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Mazda Tribute Ford Escape Airbag Light Flashing

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New User

Jul 20, 2006, 9:46 PM

Post #1 of 3 (71518 views)
Mazda Tribute Ford Escape Airbag Light Flashing Sign In

There is a very common problem on the Mazda Tribute and the Ford Escape. I found an old thread from this site that discusses it. I found it using Google, but couldn't find it again using the search tool on this site so I wanted to post again. Anyway, the issue is the airbag light in the instrument cluster blinks 4 times then either 6 or 7 times. This repeats several times until the light just stays on solid. The light may go off again, but it comes on again some time later.

I have only read about one solution and it worked for me as well as many others. You're going to love this because it's very simple. There are some wires under the front seat that are causing the problem. I looked under the drivers seat first, but because my seat is a power seat, there were a LOT of wires. I've worked on cars all my life (I'm 51 so that's a LONG time), so it didn't take long to figure out which ones went to the seat motor and which ones didn't.

If you have a power drivers seat, but a manual passenger seat, I suggest you start on the passenger seat. Look under the front of the seat, on the center console side. I found two wires there (actually four wires, but two connectors). I disconnected each connector then plugged it in again, guessing that the contacts may have gotten a little oxidized over time.

Most of you know, but some of you may not, that to release these types of connectors there is always some kind of a latch. You need to push in on the latch as you pull the connector out. Do the same thing to both of them and then plug them back in.

I'm guessing, and it's just a guess, that maybe the 46 is for one seat and the 47 is for the other. Since my code was 47, and I tired the drivers side first and it didn't fix it, I am guessing that 47 is the passenger side because disconnecting and reconnecting those wires has at least for the time being, fixed the problem.

After you disconnect,reconnect the passenger side wires, check the light. If it doesn't come on, you're done. If it does, then move to the drivers side. You notice that the wires on the drives side are in the same vicinity, but not exactly the same place. And there is one extra connector on this side. The connectors were more difficult to get on this side too. Hopefully, you'll fix yours on the passenger side like I did.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm pretty sure that this is going to help someone out. People have spent countless trips going to the dealer trying to get this resolved, some paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars on unnecessary repairs. Don't be "that guy"

PS - while you are at it, wiggle the wires a little too, can't hurt.

Good luck, I hope it works for you too.

New User

Sep 8, 2008, 9:18 AM

Post #2 of 3 (70182 views)
post icon Re: Mazda Tribute Ford Escape Airbag Light Flashing Sign In

I had the same problem (47 in an 2003 escape). 47 means the connector under the passenger seat is broken, 46 means the same thing under the driver's seat. Ford is aware of this problem, and there is a technical service bulletin for it. I went to dealer service and it was $160. I didn't want to do it myself, for fear of deploying the airbag.

(hyperlink removed)

(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Jun 19, 2009, 10:16 AM)

New User

Jun 19, 2009, 8:46 AM

Post #3 of 3 (68661 views)
Re: Mazda Tribute Ford Escape Airbag Light Flashing Sign In

I love this tread and how much money can be saved by the do-it-yourself mechanic. My air bag code, derived by 4 flashing airbag light, and followed by seven, was 47. After reading this previous post I jiggled the passenger side front seat wires and turned the ignition on to find the problem solved. Now if it comes on again, I'll actually unplug and check the connectors. It is working great now.

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