Airbags are one of your car’s most important safety features, and one should always ensure that they are in fully working condition.
However, many drivers have complained that the airbag light in their car starts to blink without any reason, and it is often ignored.
This leaves the driver at serious risk if the car experiences a collision and the airbags do not engage.
In this article, we will discuss some of the common symptoms you might face when the airbag sensor becomes faulty and starts to malfunction.
Bad Airbag Sensor Symptoms
There are actually two different symptoms you can expect when you have a broken airbag sensor.
The most common symptom of a bad airbag sensor is the Airbag light will show up on your dashboard. The other symptom is something you never want to happen, and that is your airbag won’t deploy in an accident.
What Is an Airbag Sensor?
The sensor is basically a detecting device that can read rapid deacceleration of the vehicle and generates a signal as a response.
Its basic function is to electronically communicate the information with the electronic control unit and all the equipment related to the airbag system.
The intensity of the collision is also noted and it is used to determine whether or not the airbag should inflate.
Where Is the Airbag Crash Sensor Located?
Usually, you have two airbag sensors located in the front of your vehicle behind the bumper. There is often also one airbag sensor installed inside of each door of your car.
A car usually has several different airbag sensors installed, so to determine the exact location of the airbag sensors, you have to specify which one you want to find.
The best way to go about finding the airbag sensor’s location in your vehicle is to refer to the service manual provided by your manufacturer.
Airbag Crash Sensor Replacement cost
The average airbag sensor replacement cost is between $100 and $600, depending on the car model and labor costs. An airbag sensor costs $50 to $300 and a labor cost of $50 to $300.
The airbag sensor is a sensitive component, and so is the replacement. This can take as long as 2 hours, even for a professional, to properly diagnose and install the airbag sensor.
The airbag sensor itself is often not super expensive, and you can expect to get a new one for $50 to $300. You should always buy an OEM original genuine and never buy aftermarket sensors – do not take the risk!
If you feel very comfortable repairing cars and closely following the repair manual, you can save money and replace the airbag sensor yourself.
If you feel the slightest doubt about the replacement, let a professional do it instead.
Remember that it is an essential part and you want to install it correctly in case of an accident. There is also a risk that you will deploy all airbags in the car if you do something wrong – which will cost several thousands of dollars to restore.
How to test an airbag impact sensor
Testing of an airbag sensor is possible, but should not be done.
The only way you safely should test an airbag sensor is to use an automotive diagnostic tool to read the airbag control unit’s trouble codes and live data.
Check for any measuring values inside your diagnostic tool and if there is a trouble code on the sensor, measure the wirings between the airbag and the airbag sensor.
If the airbag sensor’s wirings and connector are fine and the airbag control module says there is a problem with the airbag sensor, replace it!
They often not super expensive, and you do not want to mess around with these parts because you really want it to work if the accident occurs!