensioners etc. and will detect a crash event through the impact sensors which are fitted to several key points on the vehicle.
The airbag ECU then evaluates the crash event and triggers the appropriate safety restraint system based on the type of collision, for example by analysing the impact areas to the vehicle and speed of the crash. A lot of modern vehicles will automatically activate the hazard and interior lights as well as turn off the fuel pump, stopping the engine. In such a case that the fuel pump is deactivated you will not be able to start the vehicle unless the airbag ECU is clear of crash data and the Airbag System is functioning correctly. Also, some vehicles are fitted with 'Battery Blow-off cables which automatically disconnect the battery, in which case you would also have to replace that cable before the airbag ECU will function correctly.
Airbag Sensors and Control Unit (Source: Trw)
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Airbag Sensors and Control Unit (Source: Trw)

Internal Faults

Sometimes the airbag light on the dashboard will show even if the vehicle has not been in an accident in which the restraint systems were deployed. This normally means that the airbag control unit has developed an internal error which can either be caused by corrupted data or physically damaged hardware or components. An internal error can occur during electrical surges or water intrusion onto the ECU's printed circuit board. In such a case it is best to look for a replacement part due to the difficulty of diagnosing the specific problem with the ECU and repairing it in such a way that will safely and reliably enable the Airbag system to operate normally again.

Replacing your Airbag ECU

If you need to replace the airbag ECU the best way to make sure to find one which is compatible with your vehicle is to match the part numbers on the unit itself with the unit that you might potentially buy. Also it's best to make sure that the ECU that you are purchasing does not have crash data stored or indeed an internal error. If you are forced to purchase a used ECU which has crash data stored we at AirbagTeam Ltd. are able to reset the airbag ECU to a fully working state. Most late airbag ECUs are coded to the vehicle when they are first fitted by the manufacturer meaning that if you buy a used airbag ECU you may need to code it to the vehicle at extra cost. Most auto-electricians will be able to do this with their equipment.
Mini R56 2014- Full Airbag Kit (Click Image for our eBay Airbag Shop)
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Mini R56 2014- Full Airbag Kit (Click Image for our eBay Airbag Shop)

AirbagTeam Ltd.

After the accident it is best to connect a diagnostics machine to the vehicle to make sure which restraint system was triggered and therefore which to replace. We supply airbags as well as reset the airbag ECU so if you contact our sales department on +44 (0)1455 244 588 we can not only provide you with replacement parts but also provide you with almost 20 years of experience dealing with the SRS system.

The Crash Data Reset

By far the easiest way to get your airbag system back to a fully functional state is to reset the original airbag ECU, provided that there are no internal faults present. (Some internal faults can be caused by the accident itself and so no-one can 100% guarantee that the crash data clearance will work). One of the main advantages to resetting the original airbag ECU from the vehicle is the fact that you won't have the extra cost of re-coding it to your vehicle as the original will already have the correct data for your vehicle.
(Left To Right) Nissan Juke 10-, Peugeot 2008 13-, Ford Fiesta 13-, Honda Civic 11-15, Toyota Land Cruiser 11-, New GM
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(Left To Right) Nissan Juke 10-, Peugeot 2008 13-, Ford Fiesta 13-, Honda Civic 11-15, Toyota Land Cruiser 11-, New GM

Identifying and Locating the Airbag ECU

To identify what exactly you are looking for you can either search on our eBay shop for your ECU or even search for images on a popular search engine by typing in your make model and year as well as the words Airbag ECU. In most vehicles the airbag ECU is located near to the gear-stick either in front or behind, under the handbrake lever.
The Airbag ECU is also known however to be located in such places as the glove box, either foot-well or even under the passenger seat. If you have looked in all these places and still cannot find it you could try asking a local specialist or dealer for the location.
Examples of Airbag ECU Locations
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Examples of Airbag ECU Locations
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Examples of Airbag ECU Locations

Removing the Airbag ECU.

It is always advised that you get a professional mechanic to remove and refit the Airbag ECU but if you believe yourself to be competent enough, once you have located and identified the airbag ECU firstly disconnect the negative battery lead, this will eliminate any chance of the restraint systems accidentally deploying, then remove any trim or carpet so that you can access the module's retaining bolts.
Remove the bolts and lift the ECU just enough so that you can carefully disconnect the plug. The connector will almost always be secured in place by some kind of tab on the connector fixing it to the plug. Make sure to properly remove the plug without breaking this tab by pushing it in for example.

Sending your Airbag ECU for Reset

When the airbag ECU has been removed you can easily initiate a reset service with us by buying one of our reset services on our eBay shop then by sending it to us at:

F.A.O ECU Repairs
AirbagTeam Ltd
Units 8 & 9, Davenport Business Centre,
Victoria Street,
Hinckley,
Leicestershire,
LE10 1XD.
A jiffy bag or a small box will provide adequate protection for the unit, once the reset is complete we will contact you to let you know that your ECU is on it's way back to you.
Always disconnect the battery..
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Always disconnect the battery..

Refitting the Airbag ECU.

Whilst refitting the Airbag ECU make sure that before you start work that the negative lead on the battery is again disconnected. It is always advised that you get a professional mechanic to remove and refit the Airbag ECU.
- Never Leave the airbag ECU loose or hanging by the wiring loom.
- To avoid accidental airbag deployment make sure that the Airbag ECU and Crash Sensors are always bolted down before any power is reconnected to the SRS system.
- Also never knock or hammer near any of the crash sensors or the Airbag ECU the battery is connected as this could fool the system into triggering the restraint systems.
 If any other warning lights or faults appear after the airbag ECU's reset procedure you should connect a diagnostics machine and perform a global fault code clearing procedure to clear any remaining faults on the other ECUs in the vehicle. Any other problems please let us know either by through eBay Mail or by telephone on +44 (0)1455 244 588.
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