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Discussion Starter #1
Hoping to find someone who has actually done the 470 Ohm fix for an airbag fault.

It appears that this fault with the seat buckles is very common and is prone to repeat itself after spending $100-$250 on a new buckle harness.

Since the resistor fix for the drivers side seat belt buckle airbag fault is a very inexpensive and a permanent fix, I think it is what I prefer to do.

I understand I need to splice the 470 Ohm resistor from the blue to the yellow wire in the seat belt buckle wiring harness.

My question is.... what type of 470 Ohm resistor ? Will a 1 watt 470 ohm resistor suffice?
 

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There was a thread in this regard maybe 6+ months back. Do an advanced thread search. Be creative with the words you're searching, and be prepared to do a lot of reading, if no one comes on with the link. I didn't save it, I'm not one for jury rigging things.

MORAV
 

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Here is the good thread VWVortex.com - DIY drivers side seatbelt buckle (cheap fix)
Once you look under the seat, it is somewhat easy to track wires and and pins in connectors. It is easier to see rather than explain.

I shoveled mine directly into female connector sticking from the floor and covered with lots of duct tape. If you decide to go this path and don't care about aesthetics, bend each connector of the resistor into U shape towards the ends and use a small flat head screwdriver to drive it in.
My question is.... what type of 470 Ohm resistor ? Will a 1 watt 470 ohm resistor suffice?
Simple calculation shows that even if 12 volts were used for signaling, heat dissipation would be U^2/R ~ 0.3 Watt. I.e. you'll be fine with 1 Watt resistor. IIRC Radioshack carries 0.5 Watt ones in a pack of 7 for $2 or something. I still have about 5.
 

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Please remember this is your air bags system guys, I'm not giving a lecture but those systems are there for a reason and bypassing stuff just because one part has gone faulty on a major safety feature of your car is not the best idea in the world, in the UK they could invalidate insurance for doing things like that!

You wouldn't use a bodge on your brakes so why do it on your air bags?

Kate
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both for your quick replies.

I had been searching casually for what was involved in replacing the harness over the last few days when I stumbled across comments about the resistor option. Seeing comments that people had failures after buying/installing replacement buckles, I'm not interested in a temporary fix that costs $99 plus the time to do the swap.

I searched quite a bit yesterday and found multiple threads that explained parts of what I needed to know to proceed, but didn't find one thread that provided it "all in one". I was able to gather everything except a definitive answer on the wattage.

Thank you MLT for the link. Exactly what I needed!

If it were the passenger buckle, I would most likely buy a replacement buckle, but since it's the drivers side, this makes more sense to me.

I'm honestly ticked VW isn't selling replacement buckles at cost as a good faith gesture. IMO, their flawed design is putting people in harms way. I say that because when I took it to the dealer and asked them to pull the airbag code, the service guy said he was confident it was 1 of the buckles without even scanning it. He wouldn't be saying that if it weren't a high failure item.

We aren't talking about a poorly designed cup holder. We are talking about kissing the steering wheel with your face :)

But I'm biased. I currently have 3 cars with airbag lights on because of a "is there someone in the seat" sensor failure. (Honda, BMW, and the NB)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Please remember this is your air bags system guys, I'm not giving a lecture but those systems are there for a reason and bypassing stuff just because one part has gone faulty on a major safety feature of your car is not the best idea in the world, in the UK they could invalidate insurance for doing things like that!

You wouldn't use a bodge on your brakes so why do it on your air bags?

Kate
I can appreciate your comments Kate, but I don't think you understand what the resistor fix is doing. Or at least I don't think you'd say that if you did. I didn't understand it until I read multiple threads about how the system works and what the failure is.

The buckle, when buckled, sends 470 ohms to the system telling the system that someone is in the seat AND their seat belt is buckled. Putting this resistor in tells the system that is alwasy the case, but what exactly is the risk?

Are there people who drive without putting on their seat belt? Really? They would be the only ones that could possibly be harmed by this fix. But no one will be driving my NB that doesn't buckle up. No one. Ever. :D

The passenger seat is a different story.
 

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I shoveled mine directly into female connector sticking from the floor and covered with lots of duct tape. If you decide to go this path and don't care about aesthetics, bend each connector of the resistor into U shape towards the ends and use a small flat head screwdriver to drive it in.
Sorry but I read this and 'shoveled in' and 'covered with lots of duct tape' just don't fill me with confidence!

I recently had a seat belt pre-tensioner go off on another car I own when diagnostic kit (manufacturer supplied for that car) was plugged in and trying to clear an air bag light after removing a system (also manufacturer supplied) which de-activated the front passenger airbag & pre-tensioner to allow a rear facing baby seat.

As far as we can tell nothing was 'wrong' with any part or the diagnostics nor was it operator error but it went off with a huge bang and needed replacement seat belt and airbag activation unit and then coding it all to the car parts prices alone were over $300 coding labor etc would have been another $150 ish luckily we own a garage in the UK and they did the work for me but this is why I am cautious over anything to do with these systems.

Kate
 

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Sorry but I read this and 'shoveled in' and 'covered with lots of duct tape' just don't fill me with confidence!
I was speaking figuratively:) I agree with you that as long as one understand consequences all is fine. In worst case if contact becomes loose, you'll hear a beep saying you aren't buckled up. I wouldn't bypass as previously mentioned this system for a passenger. But driver is always in there and the good one is always buckled up.
 
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