Airbags Install and Repair

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How To Install and Repair Airbags

The opinions, procedures, comments and instructions listed here are for the purpose of information only and do not reflect the opinions of the Airbag Center or its parent company,(AEI). We recognize that installing airbags is best left to certified technicians or those who are qualified under the standards set by the automotive industry (ASE). If you use any of information from this web-site to install your airbags you do so at your own risk. Improperly installing airbags can cause accidental deployments and therefore serious bodily injury.

Always disconnect battery terminals

Your first responsibility prior to starting the installation process is to disconnect the terminals from the battery. Furthermore, make sure to let the car sit for at least one hour so that any battery backups from the SRS system have completely drained.

Never probe the airbag with your meter

WARNING! Never use the probs on your meter to directly test the terminals or connectors on any airbag. The airbag requires only 2 - 3 ohms for deployment and touching the airbag terminals with your meter may provide enough current to activate the airbag. This warning applies to all airbag types, including but not limited to side airbags, roof airbags, knee airbags, foot airbags, seat airbags, etc.

How to properly store a non deployed airbag

If you are troubleshooting a problem that requires you to remove a live airbag. You should store it inside an anti-static bag and lay it down vinyl side up. It is important to lay it down vinyl side up because if it does accidentally deploy the energy of the airbag will only cause the airbag to open and no harm is done. However, if the airbag is set vinyl side down an accidental deployment will cause it to become a dangerous flying projectile. Therefore, "best practice" would be to store the airbag down on the floor vinyl side up inside a 4-mil anti-static plastic bag until you are ready to re-install it in your vehicle.

Locate and replace the airbag control module

When anyone of the airbags deploy the airbag control module, (also known as the 591, diagnostic unit, airbag sensor, & airbag computer) will need to be replaced or reprogrammed.The control module is the main computer for the airbags. It records and stores all the crash data for the SRS system. If it detects any faults in the system it will alert you by displaying a warning light in your dash panel. After an accident most manufacturers program the system to write a lock code deactivating the module from any further deployments. Therefore, to address the repair you must first locate the control module in your vehicle. There are several resources to locate the module, a couple, are services such as Mitchell and Alldata. These companies sell repair manuals and software that will provide you with detailed information on how to repair vehicles after a collision. Most seasoned mechanics already subscribe to one or both of these services. However, if you are a DYI or a weekend warrior don't worry you can contact us and we can help you locate the module. Finally, to make the repair you will have to buy a new module from your local dealer, replace it with a used (none deployed) module or reprogram your existing module.

Removing the diagnostic airbag module

Make sure you disconnect the battery terminals and let the battery back-ups drain. Turn the steering wheel to gain access to each of the driver air bag module bolts or attachment pin bores. Remove all hardware as necessary. Disconnect wiring, horn wire, grounding strap, airbag connectors and any wire for radio, cruise or added steering wheel controls (as available). If airbag connectors have melted you need to cut the wires leading to the coil and replace with a new clock spring.

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