How to Tell Whether a Used Car’s Airbag Is Functioning

It is essential to take the time to learn about a vehicle before you buy it because you will be spending a lot of your time riding in it. If you have information about whether the airbag has been deployed, you can replace it as necessary to ensure that it will be working correctly. If a salesman does not know the vehicle’s status, there are some ways that you can find out for yourself.

1. Do Research about the Model

Research the make and model, whether you’re looking at a new or used vehicle. You can find out a lot of information by searching the internet, reading reviews, and visiting forums that discuss the car. 

You should be looking at the model year to determine whether the airbag has been replaced. If you consider purchasing a used vehicle, you can contact the manufacturer and ask about the airbag. Do not ask the seller because the seller may not be truthful.

If the airbag has been deployed, the vehicle has passed all safety inspections and purchased by a new owner.

2. Ask for the Vehicle History Report

When you get to the dealership, ask for the vehicle history report for the make and model you are interested in. This way, you will know whether there was a problem with the airbag.

It is helpful to know the vehicle’s history to get a fair price. You can look for problems that will keep you from purchasing the car or help you negotiate a lower price. If the airbag was deployed, the vehicle was purchased by a new owner.

3. Inspect the Airbag

When you go to inspect a used car, you can determine whether the airbag is deflated or not. You can do this by opening the glovebox and looking for the airbag cover, which will be on the passenger side.

You are looking for the cover because it will indicate an airbag in the glovebox if it is absent. Then, you should look for the airbag itself and determine whether it is deflated or inflated.

If it is not inflated, you may ask the owner why. If there is no explanation, you will ask the dealer whether the vehicle has been in a crash and whether the airbag was replaced. If it has been replaced, you should ask for proof and make sure that you evaluate the documents.

4. Get a Mechanic’s Advice

If you do not feel comfortable checking the vehicle, you can get a mechanic to do it for you. A mechanic can inspect the airbag compartment and check it to determine whether it functions correctly. If there is an airbag, ask the mechanic to check the airbag cover and ensure it is properly installed.

If the airbag cover is not installed and the airbag is on the passenger side, this is a red flag. The dealer should show documentation that proves that the airbag was replaced.


When you buy a used car, it is essential to know whether the airbag has been deployed. If it has been replaced, you should get proof of this. If it has not been replaced, you need to be aware that the airbag may not work correctly for you and your family.

Safety Restore is the world’s leader in post-accident restorations specializing in seat belt repairs and airbag modules. We also provide webbing replacements and instrument cluster repairs. If you want to have your car’s airbag reset in Westfield, MA, we’ve got you covered! Call us at (855) 552-7233 for immediate assistance!

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