Understanding Your Air Bag System

January 2, 2019

Air bags are an important safety feature in your vehicle. They were made mandatory in all vehicles back in September of 1998 with the Intermodel Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. Since then, air bags have saved countless lives and will continue to save many more. Today we’re going to talk about your vehicle’s air bags, what they do, and how they work.

Interior of a automobile or car involved in a vehicle crash with a deployed steering column airbag

How Do You Trigger Air Bags?

When you get into a collision, there is a significant amount of force that will flow through your car. Your air bags are connected to a sensor that picks up on that impact and then tells the air bags to deploy. Traditionally, there are air bags in the front and to the sides of your front seats. The sensors for your front air bags are located in the front of your vehicle, as you may imagine. The sensors for the side air bags are usually found at the midpoint and rear of your car. Some vehicles even have “rollover air bags” that deploy when the car flips over.

What Happens When the Air Bags Trigger?

Once the sensors are triggered, a chemical reaction occurs within the air bags to help them inflate. These chemical pellets that release are made of sodium azide and they will produce nitrogen gas. Though some older models have additional chemicals, most modern vehicles only have the sodium azide pellets. After the bags inflate to their full size, they will help to protect your head and absorb the impact of the crash, then it’s time for them to deflate.

What Happens Next?

After your crash and you go to the hospital to tend to your injuries, you will need to replace the air bags, as they are one-use devices. Though replacing them can be quite costly, your auto insurance will cover the cost for the most part. However, you should always have a professional replace the air bags as a faulty replacement may not actually protect you. These are life-saving implements, but don’t worry, we’ll make sure they’re performing their best.

Call on Choisser to Replace Your Air Bags

If you need to have your air bags replaced, then we can help you. Our technicians are highly trained in all aspects of your vehicle and will be sure to take every precaution when handling your auto repair. Contact us today for more information.

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