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Please Help with Question about Automobile AirBag

 
master steward
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So like a million other people, I get these Recall Notices.  No big deal, just take it into the Dealership and they will replace it for free!


So for me a trip to the Dealership is 200 miles.  Then they just want me to bring it in so they can get the number off the airbag and then make another trip whenever they get the Airbag in.


Is it possible to buy an airbag somewhere and then have a mechanic put it in?  

Or can any auto repair shop get the airbag and put it in?  

I know these options are not free and that I would pay for it.   But for me this might be the best option.

I am also thinking that the airbag is so old that it likely might not even inflate.



 
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Having to go twice makes no sense. I'd try another dealer. See if one stop appointment can be made over phone.  If it truly is 2 stops, maybe a local mechanic can give the info needed for the dealer to make it one stop.

A local shop should be able to do it, assuming the parts are available. I'm not sure how you would clear it with the mfgr. You may get notices for years about it needing done.

Two scenarios with airbags. Not sure which one you have.  Either they dont go off, which puts you at risk in an accident. Or they go off without an accident, which puts you at risk anytime(airbag goes off, forces hand into face, finger takes out your eye).  You have to weigh out risk vs time.

 
pollinator
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If it is like every recall I ever have seen you will have to jump through the dealer's hoops or they will not provide the replacement part. The second trip is odd. Probably the recall only affects certain batches of airbags and they need to verify if your is on the replacement list. Maybe call them to verify if it will be for sure replaced or just maybe replaced. A replacement airbag is a good thing maybe incorporate other stops in your trip.
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks for the replies.

Is it possible to just disconnect the airbag from the battery? Or will this cause problems getting the annual inspection for tags?


I have been getting these notices for about 5 years.  I started getting them about the time we moved to the boondocks.  It would not have been a big deal to have them replaced where we used to live.

What the dealership told me is that they might not have the airbag in stock thus the 2nd trip after they order the airbag.

It would not be a big deal if I could just drop by.  The problem is I have to have an appointment.  I made one then could not make it and had to cancel.  I am thinking about calling the Service Manager and asking if he would let me come by without an appointment, just for them to look at it.

 
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The dealership ought to be able to determine what airbag you have based on your automobiles VIN number, so I would think a simple phone call to the dealership could determine if you need to make that trip or not. A VIN number will bring up a laundry list of neat information about a car or truck. They can even cut/program a new key based on a VIN number if all keys are lost. It is possible to disconnect the airbag, it's just another component with a special plug inside the steering wheel, none of those wires are soldered together. As far as passing inspection, that's an unknown. I'm willing to bet that if the airbag is disconnected, that cars computer will know, and the check engine light may come on and the computer will be throwing an error code. While on that subject, OBD (on board diagnostics) readers can be found for relatively cheap, like $25, and will let anyone know why a cars check engine light is on, and can really help save money with simple repairs. For example, an OBD reader is really the only way to know that an oxygen sensor has gone bad, which will result in failing inspection for tags, and oxygen sensors just screw into the exhaust system, and come out with a simple wrench that anyone can easily replace. (Easy is relative also, as if it is really old, it could be rusted in there and take some serious effort to remove)
 
David Baillie
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The air bag will powered by a fuse listed on the fuse panel in my experience. If you disconnect it as mentioned above many cars will throw a code. If you need regular inspections for plates you will ca use problems. Call the service desk and dive into what the recall covers.  If it does not deploy well judge your risk. The problem could be it accidentally deploys which could be horrible. I do think it's just the cost you have to pay living in the boonies. I generally choose cars with a dealer within 90 minutes preferably closer regardless of brand. Fords and gm still Rule this part of the hinterland.
 
Anne Miller
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I want to thank everyone for your replies.  They have all be very helpful and thought provoking.

I have decided to start with the manufacturer's toll free number then go from there.
 
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