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B1913 OBD-II Trouble Code: Air Bag Driver/Passenger Circuit Short to Ground

diagnostic check engine light

B1913 code definition

The B1913 trouble code detects a driver and passenger airbag circuit error.

What the B1913 code means

The B1913 code is a generic OBD-II trouble code that signals a circuit malfunction in the driver and front passenger main airbags. If an improper circuit reading from the driver or passenger airbag circuits, or the clockspring circuits is detected by either the airbag control module, body control module, or powertrain control module (PCM), then the B1913 trouble code may be triggered.

What causes the B1913 code?

The B1913 trouble code is almost always caused by a damaged electrical unit. This can include shorted wires and circuits, open and corroded connectors, and blown fuses. Damage to the circuits of either the airbags or the clocksprings will likely cause the B1913 code to be triggered. While a little rarer, it is also possible for the code to be stored as a result of dust in the airbag clockspring assemblies. And while extremely rare, the code is sometimes triggered because of a defective airbag control module, body control module, or PCM.

What are the symptoms of the B1913 code?

When the B1913 trouble code is stored, the airbag warning light will likely illuminate or flash on the instrument panel. The check engine soon warning light may also illuminate. Most importantly, the airbag system will likely not work, meaning that neither the driver nor the front passenger airbag will be deployed if an accident occurs.

How does a mechanic diagnose the B1913 code?

The B1913 code will be diagnosed using a standard OBD-II trouble code scanner. A reputable technician will use the scanner to view the freeze frame data and gather information about the code. The mechanic will also check to see if any other trouble codes are present. If there are numerous codes detected, then the mechanic will need to diagnose them in the order that the scanner displays them in. The trouble codes will then be reset, and the vehicle restarted, so the technician can check to see if the code remains detected. If it does not, then it was likely stored inaccurately, or represents an intermittent error.

If the B1913 code is still present after the reset, then the mechanic will perform a thorough visual inspection of all of the electrical components in the airbag system. All of the wires, fuses, connectors, and harnesses should be inspected, and both the airbag and clockspring circuits will need to be tested. The clocksprings themselves should then be closely inspected.

After any components are replaced or repaired, the trouble codes will again be reset, the vehicle again restarted, and the B1913 code once more checked for. This will allow the technician to know as soon as the issue has been resolved.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the B1913 code

The most commonly made mistake when diagnosing this code comes from a failure to follow the OBD-II trouble code diagnosis protocol. It is imperative that mechanics abide by the protocol step by step, to help guarantee efficient inspections and accurate repairs.

It is fairly common for basic electrical failures to be overlooked, which can lead to unnecessary circuit replacement, and an unresolved trouble code.

How serious is the B1913 code?

The B1913 trouble code will not keep a car from being drivable, or present the driver with any drivability concerns. However, the airbag system will likely be inoperable, so there will be no airbag deployment if the vehicle is involved in a crash. Airbags are extremely important safety features that limit driver and passenger damage, and often save lives, so the vehicle should not be driven until an inspection has been performed.

What repairs can fix the B1913 code?

Some repairs for the B1913 trouble code include:

  • Replacement of the airbag circuits
  • Replacement of the airbag clockspring circuits
  • Replacement of wires, fuses, and connectors in the system
  • Repair of the clocksprings
  • In rare cases, replacement of the airbag control module, PCM, or body control module

Additional comments for consideration regarding the B1913 code

The B1913 code is a manufacturer specific trouble code. Manufacturer specific codes are trouble codes that have a different definition depending on the automaker. The B1913 code represents an airbag circuit malfunction in many cars, but can signal a completely different body problem in other vehicles. Technicians should always take note of the vehicle they are working on when diagnosing the B1913 trouble code.

Need help with a B1913 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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