Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Airbags, Airbags, Airbags Part 1

I get a fair amount of calls from body shops. Most of the times it is collision related issues such as airbag or wiring issues. I am going to give you three of my most recent. Here is a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The vehicle was in a recent accident. The shop did a nice job putting this vehicle back together. Along the way components in the restraint system were changed-airbags, seatbelts, and the airbag control unit. The shop called me after they changed the items and had a flashing airbag lamp with key on. Starting in approximately 2009 on Hyundai/Kia vehicles the airbag control unit has to be variant coded for it to operate properly. The airbag control unit has to be "programmed" so it knows whether it has side curtain airbags, etc. The flashing lamp tells you that no variant coding has been set.
This can only be done with the proper tooling. It is a one shot deal. Here is the G-scan made by a company called GIT. While this is not the true blue factory tool for Hyundai/Kia (The GDS is the factory) it really comes a close second. In fact it will do everything GDS will do minus programming and fault guided diagnostics. Rumor has it that engineers for Hyundai/Kia have "super" G-scans that will actually program. My G-scan is actually a loaner from my good friend Joey "Bag o donuts" for which I am grateful for. He knows I do a great deal of Hyundai/Kia work and he has a love/hate relationship with this scantool. Mostly hate.
After building the vehicle and the system I want to access we get this screen. I choose Vehicle S/W Management.
This is next screen. I have already called my source to get the correct variant code for this vehicle using the VIN. You have to have a source at the OE level to retrieve these variant codes.
This is the next screen detailing the function and where you should have the ignition key. lets hit ok.

The next screen includes a mini keyboard for inputting the variant code. The tool includes a stylus that helps with this.

After inputting the code this screen just informs you the procedure is complete. I turn the key off for 1 minute or so. Turn the key back on and no more flashing lamp. I perform a WCS (Weight Classification System) rezero procedure with the G-scan and clear all codes. Finally, I check the operation of the passenger weight system for proper operation and do a final scan for codes.
Next up is a 2006 Mercury Milan that was involved in a collision. Again, various components of the restraint system were changed including the Airbag contol module which Ford calls the RCM (Restraint Control Module). Typically, when a Ford module is changed the information from the old module is retrieved using a procedure called PMI (Programmable Module Installation) and then uploaded to the new module. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Sometimes the module is missing or damged and information cannot be retrieved. Ford has an answer for this called "As Built Data" using the VIN. Here in the above screenshot with my Ford IDS we have a B2477 in the RCM. The RCM is not configured or configured properly. Since I have no module to retrieve data and the vehicle is already together I will use As Built Data to configure this module. I will need the full 17 digit VIN and access to
This is the As Built Data entry screen. I enter the full VIN.