Airbag charge blows

I hit the kerb while parking yesterday - nothing major, just a small collision at very low speed - however, the next thing I knew was a big bang and the feeling of a small stun grenade going off in the car
followed by some smoke and a smell like a firework. The airbag itself didn't release though.
I've got a Citroen ZX TD Aura 1994. I assume the fix will be to replace the entire airbag unit and will be expensive. Any of you guys had any similar experience or knowledge of the likely fix cost?
Thanks in advance, Andy
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whilst i'm certainly not up on airbags, what i would suggest first of all is to find the cause.
Rather than fitting a new unit and having the same problem again when parking, it would be wise to find out why this happened in teh first place. So checking the sensors around the bottom of the seta etc etc will need to be done first.
Rob
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( snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.co.uk) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Erm, blimey. I don't know if that's a good thing or not!

You may be able to get a "good-used" windbag from a scrappy - there's plenty of late ZXs being killed these days.
I think they're about 200 or so from Cit.
I wonder if it might have been the belt pretensioners rather than the windbag? If you look at the belt catches - the fixed half - they too have fireworks in 'em - I *believe* that once they've been fired there should be a big orange flag visible, but don't quote me on this.
Have there been probs with the windbag light coming on in the past? That's usually caused by iffy wiring to the pretensioners - and I wonder if there's been some kind of a bodge-around to fix it that's led to this...?
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You may have to replace the seatbelt pretensioner too since they work in tandem. I believe manufacturers recommend replacing the whole lot every eight to ten years anyway. But you certainly should investigate why the airbag didn't deploy, despite the charge being fired. In a ZX you need all the protection you can get!
Androo
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I hadn't considered the seatbelt pre-tensioner. Perhaps it was this that blew. There's no evidence that anything happened or is amiss that I can see now with either the airbag or the pre-tensioner. The bang appeared to come from the front of the car but the smoke from the side or back of the driver seat. Though, as it was a hell of a shock at the time, my evidence may not be completely reliable. My inital reaction was that somebody had thrown a banger at me but the doors and windows were shut and the smoke definitely came from within the car.
Yours, Confused.
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( snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.co.uk) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Tensioner, fersure.
You probably heard the bang reflected off the windscreen.
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I hadn't considered the seatbelt pre-tensioner. Perhaps it was this that blew. There's no evidence that anything happened or is amiss that I can see now with either the airbag or the pre-tensioner. The bang appeared to come from the front of the car but the smoke from the side or back of the driver seat. Though, as it was a hell of a shock at the time, my evidence may not be completely reliable. My inital reaction was that somebody had thrown a banger at me but the doors and windows were shut and the smoke definitely came from within the car.
Yours, Confused.
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On 6 Jul 2005 01:05:16 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.co.uk wrote:

Does the insurance cover underwear?
JPG
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Nice one. I'll check. Almost needed a new seat as well.
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The pretensioners have been trigered. The seatbelt stalk is pulled down a good inch or so in movement. The black covering over the stalk should be rippled or torn as the stalk was pulled down.
The sensor is under the handbrake lever cover, & is only for the pretensioners. You need to change the sensor & both seatbelt pretensioners.
Care needs to be taken around the handbrake lever when changing / adjusting handbrakes cables to avoid accidently setting off the units.
The airbag has a G type sensor fitted inside the steering wheel, & only trigers the airbag.
Hope this is any help, regards....

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A bit more investigation (confirmed by a visit to a Citroen garage) bears out what you say. Pretensioner blown - passenger side (reason unknown - must be fault). Repair is replace both pretensioners, affected seatbelt, and Electronic Control Unit (ECU). A snip at 712.
I won't bother as the car is worth not much more than that. OK, minus the extra safety feature but seatbelts still work fine and will pass an MOT.
BTW: Apparently I don't have an airbag despite a big sticker in the car telling me the recommended airbag replacement date (Jan 2004).
Sounds like time for a new car. Thanks for all your help.
Andy
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( snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.co.uk) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

YEOWCH!
Indeed. Pretensioners and windbags aren't testable.

That'll be referring to the pretensioners.

No reason - the *car* still works fine. Just don't crash it!
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