The air bags in your vehicle are one of the most important safety elements in automobiles today. The goal of the air bags, which deploy in the event of an accident, is to reduce injuries to the driver and the passengers inside.
Have the Air Bags Ever Been Deployed?
When you are buying a used vehicle, you need to be wary about the condition of the car, naturally. This includes the air bags. To determine if the air bags in the vehicle have ever been deployed, you can check the air bag indicator light and look at the air bag cover and dash to find signs that the air bag has been replaced. In addition, ask the seller if the air bag has ever been deployed.
How Many Air Bags Are in the Vehicle?
Different types and styles of vehicles will have a different number of air bags. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to learn the number of air bags, as well as their location in the vehicle. In addition to driver and passenger air bags, there may also be side air bags, for example. Since 1995, dual front air bags have been mandatory on all vehicles in the United States.
The NHTSA Allows Some Drivers to Disconnect the Air Bag
However, this is only allowable in certain conditions. According to the guidelines set forth by the NHTSA, those who have a medical condition that puts them at risk, those who are unable to adjust their driving position so they have at least ten inches from the steering wheel, and those who can’t avoid having someone who is 12 years old or under in the front seat are able to install an on and off switch to disconnect the air bag.
Air Bag Resetting and Replacement
After an air bag has gone off, it will need to be reset before you can drive again, and you should always rely on an experienced and capable mechanic to do the job. The same is true if you need to replace the air bag because of a malfunction. Working with a mechanic can ensure that the air bags are in good working condition, and will provide you with the peace of mind you need when you are driving.
Your air bags are an integral part of your vehicle’s safety system, and they always need to be in working order. If you have issues with your vehicle’s air bag indicator light or other problems, be sure to check out YourMechanic for the help and guidance you need.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Air Bags and was authored by Valerie Johnston.