How Long Do Airbags Last?

Safety on January 2, 2018

Whether you’re a driver of a sports car, sedan, truck or a big rig, airbags are an essential part of your safety, regardless of whether you think about them daily or not. They have been around for many years. One of the vital safety features that have prevented countless injuries and saved many lives is the airbag. But, while airbags can prevent injuries they also can pose a serious threat when they are faulty.

As with many other vehicle components, it’s important to think about whether airbags require maintenance. What about a replacement? Car manufacturers do not have any real data on their expiration; they can only speculate on the reliability and durability of airbags. Airbags in older cars do come with an expiration date for the most part. However, if you have a newer car, it is unlikely that you will see anything of the sort; airbags in newer vehicles generally do not have expiration dates, and are meant to last the lifetime of the vehicle. If your vehicle is older, your manufacturer might advise you to change your airbags as part of routine maintenance, or at least check them on a regular basis as your car ages.

Importance of Airbags

An airbag is designed to protect the people in the vehicle from being seriously injured during an accident. Airbags have a safety component, which causes them to only inflate after an accident has occurred. Airbags assist in avoiding or lessening the risk of severe chest and head injuries in accidents. Airbags do nothing to prevent accidents, but do a lot to prevent serious injury to humans. The inflation of an airbag is activated by the airbag control unit that reacts to the crash sensor whenever it notices an impact which exceeds the value needed to inflate the airbag.

Do Airbags Need Maintenance or Replacement?

Many people wonder about airbag maintenance or its replacement when it’s used for a long time. Normally, you frequently service other parts of your car, so why not the airbags as well? They are one of the most critical safety features in a vehicle, so having them not functioning correctly in a crash could be seriously dangerous.

Do they need to be replaced? Some vehicle manufacturer’s manuals suggest that airbags need replacement after a period of time, called the expiration date. Others mention getting them checked. You can read the manual that came with your car to check what the manufacturer recommends. Just know that when manuals for older cars were written, airbags were new and manufacturers themselves were not sure about how long they would last as there had been no tests done up to that time.

Some airbags will last throughout the life of a car. Airbag maintenance is appropriate for some, while others might need to be replaced completely. If your car is more than ten years old, it might be a good idea to have yours at the least inspected. If you have any doubt at all, you shouldn’t take a chance because they may save your life. If your airbag system is having any trouble at all, maintenance or replacement may be required. You should have it inspected professionally!

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