Originally Posted by BonneMeMN
Disconnect the battery, then pull out the #7 fuse. That'* the proper way to disable it.
Well, you're halfway there...
The proper procedure, per the manual (which we should add to TechInfo if it'* not already there):
Disabling The SIR System
Remove or Disconnect
• Turn steering wheel so that the vehicle'* wheels are pointing straight ahead
• Turn ignition switch "OFF".
1. "AIRBAG" fuse
2. Lower trim panel - LH. Refer to INSTRUMENT PANEL, GAGES AND CONSOLE (SECTION 8C).
[This is basically just a longwinded way of telling you to remove the black plastic lower sound insulator below the steering wheels, just above the pedals. You need to back out a couple of screws and fasteners, release the ALDL connector outlet and the courtesy light to completely remove the panel.]
3. Connector Position Assurance (CPA) and yellow two-way SIR connector at the base of the steering wheel.
[The CPA is just the little locking clip that keeps the big yellow connector together.]
I'm wary of pulling apart air bag wires.....
Right, but here'* why you need to do it anyway, and why disconnecting the battery is not going to get you the security you're looking for:
The airbag system has its own backup power supply, as I said: the Diagnostic Energy Reserve Module, or DERM. It is designed to fire the bags, if needed, if main on-board power is lost, such as in a heavy impact to the front of the car. The DERM remains viable from 2-10 minutes or more after the battery is disconnected.
(And when I say 2-10 minutes, I'm not being vague; the manual is. In Section 3, the manual says it'* 10 minutes (pg. 3F5B-4 for those of you reading along at home), but in Section 8, the same boilerplate text says it'* 2 minutes (pg. 8C-4).)
So disconnecting the battery is not disarming the airbags; pulling the fuse and unplugging the bag will do it. Besides, you end up losing your radio preset memory, clock setting, ECM Keep-Alive memory, etc. if you yank the battery, so don't bother.