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Old 13 Nov 2009, 08:46 am
Elle
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Default 2003 Civic SRS Experience

I had an opportunity to buy a 2003 Civic LX with 81k miles on it
several weeks ago at a great price, and I did. At the time of
purchase, one of the door locks did not work, and the SRS indicator
light was on. I fixed the door lock easily, replacing the lock's
cylinder plates etc. Then I started on the SRS system. The title is
clean and there were no indications of an accident. I researched a lot
on the internet and with shop manuals (free at my public library along
with bits and pieces posted at various web site). I made some tools
for a few dollars to re-set the SRS memory and read the SRS code being
thrown. I re-set the SRS memory often while I was figuring out how to
read codes on the cheap. Once I got my tools together and figured out
what two connectors I needed to find under the dash for (1) re-setting
the SRS memory and (2) reading codes, things became easy.

Only one code was being thrown, Code 9-3. This is for a faulty
driver's seat belt buckle switch. Knowing the code and so thinking
this would very likely be covered under Honda's lifetime seat belt
warranty, I reported to my dealer. My dealer reads codes for free, but
subsequent repairs may not be. My dealer was great: The service
department read the code, assured me the repair was covered under
warranty, and ordered the part. Less than two days I was driving home
with the new seat belt buckle installed. I asked to keep the old
buckle (for tinkering, ya know) but the dealer said they needed to
turn it over to Honda as part of the warranty procedure.

One of the Service Department fellows said his understanding is that
this seat belt buckle switch wears /by design/ so people do come in
periodically [every several years] to get a new seat belt buckle. The
idea being it preserves the integrity of the seat belt as a restraint
and so saves Honda from lawsuits. I do not know if this is true or
not. Since I had an experience with my 1991 Civic's seat belt in 2001
or so and the dealer fixed it without question, it seems to me that
the lifetime seat belt warranty is something Honda seems to hold
sacred.

From reading on the net, SRS light problems seem to come up a lot with
this generation. Here is my writeup on what I did:
http://sites.google.com/site/hondalioness/srs
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