Frequently Asked Questions about Airbags.
- From 1989-1993: you will need to
replace only the drivers airbag and either
or replace the control module and replace damaged
impact sensors and clockspring. (If Needed)
How driver airbags work?
- From 1994-2000: (roughly) By now
most cars come equipped with both drivers and
passenger airbag and therefore both must be
replaced. You must also
or replace the
controls module and replace damaged impact sensors
and clockspring. (If Needed)
How passenger airbags work?
- From 2001-Present: Manufactures
began to implement dual stage deployment airbags
(smart airbags) along with seat, side, curtain, knee
and foot airbags. Also,
seat belt pre-tensioners were
developed and are now a regular part of the SRS
- With the advent of smart
airbags the only airbags that deploy is
determined by the placement of the occupants in
the car and on which side of the vehicle the
- (Varies by model)
Head-on collision requires that you replace both front airbags and either reprogram or
replace the control module. As well as
replace damaged impact sensors and
clock-spring (If Needed.) Both seat belts
will also need to be replaced. As well as
knee and foot airbags if equipped on your
- (Varies by model)
Impacts that involve side collision will
require in addition to the above side
airbags and curtain airbags when equipped on
The flashing air bag light indicates that the restraint control module, which includes the
sensors, has identified a fault in the system and has deactivated the air bag and pretensioners. A scan tool
can interrogate the system to identify the specific fault code. In fact, the next time you turn on the key,
watch the air bag light and try to determine the "lamp fault code" it's flashing. The "LFC" sequence might help
you identify the specific problem with the system. For example, a sequence of one flash followed by six flashes
indicates a problem with the passenger-side air bag.
First of all, anytime any component of the SRS system in your car is missing the airbag light will indicate that
your airbags are not active. Second, leaving an open circuit (connectors not connected) can cause a faulty
ground and accidentally activate the airbag that is installed, even while you are driving.
Therefore, all of the airbag components must be
reinstalled to factory specifications.
The clock-spring is also referred to as the coil
spring. It's job is to provide electrical continuity
as the steering wheel is rotated. When the drivers airbag is deployed the chemical
reaction that occurs heats the gas cylinder and the
connector from the clock-spring is melted. If this
happens, then you have no choice and the
clock-spring must be replaced. However, newer style
connectors survive the heat transfer and therefore, the
clock-spring can be recycled. So, in order to
determine whether you need to replace your clock
spring or not. You must remove the driver side
airbag and see if the connector attached to the
airbag cylinder is melted and fused together.
Furthermore, all connectors that attach to airbag
components have a locking mechanism and therefore,
you must remove the lock prior to separating the
male and female connectors.
The control module is also known as the 591, airbag
computer, diagnostic unit, DERM-unit, diagnostic
sensor, and some others. However, regardless of what
you call it, after an accident the control module
must either be replaced or reprogrammed. However, in
most Chrysler models the control module will reset
it-self after you have replaced all the airbags in
your vehicle. Therefore, the comments above apply to
all other manufacturers.
The driver side airbag always includes the vinyl cover, however,
have incorporated the passenger airbag underneath the dash. This type of
passenger airbag is referred to as an "Inner
bag" and the dash is sold separate from the passenger airbag.
Although the majority of passenger airbags do
include the cover many new models require that the
whole dashboard be replaced.
As with most companies all parts are sold separately and
the airbag control modules
is not included with the price of any airbag