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Thanks to the OP! This got rid of the loud, incessant beeping and flashing airbag light. I'm SO thankful! It was driving me nuts! I have next to zero experience soldering, but had no trouble with this at all. It was a cinch.
FYI I drive a 2006 Outback XT Limited with just over 120,000 miles.
 

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Still a great thread for that almost inevitable airbag warning. I always disconnect the battery, pump the brakes a few times, check to make sure all door lights etc. are dead and wait 10-15 minutes which is honestly overkill before messing with any airbag connects.

I swapped my outback's steering wheel for the corresponding generation STI leather-with-red-stitch one, so I know my connection at the steering wheel is good, by the way honking the horn doesn't prove s*** there is an entirely separate connection for the airbag.

I did the soldering job on the overhead circuit board, I could see 2 hairline-cracked solder joints but I did ALL the solder joints front and back for the LED driver chips (flat components). The LEDs themselves along with the wires to the circuit board all looked to have good and plentiful solder joints so I left them alone, but I'll go back and reflow them too if there's still an issue. If that doesn't permanently solve my airbag warning light issues, at least it will permanently solve the issue of the overhead indicator LEDs working intermittently.

The [st/d]ealership wanted $100 just to diagnose. I'd rather do every DIY check step by step until the issue's resolved, for $0 (+ time I enjoy spending on my car anyway)...
 

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:29:Finally got around to doing this fix...........didn't take long to touch up all the solder joints on the little panel.
So far, when I plugged it all back in and turned on the car, no AIRBAG light on the instrument panel and the indicator up by the sunroof controls/map lights says OFF. :29:



So in the lower pic, just add solder to the five blobs, or to the five and a register point? Did you suck out the old solder? Trying to get this right. Thank you 😊
 

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So in the lower pic, just add solder to the five blobs, or to the five and a register point? Did you suck out the old solder?.
A clean solder connection should look concave and shiny on the surface. These are convex and are pitted, and that could lead to fracture again. Try to wick out most of the solder that is there, then resolder the joints with fresh 60/40 lead solder.

I don't know what you mean by "register point", BTW.
 

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So in the lower pic, just add solder to the five blobs, or to the five and a register point? Did you suck out the old solder? Trying to get this right. Thank you 😊
Yep, just held the soldering iron to the 5 blobs to heat them up and added a little more, no sucking out the old.
 

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Great big THANK-YOU to OP and others who have created this thread!!!

Just fixed my friend's 07 OBW. Dash airbag light on/off intermittently, "pass airbag off" light not working at all and "pass airbag on" light worked fine. Weird combo. Resoldered all joints on both sides of PCB. Factory solder turned shiny when liquid but became gray when solid. I have never seen solder like this and I did a lot of soldering in the old days (built two Heathkit AR 1500A receivers) plus other stuff. I'm thinking Subaru put some funky solder on these boards.

Anyhoo, everything looks good now.
 

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thank You!
my dash RED Airbag light was intermittent, and also my map light console was not displaying Passenger Airbag OFF, nor ON, also intermittent.

example of my dash RED airbag light ON:


I removed the map light console circuit board, and under magnification found 2 cracked joints


resoldered with a bit of extra solder on the fat tinned tip (not too easily in small space), so not showing you the poor quality of my work

reassembled and now Passenger Airbag On and Off lights work on map light console:




and now RED airbag light on dash turns OFF..


wooohoo!
Im cancelling the date with my mechanic

Pics and excellent step by step in Post 6 by @deccher
how to remove the map light console:
Hope this helps out.
Like Totally Man!
Thank You!
 

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I have a 2006 Outback 2.5i Ltd, and the airbag light has come on since it has been cold out. On warmer days, the light will randomly display. So, I had the dealer run a diag on it, since my car was in there for a transmission issue. When I picked up my car, the dealer told me the light wasn't throwing any type of code, and they found the issue to be a burned out LED bulb, located in the map light overhead console. This is the passenger ON/OFF light, and sure enough, if I tapped on it, the light would flicker. I asked how much it would cost to fix, he said it would be around $340 (- the $65 i paid for the diag), and the whole overhead console would need to be replaced. SO for a burned out bulb, it would cost me $270...are you kidding me??!! I now understand why so many refer to the dealer as the STEALER. Unbelievable. I was told that since the airbag light was on, the airbags would not deploy.

So, I jumped online, and found the overhead console (OEM) sold for around $115. I looked at mine, and figured out how to remove it .... remove the lens, and 2 screws secure it. So, now I am looking at the cost of the part, installing myself, and saving the ridiculous $160 installation fee (I guess it is $80/screw).

I figured since I had mine out, I might as well look at it. I removed the PCB that contained the 4 LEDs. With closer inspection, I could see one of the components on the board was loose...as in there wasn't enough solder to secure it. So, I whipped out the old soldering iron, and bolstered it a little. I may have added a little too much, but it was the best I could do w/ the tools I have @ home (better lab tools @ work). Anyway, tested it....works perfectly. In the pic below, I have called out the component that was loose.



I'd like to know what you all think about it. If it's a legit fix, hopefully I help someone else.
Hey, got the same problem with my OBW 2007, and fixed it the same way! Exactly the same resistor was loose, and after some soldering error message disappeared and the LEDs are now working properly. Thanks, it saved me several hundreds and brought plenty of pleasure. Ilia
 

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Just adding my name to the list of thrilled owners to solve this problem easy and for no cost. Awesome write-up. Dealt with this issue for over a year with light coming on when cold outside. Glad I came here to find the solution.
Great close up pics of the solder joints jon_slider
 

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Thanks for the write-up! I got worried when I first saw the light come on with a real cold morning so I attempted this and everything went well. Seems to have worked so far. Those pictures are a little deceiving because they are good closeups, those solder joints are pretty small and I brushed the iron against the LED but it still works. I probably could have gotten away with just re-wetting the joints, but I added a little solder to be safe. I was able to see the small cracks in the original joints.
 

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Add me to the list of a successful code 26 repair. Don't think I would have figured it out on my own without finding this thread first as I never look at those passenger airbag indicators. Mine was caused by a break in the "OFF" LED circuit. I went over every last solder joint with 62/36/2 silver-bearing solder.
 

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Had the airbag light come back on this winter, but the overhead console looked fine. Pulled the board again and under a magnifying class everything looked fine, but redid the connections just in case. Light remained on, then noticed it did not register passenger seat weight.

Sigh, this required removing the seat so I could check/redo the harness, then put it all back together. Light went off, seat registered weight again. I could not access the airbag harness connections without removing the seat but with a mirror and good tools maybe you can. I suspect this issue was related to the passenger side airbag recall which was only completed on my car approx 2.5 years ago but maybe just bad luck. Anyway worth fiddling with if your overhead console is fine. Note I did disconnect the battery for both jobs just to be safe not sure if necessary though.
 

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An interesting anecdote here about that passenger seat occupancy sensor: I've noticed that a 12-pack of beer in glass bottles placed in that seat will set it off when I'm driving alone, whereas a six-pack won't. Perhaps this is a good test to perform periodically to assure that your seat sensor is still functioning at the proper threshold.

The seat belt chime is rather irritating, though - enough so that I usually have to stop and either place it on the floor or buckle the belt.

And please don't send me hate replies here - no, I don't drink it.
 

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The seat belt chime is rather irritating, though - enough so that I usually have to stop and either place it on the floor or buckle the belt.

I disabled the chime the first week I bought my OB. At least there's an official procedure for disabling it. My last car I had to pull the drivers side panel off the dash and rip the stupid chime module out.
 

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Hi everyone, first post on this forum.
Just want to say thanks for the airbag light fix. I performed this fix on my daughter’s 09 Outback. The passenger seat would register weight, however with no occupant in the seat the ‘OFF’ light was not illuminated on the overhead console and the red airbag light on the instrument panel was illuminated. Removed and inspected the PCB in the overhead console. Couldn’t see anything obvious however one of the LEDs looked as if it could have a dry solder joint. Went ahead and touched up all the solder joints and reassembled. Been a few days and so far all in operating as it should.
Kudos to the original poster of this fix!
Julian
 

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Add me to the list

Add me to the list this appears to have worked on. I could see missing solder and a crack on the board as the picture shows.
 

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