On the 2002 Ford Escape, the Air Bag code 47 is a fairly straight forward code pointing to a problem with the passenger’s side seat belt pretensioner. Remove the side panel of the passenger’s seat cushion. Carefully inspect the electrical connectors and wire harness for any loose, broken or damaged wires. If there are no problems found, the pretensioner will need to be replaced.
The purpose of the seat belt pretensioner is to tighten up any slack in the seat belt as quickly as possible in the event of a crash. This will ensure the seat belt restrains the occupant and consequently, will greatly reduce the load on the occupant in the event of a crash. The pretensioner mechanism uses a high energy charge to drive a piston when sensors detect the abrupt deceleration of an accident. The piston then quickly drives the spool around which the strap of a seat belt is wrapped. That fast retraction of the belt removes the slack from the belt instantly. This extra seat belt pretension pulls the seat occupant firmly into the seat. This in turn, positions the occupant so as to receive the maximum protection benefit of the front airbags.
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