Airbag system — general information Ford F150

General information

1. All models covered in this manual are equipped with a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS). This system is designed to protect the driver, and passengers, from serious injury in the event of a collision. The supplemental restraint system components and locations are listed below.

Airbag module

Warning: Do to the complexity of the airbag system, only the components of the airbag system that require removal and installation in the process of repairing other (non-restraint system) components is covered in this manual. For any other component, diagnostics, or replacement issues, see your local dealer or other qualified repair facility.

Driver’s side

2. The airbag inflator module contains a housing incorporating the cushion (airbag) and inflator unit, mounted in the center of the steering wheel. The inflator assembly is mounted on the back of the housing over a hole through which gas is expelled, inflating the bag almost instantaneously when an electrical signal is sent from the system. A spiral cable or «clockspring» on the steer-

ing column under the steering wheel carries this signal to the module.

3. This spiral cable assembly can transmit an electrical signal regardless of steering wheel position. The igniter in the airbag ignites the powder, which inflates the bag.

Passenger’s side

4. The airbag is mounted above the glove compartment and designated by the letters SRS (Supplemental Restraint System). It consists of an inflator containing an igniter, a reaction housing/airbag assembly and a trim cover.

5. The airbag is considerably larger than the steering wheel-mounted unit and is supported by the steel reaction housing. The trim cover is textured and painted to match the instrument panel and has a molded seam which splits when the bag inflates.

Impact seat belt retractors

6. All models are equipped with pyrotechnic (explosive) units in the front seat belt retracting mechanisms for both the lap and shoulder belts. During an impact that would trigger the airbag system, the Restraints Control Module (RCM) also triggers the seat belt retractors. When the pyrotechnic charges go off, they accelerate the retractors to instantly take up any slack in the seat belt system to more fully prepare the driver and front seat passenger for impact.

7. The airbag system should be disabled any time work is done to or around the seats.

Warning: Never strike the pillars or floor pan with a hammer or use an impact-driver tool in these areas unless the system is disabled.

Restraints Control Module (RCM)

8. This unit supplies the current to the

airbag system and seat belt pre-tensioners in the event of the collision, even if battery power is cut off. A self-check is initiated at each start up causing the «SRS» light to go on and cycle off if the restraint system is operating properly. If there is a fault in the system, the light will stay on or flash. Service the airbag system as soon as possible.

Servicing components near the SRS system


9. There are times when you need to remove the steering wheel, the instrument cluster, the radio, the heater/air conditioning control assembly or other components that are near airbag components. Do not use electrical test equipment on airbag system wires; it could cause the airbag(s) to deploy.

Disarming the system
and other precautions

Warning: Failure to follow these precautions could result in accidental deployment of the airbag and personal injury.

10. Whenever working in the vicinity of the steering wheel, instrument panel or any of the other SRS system components, the system must be disarmed. To disarm the system:


Warning: If the SRS light on the instrument panel does not turn off after 30 seconds of turning the key to the On position, do not proceed. Have the SRS system diagnosed by a dealer service department or other properly equipped shop.

11. Turn off all accessories on the vehicle and disconnect any memory-saver devices. Turn off the ignition switch.

12. Disconnect the cable from the negative terminal of the battery (see Engine electrical systems).

13. Wait at least ten minutes before proceeding with any work.


14. To enable a functional SRS system, simply reconnect the battery.

Warning: When the battery cable is connected or the ignition switch is turned to On, no one should be in front of any airbag module, in case of accidental deployment.

15. To test if the SRS system is working properly, turn the ignition switch from On to Off for ten seconds, then back to On. The warning light should illuminate for six seconds and go out.

16. When the SRS fails to come on, stays illuminated or continuously flashes a problem has been detected somewhere in the system. If one of these conditions exists, have your system checked with a scan tool at a dealership or other qualified repair facility.


17. Whenever handling an airbag module, always keep the airbag opening (the trim side) pointed away from your body. Never place the airbag module on a bench or other surface with the airbag opening facing the surface. Always place the airbag module in a safe location with the airbag opening facing up.

18. Never measure the resistance of any SRS component or use any electrical test equipment (ohmmeter). An ohmmeter has a built-in battery supply that can deploy the airbag.

19. Never dispose of a live airbag module or seat belt pre-tensioner. Return it to a dealer service department or other qualified repair shop for safe deployment and disposal.

Airbag module — removal and installation

Driver’s side airbag module and clockspring

20. Refer to Steering wheel – removal and installation for the driver’s side airbag module and clockspring removal and installation procedures.

Passenger’s side airbag module

21. Disarm the airbag system as described previously in this Section.

22. Lower the glove box door fully to gain access to the airbag by pressing the glove-box door tabs and pushing down, then unplug the electrical connector and remove the airbag module mounting nuts and bolts. Be sure to heed the precautions outlined previously in this Section.

23. Carefully slide a flat-bladed screwdriver under the right bottom edge of the airbag panel and lift up. Separate the panel from the clips.

24. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Tighten all fasteners to the torque settings listed in Section

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