Airbag saves lives. It’s one of the most important safety innovations that make driving safer. But what happens when it gets compromised? I do not recommend that you rely on luck when something untoward happens. You need to know how much an airbag replacement costs and have it checked by professionals.
You may not seem to feel its importance when everything looks fine. But what happens when suddenly everything instantly hangs on the balance? A broken nose isn’t cool, as well as a welt on your forehead because you hit it hard on the dashboard. When it’s broken, have it fixed.
What Are Airbags?
An airbag inflates quickly the moment your vehicle collides with something. It is a restraint system designed to cushion you so you won’t hit the hard components of your car. It inflates and deflates super quickly the moment you have a collision.
Your car’s airbag comprises several components that blow out of your dashboard in the event of a collision. It has a flexible fabric bag, an inflation module, and the most important component – the impact sensor. The main purpose of airbags is to provide both the driver and passenger with a soft cushion and restraint in the event of a collision.
How Does An Airbag Work?
Once you are in a collision, your vehicle’s airbag provides an energy-absorbing surface between your face and the steering wheel, instrument panel, body pillar, headliner, and windshield. Most modern vehicles today may have 10 airbag modules in different configurations. These are:
• B and C-pillar mounted side-impact
• Knee bolster
• Inflatable seat belt
• Pedestrian airbag modules
In the event of a car crash, your vehicle’s crash sensors provide crucial information to the ECU or the electronic controller unit. The ECU analyzes collision type, angle, and how severe is the impact. With this information gathered, your airbag’s ECU would analyze based on its programmed algorithm if the crash would meet the criteria so it triggers the airbags to be inflated.
Your vehicle’s airbag works together with your seat belt as a supplemental restraint system. It ensures that you stay in place despite the impact during a collision. The airbag module deployment triggers work through a pyrotechnic process which would only fire once. Newer airbags use compressed air cylinders which are triggered during a side collision.
Components Of An Airbag System
We have highlighted the importance of your car’s airbag system. You might wonder and ask, what are the parts that make it work that way? Your car’s airbag system contains several parts that work harmoniously with one another to create a seamless action in the event of a collision.
Like any system with different working parts, each of these components performs a specific function which inflates timely in the event of a collision. Here are the seven (7) key components that make up your vehicle’s airbag system. I will discuss each part comprehensively and highlight what each component performs.
1. Airbag Inflator
The name suggests that its primary function is to inflate the air module and would come straight to your face to stop you from diving out of your car headfirst. A mixture of potassium nitrate and sodium azide, when mixed in the right proportion, would produce nitrogen gas. When the nitrogen gas enters the airbag, it would inflate the airbag in an instant.
2. Impact Sensors
These sensors trigger impact. The sensors follow an algorithm that allows them to detect the strength of impact upon collision. When you travel at around 15 miles per hour or higher, the sensors activate. It would detect any sudden stop during its acceleration. If based on its algorithm, they interpreted it as a collision, the airbag inflator fires up the airbag module and that’s how your airbag works on a collision.
3. SRS Airbag Module
As soon as you turn on the ignition, a diagnostic system runs a test on your airbag system to ensure it operates well. When your airbag has inflated in the past you need to take your car to your dealership or to a shop so they can reset back airbag tight back in place.
If it’s not done quite right, your dashboard LED would keep on flashing that your airbag is defective. I would advise you to let the professionals handle it.
4. Indicator Lamp
An indicator lamp or LED is basically a warning system for the airbag system. Every time your car runs a diagnostic check, you’ll notice it would blink for several seconds. But if the system detects an issue, what you will see is a steady light instead of a blink.
5. Clock Spring
The clock spring connects your car’s steering wheel with your airbag system. This setup applies to the driver’s airbag in most cars. It is a wound-up wire that allows your car’s steering wheel to rotate while maintaining a connection with your car’s electrical connection, your vehicle’s steering wheel buttons, and the horn.
This is the very bag that inflates in both the front and side of you and your passenger during a collision. Made from nylon fabric and coated with a layer of heat shield to ensure that fabric stays protected from scorching in case of fire.
7. Wiring harness
These are the different series of wires that connect all the components of your car’s airbag system. It would cause a malfunction when even a single cable is cut. Usually, you would notice that your airbag’s LED in your dashboard would light up steadily.
It would be better if you let the experts or the professionals look at it to address any error that comes with a detached wire.
💡 Both you and your passenger's safety depends on a fully functional airbag system. Please always inspect your car's dashboard to check for any defects or problems that might occur. Remember, it's better to be safe always rather than to be sorry.
How Much Is The Average Cost Of An Airbag Replacement?
Here’s a thing, you would spend more than a thousand dollars on your airbag replacement cost. In most cases, it would take you about $3,000 to $5,000 depending on different circumstances that lead to maintenance and repair of your car’s airbag system.
But how much do you need exactly to spend on an airbag replacement cost? Let us cover this part comprehensively. If you replace a single airbag, it would usually cost you around $1,000 to $2,000, if you only experience a weak bump. I guess you have noticed that I mentioned it would take you around $3,000 to $5,000 if it was a much stronger bump.
Listen, $5,000 is just a small price to pay to get out of your car with your neck and your back, is still in place in case of a collision. I can’t imagine having to walk around with a broken nose because they did not set correctly your airbag system in place.
On average, the driver-side bag would cost you around $250 to $800 in parts. If you are driving a premium luxury brand, expect it to skyrocket a few hundred dollars more. The passenger-side airbags usually cost more than that of the driver’s side.
A modest assumption of $400 to $1,500 would get out of your wallet in an instant when your car steps inside a repair shop or dealership.
The knee or side-curtain need less attention but still, they would cost as much as the passenger-side airbags. If you would compute the total cost of materials and the labor for your airbag replacement cost, it’s going to cost you. But again, let me remind you, it is a small price to pay to ensure that you’ll go home in one piece in the event of a collision.
One more thing, your seatbelt’s pre-tensioners might need repair or replacement. It’s going to cost you $80 to $120 to make quick repairs on your pre-tensioners, and it would cost you more if a new component needed replacement. Resetting the ECU or airbag module cost around $50 to $150. But if your ECU would have to be replaced, kiss your $400 to $1,200 goodbye for a brand new ECU.
I would like you to take this advice, make sure you’re updated with your car’s insurance payments because you’ll never know when will trouble strikes you and in most cases when it does, it is usually very costly. Always make sure you’re updated with your insurance. Trust me, it’s going to save you a lot of trouble.
Where To Buy And Install Airbag Components
You can scavenge for airbag components on eBay. If you have the hustling skills, you can check on some components and you might find a perfect fit for your airbag system. But to be sure, I would advise you to avail of the services of certified auto body shops and car dealerships near you.
There are car shops that specialize in fixing and maintaining airbags. You’ll find cheaper airbags online, but it’s hard to be certain of their quality. If you’re not an expert on airbags, I would advise you against scavenging cheap airbags online. You might end up with a poor quality airbag which would be a costlier mistake as far as airbag replacement cost is concerned.
But if you have fixed your sight on cheap airbags online. MyAirbags would be an option.
I’m happy I could share a few points on your car’s airbags. We both know how airbags take care not only of you but also of people that ride with you as well. You have now a much clearer picture of the different working components of your airbag and I am confident that you’ll do everything to keep everyone inside your car safe and sound.
Yes, airbag replacement cost is no joke. If you are to look at it, it’s actually a small price to pay to keep you and everyone from getting seriously hurt in case of a collision.
I would love to hear from you. Why don’t you reach us some time and we can have a few chats on how we can improve our car’s safety. I’m sure you’ve got a thing or two to share to make our trips more enjoyable and safer. Hoping to hear from you soon and take care always.