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B1888 OBD-II Trouble Code: Air Bag Passenger Circuit Resistance Low or Shorted Together

diagnostic check engine light

B1888 code definition

The B1888 trouble code detects a passenger airbag circuit malfunction.

What the B1888 code means

The B1888 code is a generic OBD-II trouble code that notes a circuit issue with the passenger airbag, which is the airbag located on the dashboard in front of the front passenger seat. When the airbag control module, body control module, or powertrain control module (PCM) note an insufficient resistance level from the passenger airbag circuit and the two clockspring circuits, then the B1888 trouble code is likely to be stored.

What causes the B1888 code?

Causes for the B1888 trouble code include:

  • An open or shorted circuit, or low resistance in the passenger airbag
  • An open or shorted circuit, or low resistance in one or both of the clocksprings
  • Damaged wires, harnesses, or other electrical components
  • Dust or contamination in one of the clockspring assemblies
  • In rare cases, a defective PCM, body control module, or airbag control module

What are the symptoms of the B1888 code?

The B1888 trouble code will usually be accompanied by an illuminated SRS Warning Light on the vehicle’s gauge cluster. It is likely that the passenger airbag will not deploy in the event of an accident.

How does a mechanic diagnose the B1888 code?

The B1888 code will be diagnosed with the help of an OBD-II trouble code scanner. A trained technician will use the scanner to look at the freeze frame data and assess the B1888 code, while also checking to see if there are any other trouble codes present. If the mechanic finds that there are numerous codes detected, then they will need to be diagnosed in the order in which the scanner displays them. The trouble codes will then be reset, the vehicle restarted, and the B1888 code again looked for. If the code is no longer present, then an erroneous trigger, or an intermittent error are likely to blame.

If the code is still present, then the mechanic will begin by visually inspecting all of the electrical components in the passenger airbag system. All shorted wires, open connectors and harnesses, and blown fuses will need to be replaced. The clockspring assemblies will then be inspected, and then the passenger airbag circuit, as well as the two clockspring airbag circuits will be checked.

After the technician replaces any components in the vehicle, the trouble codes will be reset, the vehicle restarted, and the B1888 code once again checked for. By doing this, the mechanic will know as soon as the code has been fixed.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the B1888 code

The most frequently made error when diagnosing the B1888 code comes from not properly abiding by the OBD-II diagnosis protocol. It is very important that technicians always follow the protocol, as it helps ensure efficient diagnoses and proper repairs.

While circuit failure is a common cause of the B1888 code, fully functional circuits are often condemned when damaged wires are overlooked.

How serious is the B1888 code?

If a vehicle has a stored B1888 code, then the passenger airbag will likely fail to deploy upon impact. Airbags are a critical safety feature that can not only limit damage to occupants, but potentially save their life. A vehicle with the B1888 code should be inspected as soon as possible, and occupants should refrain from sitting in the front passenger seat until the car has been diagnosed and repaired.

What repairs can fix the B1888 code?

Potential fixes for the B1888 trouble code are:

  • Passenger airbag circuit replacement
  • Clockspring circuits replacement
  • Cleaning, repair, or replacement of the clocksprings
  • Replacement of electrical components
  • In very rare cases, replacement of the PCM, body control module, or airbag control module

Additional comments for consideration regarding the B1888 code

The B1888 trouble code is a manufacturer specific code, which means that the definition varies depending on the automaker. This code often defines a passenger airbag circuit malfunction, but it can represent an entirely different error with different manufacturers. It is important that mechanics always take into account the vehicle they are working on when diagnosing the B1888 trouble code.

Need help with a B1888 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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