Today’s cars are electronic feats of engineering, they come with four or more sensors placed strategically around the car and interact with the safety restraint system (SRS) to provide a secure service in the event of an accident.
When a car has an emergency impact, electrical signals are sent to the airbag, and this detonates the airbag, releasing rapidly expanding gasses to stop your body and head from severe physical trauma. All the airbags work in a similar fashion, the only one that is different is the driver steering wheel bag that is placed in a moving object (the steering wheel). Also, the passenger seat airbags have an additional weight sensor that can detect whether an adult or a child is sitting in the seat. The passenger seat airbag will not function under 75 pounds of weight on the seat.
With all these technologies in place, you should still sit back away from the airbag since the deployment is so rapid it can cause or lead to minor bodily harm itself. Also, airbags are designed with motion vectors taking into account a person movements in a sudden impact situation.
Air Bag Issues
There are a number of issues with airbags as there are with any mechanical system. Take into account that a disabled system will not work in an emergency, so make sure you never disable the airbags when setting out for a trip.
There are also internal errors that will trip the car computer system and provide you with a warning light when this comes on it is most probably due to one of these following reasons:
- A blown fuse
- A disconnected airbag
- A problem detected by the airbag safety module
- A deployed airbag
- A damaged sensor or sensor wire
- A wiring harness short
Tools you will need
In the event there is no experienced mechanic to remove your steering wheel airbag, these are the tools you will need to perform this action:
- Torx Screwdriver Kit
- Needle Nose Pliers
Step 1. Work Safety. Always remove the battery negative before starting work on any electrical system in a vehicle. After disconnecting the negative, wait 10 minutes to assure the airbag system is powered down completely. Use the multi-meter to check for a current, and only start working when there is no current whatsoever in the electronic airbag system.
Step 2. Remove the Airbag. Mounting Bolts Start by switching the ignition button to the on position so you can unlock the steering wheel lock mechanism. Rotate the steering wheel 90 degrees either way and locate the steering wheel mounting bolts access holes in the plastic housing and loosen the bolts. You will find that in most modern vehicles these bolts do not come out, but stay connected, allowing you to remove the outer assembly. Make sure that when you do remove the assembly, you don’t damage the wiring harness.
Step 3. Disconnect the Wires. There are two color sets of wires, the black one is usually the horn, and the green and yellow ones are the module wires. Take your screwdriver and remove the black wire connector. Be careful not to damage the clip, it is plastic and can easily break off. Now disconnect the green and yellow connector carefully by using the needle-nose pliers. You will need to disconnect the primary clip first before removing the second clip. Once the clips are released you can pull the connector away from the housing. You might need the use of a small screwdriver to help release the barb that is in place on either side of the connector housing. Make sure the connector is not damaged during the removal process.
Step 4. Remove the Airbag. After releasing the electrical harness, you can now take the airbag out of its bracket. Make sure you don’t place it anywhere near an electromagnetic source, otherwise is might active the detonator.