Fault code B1049 – driver air bag module open

Fault code B1049 is called “Driver Air Bag Module Open” but in different programs it may be called differently. This fault designation applies to all vehicles equipped with OBD-II.

Technical description and explained code B1049

This diagnostic trouble code (DTC) is a generic code. Fault B1049 is considered a generic code because it applies to all makes and models of vehicles. Although the specific repair steps may vary slightly from model to model.

Fault code B1049 – driver air bag module open

This error occurs when the control unit stops seeing the driver’s airbag, which is mounted in the steering wheel. This can mean both failure of the airbag itself and the connection wires.

The code may also appear due to a failure of the control unit itself, or as a result of a vehicle accident. After the accident, the airbag may not have been replaced, but instead a plug with a cheater system was put in its place.

Symptoms of vehicle malfunctions

The main signal that an error B1049 has occurred is the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is also known as the CheckEngine Light.

It can also be warning signs such as:

  1. It is likely that there will be no symptoms other than the stored fault code and the SRS illumination on the instrument panel.

Fault B1049 is serious because airbag problems directly affect the driver’s safety in the event of a collision with an obstacle.

Factors that can cause this error code

The error code B1049 can mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:

  • Driver’s airbag malfunction.
  • Defective spiral cable.
  • Driver airbag wiring harness is open.
  • Poor electrical connection of driver airbag circuit.
  • Airbag control unit has failed.

How to fix or reset OBD-2 code B1049

Some suggested steps for troubleshooting and fix the error code B1049:

  1. Visually check the wiring harness connection, replace it if it has visible damage.
  2. Check driver airbag module, replace if necessary.
  3. Replace the spiral cable if it has failed.
  4. Replace the airbag diagnostic sensor assembly if necessary.

Diagnose and repair of problems

Before servicing the SRS system and clearing fault B1049, turn off the ignition, then disconnect both battery cables and wait at least 10 minutes. For about 10 minutes after disconnecting the cables, the airbag and belt pretensioner may still deploy.

Do not work on any of the connectors or wires of the SRS system until at least 10 minutes have elapsed. Failure to do so may result in accidental triggering of these modules, increasing the risk of serious injury.

Further diagnosis and troubleshooting of B1049 consists of a step-by-step check of all components. In this case it is the wiring harness, the driver airbag itself, the spiral cable and the control module.

On which vehicles does this problem occur most frequently

Fault code B1049 can occur on different vehicles but there are statistics on which brands this occurs most often. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Nissan (Juke, Note, Pathfinder, Qashqai, Tiida, X-Trail)

Fault code B1049 can sometimes be found with other errors. The most common are the following: B1015, B1050, B1059, B1065, B1081, B1086, B1209.


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