Well, there are two things it can be: Either somebody interrupted
them before they got the airbag out, or they had enough time to steal
the good airbag and plug in a blown and dummied airbag with an End Of
Line Resistor to replace the squib, so the bag looks like it's still
there to the computer.
(The crooks who salvage and resell wrecked cars came up with fake
airbags so they don't have to spend $2000 on a new set - they just
fill the bag space with some spray-can foam or Bondo and fold the flap
closed, replace the ripped Vinyl steering wheel cover pad, and
disconnect the warning light or computer power so the light never
comes on. It's happened enough that California made this a felony a
few years ago.)
Either way, if you don't want to pay someone to pop the steering
wheel open and take a look to make sure it's the right one in there
and unblown, and you consider yourself qualified to do it, I'd still
insist that you track down a copy of the "Super Seekrit" Airbag
Servicing Procedure before trying to do it yourself.
Things like handling Explosive Ordnance you REALLY don't want to do
yourself without the proper detailed instructions, and the special
tools and training where necessary. The f**k-up potential is way too
high, and can involve losing bodily parts permanently.
--<< Bruce >>--
On Sat, 26 Apr 2008 14:36:34 -0700, Bruce L. Bergman
Like I said Bruce, I'm an Ontario Licenced mechanic - and I have the
full manual set for this car. The airbag unit has NOT been changed.
Still the same cover and all.
My question was whether anyone has ever experienced the screws
loosening themselves? The steering wheel and/or air-bag has never been
removed from this car. The column cover has been off, and the
multifunction switch has been removed and repaired (I did it last
month because the main brake lights were not coming on - only the
center brake lights - signals still worked. Bad connection on the MF
switch - and if you know Mystique/Contour/Mondeo cars, the MF switch
clips to the side of the steering column - removing the wheel is not
I really can't see the screws backing themselves out - and the fact
there were scratches on the screw-heads makes me think someone was
trying to remove it and got interrupted.
So? Screws can back out on their own. But I've never heard of
screws getting scratches on the head (like someone was putting a
driver in the holes blind, and in a hurry) while backing themselves
If you are willing to bet your life they didn't tamper with the
bags, just tighten the screws and quit worrying us about it.
My car, I'd pull the cover and take a peek to make sure I still have
a real airbag under there, as they are a very popular theft item - and
it has to be possible to fake the computer with an end-of-line
resistor instead of a live blasting cap initiator. As long as the
ignition was off while they worked, swapping the airbag for a dummy
wouldn't trip an airbag trouble light.
--<< Bruce >>--
Yet, without the bombs, you would still be driving a car with a 15 of so
gallon tank of highly explosive fuel under the right circumstances.
People are really bad at looking at risks. Only rarely do airbags go off
when they shouldn't, and they do far more good than harm. You need to
look at risks logically, not emotionally.
With collapsing steering column and seat belts they are a LOT safer
today than the stuff I grew up with - even without the "passive
The secret to surviving a crash is first of all to avoid crashing.
A properly worn and properly functioning seat belt is VERY close to as
effective as an air bag - but due to "American Civil Rights" nobody
thinks they should be able to be forced by government to wear a seat
belt (or a motorcycle helmet, etc) so the manufacturers are forced to
install expensive "passive systems" to protect our sorry asses.
A minor fender bender today - even one that does no damage beyond the
bumper, body-wise - can write off a 3 year old car due to the internal
damage when the bags go off.
An aquaintance and friend of a friend lost her life about 3 years ago
in a very minor traffic incident in Toronto when the bag went off and
broke her neck. She was only 4'11" - and could NOT get an exemption to
allow her to have the bag disconnected. Her death has made it possible
for shorter drivers to LEGALLY have air bags dissabled in Ontario now.
There was NO VISIBLE EXTERNAL DAMAGE to her car, and according to
investigators it did not go off "prematurely" It was just a fluke that
it went off - but the results were predictable given her size.
I don't think air bags and antilock brakes, along with miriad other
so-called"features" on today's cars should be mandated as standard
equipment - or even encouraged as "recommended" equipment.
People should learn to drive - - - - -.
So you can get thrown in jail for disabling your own airbag in your own car?
Thats BS, kinda like seat belt tickets and helmet laws.
Next we will get tickets for eating fatty foods, drinking beer or smoking.
Help me government! Save me from myself pleeeeeease!!!! lol
Probably not the drinking beer one in Canada though ;)
No, but the automakers want to make it non-trivial to disconnect
them. You can if you have a good reason, and you sign a form stating
you are doing it on your own.
The automakers don't want to disconnect them, and then get sued by
your heirs and estate for the fatal accident where the airbags did NOT
go off... Doesn't matter that you wanted the airbags disabled, if
they do it (or even allow it) and can't prove your intent, they could
lose big damage awards.
Actually, there is a compelling reason to require basic safety
measures: Because when you get in the accident without seatbelts, or
dump a bike and center-punch an Audi without a helmet on, the medical
response teams can often save people who would have been by all rights
better off left to die - because even though you have been saved, now
you are a vegetable. Or a quad on a ventilator, or other nasty
And when you run out of money and/or insurance (which in some cases
is immediate, and in others doesn't take long) you are now a 'ward of
the State' and Medicare/SSI Disability and Medi-Cal (or other state
programs) will continue to care for you till you finally pass to your
final judgment, all on the State's dime. And that means from the
taxpayers pockets, you and me.
If it was only as simple as the Biker's Credo to "Live Fast, Die
Young and Leave a good looking corpse" it wouldn't be a problem. But
they often don't leave a corpse, but a drooling sack of potatoes that
will spend another 25 - 40 years in a hospital bed...
That one we can leave to social progress, for now. People are
finally figuring it out on their own.
Then again, there's the state prison inmate in (Kentucky?) suing the
prison system claiming "They're starving me to death, the food is so
bad and portions so small I've lost 100 pounds in 8 months!"
He doesn't mention he went into the lockup at 408 pounds, and is now
down to 308 on a standardized roughly 3,000 calorie diet.
Da-yum, and you are complaining?!
--<< Bruce >>--
I ride daily and your full of shit, this kind of thing was disproved by the
Hurt report among others.
The reason helmets save lives is that most serious motorcycle accidents
involve sliding forces where there's a lot of skin abrasion, or tumbling
where arms and legs are flailed out and tend to snap.
People can survive a lot of skin abrasion and a broken bone or two
if they have no other major injuries.
But add in a concussion and there are now more than 2 severe injury
areas and the body can't recover from that, and they die.
Modern motorcycle body armor is very good at protecting against
the broken neck and broken back thing.
Helmets ARE NOT mandated in ANY state in the country for private
roads. If you own the road you can do what you want.
But when your on the public road, you must follow the rules of the
road that the majority of people using that road have all agreed to
abide by. Such as, driving a car with headlights on at night, driving
on the right side of the road, (except if your in the UK), etc. The
helmet law is absolutely no different than the law requiring you to
drive on the correct side of the road, or the law requiring you to
stop at a red light.
People that cannot learn this basic fundamental fact eventually
get ticketed, and if that doesen't explain it to them, they get more
tickets, eventually having to pay higher insurance rates, and so on
and so forth. This is basic Road Use 101 which you should have
learnt in Drivers Ed.
As for the airbags - they are SRS devices. Supplemental Restraint
System devices. They were NEVER intended as a primary restraint,
they only are for morons who don't wear seat belts.
If you can't see the difference between driving on the wrong side of the
road, driving at night without your lights on, not stopping a red light
and not wearing a helmet, your head is full of shit. Those first 3
things envolve other drivers getting physically hurt because of your
actions, your own helmet does not. And I'm not talking about if its a law
or not, or if you get a ticket or not. That has NOTHING to do with what I'm
Oh and another thing, I ride a motorcycle and ALWAYS wear a helmet (legal,
safe, full face one) so obviously that doesn't even have anything to do
with what I'm saying.
Oh and BTW, I didn't say crap about private roads.
And to the guy that said we need helmet laws because of the state having to
take care of them: I bet you would like to have the government outlaw Big
Macs because they are bad for you and it costs the state money to take care
of your bad heart? Oh, that is unless YOU like Big Macs then thats different
I bet ?
What about the airbags? Do you think its ok to mandate them? They are only a
supplement so thats different? Or is it? What about cars that didn't come
with them, force the owner to install them?
I don't think it should be a law to wear seat belts either. Even though I
do. I just don't think its right to tell people what to do if it doesn't
harm me. (within reason, such as: your fat, Big Mac eating ass will raise my
heath insurance rates, but to me that's not within reason) I am curious
where you draw the line...The helmet? The Big Mac? the Cigarettes? Crossing
a busy street? With or without a cross walk? Does it matter? Riding a
bicycle without a helmet? Eating sushy? Drinking caffeninated coffee?
Getting or not getting a flu shot every year? Going swimming and not waiting
30 minutes after you eat? Going 56mph in a 55? how out 57? Driving in the
rain? Taking the tag off of your matress? Where do you draw the line ???? .
I do have a problem with the government telling me what to do and when to do
it, and I am sick of reading that stupid warning on plastic bags that say
"Don't put this bag over your head, choking hazard!" LOL no shit, give me
Okay, turn off the Drama Machine, guy... ;-) I don't ride a
motorcycle on the street, but I do drive a Honda Odyssey - FL350, not
the minivan. And with a DOT & Snell Approved helmet, a real one not
the Taiwan Fake biker bucket with the counterfeit sticker. Even with
the roll cage, I'm not willing to chance it.
But I have a boss and several relatives who ride bikes - and one was
in Law Enforcement Motors for 35+ years and was saved from three bad
wrecks that would have been life threatening without the helmet and
leathers. Better the leathers wrecked than the skin under them...
It is a constant of the universe - Ride a bike on the street even
occasionally, and odds are you WILL drop the bike hard at least once.
You get cut off by a brain donor making a left turn in front of you,
or hit a hidden patch of sand or ice or water in a turn, or hit road
debris and cut a tire at speed...
If nothing else, your wearing a real helmet and other proper PPE
will leave a smaller greasy stain on the pavement when you wreck, the
mess that one of us has to come along and scrub up - and then have
nightmares about it for years.
That's a good point but a separate matter. I'll only make this
comment on that train of thought...
That Big Mac should come with a 'Nutrition Facts" labeling on the
package, and once a week isn't going to kill anyone - but having two a
day, every day, is a recipe for disaster. All things in moderation.
And it would make it a lot easier on the purchasers to make better
choices if the cheapest items on the menu weren't also the ones that
are the worst for you. All things being equal, the chicken choices
should cost less - but they label them "Premium" and "Select" and
That's not an issue anymore, since most everything on the road now
had belts installed - but I DID install my own seatbelts twice in cars
that didn't come with them. 1961 Corvair, 1962 IH Scout.
Airbags should remain optional (allow for disconnection for good
cause) as long as the owner knows the risks and is willing to accept
them. And not just lip service "Gimme the forms and where do I sign?"
If you are going to "rebel against the rules", at least do it on
things that really matter and after well considered thought - Don't
protest just to protest.
California requires bicycle helmets for riders under 18 - but for
adults helmets are optional. And there are parents who are
proactively insisting their kids wear helmets on the family outing
around the neighborhood, but when they go out riding with their
children they won't wear one themselves... The Clue Phone is ringing,
and what a wonderful example you're setting there, Poindexter! Kids
heal fast, parents don't, and the helmets are not expensive.
The warning labels on plastic bags and windshield sun-shades
("Remove From Windshield Before Driving") are not there for public
safety, only so you can't sue the manufacturer for doing something
totally stupid, yet legally foreseeable.
--<< Bruce >>--
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.