1994 Alfa Spider Airbag Replacement - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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1994 Alfa Spider Airbag Replacement

I have a blinking, then steady, airbag light in my 1994 Alfa Spider. In fact, it's been doing so for a number of years. Before I go through and grab the codes and reset (as others have described in this forum), what are the chances the squib is still good along with whatever else fires the airbag? Are those items replaceable by a good foreign car technician? Or should I just give up? I'd kind of like the protection of an airbag, however slight, this old car can provide.
Thanks!
Steve (Minneapolis)
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 03:32 PM
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The airbag module in the steering wheel is easy to replace. The problem is that any airbag you replace it with is likely as old as the one you have in the car: it's not like they're still manufacturing new S4 Spider airbags.

Back in the day there were concerns about airbag lifetime, but based on data over the last 20-30 years the conclusion seems to be the modules are very reliable over time and don't need any regular replacement. And if they do start to malfunction, the failure modes are either "doesn't inflate" or "doesn't inflate with full force," so it's not like you're risking much by keeping it hooked up.

I've still got mine properly hooked up on the '91 Spider, but you need to decide what you're comfortable with.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
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Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 05:02 PM
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My 91 is still hooked up. Have no idea if it would actually work. The blinking then solid red light was aggravating so I took several runs at the codes, resetting etc. my error codes indicated connection issues to the front sensors. Tried cleaning the contacts several times and it would resolve the error then shortly after back to the blinking light and the solid. Same codes again. As others have mentioned in threads the issue seems to be the connectors just behind each sensor. I cut out the connectors, carefully soldered the wires together, shrink tubing and quality tape to insulate the connections. No more error codes or solid light in over a year. It’s not a completely elegant or original solution but...it’s hard to argue with the result.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gubi View Post
The airbag module in the steering wheel is easy to replace. The problem is that any airbag you replace it with is likely as old as the one you have in the car: it's not like they're still manufacturing new S4 Spider airbags.

Back in the day there were concerns about airbag lifetime, but based on data over the last 20-30 years the conclusion seems to be the modules are very reliable over time and don't need any regular replacement. And if they do start to malfunction, the failure modes are either "doesn't inflate" or "doesn't inflate with full force," so it's not like you're risking much by keeping it hooked up.

I've still got mine properly hooked up on the '91 Spider, but you need to decide what you're comfortable with.
I change the airbag every time I let someone else drive the car...

=8^)

jeff

1982 Spider Veloce
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 09:17 AM
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I think you just need to clear codes. I had the same issues, about 5 codes. Fixed, then cleaned.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 07:41 PM
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Its simple. If the light is blinking then it has a fault in the system. The air bag will not work if your in a crash.

If the light goes out and stays out after starting the car. Then the airbag will work.

To test the system every 10 years like the manufacturer suggest. Just unplug a component. Like one of the front sensors. Turn the key on. This will set a fault. Clear the fault and it stays cleared then the system will operate as intended.

Also there is a fault code that indicates a faulty squib.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 07:16 AM
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Resetting codes on an S4 always feels like I'm playing the final level on a really old Atari or DOS game - can you flip the key, connect the two wires for 4.3 seconds, connect them again and shut the key off? If so you've WON!!

Clean the ground straps too on the front fenders near the hood hinges. Little fine sandpaper and light coat dialectic grease.

I'd like to hope my airbag would go off. More and more as I get older I feel very unsafe on a two lane road with a dump truck coming the other way.

I like to get on a back road whenever possible.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocduff View Post

I'd like to hope my airbag would go off. More and more as I get older I feel very unsafe on a two lane road with a dump truck coming the other way.
If a dump truck hits you head on. I don't think it will matter if the airbag goes off or not.
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1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2018, 11:38 AM
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If a dump truck hits you head on. I don't think it will matter if the airbag goes off or not.
Sure it will. It will very much matter.

"So much depends on the little red wheelbarrow..."

- William Carlos Williams
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