Air Bag Replacement HELP HELP

I was in a odd accident driving behind my wife in my 1988 300TE. I ended up plowing into her at about 10 miles per hour. The drivers side air bag went off. I had to cut it off so I could turn the steering wheel
and drive the car. Some damage to the bumper being pushed in but not sure how bad yet. The horn pushed into the grate that sits in front of the radiator. What is the grate for and is it a problem if it is punctured? Does anyone have any good resources for Mercedes OEM parts for these older cars. I have been looking online for a airbag assembly for this car and have not found it at all? Also I guess the module needs to be reset or replaced. Can anyone tell me what I might be looking at in terms of cost? I was planning on getting a newer car. Maybe now is the time. I am in lSouthern California. If anyone can be of any assistance I would appreciate it. I am trying to not go through my insurance as technically it was my fault.
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For the air bag, you will need a new air bag, a new steering wheel [it DEFORMS], and a new crash sensor. The crash sensor is NOT reset-able. Once it reaches the 2nd threshold, it sets code 10 and cannot be cleared.
Not sure what you mean by 'grate'...... Are you sure it isn't the A/C condensor in front of the radiator?

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It could be the AC condensor. Is this costly? The hood isn't buckled, nor are the fenders. The bumper was pushed in on one side and some of the plastics around the headlamp are broken. The metal strip that the bumper sits against is bent. I actually found a place that claims to be able to clear all codes from the sensor?? I am trying to figure out what the car is worth to determine repairs vs. value of car? Is this vintage of car worth fixing?

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They can clear codes 1 thru 9 on the early crash sensors but NOT code 10. Once the air bag goes off, code 10 is set and is NOT clearable.
Later crash sensors, like in the 210 body and later, are resettable after an accident. But the early are definitely NOT resettable. They are lying :)
If your condensor is punctured, you should have have an instant release of R-12 (or R-134a if it was converted) or your system is empty.
I can get you a good used steering wheel, air bag, and crash sensor.

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Michael Roback wrote:

Bad luck :(
But I was wondering if your car still had the original airbag in it. My 87 250D (W124) has a driver's side airbag, but there's a sticker in the glove box that warns the bag should have been replaced in 1996 or so. I asked my dealer what a replacement would cost and they quoted me 400 EURO's IIRC.
If it was the original bag, I'd be interested to know if in your opinion it still worked OK. Isn't 10 mph a bit early for it to activate?
Ximinez
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In the US, when air bags came out in 1985, the cars came with 10 year replacement stickers on the glovebox lid. In the early-to-mid 90's, just before the 10 years were up, MBUSA came out with 15 year stickers to on all cars to up the expiration date 5 years.
USA cars are covered by a 4 yr/50K bumper-to-bumper warranty. California cars have an additional 7/70 emission warranty on select items. 49 state cars have an additional 8/80 emission warranty on select items.
If and when MBUSA offers additional coverage on parts, either published or not published, the addition brings the warranty up to either 10y/unlimited miles [ML power steering return hoses] or 10y/100000 miles [this is usually offered on seat belt problems] or 10y/120000 miles [this was selectively offered on 140 body engine harness's back in the late 90's]. The key word in the examples above is 10y which means 10 years. That's it, that is all the additional help you can beg and plead and cajole to get out of MBUSA. By raising the 'recommended lifespan' of air bags past the 10 year window to 15 years, it made it a owner maint-enance item that put the sole responsibility on the car owner. Then if and when the air bag fails to go explode due to age, MBUSA is not involved.
Here in the USA, MBUSA buys the US spec cars from DCAG, sells the US spec cars to authorized MB dealers, and MBUSA backs all the USA warranties. I believe in Europe now, you get 2 year/unlimited miles warranty from DCAG? That is it, cut and dried. [I still have not figured out how little MBUSA is buying the cars for...... the difference between that and what they sell them for to the dealers is how they make a profit. But from that profit, comes ALL the salaries for MBUSA employees and there are a lot of them and the profit has to subsidize the warranties].
Granted, MBUSA sells additional warranties: ELW [extended limited warranty] that only is available on new cars to be purchased within the 1st 12 months and it added 4 years/100000 on but is not bumper-to-bumper, Starmark used car warranty [not offered any more but cars still have it that have not expired] and it added up to 4 yrs/100000 on but is not bumper-to-bumper, CPO [certified pre-owned] which took the place of Starmark and it is not bumper-to-bumper like the 4yr/50K was. CPO does offer a few items in coverage that ELW and Starmark never did: audio components, phones, and CD players. The price of these additional policies are averaged out over a total of all the repairs covered. On some cars, MBUSA makes a profit on the policy. On some cars, MBUSA looses its butt!
Working at a MB only dealership for the past 27 years and seeing all the warranty claims and all the recalls and the repairs being done under class action suits i.e. O'Keefe oil consumption and the buy backs...... I try to figure out how MBUSA stays in business...... I guess they have better accountants then Enron did......

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Karl wrote:

Outstanding info, Karl. Do you know what the minimum airbag deployment speed is for a frontal collision? 10 mph seems about right at the edge of the minimum requirement.
Michael ESTIMATED the collision speed at 10 mph but accidents happen so fast that it's difficult to judge the ACTUAL speed. It could have been a bit higher.
The extent of the damage to both vehicles is an indication of the severity of the crash. Unfortunately, at 10 mph, the repair cost of both cars could be in the thousands of dollars. In the US, damage protection standard for front bumpers is only 2.5 mph.
Hernando
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What MB says and real life is two different things. I have seen them go off at 10 and I have not seen them go off at 30! Full frontal, not side or on a big angle. Usually on the ones that go off too soon or not at all, MB has me go to the body shop and remove the crash sensor so they 'read' it to see what the vehicle was doing right at the point of impact. The crash sensor is a 'black box' but no dealer has any provisions to read or analyze it.

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Karl wrote:

Perhaps they stay in business by getting large discounts from MB Europe. Perhaps that's why they're laying off so many of their staff these days.
Still, it's good that quality problems aren't just the consumer's problem in America. Gives them a good incentive to do something about it.
Ximinez
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