How are Car Airbags Repaired After an Accident?
In the event of a collision, airbags provide extra safety to the passengers. This amazing technology helps to reduce injuries in road accidents. Once the airbag sensors get triggered, the airbags are deployed to slow down the passenger’s forward movement and reduce the impact by offering a cushion.
Working of a car airbag is quite simple but there is no way for the bags to automatically go back to their compartment on their own. The deflated car airbags need to be replaced before you hit the road again. Failure to do so will not guarantee the same level of protection in case of another accident.
How to Fix Airbags After an Accident
If your car airbags are not fixed timely, then you are leaving yourself and your loved ones in a defenceless position in an accident. In this guide, we will help you understand how to get a car airbag repaired after an accident.
It is advised to seek professional help for airbag replacement. Before receiving the car, test the car airbags to ensure that they are properly installed. Unlike other cosmetic car defects, replacing an airbag correctly is essential. Moreover, you should not attempt repairing a deflated airbag yourself without any prior experience.
These steps are followed for repairing car airbags after an accident.
1. Unplugging the Battery Cable
The airbag is connected via electrical cables so any interference with a plugged-in car can result in electrocution or serious injury. Therefore, it is necessary to unplug the battery cable, before replacing the deflated airbag.
After the battery cable is unplugged, the battery needs to rest for an hour at most. This will ensure that no backup power flows through the vehicle to prevent unnecessary accidents.
2. Removing Panels and Bolts
Airbags are located at different positions in a car varying in make and model. The positioning of an airbag can be confirmed through user manuals. Some locations where airbags are usually positioned are enlisted below.
- Steering wheel – Some deflated airbags might require the replacement of the steering wheel or column. Bolts for removing the steering wheel are located on the backside of its base.
- Passenger glove compartment – The glove compartment is removed to access the airbag below it. The airbag is accessed from inside the compartment with bolts.
- Side doors – Some models bear airbags inside doors for added safety.
- Upper curtains – Airbags can be found on roof panelling as well. Door framing needs to be removed for accessing them.
- Seat belts – Airbags in seat belts can be found in newer models which are designed for adding protection for all the car’s passengers.
- Seats – Airbags placed on the seat’s side prevent passengers from colliding with each other. This makes car seats safer. Such bags usually tear open from the seating material and need complete replacement.
The serviceman can repair the airbag properly by removing the relevant bolts and panels holding the airbags underneath.
3. Disconnecting Wiring of Airbag
The wiring of an airbag is very fragile and needs to be dealt with cautiously. Various car manufacturers design the airbag connections on the driver’s side with a slight difference.
The connectors are removed with small tools gently, to prevent damage to other parts. The wires are removed safely from the deflated airbag for replacement. In case the wire connectors get damaged, the new unit will be difficult to connect.
4. Removing Deflated Airbag
After disconnecting the wires, the deflated airbag is removed. After an accident, the airbags that had not been deployed must be displaced as well, since they must be faulty, therefore, did not engage.
The undeployed airbags must be dealt with carefully and not be thrown away in the trash. Such airbags must be sent to recycling centres for the safe disposal of the unit and its reactive material. While the deflated airbags can be disposed of without any special instructions.
5. Replacing with Similar Airbag
The new airbags are installed in a similar manner the deflated one was removed. The new airbags must be an identical match to the original ones and must be of the same make. This way the new airbags will be installed properly without any hassle.
Airbags are put in their proper locations in the correct direction before they are secured. It is important that the airbag is installed in exact same manner as the original one to deploy it rightly.
6. Reattaching Screws and Wires
After replacing the deflated airbags with newer ones, the wires are carefully reconnected to the airbag. After airbag replacement, the panel and screws are secured to their original position.
If the parts are not placed back where they had been originally, the airbag may struggle to break through once triggered. Therefore, proper panelling is of prime importance not just for the car aesthetics, but also for smooth airbag deployment in future.
7. Resetting the Airbag Sensors
Resetting the airbag sensors correctly is crucial for triggering airbag deployment. The airbag sensors are triggered by the impact generated when a car is hit by a foreign object. These sensors become inoperative after facing an accident.
After airbag replacement, the sensors are reset once the battery is revived. If the airbag sensors have not been replaced properly, then an indicator will flash on the display directing to an inspection. Sometimes airbag sensors might need replacement and only then will the repaired airbags be able to deploy in the event of a collision and prevent harm.
Is a Car Totalled When the Airbags Deploy?
Deployment of airbags does not usually contribute to totalling of vehicles. A car is considered totalled after an airbag deployment because the airbag repair cost is very high. Therefore, insurance companies prefer not to pay the repair cost, rather they’d pay you to buy a new one. Older cars are usually considered totalled after airbag deployment and significant car damage that is not worth repairing.
Can You Drive a Car with Deployed Airbags?
No. You must never drive a car with deployed airbags because the deflated airbags are of no use any longer. The deployed airbags won’t guarantee protection in case of another collision.
Airbags serve as an added safety measure that has reduced the severity of injuries in car accidents. Such technological advancements add value to passenger safety as well, therefore, they must never be taken for granted.
Having said that, one must ensure that after facing an accident the broken airbag repairment must be of prime importance. Consulting a professional for airbag replacement is the foremost step in getting your car airbag repaired.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for a modern car with advanced security features, then you can consider these used cars for sale in the UAE.
Stay tuned to the UAE’s top car blog for more information on car parts and their repair.