Airbags FAQs

Quick Reference Links

Q. What are used airbags?

Our airbags are classified as used because we are not - in the example, a Ford Dealer or Chevy Dealer, etc.. So even though some of our products are new we must label them as used. In addition, we also sell airbags that have been in a car before but never deployed. Nonetheless, every part we sell is an Original Equipment Manufactured part. It is used because time has elapsed, however - so was the airbag in your car that just deployed. So you see - your car's airbags were used as well and they worked fine. What we do as a company, that others don't, is to make sure that the components of the airbags we sell are in original condition. It is our attention to detail that has earned us a top-notch reputation from auto rebuilders worldwide.

Q. Why are your prices so low?

First, we are a certified bulk purchaser with some of the largest airbag vendors in the industry. Second, since we are the longest standing alternative airbag distribution company in the US. We buy only what the public buys and we know how to buy at the right price. In addition, we sell used OEM airbags, see "what are used airbags?" which we buy at reduced prices when we buy in bulk. Third, we have a pulse on the airbag market and we set and reduce the prices instantly with our automated online system so you get the best deal - every day. We exist as a company to help individuals whose car has depreciated in value to have an affordable and safe option to rebuild their older vehicle, which by most insurance standards - are totaled. You will not find a better quality used airbag part at the prices we sell for.

Q. Do you offer any other services?

Our company offers many different services. First, we offer airbag location services for our rebuildable customers or vehicle owners. What that means is, if we don't have an airbag part in-stock we have purchasing agents who will locate and send pricing and availability by email. Second, we offer module reset services. We have a one of a kind "non-invasive" process which is the most reliable reflash service in the industry. In addition, we rebuild seatbelt pretensioners to provide customers with a complete turnkey solution so they can buy all their airbag parts from one reliable source. Finally, we offer free support for all our airbag purchases. If your light is still on after the installation we can help you or your mechanic get you back on the road. The only service we do not provide is any mechanic or installation assistance, however, with our guidance, most customers can get it done on their own.

Q. What do I need to replace when my airbags deploy?

  • From 1989-1993: you will need to replace only the driver side steering wheel airbag and replace the control module, replace damaged impact sensors and the clock spring, 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 replace the control module and replace any damaged impact sensors and clock spring, only 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 system.
  • With the advent of smart airbags, the only airbags that deploy are determined by the placement of the occupants in the car and on which side of the vehicle the impact occurred. Replace parts as in previous years with the addition of side airbags. Example left and right curtain airbags, seat airbags, knee airbags.
  • (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 vehicle.
  • (Varies by model) Impacts that involve side collision will require in addition to the above side airbags and curtain airbags when equipped on your vehicle.

Q. Why is my airbag light on or flashing?

The flashing airbag light indicates that the restraint control module, which includes the sensors, has identified a fault in the system and has deactivated the airbag 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 airbag light and try to determine the "lamp fault code" that is 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 (16) indicates a problem with the passenger-side airbag.

Q. Why are my seat belts locked?

Seat belt pre-tensioners were installed on vehicles starting as early as 1999. These pre-tensioners act in sequence with the airbag system in your car. Therefore, whenever you have involved in an accident the pretensioners fire off pulling you back in your seat providing a safer distance from the airbags. Seat belt pre-tensioners have a much faster reaction time than the older seat belt versions making for a much safer product. However, once the tensioner is triggered it locks the seat belt straps and they are no longer functional and therefore, must either be rebuilt or replaced.

Q. Can my seat belts be repaired?

Yes, in most cases we can rebuild your original seat belts by replacing your pre-tensioner and replacing the necessary components making your seatbelts fully functional and at a price that is more affordable than a new replacement at the dealer.

Q. Do I have to replace my front impact sensors?

It all depends on the severity of the accident. However, in most cases, the front impact sensors are reusable unless they have been physically damaged or the wire leading to it has been crimped by metal. You can replace all airbag components and if the light is still flashing a sensor code you can test the wire for continuity or replace the sensor if need be. However, in most cases, the impact sensors can be reused.

Q. Where is my cars airbag module located?

The control module is also known as the 591, airbag computer, diagnostic unit, DERM-unit, diagnostic sensor and it is located in many different parts of the car. We have to know the year, make and model of the vehicle to be able to tell you where to look for your module. Nonetheless, if you need help locating the control module in your vehicle simple click this link Airbag Module Location and we will be happy to provide that information free of charge.

Q. Do I have to replace my control module?

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 itself after you have replaced all the airbags in your vehicle. Therefore, the comments above apply to all other manufacturers.

Q. Can I replace just the drivers' airbag?

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.

Q. Do I have to replace the clockspring?

The clock-spring is also referred to as the coil spring. Its job is to provide electrical continuity as the steering wheel is rotated. When the driver's 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.

Q. Are the vinyl covers included with my airbags?

The steering wheel airbag always includes the vinyl cover, however, some manufacturers 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 separately from the passenger airbag. Although the majority of passenger airbags do include the cover many new models require that the whole dashboard be replaced.

Q. Is the control module included with my purchase?

As with most companies, all parts are sold separately and the airbagcontrol module is not included with the price of any airbag purchased.

Q. How fast do you have to drive for airbags to deploy?

There is no set answer for this question. What we do know is that you must have both deceleration and impact for airbags to deploy. However, this could occur even at very low rates of speed, such as five miles per hour.

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