How to Disengage the Airbags in a Ford Escape

by Richard Ristow
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Any time you plan to work on either the front seats or any components within a Ford Escape's dashboard, steering column, or center console, you will need to disengage the air bag system. This is practically the first step in many repair processes for not only the Ford Escape and other Ford vehicles, but every car that has a working supplemental restraint system. If you do not do this, you run the risk of triggering the air bags while working on the Escape, and repairing the air bag system can be complex and costly.

2005 Ford Escapes and Later

Step 1

Turn off all accessories within the Ford Escape. Ensure that the ignition is off, too.

Step 2

Locate the Smart Junction Box and remove its cover. You find this box on the right side of the center console.

Step 3

Remove the Restraints Control Module fuse from the Smart Junction Box. For the exact location of the fuse, consult the owner's manual or a Haynes Repair Manual for your particular model year.

Step 4

Place your key into the ignition and turn to the "On" position. Watch the air bag warning light. If you removed the RCM fuse, the air bag light will remain lit. It will not flash. If it does flash or not stay constantly lit, then you need to replace the fuse you pulled and then pull the correct one. Repeat this process until the air bag light stays continously lit.

Step 5

Turn the electrical system off and remove the key from the ignition.

Step 6

Open the Escape's engine compartment and remove the negative cable from the battery. Wait two to three minutes. There will still be residual power within the Escape, and you need to let it run out.

Ford Escapes 2004 and Earlier

Step 1

Ensure that both front tires are pointing directly forward. Place your key into the ignition and turn to the "Lock" position.

Step 2

Open the hood and look into the Escape's engine compartment.

Step 3

Detach the negative cable from the battery.

Step 4

Wait two the three minutes for the residual power still in the vehicle to run out.

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