Independent Renault Forums banner

1 - 20 of 101 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Model: Renault Espace 2.0 16V RT-X (X/2000)

Problem: Airbag warning light on engine start followed by the word SERVICE

There seems to be a common problem with the Espace in that the airbag warning light comes on when you switch on the engine, followed by the word SERVICE. The owners handbook seems to suggest that somewhere in the safety system there is a problem and that you should visit the Renault dealer to diagnose it. Ofcourse these days you visit Google first, and so after a few hours spend looking for information I came to the conclusion that it must suffer from a dodgy connection or connector underneath the driver or passenger seat. Well, either that or it would need a new airbag computer which would set you back at least £200. Since the first option is easy enough to explore, I went to Halfords, picked up a set of Torx keys and got to work.



Access to the wires and connecters is extremely limited with the seats in place, so we are better off removing them with the runners and make it ourselves easy.

Slide the seats all the way backwards to reveal the two front Torx screws (T40) and undo both screws.



Once done, carefully slide the seats all the way forward to reveal the three Torx (T40) screws at the back. Undo them and place the screws near the others as we don't want to lose them.



Now gently tilt the seats backwards, making sure you do not unplug any of the wires and connectors. If you have the back seats in, you may want to remove them to give yourself a bit more space for the front seats.





Here comes the scientific part... Just wiggle a bit at each connector, making sure they are connected and follow each cable making sure there aren't any shorts of broken/loose ones. At no point I had to unplug anything, and I strongly advice you to do the same. I'm not sure if airbags can spontaneously deploy when you disconnect the connectors, nor do I know if the seatbelt tensioners (down the side of the seat) will tension. Consider yourself warned! If you want to be safe instead of sorry, you may want to disconnect the battery and leave the vehicle parked for 30 minutes before you even consider unscrewing anything. I couldn't be asked as I'm more scared of the battery than I am of the airbags... go figure ;)







If you pay close attention, you can see that the connectors underneath the passenger seat are almost (but not quite) mirrored with the drivers seat. For some reason, one of the connectors on the passenger seat isn't connected to anything, so I just shrugged my shoulders and figured that it is supposed to be like that.

Now at this point I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at the radio underneath the drivers seat and see what sort of options we have if we want to add some gadgets to the Espace.



Lift the carpets to reveal the plastic cover and just two Torx (T20) screws holding it in place.



There could be more screws present a bit further back, but as I couldn't remove the seats completely, I didn't have access to those. Instead I just lifted the plastic cover up, making sure not to break things. As with all things, gently does it.



Hmm, not much I can do with this it seems. Just the cassette plug available, and lots of searching on Google revealed that the only thing you can plug into it is... a cassette player. Who uses these things anyway?



A quick snap of the identification label so I can find out on exact specifications later.



Can you guess what happened next? When I titled the passenger seat it revealed the same plastic cover as underneath the drivers seat, so naturally I looked into that a bit more as well. The thing that caught my eye was this strange looking connector.



Let's have a closer look... oh, that could well be the OBD-II connector which the Renault dealer would use to diagnose any faults. I can see why they charge an arm and a leg just to hook up the computer as they need to remove the seat first!



So while we are at it, let's re-route that connector in the underseat storage cubbie. It is empty after all. The cubbie plastics are held in place by two plastic push pin screws.



Remove them both by pulling them out. No great force is involved.



Pulling the plastic cover about a bit revealed that down the side of it enough space is left to route the cable through to inside the cubbie.



Put the pins back in and admire your work :)



All that is left now is to switch on the ignition and stand clear of the doors ;) It works!!! No more nasty fault message, but a clean bill of health. Congratulations ;)



Put everything together again (just read this story backwards for the instructions) and make sure you do plenty of testing that you haven't undone your work. If all goes well you will have lost 2 liters of sweat, but saved yourself £200 on a repair bill.

You can see all the pictures above (and much, much more) in my gallery on my website.

Q.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
tried but failed

Tried all you said and I failed!! bloody thing still in my head...
I did only do one seat at a time.....any other ideas??

Ok would be nice!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Nope sorry, can't help you there. I just disassembled/assembled everything and it just worked. But after a while the problem came back, and I haven't tried to do it all over again. I do genuinely think that it is related to the seats sliding back/forward so once fixed, don't touch the seats again...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,475 Posts
I believe the 'official' method is to cut out the connectors altogether and directly solder the wires together. People are justifiably paranoid about the possibility of setting off an airbag or pretensioner, but I suspect the risk is only really there if you accidentally short one of the wires to a 12v supply. I'd be prepared to take it on after disconnecting the battery and waiting for a while for any residual voltage to discharge from the system, but if you choose to do likewise then you're on your own.

Keep it simple - cut, solder and insulate one wire at a time to eliminate the chances of getting crossed wires or shorting two together. If you don't know how to solder and don't fancy giving it a go, crimp connectors will probably be just as effective if used properly with a decent crimp tool.

As an added precaution, I'd use a gas soldering iron to prevent the possibility of the circuit being triggered by any residual current from your household mains. It might also be worth eathing yourself to the car body with an anti-static wrist strap.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Hey quinten, where is the airbag light supposed to be? I can't find it on mine :(

Doesn't come on with ignition - looks a bit suspicious as I don't have the cruise control buttons on the steering either
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The airbag light is on the dashboard. Where it says OK in this picture:



If it doesn't come on with ignition, then what makes you think you have a problem? Also not sure where the cruise control comes into this?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Hi, thanks I figured out the airbag light. I was expecting a light rather than the display in the screen (you know, like on other cars when it comes on for a few seconds and then goes out), hence thats why I thought it was missing, but have since realised that it would only come up on the screen if there was a fault.

On the cruise control side, mine has the cruise control switch, but no buttons like in the owners manual on ther steering (they are actually supposed to be on the airbag bit). I was told yesterday that Renault removed the cruise contol deliberately because it interefered with the airbag???? Not sure if this is true or not (see my other post enitled 'Is This True?')
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Hi I eventually fixed the airbag light after going out and buying my own renault clip. The problem is allmost allways caused by a dodgy connector on the seat belt pretensioners the 'official' fix being to cut the two wires to each pretensioner at the plug socket and solder them insulating with a bit of heat shring. (it takes longer to remove replace the seats) but has worked a treat with my own and another half dozen cars i've fixed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Hi I eventually fixed the airbag light after going out and buying my own renault clip. The problem is allmost allways caused by a dodgy connector on the seat belt pretensioners the 'official' fix being to cut the two wires to each pretensioner at the plug socket and solder them insulating with a bit of heat shring. (it takes longer to remove replace the seats) but has worked a treat with my own and another half dozen cars i've fixed.
I think I'll be going down that route too. Thanks for the top tip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Lads and lasses!! what can I say

New to the Forum, and within 10 mins found solution to problems!!

with pictures too!!:d

you will all have a place in heaven(probably)

Phil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I believe the 'official' method is to cut out the connectors altogether and directly solder the wires together. People are justifiably paranoid about the possibility of setting off an airbag or pretensioner, but I suspect the risk is only really there if you accidentally short one of the wires to a 12v supply. I'd be prepared to take it on after disconnecting the battery and waiting for a while for any residual voltage to discharge from the system, but if you choose to do likewise then you're on your own.

Keep it simple - cut, solder and insulate one wire at a time to eliminate the chances of getting crossed wires or shorting two together. If you don't know how to solder and don't fancy giving it a go, crimp connectors will probably be just as effective if used properly with a decent crimp tool.
My turn to be grateful :)

Spend the holidays over at my parents in Holland who have a nice covered area for the car so spend another day to sort out the problem once and forever. Disconnected the battery, waited 30 minutes and then started to cut the wires, one by one and soldering them together on both seats. Screwed everything back together again and after connecting the battery, the display now finally issues the magic word once more: OK :d
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Hey quinten, where is the airbag light supposed to be? I can't find it on mine :(

Doesn't come on with ignition - looks a bit suspicious as I don't have the cruise control buttons on the steering either
God I regret those words!

It only came on today and showed its ugly head! :steam:

Anyhow, will follow Quinten's guide over the weekend and hopefully resolve this.

Just a question though - should the airbag light be on all the time if there is a fault, or is it right that it will occasionally beep followed by the service sign like mine has been doing today? I would have thought it would stay on permanently?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
It only comes (came) on when starting the engine. After the word service it displays the time/radio station again. The only other time you get the service/beep is when you run the petrol tank down to the reserve. That's even more annoying :d
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Ok, so thats normal then.

Another question, that diagnostic connector you found, isn't there one in your fuse box? I've got the 16 pin connector in the fuse box the dash on the passenger side
 
1 - 20 of 101 Posts
Top