Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. B1938 OBD-II Trouble Code: Air Bag Passenger Circuit Short to Ground

B1938 OBD-II Trouble Code: Air Bag Passenger Circuit Short to Ground

diagnostic check engine light

B1938 code definition

The B1938 code is manufacturer-specific (in this case General Motors) body code related to air bags. In this case, it means that the engine control module (ECM) has detected a fault with the passenger-side air bag.

What the B1938 code means

A code B1938 will be stored when the ECM has detected a resistance signal other than 1.4-2.9 ohms in the passenger-side air bag module circuit. In addition, the wiring harness between the passenger-side air bag module and SAS control module may have noted a fault or malfunction.

What causes the B1938 code?

Several problems may cause a B1938 code including:

  • Open or short circuit in the wiring harness between the passenger-side air bag module
  • Passenger-side air bag module malfunction
  • SAS control module malfunction

What are the symptoms of the B1938 code?

Symptoms of a B1938 code may include:

  • The check engine or service engine soon light may illuminate
  • Air bag light may incorrectly illuminate
  • Air bag light may flash
  • Passenger-side air bag may not inflate during a crash
  • There may be no symptoms other than a stored B1938 code

How does a mechanic diagnose the B1938 code?

A mechanic may use several methods to diagnose a B1938 trouble code, including:

  • Utilize an OBD-II scanner to check for a stored B1938 trouble code
  • Visually inspect the system for obvious signs of damage or wear
  • Inspect the passenger-side air bag module
  • Inspect the passenger-side air bag module connector
  • Check to see if the malfunction is in the passenger-side air bag module or related wiring harness
  • Inspect the SAS control module

Common mistakes when diagnosing the B1938 code

Note that listed detection conditions are for understanding the DTC outline before performing an inspection. Performing an inspection according to only the detection conditions may cause injury due to an operating error, or damage the system. When performing an inspection, it is recommended to always follow the inspection procedure.

How serious is the B1938 code?

Because a vehicle’s safe driving operation can be impacted due to faults that store a B1938 code, this code is considered a potentially serious code. When this code appears, it is recommended to immediately take your vehicle to your local service center or mechanic for repair and diagnosis.

What repairs can fix the B1938 code?

Several repairs can fix a B1938 trouble code and include:

Additional information related to a B1938 code

Improperly handling a vehicle’s air bag system components can accidentally deploy the air bag modules and pre-tensioner seat belts, which can seriously injure you anyone who may be around you. Always read the service warnings and cautions before handling any air bag system components.

Remember, anything related to air bags can be both difficult and dangerous, and is often best left to professionals for diagnosis and repair. If making any repairs yourself, it is recommended to take care with the air bags when removed from the vehicle and store in a safe place.

Need help with a B1938 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
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: Code is P02990 what does it mean?

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Buick Cascada. Trouble code P0990 is a transmission fluid pressure fault. Possibly an internal fault in the transmission or there is a fluid leak. If the car didn't make it home, I suggest...

Q: OBD-II failed for smog check

Unfortunately without more information as to why your Toyota Corolla did not pass the emissions test, it is difficult to determine the cause for the failed smog check. Provided that the ODB2 port itself has power and is allowing the...

Q: Will a bad O2 sensor damage my car's computer?

The engine control unit (ECU) is a possible cause of the O2 sensor fault codes but not the most likely. Your vehicle is equipped with 4 O2 sensors. Bank 1 is the driver's side. Bank 2 is the passenger side....