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Common Airbag Issues in Volvos

Volvos are brilliant cars suited to individuals from all walks of life. User-friendly and hard-working, it is unlikely your Volvo will ever let you down with proper care. However, one essential part which is often overlooked are the airbags. We are all guilty of simply assuming they are fine and will be ready to protect us when needed. This isn’t always the case.

You should routinely run diagnostic tests of systems such as this. In this article, we will take a closer look as to how to best do this, along with some of the diagnostic codes you should look out for when running these diagnostic checks on your Volvo airbags.

Common Issues

As they are only meant for one-time use, deploying in the case of an emergency, you cannot visually or physically maintain them. Therefore, to check and diagnose common airbag issues, diagnostic tools are required.


It is possible to diagnose the status of your Volvo’s airbags at home. To do this, you will need an OBD-II scan tool. These can be bought online or at auto-parts stores. You can use this device to diagnose many of your vehicle’s issues, which the Volvo’s onboard diagnostic system (OBD) has flagged as potential problems.

  • Find the DLC – The DLC is the Diagnostic Link Connector and is triangular in shape. You can find the connector by referring to your Volvos owner’s manual.
  • Insert the Scanner into the Connector – Turn your key in the ignition but do not start the engine. This will allow the scanner to communicate with your vehicle’s OBD.
  • If the Connection Isn’t Made – You may need to wiggle the connector to forge a stronger connection. If this doesn’t work, then you’ll need to use your car’s cigarette lighter to provide the needed voltage.
  • Enter Details – Some scanners will require you to enter information about your vehicle, which can easily be found online or in your owner’s manual.
  • Menu – Depending on the OBD-II model, you will need to select either “codes” or “trouble codes” to open the main menu. Next, you can select the system you want to scan for codes. You’ll probably see two types of codes: active codes and pending codes. Active codes are malfunctions that are currently live and need to be addressed.

Codes to Look Out For

There are a variety of codes which can indicate issues with your Volvos airbags, and if you discover any of these in your OBD-II reading, then you need to take action as soon as possible.

Code Fault
1-1-1 OK: No faults detected in the OBD system
1-1-2 Internal fault in the sensor unit
1-2-7 SRS lamp, short circuit or break in circuit
2-1-1 Steering wheel module, short circuit in wiring
2-1-2 Steering wheel module, break in wiring
2-1-3 Steering wheel module, short circuit to ground
2-1-4 Steering wheel module, short circuit to +12V
2-2-1 Passenger module, short circuit in wiring
2-2-2 Passenger module, break in wiring
2-2-3 Passenger module, short circuit to ground
2-2-4 Passenger module, short circuit to +12V
2-3-1 Seat belt tensioner left, short circuit in wiring
2-3-2 Seat belt tensioner left, break in wiring
2-3-3 Seat belt tensioner left, short circuit to ground
2-3-4 Seat belt tensioner left, short circuit to +12V
2-4-1 Seat belt tensioner right, short circuit in wiring
2-4-2 Seat belt tensioner right, break in wiring
2-4-3 Seat belt tensioner right, short circuit to ground
2-4-4 Seat belt tensioner right, short circuit to +12V

While all the above codes can tell you where you issue lies and how best to repair the problem, it is important to know if you receive the diagnostic code 1-1-2 – internal fault in the sensor unit. This indicates a fault in the crash sensors of your Volvo. You should not attempt to clear or repair these codes. Instead you must return the vehicle to your dealer or manufacturer. A car without crash sensors is highly dangerous and offers you no airbag protection, should you find yourself in an accident.

Swedish Auto Service

If it has been some time since you’ve had Volvo Airbag Components diagnostic testing run on your Volvo, and you live in or around Cedar Park, Round Rock, Leander, or Austin, TX area, then Swedish Auto Service are on hand to help.  With a brand new state-of-the-art servicing floor, we guaranteed your car will be repaired efficiently by dedicated professionals.

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