Diagnostic Software for VW-Audi Group Cars

 
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Airbag Controller Coding
Updated  3 Apr. 2008

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!

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

 Whenever airbags have deployed and there is crash data stored, 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. This 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. Any problems with airbags or igniters should be repaired before trying to install and code a new controller. These instructions apply to most VW's from the Mk4/1J Golf/Jetta/NB onward and these instructions do NOT apply to Audis, except for the C6/4F A6 and Q7.


Suggested Coding

When connected to an applicable Airbag controller (with all zeros in the Soft Coding) 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 00000.

In the above example, you would enter a Software Coding of 12342 then click [Do It!]. After you exit out of the Airbag Controller then get back into it, the Soft. Coding field should show 12342. If the existing WorkShop Code is all zeros, you may need to enter a WorkShop Code before the module will accept the new coding - anything non-zero like 12345 should work for the WorkShop Code.


Manual Index Entry

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:

  • The invoice/order form for the Airbag module (preferred).

  • The box which the new Airbag module came in.

  • The labels on the Airbag module (as shown below):

In the above 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 below:

In this example example, if the Index is 1E then VCDS should give you a Suggested Coding of 12613, which you would enter in the Software Coding field. In the above example, you would enter a Software Coding of 12613 then click [Do It!]. After you exit out of the Airbag Controller then get back into it, the Soft. Coding field should show 12613. If the existing WorkShop Code is all zeros, you may need to enter a WorkShop Code before the module will accept the new coding - anything non-zero like 12345 should work for the WorkShop Code.


Important Note: 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.

 


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