2003 Ford F-150 Service and Repair manual

2003 Ford F-150 Service and Repair manual

In some instances, it may be necessary to remove the steering column or instrument panel to access blower motor housing, heater assembly, evaporator assembly and other related A/C-heater system components. Observe specific manufacturer SERVICE PRECAUTIONS when working on vehicle with an air bag system. Electrical sources should NEVER be allowed near inflator on back of air bag module.

NEVER probe air bag system electrical wires with an analog volt-ohmmeter or test light. Always disable air bag system before servicing vehicle. See appropriate DISABLING & ACTIVATING AIR BAG SYSTEM procedure. Failure to disable system properly may result in accidental air bag deployment and possible personal injury.

If air bag system is not fully functional for any reason, DO NOT drive vehicle until system is repaired and functions properly. DO NOT remove bulbs, modules, sensors or other components, or in any way disable system from operating normally. If air bag system is not functional, park vehicle until system is repaired and functions properly.


All Chrysler vehicles are equipped with driver-side and passenger-side air bags. Unless specific models are mentioned, the following procedures apply to all models with an air bag system.


  1.  Ensure negative battery cable or negative battery cable remote terminal is disconnected and isolated. Connect Diagnostic Read-Out Box III (DRB-III) scan tool to 16-pin Data Link Connector (DLC) located left of steering column at lower edge of instrument panel. Turn ignition switch to ON position and exit vehicle. Ensure latest version of correct DRB cartridge is being used.
  2. After ensuring there is no one inside vehicle, connect negative battery cable or negative battery cable remote terminal. Using DRB, read and record active and any stored Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs). Diagnose as necessary. Clear DTCs and recheck for DTCs. If a problem still exists DTC data will not clear.
  3. Ignition switch should still be in ON position. Ensure no one is inside vehicle. From a position outside vehicle and away from air bag modules (in case of air bag deployment), turn ignition switch to OFF position for about 10 seconds, and then back to ON position. Observe AIR BAG indicator. It should come on for 6-8 seconds and then go out, indicating system is functioning properly.
  4. If AIR BAG indicator fails to come on, comes on and stays on, or comes on while driving, a system malfunction exists. Perform air bag system self-diagnostics, and repair air bag system. WARNING: To avoid injury from accidental air bag deployment, read and carefully follow all appropriate SERVICE PRECAUTIONS and DISABLING & ACTIVATING AIR BAG SYSTEM procedures.


Observe the following precautions when working with or near air bag systems:

  • Disconnect and isolate negative battery cable before servicing vehicle. Allow system capacitor to discharge for 2 minutes before removing air bag components.
  • Disable air bag system before servicing any air bag system or steering column component. Failure to do this may result in accidental air bag deployment and possible personal injury. See DISABLING &


  • Always wear safety glasses when servicing or handling an air bag.
  • Air bag module must be stored in its original special container until used for service. It must be stored in a clean, dry place, away from sources of extreme heat, sparks and high electrical energy.
  • When placing a live air bag on a bench or other surface, always face air bag and trim cover up, away from surface. This will reduce motion of module if accidentally deployed.
  • When a steering column has been removed from vehicle with an air bag module attached, never place column on the floor or any other surface with the steering wheel or air bag module face down.
  • After deployment, air bag surface may contain sodium hydroxide deposits, which irritate skin. Sodium hydroxide is a product of gas generant combustion. Always wear safety glasses, rubber gloves and a longsleeved shirt during clean-up. Wash hands using mild soap and water. Follow correct disposal procedures.
  • When carrying a live air bag module, point trim cover away from your body to minimize injury in case of accidental deployment.
  • DO NOT disconnect or connect air bag module while battery is connected. Never disassemble air bag module. There are no serviceable parts within the module.
  • The air bag control module contains an impact sensor which enables the system to deploy air bags. Never strike the air bag control module. If air bag control module is accidentally dropped, module MUST be replaced.
  • Clockspring, air bag module, and seat belt pre-tensioner (if equipped) MUST be replaced if air bag is deployed.
  • On Caravan, Town & Country and Voyager, when driver-side air bag is deployed because of a collision, the complete steering column assembly, steering column clockspring, steering wheel, driver-side air bag cover/horn module, and lower steering coupler MUST be replaced.
  • On Dakota, Durango and Ram Van/Wagon, driver-side air bag module inflator assembly contains sodium azide and potassium nitrate. These materials are poisonous and extremely flammable; contact with acid, water, or heavy metals may produce harmful and irritating gases.
  • On Dakota and Ram Pickup, ALWAYS remove and replace the air bag control module and its mounting bracket as a unit. DO NOT transfer the module to another bracket.
  • On Ram Pickups, whenever passenger-side air bag module is removed and reinstalled, air distribution panel outlet barrels in passenger-side air bag door panel outlet housings MUST be replaced. Panel outlet barrels must be replaced with NEW barrels. Occupant injuries could result during air bag deployment if outlet barrels are not replaced.
  • On Ram Pickups, after air bag deployment, both air bag modules, clockspring, and the steering column assembly MUST be replaced. During air bag deployment, these components will be damaged or weakened, and are NOT intended to be reused.
  • Fasteners, screws and bolts used to fasten air bag components have a special coating and are specifically designed for air bag system. Use only original equipment fasteners.

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