Illuminated Air Bag Warning Light.

In the event of your vehicles airbag warning light becomes illuminated on your dashboard you will need to investigate the cause because in the event of a collision the airbag will not deploy.

Each time you start your vehicle the ECU will perform a series of diagnostic checks after the tests are carried out the airbag light on the dashboard should go out if for any reason the airbag warning light remains on then you have a problem that requires further investigation.

If your airbag warning light remains on for an extended period after starting your vehicle, it can mean one of several things:

  • 1. Faulty airbag warning light.
  • 2. Faulty sensor.
  • Faulty airbag ECU.

It is not uncommon for crash sensors to become eroded in areas of high salt content such as seaside locations where the conditions are perfect for the dreaded rust to set in, this can cause premature deterioration to the vehicles airbag sensors and result in the airbag warning light becoming illuminated.

Airbag Troubleshooting

Unfortunately there is no quick fix solution to airbag warning light indicators and unless you happen to be a trained motor vehicle repair operative then you will more than likely require the assistance of a professional mechanic in order to get to the root of the problem. Your motor vehicle technician will have at hand the correct garage equipment to quickly and effectively diagnose the fault saving you time and money.

The mechanic will conduct a thorough systems check using a diagnostic scan tool which connects to the vehicles ECU or brain helping to identify any faulty parts if a part is deemed to be at fault it will require immediate replacement.

Clearing Airbag Warning Light

After replacing the faulty part you will need to clear the fault on the vehicles ECU in order for the warning light to go off, clearing or resetting tells the ECU that the fault has been rectified and asks it to perform the system checks again upon completion of this the airbag warning light should now be off.

Can you reuse a Deployed Vehicle Airbag?

We are often asked the question is it possible to reuse an airbag that has been activated in an accident/collision the answer is categorically no, upon activation of one or more of your vehicles airbag systems it will require immediate replacement.

When an airbag is deployed it will leave your vehicle is a sorry state with bits of your dashboard strewn around and a covering of white dust throughout the interior it is often the case that your insurer will declare the vehicle a total loss wherever the vehicle damage may amount to 75% or where the total value of the vehicle is less than the cost to repair it.

Vehicle Airbag Systems

The airbag is a critical safety system they are designed to be a single-use safety mechanism that is there to provide a softer alternative to the dashboard or windscreen which once upon a time where the only barrier between you and serious injury, ejection or even death during the event of a serious vehicle collision.

Airbags are constructed from stretchable fabrics and materials and are fitted and compressed inside various parts of a vehicle such as the dashboard, steering wheel and side pillars. Most often, airbags are placed in the steering wheel, driver’s side dashboard, or passenger side dashboard.

Any motor vehicle that has airbags installed is also fitted with a complex series of electronics that allow the system to activate in the event of a collision called crash sensors that detect when a collision has occurred. If for any reason these sensors are not working correctly then the vehicles airbags will not deploy.

A vehicles crash sensors measure many varying factors such as wheel speed, seat occupancy, brake pressure, and more, and relay the information back to the airbag control unit in the front of the vehicle. The airbag control unit can then process this information and implement additional necessary safety features, like automatic door locking, seat-belt lock, and of course, airbag deployment.

In the event of a vehicle’s crash sensors having detected information that suggests an collision has occurred they will tell the airbag control unit in turn sends a message to the airbag inflator systems and the airbags fill with air and deploys in milliseconds via a small chemical charge which causes a tiny explosion that causes the airbag to fill and deploy as fast as it does.

Is an Airbag Guaranteed to Save Lives?

There is no guarantee that your vehicles airbags will save your life however they are proven to significantly reduce the associated risk of being involved in a motor vehicle collision to both the driver and any passengers that may be in the vehicle. Air bags can cost anywhere from £200 to over £1,000 dependent on the make and model.

Can i Install a Second Hand Airbag?.

In the event of a vehicle collision that results in airbag deployment there are plenty of auto salvage yards (Vehicle Dismantlers Breakers) that could sell you a previously installed but unused airbag replacement going down this road will undoubtedly save you money off the cost of a new airbag unit from your manufacturers or main dealers.

Provided that they are fitted by a qualified technician in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions then there really is no reason why you cannot install a good unit from an identical scrapped vehicle.

This article was published on Friday 30 November 2018 at 13:59h.
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