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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday my wife was driving and the airbag light came on with a steady rapid flashing.
First I checked all the plugs under both the driver and passenger seat (there was an enthusiastic dog in the back seat that I initially blamed). I believe they are all OK, but I re-seated them as best I could anyway. No obvious damage to the cables as best I can see with the chairs still installed in the car.
Next, I tried the "reset" procedure everybody talks about (more or less: turn on, wait for light to go from solid to flashing, immediately turn off, repeat three times. Result should be diagnostic mode, and then if lucky the issue goes away on next start.) I've tried several variations of the procedure (described more thoroughly, here and elsewhere: Blinking airbag light). Suffice it to say, I can reliably switch from the quick flashing to the diagnostic mode flashing (which is slower and has a pattern.) Tragically, this doesn't resolve the matter.

Noting the pattern, I began researching if it meant anything and clearly it does. The pattern is:
LONG _ PAUSE _SHORT SHORT_PAUSE_SHORT SHORT (repeat forever)
7207


I have seen several explanations of what this means (numerically) and also several charts with the various codes for Nissan (here's one, supposedly: Nissan Airbag Module Reset | MyAirbags - Airbag Reset & Seat Belt Pretensioner Repair). However, none of the interpretations as I understood them have matched any codes on the various charts. I sort of thought this was supposed to be "122" (1,2,2) or possibly "14" (1,2+2).

I used an old ODB tool I had lying around and it reported no codes. I assume that's the expected behavior but I figured I'd check.

I'm not a "car guy" so feel free to tell me I've entirely missed the boat here if I messed up on my journey--I won't be offended. And if you feel like being a super-amazing awesome dude or dudette, I'll be posting a seperate post about my wife's cruise control. But I figure no need to muddy the waters here.

I'm considering trying to unplug the battery for ten minutes to see if it resets the sensor. I assume if it resets the sensor and there really is a serious issue it'll fail again eventually? And if I do that, will it break the radio (OEM) and require a rediculous code like my wife's old VW Bug (spits on its grave)?
 

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I just responded to your other post about the Cruise Control, but this clinches it. The codes in the ACU will be for an open driver airbag. Your spiral cable is dying one circuit at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just responded to your other post about the Cruise Control, but this clinches it. The codes in the ACU will be for an open driver airbag. Your spiral cable is dying one circuit at a time.
You're awesome! Thank you. It would make sense given the timing. I did point out in the other thread that I have an OBDII tool (VC300) and it's showing no codes (and I know it's connecting properly because it grabs the VIN, etc., and I've used it before on check engine lights). I asked if I should go to AutoZone for their free scan, if maybe my tool doesn't read enough systems or something (I'm probably exposing my ignorance here).
 

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I asked if I should go to AutoZone for their free scan, if maybe my tool doesn't read enough systems or something (I'm probably exposing my ignorance here).
No, that would make sense if the problem wasn't obvious, but it is obvious. We see spiral cables fail a circuit at a time like that quite often. There's no question what your problem is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, that would make sense if the problem wasn't obvious, but it is obvious. We see spiral cables fail a circuit at a time like that quite often. There's no question what your problem is.
Fantastic, I'll start reading on how to replace that. You're the best!
Also, that shows me for splitting up the thread. Shoulda probably posted them together.
Thanks again and I'll be back if I have any questions after doing my homework.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fantastic, I'll start reading on how to replace that. You're the best!
Also, that shows me for splitting up the thread. Shoulda probably posted them together.
Thanks again and I'll be back if I have any questions after doing my homework.
Stupid question: "clock spring" and "spiral cable" are somehow the same thing, or part of the same larger component--yes?
 

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Fantastic, I'll start reading on how to replace that. You're the best!
Also, that shows me for splitting up the thread. Shoulda probably posted them together.
Thanks again and I'll be back if I have any questions after doing my homework.
You're most welcome! No, you did right posting them separately. It's a crapshoot which circuits in a spiral fail first, and this way the answer will show up in two different parameter searches. And yes, clockspring and spiral cable are interchangeable terms.

The spirals aren't hard to change but the steering wheel does need to come off, and you do need to be careful to center the wheels before removing the old one. The new one will come with a centering-clip that locks it in the wheels-straight position, don't remove the clip until you install it. If it spins a full turn before installation, it will snap when the wheel is turned and you'll be repeating the whole exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You're most welcome! No, you did right posting them separately. It's a crapshoot which circuits in a spiral fail first, and this way the answer will show up in two different parameter searches. And yes, clockspring and spiral cable are interchangeable terms.

The spirals aren't hard to change but the steering wheel does need to come off, and you do need to be careful to center the wheels before removing the old one. The new one will come with a centering-clip that locks it in the wheels-straight position, don't remove the clip until you install it. If it spins a full turn before installation, it will snap when the wheel is turned and you'll be repeating the whole exercise.
NOTED: center the wheels. In the video I just watched they have a step where you actually tape one part to another to prevent rotation as well.

Here comes the dummy check:
  1. I'm ordering this part: t.ly/zCTJ
  2. I'm using this video for guidance:

If I'm understanding correctly, it's possible to get an airbag in the face if you're not careful. So the precautions are:
  1. With the key out, unplug negative terminal on battery for five minutes or so
  2. Store airbag with the outside facing upwards

When I'm done, if the airbag light goes back to being happy, can I be confident that my wife is safe and the airbag system is working at that point? Are there any safety steps to check after job completion?
 

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The airbag light will stay on until the code is cleared, but the code should show "past" when you complete the repair. Don't take chances with the bag, remove the vehicle's ground cable connection before starting work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The airbag light will stay on until the code is cleared, but the code should show "past" when you complete the repair. Don't take chances with the bag, remove the vehicle's ground cable connection before starting work.
Hey, @VStar650CL : how do I clear the code once all this is done? I ended up with the wrong clock spring, which I'm really salty about. But other than that getting things apart was not too bad.

_

For those Googling this issue:

I want to update this with some new information:
the clock spring that everywhere says goes to a 2012 Nissan Versa sedan, does not (at least in my case). The part I got is flat out wrong. The auto parts stores are hocking the same part. I am 99% sure the correct part for a Nissan Versa 2012 Sedan is B5554-1EA8A. It is identical to mine: pin count, form factor, cables, everything. Use this information at your own risk, but if you're a Nissan Versa 2012 owner that took apart their steering column and is baffled to find a completely different part than you have in hand, try that part number.

Also, I accidentally posted the wrong video, I meant to post this one by A1:
The only issue with this video is near the start he seems to gloss over some pins you need to press. You don't just "rock it forward" to get the cover off. There are three pins inside the steering column and two holes to access them (in the case of my 2012). This guy does a much better job explaining that part, but I recomend the first video for most of the procedure:
Regarding the third clip, I decided to sort of force it, I couldn't get to it. It didn't do any harm in my case, but maybe I got lucky. This video for a 2010 Nissan Versa attempts to step you through how to get that third clip if you're not as reckless as me:
 

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Hey, @VStar650CL : how do I clear the code once all this is done? I ended up with the wrong clock spring, which I'm really salty about. But other than that getting things apart was not too bad.
Has to be done with a code reader that supports ACU's. To my knowledge there's no way to "manually reset" DTC's in the ACU, only to reset a false entry into diagnostic mode.

FYI for you and other readers, go to NissanPartsDeal.com and enter your VIN when you have doubts about a part number. NPD is Nissan-authorized and they have the same database and drawings as Nissan DPC, so when it calls out a part for your VIN, you can be sure it's the right p/n for your exact vehicle. Then you can use that p/n to search elsewhere if you're looking for aftermarket alternatives. Even on eBay or Kijiijii, searching the Nissan p/n will almost always give you better results than trying to search by M/M/Y.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Long story, but fourth time is a charm, apparently. Everything seems good. Cruise control and horn are working perfectly. As expected the airbag code did not clear. Tried the manual reset procedure that works on soft codes (putting it in diagnostic mode, apparently, can clear some SRS 'soft' codes on Nissans) but that didn't cut it. My ODB reader can't do SRS so I bought an Autel AutoLink AL629. It read the codes but despite alleging otherwise (both in advertising and operation), couldn't seem to clear them. There were no Nissan-related software updates so I think I'm just screwed. I'm guessing this is a "hard" code that only the dealership can clear--which is infuriating, if true.

Two questions:

  • Am I correct in suspecting that there's no way for me to do this no matter what reader I buy (only super top-secret Nissan-dealership scanners can do it?)
  • If I ignore this code, will the airbags remain deactivated? I don't give a crap about the light as long as the feature is functional (I recognize the risk of not noticing a future fault)

Here are my codes pulled today (post repair)


Fault codes
B1052 1t
DRIVER AIRBAG MODULE [SHORT]
B1057 1t
DRIVER AIRBAG MODULE [SHORT]

I'm not seeing any indication if these are old codes or current and nothing in the manual or online (that I could find) addresses what "1t" means.
 

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Those are odd codes to be getting, they basically mean crossed wires or a shorted airbag on both circuits. That's about as likely as pink elephants. They should be reading B1049/B1054 if the bags were open (i.e., if you left something disconnected). Methinks you must still have the wrong part, or you pinched both sets of bag wires when reassembling the wheel.

No, the driver airbags won't function with those codes in the ACU. The rest of the bags should fire normally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well that's concerning. The clock spring is absolutely identical to the one I removed in every visible way so let's assume user-error for a moment. I was careful to note that there is a retaining clip for the airbag cables, so it seems unlikely they are pinched, but I can always pop it open and double check.

Can they be old codes from turning the key while the airbag was disconnected? Given the number of times I've replaced the clock spring, I believe at one point I was briefly driving with the airbag detached altogether but the rest re-assembled. Getting the clips to pop was the hardest part of disassembly.

PS. thank you for all your time and efforts, I appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I can't imagine I flipped the cables, I mean, they are freaking color coded. But I've done stupider.
7337
(from XKCD.com)
 

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The orange and yellow should be polarized differently and shouldn't cross, but it is possible to trap the wires ka-ka in a number of different ways that mess them up once the wheel starts turning or the horn gets blown. Even though the spiral looks identical, if it's aftermarket it's also possible the internal contact routing is different. Like I said, showing crossed-wire codes for both bags is very unlikely, so something less unlikely has to be causing it. Did you look up the Nissan p/n and go by that when you bought the spiral?
 

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Can they be old codes from turning the key while the airbag was disconnected?
They could, except for the fact that they're "short" codes and not "open" and they won't clear. That all indicates the ACU is seeing a real fault. In answer to your earlier question, any scanner should be able to clear the codes once they're "past" and not "current". ACU's won't erase any codes under any circumstances if there's any "current" code in the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wanted to thank you for all your help. The car was driving so I waited to look again until I had some time where the car wouldn't be needed, just in case. Looks like I tugged those wires unknowlingly during install. Popped 'em back in and was able to clear the code with the fancy new reader I got. You guys rock! It's back to 100%.

PS. if anybody Googles this, I didn't test if the code would eventually clear on its own or if I could use the SRS diagnostic mode procedures or whatever. I just used the reader to clear the code because I had it already.
 

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Wanted to thank you for all your help. The car was driving so I waited to look again until I had some time where the car wouldn't be needed, just in case. Looks like I tugged those wires unknowlingly during install. Popped 'em back in and was able to clear the code with the fancy new reader I got. You guys rock! It's back to 100%.
That'll do it every time. Glad you found the problem. You're most welcome, happy motoring!
 
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