B1997 code definition
The B1997 trouble code detects an air bag circuit malfunction from the side mount air bag on the passenger side.
What the B1997 code means
The B1997 code is a standard OBD-II trouble code that signals a circuit error in the side mount air bag system for the front passenger seat. The side mount air bag is located on the passenger side B-pillar, and, when the vehicle is in an accident, is deployed into the side of the front seat passenger for added protection. If the air bag control module, body control module, or powertrain control module (PCM) detect a circuit problem from the side mount air bag on the passenger side, then the B1997 trouble code is likely to be stored.
What causes the B1997 code?
The B1997 trouble code is usually caused by damaged electrical components, such as open connectors, blown fuses, or, most likely, shorted wires. These defective electrical parts may be in the passenger side mount air bag circuit, the clockspring, or even in the air bag control module. Other common causes are a failed side mount air bag system, and a damaged clockspring. An air bag control module failure can also cause the B1997 code to be stored, though this is fairly rare. In extremely rare cases, the code may be triggered by a PCM or body control module failure.
What are the symptoms of the B1997 code?
If the B1997 trouble code has been detected, then the check engine soon Warning Light may illuminate on the instrument panel, along with the air bag Warning Light. More importantly, the side mount air bag on the passenger side is unlikely to deploy in the event of an accident. It is also possible that other air bags in the system will be inoperable as well.
How does a mechanic diagnose the B1997 code?
The B1997 trouble code will be diagnosed using a standard OBD-II trouble code scanner. A trustworthy mechanic will use the scanner to look at the freeze frame data and assess the code, while also checking to see if there are any additional trouble codes present. If numerous codes are detected, then they will need to be diagnosed in the order that they are displayed in. The trouble codes will then be reset, the vehicle restarted, and the B1997 code checked for. If the code is no longer detected, then it likely was detected inaccurately, or occurred due to an intermittent error.
If the code is still present, then the technician should begin with a thorough inspection of the electrical components in the air bag system. Any damaged electrical parts will need to be replaced. The clock spring should then be inspected, followed by the side mount air bag deployment system. If the problem persists, the air bag control module should be inspected.
Whenever a component is replaced or repaired, the technician will pause the inspection, reset the trouble codes, restart the vehicle, and check for the B1977 code. This will help the mechanic know when the problem is fully resolved.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the B1997 code
The most commonly made error when diagnosing the B1997 code comes from a failure to abide by the proper OBD-II trouble code diagnosis protocol. Mechanics should always stick to the protocol at all times, to make sure that all diagnoses and repairs are accurate and efficient.
It is very common for damaged electrical components to be overlooked, which can lead to the unnecessary replacement of more costly parts, such as the clockspring or the side mount air bag system.
How serious is the B1997 code?
A vehicle with the B1997 trouble code will not have any drivability problems. However, the air bag system will likely be greatly compromised. In almost all cases, the side mount air bag on the passenger side will not deploy in the event of an accident, and in many cases, none of the air bags will deploy. air bags are a crucial safety feature that can greatly diminish damage and save lives. If possible, the vehicle should not be driven until it has been inspected and repaired.
What repairs can fix the B1997 code?
Repairs for the B1997 trouble code are:
- Replacement of electrical components
- Replacement of the side mount air bag system
- Replacement of the clockspring
- In rare cases, replacement of the air bag control module
- In very rare cases, replacement of the body control module or PCM
Additional comments for consideration regarding the B1997 code
The B1997 trouble code is a manufacturer specific code, which means the definition changes from automaker to automaker. On many vehicles, the code detects a different issue than a side mount air bag circuit malfunction. Mechanics should always take into account the vehicle they are working on when diagnosing the B1997 code.
Need help with a B1997 code?
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This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as B1997 OBD-II Trouble Code: Passenger Side Side-Mount Air Bag Circuit Short to Ground and was authored by Brady Klopfer.