I have never personally known anybody on the face of this planet who has
ever, deliberately, on purpose, presented his airbag to a professional to
be examined for faults after ten years of lifespan.
Chances are excellent that if you bring this heap to any garage and ask
them to inspect and certify your ten year-old airbag, you will be told just
one (very liability-lawsuit-aware) thing: REPLACE IT!!!
Airbags are horrendously expensive, for very little statistical gain in
safety. Is it really worth it?
other than looking to see if the enclosure is full of spilled cola
residues, there's not much inspection to do. the electronic self-test
the vehicle performs each time you start the car is about all the
inspection it needs. other than that, you can replace everything, and
i'll bet that's what a dealer will recommend. in other words, i'd leave
It's deterioration of the containing fabric (the balloon itself) they're
concerned with, plus degradation of the sodium azide explosive.
Neither of these can be detected by the on-board diag procedures.
i understand that, but real-deal inspection is not something you can do
with the naked eye. in fact, i doubt you can do it at all without
destruction of the device. replacement is the only "real" option, and
the economics of that, like you said earlier, are prohibitive.
i'd consider the statistical likelihood of there being a problem, weigh
that against the timeline for which the vehicle is expected to be used,
and decide from there. maybe after 15-20 years, it would be worth
replacing, but only if it was anticipated keeping the vehicle for that
long again. if you could get the parts!
I have been thinking of disconnecting and disabling the airbag system
on my '92 Accord. At 235,000 miles with the first year device, I never
really became comfortable with the possibility of something exploding in
my face,if and when it decides to go off. ole bob
So, basically you can either...
1 - Unplug and short the connector.
2a - See if that ArmorAll crap you've been using has cracked the vinyl cover.
2b - Turn to "on", wait&watch for 6 seconds, instead of going straight to
Seems simple enough.
The airbag system is 'fool proof' long as the fool doesn't "fool" around with it.
In 20 years, of airbag involvement, I have not seen an airbag "deloy" by itself
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No Lawsuit Ever Fixed A Moron...
Several years ago I had occasion to search what I recall was the NHTSA
database for complaints regarding some car I was considering buying (used).
In the complaints were three for unwanted air bag deployments; two of them
occurred while turning one particular direction. Hmm. I agree that more
recent airbag systems are stringently designed and that it shouldn't be a
problem in a '97.
The NHTSA website does warn that disabling the SRS is prohibited in the US
and that in many states inoperative SRS will cause the vehicle to fail
safety inspections. http://tinyurl.com/2wtub4 FAQ 6
no, read it again. it doesn't say it's prohibited, it says is that it's
prohibited for /dealers and repair shops/ to disable, and there there
/may/ be state laws requiring them to be enabled. but other than that
it merely "strongly discourages" disabling, not exactly a rigorous legal
When I disconnected the airbomb on a '93 Prizm I once owned, the airbomb's
connector was of the "self-shorting" variety where a piece of metal would
spring down & contact both pins when the plug was pulled out of the socket.
This effectively safed the airbomb.
You neglected another simple diagnostic option.
Run the vehicle up to about 80 mph and run into a brick wall or sturdy
This will tell you whether the system is working. If the bag doesn't
deploy, have it checked out at an authorized dealer at the earliest
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