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Discussion Starter #1
So last night Mama and I bought a 2002 NB 2.0 Auto 66K miles, we bought the car with the airbag light on, and because I had read the threads here and figured it was just the buckle. The previous owner confirmed the dealer had told him the passenger side. Well I called the dealer today and it was actually the Drivers side, they have the part in stock for like 205.00... I have found it cheaper online but not enough to make a huge difference after shipping, and I have time to do it now, and may not later. So I pulled out the driver’s seat, and thought my T40 might work...

Nope... Now after 2 hours on the phone I have located a triple square bit set at a local source, since I won’t be using this allot I hope I think I can live with a cheap tool.

My actual question is this: The dealer service man told me that after I replace the faulty part and drive the car for a few days the code should clear on its own. Is this correct, or do I take the money I saved by doing this myself and go buy a VAGCOM right away? I would like to wait on that until the end of next month. Any ideas from the knowledge base?
 

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I think a hard code fault; will have to be erased (I always have used my vagcom to erase this issue, so IDK for sure) but you can try removing the battery cables and touching pos/neg for 15 to 30 secs... to reset the memory. Good luck! The bolts are triple square; you can get inexpensive bits at places like autozone... they may be able to erase the code for free too but IDK if you have to have the VAGCOM, as generic OBD II readers don't "read" all of the vw specific codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I got the buckle out, and when I was inspecting it, I found the outer protective sheeting to be nicked, I opened that up and one wire is nicked as well.

I have a new buckle I have not installed yet, But I am thinking these nicks are likely the problem and can be repaired. Thereby saving the cost of the new buckle, Ill return it.

Or is the advice just to replace it...

I have decided I will be buying a vagcom, just rather wait a bit. Im in Riverside, California. If there is anyone in the area with one who might let me pop over to reset the code. All the locators I tried didn't work the link were dead, maybe I just tried the wrong ones.
 

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Well I got the buckle out, and when I was inspecting it, I found the outer protective sheeting to be nicked, I opened that up and one wire is nicked as well.
Could you post some pics where to pay attention to? I have same problem but I've shoveled a resistor to silent air bag light. I'd like to try to fix it if it the easy one. I thought it is somewhere inside of the buckle and decided it is not safe to take it apart and assemble back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not sure how to post pics yet, but I will try and figure it out.
I agree I don't want to take the buckle apart either....

I just can't decided what to do..I have the new buckle, but I hate to spend the dough if I dont need too.

My nick is in the wires right where it meets the clip, I'm still debating...

Oh well time to really clean the carpet while I decide and await more info...

Plus I need to talk it over with MAMA it is her car after all.. See what she is comfortable with.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also for anyone attempting this, make sure you have the triple square bits before you start... I tired the T40 as others said it would work... Well it didn't...

I had to dremel some slots to get a large flat tip screw driver to get my bolt out, because the one attempt I made with the T40 stripped a few teeth and then the Triple Square finished the job of rendering that bolt useless.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Could you post some pics where to pay attention to? I have same problem but I've shoveled a resistor to silent air bag light. I'd like to try to fix it if it the easy one. I thought it is somewhere inside of the buckle and decided it is not safe to take it apart and assemble back.
Did your reset on its own, or did you have to reset the code. The dealer service man, told it it should reset in a few days of driving on its own. Just curious?
 

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AFAIK, most of the problems came down to:

1. wiring sliced, damaged (repairable)
2. internal switch in belt buckle bad (not repairable)

All the research I have done; say BB is not made to be taken apart and put back together, people that have gotten them apart... break the plastic pieces in the process. I considered using a resistor this time; as this is the second time I have had to replace my buckle (the cost of the buckle also twice the price i paid the last time) but I figured what ever the cost... was worth it to keep the airbag system at full functionality. Many threads have debated about the issue; pros/cons say its fine with the resister and the air bag system will activate when needed etc.; for me, this is one area that I will err on the side of safety. IMHO, its worth the cost of the repair; considering it is a safety issue... if something happened, it would be a horrible thing to have a "what if" in the back of your mind... just my opinion and why I went ahead and spent the money on the buckle... not that I liked spending it! :(
 

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Discussion Starter #10
AFAIK, most of the problems came down to:

1. wiring sliced, damaged (repairable)
2. internal switch in belt buckle bad (not repairable)

All the research I have done; say BB is not made to be taken apart and put back together, people that have gotten them apart... break the plastic pieces in the process. I considered using a resistor this time; as this is the second time I have had to replace my buckle (the cost of the buckle also twice the price i paid the last time) but I figured what ever the cost... was worth it to keep the airbag system at full functionality. Many threads have debated about the issue; pros/cons say its fine with the resister and the air bag system will activate when needed etc.; for me, this is one area that I will err on the side of safety. IMHO, its worth the cost of the repair; considering it is a safety issue... if something happened, it would be a horrible thing to have a "what if" in the back of your mind... just my opinion and why I went ahead and spent the money on the buckle... not that I liked spending it! :(


That’s what I feel I am leaning towards, just replace the buckle. My wife will be driving the car with my kids; I would rather be safe.... I would really like to know if that nick was the whole problem though... But I may never know.
 

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If you look on vwvortex; people have repaired some and checked the wiring by doing a continuity test with a multimeter. Basically, just making sure the circuit is good (wiring cut, thus throwing the abs light)... not that hard but obviously, to check that the repair is good; you need to clear the abs light.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mama says... we should just replace the buckle, Safety first... So that question is no longer.

I am going to try the battery trick to clear the codes and install the new part tomorrow; tonight we are going to clean the carpets since I took the seats out. No better time than now.

If the codes don’t clear by Monday or Tuesday, I will order a Vagcom and just do it myself. We have the car and will likely have some other issue sometime to repair.
 

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The VAGCOM will pay for itself the first time you use it; ironically, enough... the belt buckle/abs light was the exact same reason that I bought mine! I have not regretted it one bit; if you plan on keeping and maintaining your new beetle, you will need it! Let us know how things go... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Pics of nicked wire, not that it is clearly visable but you can get an idea where to look.

1st image: The tip if the screw driver is point to the nick in the yello wire.

2nd Image: A view of the buckle assembly so you can see where the nick was in both the outher protective sheating, and the insulation.

3rd image: This is just the seat fram and the location that the buckle mounts too. Make sure you have the Triple Square bit set before you start removing it. I got mine at O'Reily Auto parts the 4 piece set was about 5 bucks. Too bad, I tried the T40 first. Now I have to replace the bolt as well.


I peeled back the protective insulation to get a better look. At the nick. Sorry about the crappy photos, but I think you get the idea. If I were to drive this car, I would probably just repair and move forward. But since MAMA is driving, we are replacing the buckle..forsafety and peace of mind/
 

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Thanks! That looks repairable. Just splice the wire with butt connector and put shrink wrap on top.
I remember when I removed the seat and briefly looked at it, the buckle was working fine according to ohm-meter. I didn't want intermittent connection so I used resistor and postponed further investigations. I'd say for driver's side it is safe to use a resistor. Driver is always in there and the good driver is always buckled up.
You do have to reset it with VAG-COM or alike. It won't go away.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, so much for the dealer service guy. Oh well, Vagcom here I come. Now I also have to find a laptop to run it from..My lap top is a Mac. MOMMA wont share hers, and neither will darling daughter. Oh well!!!
 

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It would require testing; however, it looks like in your case, the wiring is the issue and not the internal switch! FYI vagcom works on windows; do you have bootcamp installed? Bootcamp using a Intel based mac; has been successful.

Ross-Tech: FAQ Page 1
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Today everything went back together, and I made sure the sunroof drains were clear. This is the first real day Mama gets to drive her NB.

I ordered a cable from Amazon, and will download Vagcom lite, on Monday when the cable is supposed to arrive. I believe I read "VCDS Lite" will reset the Airbag code.

The dealer service guy specifically said it should reset on its own after a few days of driving it. We will see...

I plan on getting the full version of VCDS; I would just like to wait a couple of weeks to recharge the bank account a bit. Plus I want to do a transmission service and oil change next weekend.

I will update eveyone if the airbag light resets on its own, or if VCSDS Lite works for doing it once I know the answers.
 
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