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Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? #4536187
10/07/17 11:31 AM
10/07/17 11:31 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 524
Fairfax, VA
TinyVoices Offline OP
TinyVoices  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 524
Fairfax, VA
After watching tons of YouTube videos I'm still scared every time I go to disconnect an airbag. I always feel like it's going to go off in my hand and I'm going to die when disconnecting the power and sensor cables. Today I'll be swapping steering wheels on the mr2 and have to disconnect and reconnect the airbag. The nerves.

Anyone ever had any bad experiences or any experience at all disconnecting airbags?

As an avid mechanic who has done it all, am I being dumb being scared every time I mess with an airbag?


2010 Mazda RX8 Sport - 37k miles - ????
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Wife) - 130k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4536194
10/07/17 11:34 AM
10/07/17 11:34 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,619
Santa Barbara, CA
bdcardinal Offline
bdcardinal  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,619
Santa Barbara, CA
Disconnect the battery before touching anything.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
NRA Benefactor Member
Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: bdcardinal] #4536197
10/07/17 11:37 AM
10/07/17 11:37 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 524
Fairfax, VA
TinyVoices Offline OP
TinyVoices  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 524
Fairfax, VA
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
Disconnect the battery before touching anything.


Do every time. Let it sit the 30+ minutes to drain the capacitors in the back up firing system and sill gives me nerves.

Last edited by TinyVoices; 10/07/17 11:39 AM.

2010 Mazda RX8 Sport - 37k miles - ????
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Wife) - 130k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4536209
10/07/17 11:54 AM
10/07/17 11:54 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 664
MN
14Accent Offline
14Accent  Offline
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 664
MN
I've never had an issue with airbags. I've even done them without disconnecting the battery (don't do that).

Also, make sure to touch some bare metal on the car to discharge and possible static build-up in your body.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

2003 Cadillac Seville STS - The winter "beater", it uses the Volt's fuel
Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4536214
10/07/17 11:58 AM
10/07/17 11:58 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,404
Georgia
AVB Offline
AVB  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,404
Georgia
lol, most never even disconnect the battery. I heard about a tech last week that blew out a bunch of airbags when replacing a ORC module. I think they said it did $4000 worth of damage.

Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4536221
10/07/17 12:08 PM
10/07/17 12:08 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,604
Canada
Lolvoguy Offline
Lolvoguy  Offline
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,604
Canada
I was a little scared too, the first time I removed the bag on the Focus in my sig.
The reason I had to remove it, was because I had a warning light on my dash that the bag wasn't operating properly.
After a search of Youtube vids, I found that all I needed to do was remove the bad from the wheel, then remove the connection,
then apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the connection.

Two years later and still no problems.


06 Lexus IS350- Wife
88 BMW 325is- Mistress
Say "no" to Turbo!
Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4536366
10/07/17 04:04 PM
10/07/17 04:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,646
The Motor City
Kestas Offline
Kestas  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,646
The Motor City
I believe with some models, you disconnect a battery cable and touch it to the other cable to discharge any stored power. Can someone verify this?

Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4536384
10/07/17 04:34 PM
10/07/17 04:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 524
Fairfax, VA
TinyVoices Offline OP
TinyVoices  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 524
Fairfax, VA
Well as usual, no issue disconnecting the bag or plugging it back in. Always worried about nothing.


2010 Mazda RX8 Sport - 37k miles - ????
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Wife) - 130k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4536926
10/08/17 08:24 AM
10/08/17 08:24 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,646
The Motor City
Kestas Offline
Kestas  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,646
The Motor City
Glad to hear it went well. I just remembered another caveat, that sliding on interior fabric while working can result in a build up of static charge, which can be a problem.

Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4536998
10/08/17 09:36 AM
10/08/17 09:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,571
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,571
ME
I've done it without taking any precautions aside from not sliding my bum around on the seat.

Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4537040
10/08/17 10:33 AM
10/08/17 10:33 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,293
Phoenix
dishdude Offline
dishdude  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,293
Phoenix
Has anyone heard of an air bag going off accidentally while it was being serviced? I've R&R'd a couple and it was uneventful.


2018 Challenger SRT 392 PUP 0w-40 Wix 57899XP
2018 GTI
Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4537411
10/08/17 05:50 PM
10/08/17 05:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 588
Under the hood
Carmudgeon Offline
Carmudgeon  Offline
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 588
Under the hood
Do you worry every time you fill your vehicle with 12 gallons of highly flammable and potentially explosive liquid?

Just be smart and take the proper precautions.

Aside from being a safety precaution, disconnecting the battery first will prevent accidental triggering of an SRS fault warning light if the ignition is switched on while the airbag is disconnected. Depending on the car, resetting it can be a real hassle, requiring a factory tool.

Re: Anyone have any experience messing with airbags? [Re: TinyVoices] #4537736
10/09/17 06:57 AM
10/09/17 06:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,427
snowblind in TX
punisher Offline
punisher  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,427
snowblind in TX
Air bag connectors, on the airbag side of the connector, have shorting bars to prevent problems. Did dozens, and nothing unintentional ever happened. The intentional detonations were fun though.


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