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I have a 2002 300M with 65,000 miles. My wifes car and I drive it as little as possible. (I prefer my Grand Caravan) We have owned it for 9 years and put 32,000 miles on it. Looks and runs good. Has 3.5L high output engine. I think it is haunted. About 6 years ago, the air bag light came on and stayed on for a couple weks and then went off. Since then it has done the same thing several times. While under warranty I had dealers look at it but could not get it in to the shop while the light was on. Of course there were no stored codes when they did look at it.

I suspected the clockspring and had my local shop put it on their machine a couple years ago. They did not have time to work on it but said that it was probably a bad connection in the passengers side air bag. Since then it has continued to cycle on and off. It is now on and has been for couple months. I unbolted the passengers seat and looked at the connectiions under the seat and did not see anything obvious. I suspect that this would be a very expensive repair at a dealer. Does anyone have any ideas?

For the past couple years, the check engine light comes on and either I connect my code reader and turn it off or it turns off by itself. The code is for an oxygen sensor heater. Is the heater integral to the sensor? There are four sensors on this car. Are they all the same? When I got new tires yesterday, Pep Boys turned off the light and said it was the O2 sensor and it was the front one on the same cylinder bank as No. 1 cylinder. I just have to research which side has No. 1 cylinder. ( It was on this morning but went off this afternoon.) I can see all four sensors and it looks like it might not be too big a job to change one when I figure out which one.

Any other thoughts or adviced? Good looking car but I just don't like it. Get a lot of road noise in the cabin. Doesn't seem reasonable for a car that cost as much as it did.
 

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None of these parts stores is supposed to clear codes or Check Engine lights. It's usually against their policies.

Cylinder 1 on a V-6 is the front one to your right, when you are looking at the front face of the engine (the face that has the pulleys). The heater element is integral with the O2 sensor, so the sensor has to be replaced (if it's not a bad connection or wire).
 

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The actual "P-" fault code would help tell exactly which O2 is possibly failing. There is a PCM flash for 'erroneous' O2 fault codes on TSB #18-031-02 for vehicles built before 4-18-02 (see the build date on the drivers door) and the sensor heater itself may be OK. Call your dealer for an appointment to have this reprogramming done if your car falls within the date range and the bulletin hasn't been performed yet.

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ripster74/2010-06-15_154835_tsb_o2.pdf

The passenger air bag should also have a "B-" fault code to define the problem in a little more detail that would help here. Do you have side air bags in the seat back? The fault code would tell us whether it is open or shorted. Sometimes releasing the red connector lock tab, disconnecting and reconnecting the yellow passenger dash or passenger seat back air bag connector will fix an 'open' fault by cleaning the gold terminal contacts. The 'scrubbing' action of a disconnect/reconnect can make for a happy connection again.
The lights don't have to be on to get the code out as the modules store the code for some time. Some auto parts stores won't read the code unless the light is on and they aren't supposed to erase the code, even if you ask them too.
 

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If he tries the disconnecting and reconnecting of the plugs on the passenger side seat, should he disconnect the battery first, IC?
I'm just asking because I don't know if there's a chance of popping the air bag by doing that or not. What do you say?
 

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Yes, that's the recommended procedure - disconnect battery first.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your input. I guess that the remaining questions I have are:

Are all four 02 sensors the same?
Where is the connecter for the passengers side air bag?
If I understand correctly, Number 1 cylinder is on the Left bank. (Drivers side).
Any easy way to disconnect power since the battery is located behind the headlight and the tire has to be removed to change it.
 

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Yes. Disconnect the negative cable underhood, where it's set up for jumpstarting. That will disconnect the battery.
 

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Upstream and downstream sensors are different (they perform different functions as well). It looks like Left vs Right (or Bank1/2) are the same side to side.
 

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The #1 cylinder is the front cylinder on the passenger (right) side, not the drivers side.
I posted the link to the TSB because it may or may not have a failed O2 sensor. You still may need the PCM update done.
On the passenger air bag issue, you say that you checked under the passenger seat. Was this because it was a seat air bag or seat sensor code? Or was the code for the dash air bag?
Do you have the 'P' code for the O2 sensor or 'B' code for the air bag written down?
Is the road noise a tire cupping or wheel bearing roar?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ImperialCrown said:
The #1 cylinder is the front cylinder on the passenger (right) side, not the drivers side.
I posted the link to the TSB because it may or may not have a failed O2 sensor. You still may need the PCM update done.
On the passenger air bag issue, you say that you checked under the passenger seat. Was this because it was a seat air bag or seat sensor code? Or was the code for the dash air bag?
Do you have the 'P' code for the O2 sensor or 'B' code for the air bag written down?
Is the road noise a tire cupping or wheel bearing roar?
The shop who put it on their machine said it was the passengers side air bag which is located in the seat back.
 

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For this level of service, you may really want a factory service manual with wire colors and wiring diagrams. This is best done with the seat unplugged, unbolted from the floor and removed from the car. Use care and possibly a helper to avoid scratching the interior trim or rocker paint when lifting the seat out, it may be heavy. The service manual will also give a detailed procedure for R&R of the passenger seat and its disassembly.
Discharge the airbag module capacitors by removing the black battery cables from the strut tower and waiting a few minutes for it to power down first as mentioned by chuzz and Bob.
All airbag connectors are yellow plastic and use gold-plated terminals to differentiate them from the other black or gray plastic electrical connectors in the car. The seat back may have to be removed from the seat cushion and the leather heated seat cover unzipped to access the side airbag inside the seatback. You will find a yellow 2-wire connector to the seat back airbag squib. Release any red or orange lock tab and squeeze the sides of the squib connector latches to unplug it. Unplug and replug this a few times to clean any oxidation or corrosion from the terminal contact surfaces. A drop of DeoxIT on the terminals may also be a good idea. Use caution with any solvents that may leave a residue or damage plastic. This simple action may be the fix for a high-resistance or 'open' fault code for the airbag.
The other ends of the squib wires go to the airbag control module (ACM) under the dash or center console. You want good continuity (
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ImperialCrown said:
For this level of service, you may really want a factory service manual with wire colors and wiring diagrams. This is best done with the seat unplugged, unbolted from the floor and removed from the car. Use care and possibly a helper to avoid scratching the interior trim or rocker paint when lifting the seat out, it may be heavy. The service manual will also give a detailed procedure for R&R of the passenger seat and its disassembly.
Discharge the airbag module capacitors by removing the black battery cables from the strut tower and waiting a few minutes for it to power down first as mentioned by chuzz and Bob.
All airbag connectors are yellow plastic and use gold-plated terminals to differentiate them from the other black or gray plastic electrical connectors in the car. The seat back may have to be removed from the seat cushion and the leather heated seat cover unzipped to access the side airbag inside the seatback. You will find a yellow 2-wire connector to the seat back airbag squib. Release any red or orange lock tab and squeeze the sides of the squib connector latches to unplug it. Unplug and replug this a few times to clean any oxidation or corrosion from the terminal contact surfaces. A drop of DeoxIT on the terminals may also be a good idea. Use caution with any solvents that may leave a residue or damage plastic. This simple action may be the fix for a high-resistance or 'open' fault code for the airbag.
The other ends of the squib wires go to the airbag control module (ACM) under the dash or center console. You want good continuity (
 

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I don't know if the 2002 is this way, but on many cars the passenger seat must be recalibrated any time it has been removed from the car. The seat has the determine the weight it is carrying and decide if the weight is enough for the airbag to be used. I know the 2005 300s were that way, no idea on the 2004.
 

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The passenger seat has a 'strain gauge' in the cushion of some models with 'multi-stage' airbags to vary the force of airbag deployment. Strain gauge calibration is done at the dealer with a set of seat weights and the DRB3 scan tool. There is no airbag deployment if the ACM senses a light rear-facing child seat in the passenger seat and low deployment force if a '5th percentile' weight person is seated in the passenger side. Sometimes setting objects like books or a briefcase will turn on the 'passenger airbag off' light.
The need of strain gauge calibration would light the 'Pass Airbag Off' warning light and not the regular Airbag light in the dash cluster. The instrument cluster airbag light being on may indicate a problem with the airbag in the dash above the glovebox.
Being out of the 8/80 PCM warranty, the dealer would likely charge for the software update. Most would charge a 0.5 hr labor or the shop minimum fee for installing this TSB. P0135 is the passenger side, before the cat O2 heater failure and is included on the TSB 'erroneous fault' list.
What is the vehicle's build date, does yours fall under the 'before April' date?
Sometimes the labels are forgotten to get put on and the computer is already updated. A search of the vehicle's service history summary at the write up counter before writing a repair order may indicate whether the PCM update was done or not.
Since they would have to plug in the scan tool anyways to update the PCM, have them retrieve the airbag fault code and write it down on the repair order. Let us know what that code is, otherwise your airbag system problem is a guessing game.
 

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It is very common for dealerships not to put the labels on, at least around here. The only real way to tell is to either get the dealer to tell you, to get someone here to look it up (not me), or to call Chrysler Customer Service and see if THEY can look it up.

As a side note, TSBs are not required to be free -- recalls are. TSBs might be free and they might not, and if they are free, they might be free for a limited time!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ImperialCrown said:
The passenger seat has a 'strain gauge' in the cushion of some models with 'multi-stage' airbags to vary the force of airbag deployment. Strain gauge calibration is done at the dealer with a set of seat weights and the DRB3 scan tool. There is no airbag deployment if the ACM senses a light rear-facing child seat in the passenger seat and low deployment force if a '5th percentile' weight person is seated in the passenger side. Sometimes setting objects like books or a briefcase will turn on the 'passenger airbag off' light.
The need of strain gauge calibration would light the 'Pass Airbag Off' warning light and not the regular Airbag light in the dash cluster. The instrument cluster airbag light being on may indicate a problem with the airbag in the dash above the glovebox.
Being out of the 8/80 PCM warranty, the dealer would likely charge for the software update. Most would charge a 0.5 hr labor or the shop minimum fee for installing this TSB. P0135 is the passenger side, before the cat O2 heater failure and is included on the TSB 'erroneous fault' list.
What is the vehicle's build date, does yours fall under the 'before April' date?
Sometimes the labels are forgotten to get put on and the computer is already updated. A search of the vehicle's service history summary at the write up counter before writing a repair order may indicate whether the PCM update was done or not.
Since they would have to plug in the scan tool anyways to update the PCM, have them retrieve the airbag fault code and write it down on the repair order. Let us know what that code is, otherwise your airbag system problem is a guessing game.
The build date is 03/02 so I guess it should have required the TSB. I will call the Dealer about it and perhaps ask them to diagnose the airbag light.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
DaveAdmin said:
It is very common for dealerships not to put the labels on, at least around here. The only real way to tell is to either get the dealer to tell you, to get someone here to look it up (not me), or to call Chrysler Customer Service and see if THEY can look it up.

As a side note, TSBs are not required to be free -- recalls are. TSBs might be free and they might not, and if they are free, they might be free for a limited time!
I sent an email to Chrysler Customer Service about the TSB. Their reply was that they said to contact a dealer to find out about the TSB. They did, however, tell me that a recall to fix a bolt in the drivers seat back had not been done and I should get a dealer to take care of it. Perhaps that would be a good time to try to get them to do the TSB and check out the air bag light. Thanks for your advice.
 

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For convenience' sake, I would have them perform all the services at one visit. The free drivers seatback hinge bolt recall, the TSB #18-031-02 (if it hasn't been done yet) and retrieve the Airbag fault code for you. The latter 2 issues will require the DRB3 scan tool to be plugged in to the vehicle for the service.
 

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I don't have anything additional to offer on the O2 sensor and airbag codes but I have a few thoughts regarding the high level of road noise. I suspect the tires. Either because of tire wear like the feathering or odd wearing of the tread surface or because of the tires themselves. I've found some Bridgestone tires, especially the performance tires like the Grids and some of the Goodyears like the LS and RS series get quite noisy when they wear. I've found that I've had the best luck overall with Michelins when it comes to quietness, smoothness and ability to hold balance. If your tires have enough wear to justify replacement then i would consider any of the Michelins.
I had a set of new Bridgestone G019 Grids on my 2005 PT Cruiser GT ( 17" ) that got unbearably noisy in about 8,000 miles. Enough so that I removed them ( want a set cheap ? ) and replaced them with Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S in the same size. The difference is literally like night and day. The PT's OEM tires were Goodyear RS's which were nothing special. I had my share of problems with bad belts, and a fair about of road noise that increased dramatically as the tires wore. The Michelins are smooth and silent. I've had numerous sets of Michelins over the years including three sets Pilot Exalto's on my LeBaron convertible and each set gave me great wear, no problems whatsoever and remained quiet throughout their useful life. No complaints at all.
 
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