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Porsche 911 Carrera Child Seat Air Bag Deactivation
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Porsche 911 Carrera Child Seat Air Bag Deactivation

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$250

Talent:

**

Tools:

Torx socket set

Applicable Models:

Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-05)
Porsche 996 Turbo, GT2, GT3 (2001-05)

Parts Required:

Air bag deactivation bar or Porsche Latch System

Hot Tip:

If you're planning on installing the on-board computer, have the dealer activate that at the same time

Performance Gain:

Ability to take your driver-in-training along

Complementary Modification:

Add on-board computer

One of the first projects I performed on my Carrera was the installation of the Porsche factory air bag deactivation bar, so that I could take my 3-year-old son along for rides. If you're not familiar with the process of preparing the car so that you can disable the air bag, it can be very confusing. Although, in reality, it's very easy to do, as I explain below for both versions.

The 1998-2005 (996) Carreras use a deactivation bar. The "deactivation bar" is nothing more than a metal bar that holds a buckle attached to the bottom of the passenger seat (PN: 996-803-083-02). The kit from Porsche comes complete with the bar/buckle assembly and two longer bolts that replace the existing bolts that fasten the passenger seat to the chassis. This new buckle contains an electrical switch that connects to a plug under the passenger seat. All of the Porsche factory child seats have a seat belt receptacle that plugs into this buckle. When this belt is plugged in, the electrical switch is activated, and it tells the air bag computer to shut off the air bag in the car.

Installation is a snap. Simply remove the two Torx bolts that hold the seat to the chassis, slide in the bar, and then install the new bolts to reattach the bar and seat assembly. Refer to Figure 2 for the proper orientation of the buckle (it is possible to install it upside down). Plug in the connector to the empty connection under the seat. The last step is you need to have the "Child Seat Occupancy" turned on by using the factory Porsche System Tester 2 (PST-2), which you can typically only find at the Porsche dealers. Some dealers will charge for performing this task, others will do it for free. It takes about five minutes total to set.

The problem with this air bag deactivation system is that it only works with Porsche factory child seats, as they come with the special buckle attached. For my own application, I did not use a Porsche factory seat, but instead, used a different seat and attached the buckle from a factory seat to the bottom of my seat. I got this buckle from an old factory seat that a friend of mine had that was too big for my 3-year-old. In the same manner as the factory seat, I attach and plug in the buckle when I install the child seat into the car. I then confirm that the air bag is disabled by checking the light on the dash (see Figure 1). I have not been able to locate this buckle or receptacle separately, but the TRW part numbers are: 33000311 35 06 / 99680328302 for the buckle, and 56030A (part number on metal) / 7670842 (part number on plastic).

Air bags are lifesaving devices, however, they can be deadly to small children. Regardless of how you install your child seat into the car, exercise extreme caution and always check that the air bag is disabled (via the blinking lamp on the dash, see Figure 1 996 only) prior to driving the car. For more information, see also Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 15/98 6923 Porsche Child Restraint System - Installation (dated 3-7-2000).

For 2005 and later cars, Porsche used a similar, but slightly more complicated system. Dubbed the "Latch System," (Lower Anchorage and Tether for Children) the kit includes fastening loops and lower anchorage points for mounting between the seat surface and backrest, as well as a key switch for deactivation of the passenger side air bag (PN: 997-044-800-15). Starting with 2006, the 911 Carrera seats have a "weight sensing" system that turns off the air bag if there isn't an adult sitting in the seat. Although, these can be less than reliable when the weight of a car seat is added into the equation--I recommend installing the air bag deactivation key switch.

Installation of the switch involves removing the center console to install the PAO (passenger airbag off) light (see project 102C replacing your carpet for removal of the center console) and removal of the side dash panel and a few under dash panels to plug in the switch. Once it's installed, you simply turn off the passenger side air bag with your key, check that you hear the auditory warning and that the PAO is illuminated and you are good to go. For more information, see Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 3/06 6929 Child Seat Preparation For Passenger Seat (dated 4-16-2007). While this is a little more work I feel it is worth it for the peace of mind.

This photo shows the Porsche air bag deactivation bar.
Figure 1

This photo shows the Porsche air bag deactivation bar. This part is simply a metal bar with a seat belt receptacle attached. Porsche branded child seats come with a buckle attached to the front of the seat (upper right inset). This buckle piece (yellow arrow) mates with the receptacle attached to the bar (red arrow) and activates an electrical switch that turns off the air bag. The electrical connector (blue arrow) needs to be mated with an open connector that is located beneath the passenger seat. When the buckle is plugged in, the air bag lamp on the dashboard will blink repeatedly for 10 seconds or 60 seconds (cars manufactured after 03/31/1999) to inform you that the passenger side air bag is properly disabled. On the 2005 and later Carreras (997), the air bag is turned off or deactivated by inserting the key into the passenger side air bag switch located on the side of the dashboard trim. You will need to open the door to perform this. Once off the system acknowledges you have deactivated the passenger side air bag with an acoustic signal and a continuously lit "Passenger Airbag Off" warning light on the center console by the handbrake. This system is not installed at the factory and if you do not want to install it yourself can be retrofitted by a Porsche dealer.

This photo shows the air bag deactivation bar installed in the passenger seat.
Figure 2

This photo shows the air bag deactivation bar installed in the passenger seat. Note the direction of the plastic clips on the buckle (green arrow). New, longer mounting screws for the seats come with the bar kit, as the bar is attached to the top of the seat mount (blue arrows). The electrical connection for the air bag is located under the seat (lower right photo).

Shown here is the Porsche factory System Tester 2.
Figure 3

Shown here is the Porsche factory System Tester 2. This computer needs to be plugged into your car to turn on the "Child Seat Occupancy" setting in the air bag computer of the Picture 2005: (996) Carreras. I'm not sure why this wasn't turned on by default, but most dealers will perform this five-minute task for free or for a nominal charge.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Targaman Comments: Hi, I have 2 quick questions for the experts to get a deeper understanding:
1.is that really only a simple switch in the buckle or is there any resistor in series or in parallel to the switch?
2. What is the switch logic? a No child seat plugged in switch contact closed or open? b child seat plugged in switch contact closed or open? Thx.
June 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: According to the diagrams there are two resistors in each belt buckle a 100 ohm resistor and a 300 ohm resistor only on USA models. I've attached a diagram of the child seat detection switch- Casey at Pelican Parts
ct01 Comments: I just installed the bar yesterday and plugged it in - no problem there, but now I have the airbag light constantly. It will be a while before I can get to the dealer for setting the occupancy setting, is there anything I can do get the light off for the time being?
April 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Unfortunately not. Being a safety related system there is nothing that can be done without a scan tool. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Bwonder996 Comments: Hello I have a 996 1999 and I have been experiencing when I lean forward on my driver seat my airbag light keeps going off the backing of the driver seat when I took it apart all I see like yellow wiring which may be sensor? Any ideas what I should replace or do? Thank you in advance
May 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That could be for the seat belt buckle or an airbag. Is the wiring intact? If so, I would leave it alone, then scan the vehicle for fault codes. The fault code will identify the problem part of the system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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