Car airbags may only have one function – to keep you safe from harm during a car accident – but they are harder to replace than you might think. Airbag configuration and deployment vary not only from model to model, but from year to year. Manufacturers are always working to improve the safety in their cars and adjusting deployment sensitivity and force. So, can car airbags be replaced?
Can Car Airbags be Replaced?
The short answer about whether car airbags can be replaced is that it depends. Some vehicles have curtain or side airbags which further complicate the question. Some newer cars even have knee or rear airbags to reduce your chances of injury during a collision.
Airbag replacement, then, is a multi-layered question. While the component can be physically replaced, you’ll need to know whether or not the rest of the affected in addition to the installation makes the vehicle as safe to drive as it was prior to your car accident. After all, your airbag isn’t the only part that is damaged during a car accident. Damaged steering wheels, steering wheel covers, and other damage to the vehicle’s interior are just a few of the things to think about when your airbag has deployed during an accident. Your replacement airbag may also need to be reprogrammed depending on the year of your vehicle.
Add to all of this the complicated question of where the replacement airbag is coming from, and you’ve got even more variables to consider. If you have to purchase a replacement airbag, then make sure you’re buying a new component and not one from a salvage yard. Parts from used cars may not be in good condition and can be damaged during the removal process.
Whether your airbag can be safely replaced depends on a multitude of factors and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. T3 Atlanta recommends that you do not attempt to replace an airbag on your own, and that you should call a certified mechanic for your safety.
Do Car Airbags Expire?
The answer to whether car airbags expire or not is more complicated than it may seem. The short answer is yes: car airbags can expire. We discuss the longer answer below.
Car Airbags in Newer Vehicles
Newer vehicles are equipped with airbags that do not expire, or at least, not quite. The airbags are designed to last for the life of the vehicle.
Vehicles manufactured after 1998 and after are equipped with dual front airbags, which are different than dual-stage airbags.
- Dual front airbags: Two separate airbags for the driver and passenger.
- Dual-stage airbag: A single airbag that deploys in two separate stages, improving safety for the vehicle’s occupants.
Whether your car has front, side, rear, or any other type of airbag, the airbags in newer vehicles generally won’t need to be replaced for as long as you have the vehicle.
Car Airbags in Older Vehicles
Older vehicles generally feature airbags that work on a different system – if they have airbags at all. The first airbags appeared in the 1970’s. With the technology being so new, manufacturers at the time were uncertain how long airbags could last and still be effective.
Standard recommendations at the time were to have the airbag inspected every few years to ensure that the component was still in good working order. Over time, manufacturers recommended that airbags be replaced every 10 – 15 years. Even this figure depends on the condition of the car, the type of airbag, and the components used during the manufacturing process.
Replacing airbags in older cars is tricky because replacement older airbags may have expired, been removed improperly from a salvage yard, or the component itself is faulty.
Car Airbag Repair at T3 Atlanta
If you have recently been in a car accident or have an older vehicle, you may be looking to have your airbag replaced. If you have a Lexus, Toyota, Nissan, or Infiniti, call T3 Atlanta! Your safety is our top priority. We’ll consult with you and advise the best course of action to replace an airbag for your specific situation.