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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody!

I got today all of a sudden while starting up my saab, this warning on SID 'Airbag malfunction Contact Service'. Along with the message I had also the lamp of the airbag sign on. I turned off the car and restarted but the same message came up along with the red air bag sign. All the way home I had the airbag lamp steadily lighted. When parked and turned off the car, I made another attempt to restart and the warning didn't come up. I tried it several times but no warning reappeared, neither the red symbol of airbag remained lighted after the starting check up. After some minutes I made again several attempts by starting the car to see if the message on SID appears. Nothing. I noticed though, and I don't know if this can happen sometimes, that while turning the switch on and makes the start up check, the airbag symbol 2 out of 7 times of starting up doesn't light at all. This automatically means that it's not being checked thus there is indeed a problem?

Three years back I had the same airbag message on SID and after taking it to the garage they found out that some wires under the passenger's seat were cut due to the fact that a person sitting behind once, stretched his feet under the seat. Everything was fixed! I remember though that even back then, the 'malfunction warning' on the SID was not appearing every day. It came out once and then the message was repeated after 2 days.

I'm planning of taking it to the garage tomorrow for this although I don't know if there is really a problem or it was a 'false alarm'. Maybe if I ignore it, the warning comes up again in 2 days. My major fear is that in the manual is written that in case of airbag malfunction the airbags (apart from a possible non-operation in case of an accident) can also open erroneously (!). How possible is this and under what circumstances?

How much should I worry about this?

Thanks in advance,

adam
 

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I've had the same warning a number of times. It was never the airbag itself or anything related, it was either related to reading/writing the ECU (tuning) OR more likely in your scenario, the battery is giving up. Low voltage due to an old/marginal battery can generate a plethora of interesting malfunction warnings, almost always fixed by installing a new, fully charged battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

I had the battery changed 1 years and 8 months back but of course nobody can suspect the life of a battery. Thing is that I drive on the motorway often so I don't know whether I should immediately worry and react right away about this warning (especially if there is a possibility airbags open erroneously) or if I should give it some credit to see if it's coming up next week.
 

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I live in a hot climate and drive mostly short distances. The batteries in my 2.8T Saabs (hot engine bays) never lasted any longer than 18-24 months. The worst was an expensive Bosch silver battery that was dead after some 14 months. Since, I have got a "SaveAbattery" charger which I use occasionally, but I think I drive the car too little and too short to hope for battery longevity.
I have never heard of an airbag in a Saab that opens erroneously, but the opposite, that it extremely rarely won't open when it should (see the massive, nonSaab airbag recall in the U.S.) Your saab user manual will state any possible and impossible possibility (!) to cover the manufacturers' backs.
Anyway, Good luck, and please post back what helped.
 

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I have the same issue, only I've noticed, that the airbag malfunction displays only during below 50F temperatures. After the temp warms up (outside/inside of the vehicle) the warning light comes off. I'm not sure if this is entirely battery related; I will have to dig more into this. Also, the wires for the airbag sensor next to the seat are very terribly protected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Neither this morning while driving to work I had any warning. This doesn't 'calm me down' as in the past when I had this warning it took like two days to reappear.
The fact that the airbag symbol doesn't always light up in every start up of the car (while performing the start-up test) this indicates a problem? Most of
the times it does, but I noticed that a few times turning the ignition switch airbag symbol doesn't light.
 

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The person who stretched out in the back seat (especially in convertibles) could be unplugging the seatbelt pre-tensioner which reports back voltage to the ACM. If the voltage doesn't hit 1.2 it triggers the airbag warning. These elements are all under the umbrella airbag control module but it's a pity SAAB didn't have the foresight to distinguish these different warnings on the SID. Also, a seatbelt pre-tensioner voltage meter shouldn't trigger an airbag warning in any vehicle. It's confusing. Rather it should say "Check Drivers Safety Belt"
 
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