Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'97 Chevy Venture, Air Bag Light
the steering rack changed on my 97 Chevy Venture. I'm in the Navy,
and now me and my Venture are in Spain. What happened is, when they changed
the steering rack they didn't do it right and somehow triggered the airbag
light. The airbag didn't go off, but the light came on. What I want to
know is how do I reset the system so that the light will go off?
you first need to know is why the air bag warning light is on. I suspect
that the code reported will be for a component called a SIR coil. The
SIR coil is often times called a clock spring. This component, which is
located in the steering column, has several wraps of wire that look much
like the spring in a clock. This assembly allows for one end to be connected
to the wiring harness for the air bag system and the other end to be connected
to the air bag in the steering wheel. The wraps of wire allow for the
steering wheel to be turned to the left or right for obvious reasons.
What often happens is when a steering rack is replaced the steering wheel
is rotated one way or the other without the steering rack connected. The
clock spring of wire can only go so many turns one way or the other before
it breaks. When the wire is broken, on comes the air bag warning light.
Whenever a steering rack is being replaced in an air bag equipped vehicle
the steering wheel must be locked to prevent incorrect winding of the
wire for the air bag.