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Norma Johnson

Passenger airbag light wont go off

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I have a problem after a diagnosis from a garage that my car needs a new squib for the steering wheel. I am not quite sure what this means, and wonder if anyone out there knows? Apparently its only available from a main dealer who want to charge over £320 for one. I am sure I could source a secondhand unit but have no idea what I am looking for, and what the correct name is. Do I need a new steering wheel or is it just a part that fits my existing one? Help!!!

 

Edited by Norma Johnson
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I have never heard of the name 'squib'.  I am certainly no expert on this, but I would think they are referring to one of these -

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/84306-44010-GENUINE-OEM-SPIRAL-CABLE-SUB-ASSY-FOR-TOYOTA-COROLLA-VERSO-CELICA-/173354834408

This might even be the correct part number, but this is something you would have to check!

This item sits behind the steering wheel and allows the steering wheel airbag (not the passenger side) to be electrically connected to the rest of the wiring system of the car without the wires being stressed by the steering wheel turning.  Likewise, this is the connection for the horn 'push' control. 

Inside the plastic case (pictured in the link) is a flexible, flat cable that is arranged like a clock spring, so that turning it a couple of turns clockwise or anticlockwise causes no strain.  But they can eventually break.  All electrical cable and connectors that are part of the airbag system are yellow, as you can see. 

There are other manufacturers (usually Chinese) who make these cables, I don't know if they make one for your car.  The one in the link appears as a genuine Toyota one.  Genuine ones are probably available more cheaply from overseas suppliers (like this one from the Middle East, or Japan), but there can be a delay for shipping, as well as customs duty and handling fees to add to the price quoted.

Removing the old one and refitting the new should be quite an easy job for a garage, the airbag comes out (lots of cautions here to stop airbag going off accidentally, this is a d-i-y job only if you know what you are doing!!!), then the steering wheel is unbolted to gain access.  I would have thought that an hour's labour or less would be enough for this job.

I have no idea if their diagnosis is correct, of course!

HTH

Edit: some of these items on eBay are called squibs. 

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Hi,

Well your reported problem makes me wonder about the diagnosis...

The cars electronics are quiet complicated and ' intelligent ' so not really sure why the passenger air bag error light should be caused  by the drivers / steering wheel air bag ?

You say " a garage " so assume thats not a Toyota dealer ?

Normally an expensive  dealer type of diagnostic tester that can interrogate the Airbag computer  can be plugged in to the car which should give full details of the error;  any idea if they used one ?

Always worth getting a second opinion from another garage or even a diagnostic session from a Toyota dealer, usually for a set price of 30 or 60 mins.

Is the garage you visisted a regular one that you have gained trust with over  time ?

Also have to ask, has you car not been recalled for the passenger Airbag problem ?

 

As Greg mentions working on the steering wheel or any of  the several airbags in the car requires a very strict routine to properly disable them all or risk them exploding by mistake !! so please do not just have a go trying to pull things off etc.

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Makes me wonder whether the garage is referring to the airbag inflater when they use the term squib (the dictionary definition of squib is firework).

One can check whether your car has any outstanding recalls by using Toyota's recall checker - https://www.toyota.co.uk/owners/vehicle-information/recall-checker

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Yes indeed, the squib he is referring to is the inflator.  We always called bangers squibs, many moons ago.  Did they give a reason for it needing to be replaced?

Quote

 

 

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Thanks to you all for the comments, and I do go to this garage regularly so trust his opinion. As for the fault, they had it on the diagnostic machine and this was the result, a broken spring on the squib?? The dealership were going to charge £90 for the diagnosis and I paid

 £30! The dealership quoted over £300 for the item plus labour at £90 an hour so I sourced one brand new on E Bay for £40, but have not yet received it. I do hope that the problem is what he says it is, but its a matter of trying it. I dont want to scrap my car as its pristine, but the thought of a bill for several hundred is frightening. I will keep you posted on the outcome, as I expect the item this week and have the car booked in already for the work to be done. Fingers crossed its ok!! Thanks again to all of you!

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A lot of people in the trade refer to the "quib" but actually mean the spiral cable just behind the steering wheel, not the airbag inflator. 

 

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