One of the most important developments in vehicle safety is the airbag. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that over 44,869 lives have been saved by airbags as of 2015. In the decades since its invention, it has proven itself a crucial element of vehicle safety.
As such, it is important to regularly check and routinely have your airbags serviced to ensure that they are fully functional at all times. After all, you wouldn’t want to wait until an accident happens before finding out that something needs fixing.
To help with that, we have compiled some things you can do to examine the functionality of your airbags. With no further ado, here they are:
Run diagnostic tests
Modern technology has come a long way, with many cars able to do airbag diagnostic tests all on their own. The test examines if all the sensors and circuits of the airbag are functional. Should any problems be detected, your system will inform you through a series of light flashes. Make sure to observe these flashes carefully, as different patterns are codes that indicate what issues might be present. This will inform the professionals who service airbags of what needs fixing.
Reset the airbag light
While it is perfectly acceptable to leave this task to a professional, this is something you can learn to do at home. This can be accomplished by following these steps:
- Loosen the retaining nut on the negative cable wire.
- Remove the clamp from the negative terminal on the battery.
- Wait a few seconds, and then reconnect the terminal.
- Restore the retaining nut and tighten it into place.
This process will reset your airbag module. If everything has gone smoothly, the airbag light will not flash if you turn on the ignition. If the light does flash, then your airbag needs further servicing.
Be aware of your speed threshold and sensors
Modern airbags are designed to deploy only above certain speeds. If you are driving at a speed slower than this, they might not activate. In some cases as well, if the airbags deploy at low speeds, it may cause even greater injury than the rest of the accident.
Generally speaking, airbags will deploy above a 14 mph barrier. This system also has a lower limit of 8 mph, under which the airbags will not activate.
Calibrate your sensors are put your kids in the back seat
Another thing to be aware of is the sensors. Many cars have sensors that detect which parts of the vehicle are occupied by passengers. That means that if only one person is in the car, only the airbags in that section will activate. If the sensors are also calibrated for the bodyweight of adults, they might not detect the presence of children as well; to fix this, children must be seated in the back.
Airbags are a lifesaving tool, but like all machines, they need regular maintenance and servicing. These are just some of the things you can do to make sure you and your passengers are safe, but they are among the most essential tasks when it comes to servicing your airbags from home.
If you do need the help of professionals for airbag servicing, send us at Safety Restore a message. We can keep you and your family safe from whatever threats there are on the road.