Airbag Coding

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The following Tech Tip demonstrates the basic steps for Index based Airbag Coding only. Ross-Tech is not responsible for any damage or problems that may result from following these instructions. They are to be used at your own risk. As always, you should refer to a Factory Repair Manual for your vehicle!

Due to liability concerns, Ross Tech does not offer assistance for installing used airbag components.

Make sure to download and install the latest version of VCDS before performing this procedure while using a HEX series Interface. The Suggested Coding and Manual Index will only work with these professional-grade Interfaces.

When airbags have deployed and there is permanent crash data stored, which cannot be cleared conventionally by clicking [Clear Codes-05], the airbag controller must be replaced. They have an electro-mechanical switch that deploys the airbags, somewhat like the hammer and trigger on a gun, it cannot be "recocked" and you should stay far away from any people or companies who claim to be able to "reset" a used airbag controller. The following procedure details how to code a NEW Airbag (SRS) Controller after it has been installed in a vehicle.

New Airbag Controllers in many VW/Audi vehicles contain a Soft Coding of all zeros from the factory and must be coded once they have been installed in the vehicle.

  • Always save a complete [Auto-Scan] prior to removing the original Airbag controller.
  • Any problems with crash sensors, airbags or igniters should be repaired before trying to install and code a new controller.
  • The Airbag module must be bolted properly to the floor with sufficient battery voltage present before attempting to communicate with or code a new module.


Vehicles that typically use Index based Airbag Coding include:
  • Audi
    • Audi A6/S6/RS6/allroad (4F)
    • Audi Q7 (4L)
      • If Component Protection fault codes are stored when working on a A6 or Q7 the Factory Scan Tool in Combination with a direct online connection to Audi headquarters will be necessary. Every Audi Dealer/Service Center should be able to perform this Procedure.
  • Bentley


Vehicles that do NOT use Index based Airbag Coding include the MLB platform and MQB platform. Refer to the Diagnostic Procedures page and select the chassis type for additional information including Component Protection, Coding and Parameterization notes!


Contents

Suggested Coding

When connected to an applicable New Airbag controller VCDS can "Suggest" an appropriate Coding value. This feature is available only when VCDS is used with one of our Professional Grade interfaces. Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee that the coding which VCDS may suggest will be correct, but there should be no harm in trying it. If it's not correct, the control module should simply refuse to accept it and the coding will remain at all zero coding.

Airbag modules may be Short Coded or Long Coded depending on the installed system.

  • Either way, the user will click the [Coding Helper] OR [Long Coding Helper] button.

Suggested Short Coding

Using VCDS click [Coding - 07]

Coding-airbag-1.png

Followed by the [Coding Helper] button and a screen like this will appear:

Coding-airbag-3.png

In the above example, VCDS reads the Index code of 06 and suggests the proper coding. If VCDS cannot read the Index automatically the Manual Index Entry procedure can be performed instead as explained with the onscreen notes.

Shortcode-Airbag4.png

After the new suggested coding is entered verify that a non zero WSC (WorkShop Code) value is entered as shown with the 15656 value above. If the existing WSC is all zeros, you may need to enter a valid code before the module will accept the new coding - anything non-zero like 12345 should work for the WSC.

Click [Do It!].

After you exit out of the Airbag Controller, cycle the ignition off and back on, and go back into it, the Software Coding field should show 12342.


Suggested Long Coding

Using VCDS click [Coding - 07]

Airbag-10-suggested-01.jpg

Followed by the [Long Coding Helper] button and a screen like this will appear:

Airbag-10-suggested-02.jpg

In the examples above and below, VCDS reads the Index code of 5H and suggests the proper coding. If VCDS cannot read the Index automatically the Manual Index Entry procedure can be performed instead as explained with the onscreen notes.

Airbag-10-suggested-04.jpg

After the new suggested coding is entered verify that a non zero WSC (WorkShop Code)/Importer/Equipment values are entered as shown in the photo above using 09003 | 957 | 00200. If the existing values are all zeros, you may need to enter a valid codes before the module will accept the new coding - anything non-zero like 12345 | 123 | 12345 should work.

Click [Do It!].

After you exit out of the Airbag Controller, cycle the ignition off and back on, and go back into it, the Software Coding field should show 00003548.



Manual Index Entry

caption

In cases where VCDS would offer Airbag module coding suggestions but cannot determine the Index automatically, VCDS will give you the ability to manually enter an Index to get the suggested coding. To find the coding, you'll need the "complete" part number for the new Airbag module, which can be found on:
  1. The invoice/order form for the Airbag module (preferred).
  2. The box which the new Airbag module came in.
  3. The labels on the Airbag module as shown to the right.


  • Using the label example, note that on the upper right, it says INDEX [03], this is NOT the index/color code!
  • The Index is shown immediately following the part number and consists of a slash ( / ) followed by 3 characters. The last two characters are what's needed, so if the Index is /16A, you would enter 6A. If the Index was /01E, you would enter 1E.
  • On the label at the bottom, the part number is followed by a slash then the Index/color code with a leading zero: 1C0-909-605-F /01E


In that case the Index/color code is 01E so the Manual Index Input you use is 1E, which you enter into the Manual Index Input field.


The example below is a 5C0-959-655 / 05H Long Coded module with Index code 5H:

Airbag-10-suggested-02.jpg

The user would type 5H in based on the part number found on the invoice and click [Suggest].

Airbag-10-suggested-03.jpg

The Suggested coding would be entered automatically into the New Coding section:

Airbag-10-suggested-04.jpg

After the new suggested coding is entered verify that a non zero WSC (WorkShop Code)/Importer/Equipment values are entered as shown in the photo above using 09003 | 957 | 00200. If the existing values are all zeros, you may need to enter a valid codes before the module will accept the new coding - anything non-zero like 12345 | 123 | 12345 should work.

Click [Do It!].


After you exit out of the Airbag Controller, cycle the ignition off and back on, and go back into it, the Software Coding field should show 00003548.


Special Notes

  • If the coding is rejected check fault codes. Common reasons for rejected coding include, but are not limited to:
    • All Zero WSC/Importer/Equipment values
    • Incorrect Airbag module installed or wrong Index code entered
    • Incompatible hardware including:
      • Passenger side deactivation switch.
      • PODS module.
      • Crash sensors. The most common cases of incompatible crash sensors are found on the 2002 - 2005 VW Jetta (9M) Chassis. In recent years VW parts departments have recently been carrying and supplying to Mk4 customers the 04 Index of Airbag controllers as a replacement for several different Index numbers. If the vehicle originally had a different Index number such as 1E, then other components in the vehicle like crash sensors may need to be changed in order to make the 04 Index work. The dealership should provide information on any needed additional parts. This is mentioned in TSB # 69-08-04 and these vehicles typically have the following fault codes:
  1. 01221 - Crash Sensor Side Airbag; Driver Side (G179): No or Incorrect Basic Setting / Adaptation
  2. 01222 - Crash Sensor Side Airbag; Passenger Side (G180): No or Incorrect Basic Setting / Adaptation
  3. 01639 - Crash Sensor Side Airbag; Rear Passenger Side (G257): No or Incorrect Basic Setting / Adaptation
  4. 01638 - Crash Sensor Side Airbag; Rear Drivers Side (G256): No or Incorrect Basic Setting / Adaptation



This page has replaced the original "Airbag Controller Coding" page which was revised on April 3rd, 2008.




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