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How does a car air bag work?
Airbags are a vital safety unit and are constructed to work best in combination with seat belts. The function of an airbag is to slow down the driver or passengers' forward motion if they are involved in a crash. This significantly reduces the chance of the passengers’ upper body or head will collide with force with the interior of the car during the crash.
As a simple explanation, the airbag is made up of three parts, which includes, an inflatable bag, an impact sensor, and the inflation system. Together, they work to provide protection to the occupants of the vehicle. The airbags will deploy in moderate to severe crashes and might even deploy in a minor crash.
Find a reliable airbag repair specialists
You will also find that some mechanics are able to offer a mobile airbag repair service, so you can get your airbag repaired from the convenience of your own home. We can help you find local airbag replacement or repair technicians so they can diagnose and repair any faults, to keep you safe whilst driving.
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How much does it cost to repair your airbag?
The average cost of an airbag repair booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £176.96.
However, the exact price you’ll end up paying can depend on a couple of things. The main factor is the type of car you have. The higher the value of your vehicle, the more you might end up paying for an airbag repair. The table below gives you a good idea of the different costs for popular car makes.
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Top warning signs that your airbags need to be repaired:
There are several reasons why you might consider an airbag repair or an airbag diagnostic by a local garage. Some of the reasons include:
Airbag warning light comes on
The airbags were deployed due to an accident
The airbags are non-functional
Damaged wires under the seat
The average cost of a car airbag repair booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £176.96.
If your airbag warning light is on or your car airbag has been deployed due to an accident, you will need to find an airbag specialist to repair or refit a new airbag for you. This can involve fixing issues with sensors, or replacing the whole airbag unit completely.Can include
- Damage inspection
- Airbag repair or replacement
The average cost of a car diagnostic booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £48.
Car diagnostics testing involves plugging your vehicle into special software that can reveal issues with its engine, electrical system, transmission, braking, exhaust system, and more. A specialist will run tests on your vehicle to expose the cause of any problems you're having with your car.Can include
- Full diagnostic testing
- Recommended repairs
The average cost of a mobile mechanic booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £62.54.
A mobile mechanic will visit you at your home or workplace and can carry out a wide range of different repairs. If the repair is more complex, the mechanic will collect your car, take it to a garage to be repaired, and drop it off when it's finished. The exact cost of a mobile mechanic will depend on the repair you need.Can include
- Home visit
- Tyre change
- Oil change
- Recommended repairs
Which airbag repair service do you need?
Because the airbag performs such a vital job, it’s important to repair any faults as soon as you notice them. Below you’ll find the different options for airbag repairs:
Reset Airbag Light
If your airbag light on your dashboard has illuminated, chances are there is a fault with the airbags in your car and they might not deploy if you were to get into an accident. A airbag repair specialist can examine the airbags and eliminate any problems.
If your airbags are broken or do not work for some reason other than having been deployed, you should book your car in with your local garage to have the faulty airbags replaced as soon as possible.
If you've been in an accident, and the airbags themselves have become deployed, you'll have to set them back up to be able to drive again. This can be a costly job, so it’s important to check whether your insurance will cover the cost.
Another important point to be aware of is that, if you've been in an accident that was severe enough to cause several airbags to deploy, it may not be worth spending the money to replace them in a damaged or write-off vehicle. A technician can advise you on what to do in this situation.
I don’t know
Unsure of what the problem is with your car’s airbags? Book your car for a diagnostic and the mechanic will be able to tell you whether the airbag system needs to be repaired.
Common airbag problems
There are certain airbag faults that come up more than others. We often see airbags having the following problems which then require a airbag repair or replacement:
The crash sensors get damaged due to water ingress or corrosion
Multi plugs under the seats can cause high resistance, so slight movement back or forth causes the plugs to break down.
Damaged clock spring or ignitors
ECU problems with the data, which may require a reset.
What impacts the cost of an airbag repair or replacement?
There are a few factors that can impact the cost of your airbag repair or replacement. The main one is the make and model of your vehicle and the type of airbag.
Some vehicles can have side and curtain airbags as well as driver and passenger airbags. So the number of airbags that need attention will impact the cost of your airbag repair. You can compare average prices for airbag repairs or replacements by car using the table above.
It’s important to get a diagnostic and repair booked as soon as you notice something is wrong as airbags are a vital safety feature.
Is an airbag repair necessary?
An airbag repair is absolutely necessary for your own safety, and those who ride in your car. The airbag inside vehicles were invented to deploy in the scenario of a crash at speeds above 25mph, your car seat belt will not provide adequate safety.
Can the airbag of a car be repaired after an accident?
If your airbags have deployed due to an accident, then they cannot be repaired. The airbags must be replaced. This is the case regardless of whether it was the steering wheel airbag, passenger-side dash airbag, side panels airbag or your seat.
At what speed do airbags deploy?
Generally, the front airbag will deploy for unbelted passengers when the crash is the equivalent of an impact into a rigid wall at even 10-12 mph.
For belted passengers, they will deploy at around 16 mph because car seatbelts alone are not sufficient to provide the right level of support or protection beyond these speeds in the event of a crash.
Do airbags have an expiry date?
Airbags should last a lifetime in your car, as long as you have not had a crash. They shouldn’t generally wear out or require replacement, unless there is a technical fault with the sensor, the ECU data or the wiring.
How many times can an airbag be used?
Airbags can only be used once. Once they have deployed due to an impact or crash, then they need to be replaced by a professional mechanic.
Will an illuminated airbag warning light lead to an MOT fail?
Yes - The illuminated airbag warning light is an automatic MOT failure. The airbag warning light must be reset and the repairs can be carried out by a garage technician.
Also, it is not safe to drive with the airbag light on. When the light is on, it means that there is a problem with the airbag system and that they might not deploy if you have an accident. It is recommended that you have the problem repaired as soon as possible.
Will insurance cover the cost of replacing my airbags?
Your insurance will often cover the airbag replacement costs if your car isn’t classed as a write off. They will also cover the cost if the accident wasn’t your fault. If you have a fully comprehensive insurance policy then the insurance will cover the cost regardless of who caused the accident.
Can I drive with my airbag light on?
It is not safe to drive with the airbag light ON. When the light is on, it means that there is a problem with the airbag system. When there is a problem with the system, it will not deploy the airbags at all in an accident. It is always recommended to repair the problem as soon as possible.