Fixing an airbag after an accident is usually not a type of task that can be self-repaired but, it does mean that it’s impossible. If you plan to fix or replace an airbag, you should have adequate skills and confidence to perform the task. Although the process is too technical, there are steps to follow. If you are a DIY enthusiast add have some level of experiences in airbag repair, you can replace airbag units on your own. This is how airbags are fixed after an accident that you can learn.
This is how airbags are fixed after an accident: What happens to the airbags
Before discussing how airbags are fixed, it is better to talk first about how airbags work and what happens to them after accident. When an accident occurs, airbags inflate, preventing your upper body from hitting the windshield and dashboard. In other words, airbags belong to one of the safety components in your car, just like seat belts.
When a car crashes or hits a solid object, it activates a sensor that causes the sensor to sends out an electric current. Non-toxic nitrogen gas is released, triggered by the current. It causes the inflation of the airbag. In moderate to severe crashes, airbags are expected to deploy then deflate.
However, in some cases, airbags fail to deploy. There are some different factors explaining the reasons for the failure. First, the crash impact is probably not severe enough that it cannot make the airbags to inflate. Second, there is a possibility that the airbags have been deployed before but they were not replaced. This can happen in used cars.
So, what to do with deployed airbags? Once the airbags have been deployed, there is no way out but directly replacing them. Sadly, airbags cannot be repaired after a car accident. The only thing you can do is to have it replaced since deployed airbags are no longer usable.
Actually, you can still drive a car without airbags as they have nothing to do with the engine system. However, some states prohibit driving a car without airbags. If you do it, it means you are against the laws. More importantly, driving with the absence of airbags is not safe. The car will run just fine but what if it crashes and you are not protected?
Furthermore, insurance companies a car totaled if the airbags deploy. Therefore, although the car is technically drivable. Therefore, if your airbags deploy, the best thing to do is to have them replaced as soon as possible although the cost can be pricey.
Step by step process in replacing airbags
It is possible for anyone to replace airbags because they are not any legal restrictions to do the work. One thing to keep in mind that you are doing this at your own risk. Make sure you don’t make incorrect installation otherwise accidental placement and personal injury may occur.
- Disconnect battery terminals
Disconnect the battery terminals is the very first thing to do. After they are disconnected, don’t directly go the next step. Instead, let the car sit for one two hours, or at least until the battery backup is discharged completely.
Don’t test the connectors or terminals with a meter. The terminals are surely able to supply enough energy as it only needs approximately 3 ohms to deploy an airbag. The same rules apply for seat airbags, side airbags.
- Reset the airbag control module
You need to reprogram the airbag control module if the airbag deploys. The control module displays a warning light on the dash panel, signaling that there is an issue. After an accident, most systems lock the module so that any potential future deployments can be mitigated.
To start resetting the airbag module, find the control module. It may need a lot of time. Check your vehicle manual and other required software. The module should be found pretty reliably. It is also necessary to find relevant documents because deployed air bags have lost theirs. After being reprogramed, just follow what’s written on the manual.
The cost of replacing airbags
As mentioned previously, replacing airbags on your own can really save money because the cost of airbags replacement is higher than the price of the airbag itself. It probably because there are many components to deal with when replacing airbags and it’s really time-consuming to complete the overall process.
The cost of replacement ranges from $1,000 to $1,500 per airbag, but it does not include the other components that need to be replaced. In addition, you still need to pay for the airbag module replacement that can cost at least $600. To sum up, you need to spend around $3,000 to repair deployed driver’s and passenger’s front airbags.
Considering the costs, you might be thinking whether it is worth repairing or it is better to sell the car instead. It should be noted that the overall repair costs vary greatly depending on the car’s model, year, make, and more. For example, airbag replacement for Ford F150 costs from $200-$700 for driver-side airbags. Meanwhile, the airbag replacement for BMW or Toyota Camry may be higher.
How to keep the budget modest
The budget needed to replace airbags varies depending on several factors such as what kinds of resources available and how patient you are in handling this project. You can go to small repair shops to buy an airbag with low-priced deals. Going online for old, unused airbags also sound a great idea. These unused airbags are usually also available at some local auto yards.
Although the steps of repairing or replacing airbags can be easily followed, there are things to keep in mind. Car airbags are fickle therefore they can malfunction all of a sudden. If the repair is not performed properly, things can get worse. If you are not an experienced technician, it will be better to ask a reputable specialist to get the things done. Hopefully the article entitled this is how airbags are fixed after an accident can help you make decision.