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Airbag Light on Pixo


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A couple of months back, less than a month after the warranty expired, the airbag light came on and refused to go off. Manual says issue with either airbag system or seatbelt pretensioners. Took car to dealer, they could not find the fault but cleared the light anyway. They reckoned it was triggered on by an object [rolling] under the seat(s) and advised that should the light come on again the car would require a new airbag unit @ c. £1,200.

On the same day, as I was parking the car on the driveway at home, some 7 miles from the garage, the light briefly came on and disappeared. Did so on the next day, in exactly the same circumstances, with the steering wheel almost at full lock - but came off again. Called Nissan customer services on the Monday, the chap that called me back was adamant that the cause was as said by dealer - even though they admitted that they could not find the fault cause.

Ok, for nearly two months drove carefully, ensuring that car floor was clear of any objects and that I did not turn the steering wheel into a full lock position. Finally, the other day as I was parking in my drive, the light came on again - and stayed on.

Are there any other Pixo/Nissan owners that have had similar experiences? I am reluctant to spend over £1,200 on sth that may not even be the cause of the fault – the garage just put it in the invoice even though their computer failed to diagnose the problem. Any advice on next steps greatly appreciated.


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  • 3 months later...

Hi Centavur,


This is just a quick post as im at work will try to add more later, I have had the same problem but since you posted you topic nissan have recalled some cars for this problem but the pixo isnt listed as yet.


Going to ring the garage today will keep you updated, my pixo came out of warranty in march 2013 i first noticed it about a month after that, it have been on permanently for the last day.


Have you sorted yours yet.




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  • 1 month later...
Hi Frenchpolisher
Sorry for the delay in replying, had lost hope of receiving any comments.  No, mine is not sorted yet.  What about yours?  I am not sure that the PIXO will get a recall anytime soon, not at least until they sort out the vehicles currently being recalled.  Was thinking perhaps to go to a national paper, never done that before.

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  • 2 months later...

My airbag light has also come on recently and now my horn has stopped working and have been told this could be due to the airbag expanding which also causes the flashing on/off as you go round corners and the airbag 'moves' my car is out of warranty by about 2 months :( and only thing i think will fix it is a new airbag

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  • 1 year later...

I just purchased a 59 Pixo which I later found that it had an air bag warning light on. I thought that I should share my findings as I have just repaired the fault.

I had access to an obdii interigation tool for airbags which quoted code B1031:- Drivers air bag (1st stage) circuit high resistance. Stripped out steering wheel air bag and clock spring squib after disconnecting battery. When disconnecting the two components it appears that the connectors automatically put a short across the electrical pins. While testing the resistance of the air bag the short has to be manually removed, small jewellers screw driver with a keen eye. Air bag resistance appeared to be good at around 2ohms. What I did find was that there was 15-20 ohms of resistance across the clock spring, two small pieces of wire require to be inserted into the clock spring/air bag connector which you then attach to your ohm meter. Watching the meter, I manually operated the moving part of the clock spring vigorously and the resistance dropped back to around 1-2 ohms. Success.

I counted the total turns of the clock spring simulating full lock to full lock and then centred it to match the already centred wheels/steering wheel. The clock spring, steering wheel and air bag was then reconnected/refitted and battery reconnected.

The most bizarre bit about this was that I was now expecting to have to take the car back to my friend to have the code reset after repair, but no.....IT RESET ITSELF!!!!

This really was an unexpected bonus which obviously is something to remember....if the lights lit there is a fault and if you clear the fault it goes out itself...so if it's still lit after you think you have repaired it's still busted. I was under the impression from here and other sites that if the light was lit it would need reset via Nissan or using another reset tool after repair but obviously not.

I hope this info helps.

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Just an update on my finding, it would appear that when you rested the light you get so many auto resets then the light stays on. I have traced the fault to an internmittant break in the ribbon cable in the clock spring but had to get the light reset as it had came up a few times then stayed lit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, Turnbulla, does your last message mean that your airbag warning light fault returned after you thought you had fixed it?

I have just bought a Pixo and was told by the seller that the airbag warning light was on but had been checked during service and they were told the airbag was fine although there is a fault with the warning light and not to worry about it. However I found that the horn does not work so I suspect the clock spring is faulty. This car passed an MOT like this just before I bought it so maybe a dodgy MOT test or perhaps they fixed an intermittent fault that has returned. I am trying to contact the last owner to see what they say. As far as I know an airbag warning light is an MOT fail and no horn is defiantly a fail.

So I need to fix mine but not sure if I understood your fix instructions or if I am capable of it.

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An after thought.....Judging by the amount of views this topic has had it must be a regular fault with this car. Looks like Nissan could be fitting a faulty clock spring and perhaps should be doing a recall. Or maybe they prefer customers coming in and spending lots of money on repairs.

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My Pixo saga developed like this.  Had the airbag light issue looked at by two independent garages, one of those specialised in car electrics.  Unlike the Nissan dealership,  BOTH diagnosed the fault to be with the clockspring ribbon cable. For the record, the non-specialist garage did this by using their computer and then they advised me to take the car to the electric specialists, who stripped down the steering column, tested the ribbon cable and confirmed damage to it.   The first garage was my usual servicing point and never charged me, the second garage charged me £36 although they had to strip it down TWICE because they had forgotten to take a note of the part number.  Went to the dealer and told them the independents’ verdict, you should have seen their faces when I asked them why did they want me to replace the airbag! Their mechanic then confirmed the fault with the ribbon cable, cost of repair c. £399 + VAT for the ribbon cable and £78 for labour.  Contacted Nissan who initially said that they were prepared to cover 20% of the part cost.  Following some negotiations they agreed a goodwill gesture to cover 75% of the part cost so I was to pay £100 + VAT + the labour cost of £78, a total of £198.  And, of course, the condition was to have it fixed at the same Nissan garage (bizarrely, 3 months later they were stripped off the Nissan dealership status!).  No other option so I got it fixed but not before calling a Suzuki dealer who quoted £99 + VAT for a ribbon cable for Suzuki Alto which is the same car as the Pixo.  So I guess Nissan’s goodwill was not a goodwill after all!  Shortly after this the airbag light flashed on and off again, and that did it for me as I completely lost faith in the car, Nissan and their dealerships.  I just traded it in for a different make while it was still OK.  I have to say that I really liked the car, it was the ideal commuter car for me regularly returning c. 50mpg on a 26 miles daily round trip plus another c. 70 miles over the weekend.  There must be an issue with the ribbon cable or/and its fitting on the Pixo, and until Nissan hold their hand up and refund me the money I spent in their former dealership, I will not even consideri buying another Nissan again.

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  • 1 month later...

 For those of you who might be about to attempt to remove the steering wheel and/ or air bag and/ or clock spring on a Pixo or a Suzuki Alto. This is what you need to do.


First disconnect the battery negative terminal using 10mm spanner. Then you have to wait for ten minutes to allow any residual electricity to drain from capacitors. If you don't do this you risk detonating the air bag!


On each side at the back of your steering wheel there is a hole just big enough to get a screwdriver through. If you look in the hole with a torch you will see the top of a torx bolt (Torx bolt has a six pointed star like recess in it). Undo both of these bolts. You will need a torx screwdriver for this. These bolts are at an angle slightly pointing back towards the car driver. The bolts are retained, they do not come right out so just keep undoing them as far as they will go.


Once you have undone them the middle section of your steering wheel holding the drivers air bag can lift off. There are still wires connected to the airbag and horn.

Unclip and disconnect these wires. The horn wire can be disconnected at either end. I disconnected it from the big plug rather than the spade connector. The air bag wires disconnect in the centre of the air bag with a strange looking locked plug. You need a small electrical screwdriver to prise up the yellow locking clip (a small square shape) on top of this plug. Once that lock is popped up the plug can be pulled out.


When the airbag has been removed from the steering wheel you can see the 17mm nut holds the steering wheel in place on the splined steering column. Centre the steering wheel so your car wheels are pointing forward and the steering wheel is not turned left or right. When you are reassembling the steering wheel you want to push it back on to the splines in the same place that it is now so before you remove it mark its position with a thin marker pen to draw a line across the centre of the splined column and continue the line onto the steering wheel metal frame.


Now undo the 17mm nut in the centre using a socket spanner and an extension bar. I had a friend hold the steering wheel for me to stop it from turning while I undid the nut. You could try using your knees or turning the wheel until it is on the steering lock but I don't think steering locks are very strong so if you do use the steering lock to hold the wheel still try and hold it with your knees as well to reduce the force on the lock.


Once the nut has been removed you can pull the steering wheel off. I managed to do this quite easily with a little jerking pulls. I left the 17mm nut on a couple of turns so that when I tugged the wheel off it did not fly off and smack me in the face. If you are having problems pulling the wheel off the splines then (I read on another site) you can get a special steering wheel removal tool. that will pull it off.


OK, next step ... The plastic steering column cowling has to come off before you can remove the clock spring. It is not so hard once you have found the Phillips screw. It is hidden under the little lever on the underside of the column that adjusts the steering wheel height. Near your knees when you are driving.

Be right back......

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry about the delay, I was distracted by life.




I will try and remember what I did next as I am writing this several weeks later and have a sieve for a memory. Apologies if I have left something out .... 


If you are going to be using the same clock spring rather than buying a new one then it is a good idea to put some sticky tape on it so that it does not spin around while you are removing and handling it. Inside the clockspring there is a long ribbon cable like the ones you see in computers. Whwn you are driving and you turn your steering wheel this ribbon cable winds up and unwinds inside the black plastic housing much like a "Clock Spring" does :rolleyes: . If you have set your car wheels pointing straight forward then the cable will be half wound up, keep it like this for reassembly. If you are buying a new clock spring then it doesn't matter if your old one moves. The new one will already be set in this wheels straight position at the factory. There will be a small clip on the new clockspring that stops it from turning until you are ready to fit it.. You have to remove this clip before you fit the new clockspring.


The steering column cover is in two parts. When you have removed the Philips screw (hidden behind the steering height adjustment lever) from the lower half of the cover it can be separated from the top half of the cover. The two halves are clipped together.

The upper cover has two large screws facing you when you are sitting in the drivers seat. Remove those screws. Then the cover should lift off.

The clock spring is clipped into position. This was a bit fiddly to remove but I got there in the end.




My local Nissan garage wanted £165 plus VAT just for the part...nearly £200 quid for a coiled up ribbon cable in a plastic cover! I phoned a few breakers yards and was quoted between £40 and £65 for a second hand part.

Then I phoned a Suzuki dealer and asked them for the price of one for the Suzuki Alto (an identical part)...It came to £42 which included the VAT!! Yes, Suzuki you rock! Nissan, hang your heads in shame. You rip us off by fitting a dodgy part and them milk it when we have to replace the crap part you supplied in the first place.

I had to take a registration number from a car in their showroom for them to locate the part. I checked the picture of it on the computer against the one I had removed. All looked good and all was good. Remember the new on will have an anti spin clip on it so that will look slightly different.

I will always check Suzuki parts from now on.


Re fitting it all was just the reverse of the removal.


One interesting point. When it all went back together the horn worked at last but the airbag light still stayed on. I was expecting that and I was told that this has to be reset using the fault reset codes with a computer. I figured I would leave it on until I got near a friendly mechanic or AA man with a computer. It is a 5 minute job to plug in and reset. However a few weeks and about 500 miles later I noticed that the airbag warning light has gone out by itself. Read Turnbulla's posts on this thread above.


I hope this is a help to someone. I wish there was a detailed description on the internet for every job I need to do and an easy way of finding that description. If you have trouble finding it then you can be sure others will have had trouble too. So next time you do a job with no clear instructions please make a note of what you did and upload it for others.

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  • 5 years later...

There is a connection in the pixo between the drivers seat belt switch and the airbag light which sometimes causes problems and requires you to fiddle with the under seat wiring to make sure the plug/socket connection is good.  My airbag light is still on after mending the 3 wire clock spring cable which had a low  resistance in one of the connection plugs.  Anybody know where the actuator collision relay is hidden as can't see it anywhere.  There is a electronic control box up under the dash board above the foot brake pedal which maybe causing a problem??


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  • 2 years later...

IYes i have just had my airbag control unit replaced but the warning light is still coming on cost over 1000 pounds so im going back to tell them that the warning light is still on iwould sugest you contact nissan again and insist that they investigate it properly thats what im doing. I have a 2009 ntec pixo

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  • 4 months later...

I have the same problem with my airbag light coming on only mine came on after filling up the car. Surely this wouldn't cause the airbag light to come on as there's nothing connecting the two. Very odd. Also had a sticky seat belt buckle which had some wd-40 spray put in it and it seems to be ok now but airbag light stays on so nothing to do with the seat belt buckle. Haven't tested horn yet didn't think about that until I read your posts. Will do that and see what happens.Tested horn and it's working. So does anyone know what is wrong with the airbag light being on

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