Car air bags save hundreds of lives every year by cushioning the heads and bodies of drivers and passengers. Once an air bag deploys, replacing it is the only option available. This is a job best left to a professional, but, if you're mechanically inclined, you can replace car air bags in an afternoon.
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Things you need
Remove the negative cable from your car battery before replacing car air bags. Not removing the negative cable could deploy the replacement air bag, causing injury.
Deactivate the air bag by removing the air bag fuses. Look in your car owners manual to locate the fuses.
Unscrew steering column paneling and remove the airbag bolts on the back side of the steering wheel. Pull out the airbag until you see the back side and unplug the wires.
Plug the new airbag into the wires and rebolt it back onto the steering wheel. Replace the car steering column panels.
Replace passenger side air bags through the glove box or main dash panels. Remove the glove box by taking off the glove box straps and undoing the hinges. Unplug and unbolt the airbag, slide it out the front of the dash, slide the new air bag in and rewire and rebolt it.
Put the glove box or dash panels back together. Reconnect the fuses in the fuse panel and the negative cable on the car battery and you're finished.
Tips and warnings
- The computer on the car should be reset or the air bags won't deploy if you're in a crash. This is best done at a dealership or mechanic who has the correct computer programs.
- Never work beyond your skills. If you struggle with electrical work on your car, take it to a professional who can fix it correctly and safely. The problem with replacing an air bag yourself is that you can't test if after installation. You'll only find out if you installed it correctly if an accident occurs. Don't take any chances if you don't have the expertise to do the job properly.