Jim Grant's Tech Tips
Oldsmobile Bravada, Intermittent Airbag Light
I just purchased
a used ‘99 Oldsmobile Bravada with 60k miles on it. A few days after driving
it home, I noticed that the airbag light would come on intermittently while
driving. It seems to do it more when the temperature is above 78 degrees F.
When it was in the mid-80’s it was on more than off. In the mornings and
cooler than 60 it won’t come on. I have not had the codes pulled yet, but I
suspect a bad connection somewhere. Is this a task that can be handled at home?
Are there any known problems with this years model group for the airbag components?
Do you have any ideas what it could be or what to expect the repair to be so
if I need it fixed at a shop I won’t get taken for a ride?
air bag codes are spiteful things that I wish on no one. When the light goes
out the problem is gone and all that is left is a code that may provide some
guidance. My first suggestion is not to work on any component of the air bag
system unless you really understand them and have the proper equipment and training.
There are several common component failures that are known for their intermittency,
but there is no way to tell until the codes are checked. My next suggestion
is to park the vehicle in the sun or run the heater enough to make the problem
occur and then take it to the shop for diagnosis. If you could pull that off
you would greatly cut down on diagnostic time. It is much easier to diagnose
a broken part than one that is not.