When to Reprogram the Airbag

Car safety has come a long way since the debut on the market many years ago. At that time, the standard safety feature on cars was the safety seat belt restraint system. That was left up to the discretion of car passengers in terms of use. No police officer was handing out tickets for not wearing a seat belt in the vehicle. The only lines of defense between cars were the bumpers and seat belt restraints.

Safety standards have come a long way since then. Now seat belt usage is mandatory. Along with that, airbags are joining the list of standard safety equipment on vehicles.

Airbags are found on the driver and passenger side of most vehicles. As new cars hit the market, manufacturers are adding airbags to the sides and roof of the vehicles as well. In the event of an impact or vehicle roll over, these airbags will go a long way towards protecting vehicle occupants.

Airbags are maintained by a control module. Think of the module as a home computer for the vehicle. Within the control module are sensors that monitor the functions of the vehicle as it travels down the road. In the event of a fault in the system or an error code, the airbag control module begins to flash on the dashboard console. This indicates a problem has occurred with the airbags.

Fault and error codes can be decoded by viewing the series of flashes that occur with either one, two, four or five single flashes followed by a set of quick succession flashes. It works in much the same way as mores code. A qualified mechanic can easily determine what the set of flashing codes indicates.

In the event of a car crash, the airbag control module alerts the system and the airbags are deployed. After the crash new non-deployed airbags need to be installed into the vehicle. This normally does not stop the airbag indicator light on the dashboard console from flashing.

The only things that will bring an end to that annoying flashing light are to repair and reprogram your blown airbag computer module. Feel free to do this on your own should you happen to be a skilled mechanic that is well versed in airbag computer module programming. For many vehicle owners, this will require a visit to the mechanic.

It is highly advisable to take the vehicle to a mechanic who specifically deals with airbags and airbag control modules. These individuals have access to the equipment needed to reset fault and error codes and hard crash data as well. When a crash occurs, the control module stores the data in its system in order to deploy the airbags. Without a proper reset, the system continually reads a current setting of airbag deployment. This is what prevents non-deployed airbag replacement from shutting off the indicator light.

Although having the airbag control module repaired and reprogrammed can be a costly venture, it is worth the piece of mind in knowing that everything has been restored and will be there to protect in the event another crash occurs.


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