One of your car’s most crucial safety features is its airbags, so you should always make sure they are operational. Any problems with the highly sensitive airbag sensors will trigger the airbag light. Airbags provide a cushioning system for the passengers of the vehicle by instantly inflating with air during an accident. For survival and injury protection during a crash, proper air bag deployment is essential.

Airbag sensors The SRS dash light will turn on shortly as your car starts, then it will go out. It’s a system that self-tests. If the SRS light stays on, the system has found a problem that can prevent your airbags from deploying properly.


Well, today you’ll get a deeper understanding of the definition, functions, symptoms, location, testing, and replacement cost of the airbag sensors. You’ll also be provided with a video that will teach and guide you in replacing an airbag sensor.

Let’s get to it.


What are the airbag sensors?

Airbag sensors are devices that typically detect when a collision has occurred in a vehicle and send a signal to deploy the airbags. In order to detect the impact and determine the proper level of airbag deployment, these sensors make use of a variety of technologies, such as accelerometers and pressure sensors.

To give the occupants the best possible protection in the event of a collision, they are generally fitted at strategic areas on the car, like the front and sides. Their primary purpose is to electronically send information to both the electronic control unit and all other airbag system-related devices. When deciding whether or not the airbag should inflate, the intensity of the accident is also taken into account.

Read more: How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Airbag?

The function of airbag sensors

When a frontal crash occurs that is severe enough to require the deployment of airbags, a sensor detects that impact. An electronic signal from the sensor triggers a chemical reaction that fills the airbag with safe nitrogen gas.

Airbag Sensors

All of this occurs more quickly than in the blink of an eye. Because airbags have vents, they instantly deflate after absorbing an occupant’s energy. They do not impede your movement and cannot suffocate you.

The harmless starch or talc that is used to prevent the interior of the airbag from sticking to one another is what you might have mistaken for a smoke after an airbag display inside a car.

Read more: Understanding Airbag Sensors

Symptoms of a bad airbag sensor

The airbag control computer of the vehicle tests the airbag sensor circuit and determines if it is still in good working order each time you put on the keys and start the engine. If the airbag warning light on the dashboard illuminates each time you start the car, the sensor is obviously working.

However, if the airbag warning light remains on after the car has started, there may be an issue with the airbag sensor. An airbag light on the dashboard is the most common symptom of an airbag sensor that needs replacement.

Read more: Is it safe to drive a car with the SRS airbag light on?

Airbag sensor location

Airbag Sensors location

The front of the car typically has an impact sensor installed because this is where collisions are most likely to happen. The sensor is situated inside the engine, and another safety sensor of a similar design is situated inside the passenger area of the car.

It is necessary to specify which airbag sensor you are looking for in order to locate it precisely because airbag sensors are usually located in different locations all over a car. Checking the user manual is the best way to locate an airbag sensor.

Testing the airbag sensors

Using an automotive diagnostic tool to retrieve the error codes and real-time data from the airbag control unit is the only safe way to test an airbag sensor. Measure the wirings between the airbag and the airbag sensor if there is a trouble code on the sensor, and check for any measuring results inside your diagnostic tool.

Replace the airbag sensor if the airbag control module indicates there is a problem even though the wiring and connector are fine. You should not tamper with these pieces because you actually want them to function in the event of an accident, even though they are usually not very expensive.

Read more: How to reset airbag light in six simple steps

Replacement cost of airbag crash sensors

Replacing airbag crash sensors costs, on average, between $330 and $392. The cost of labor is expected to be around $70 to $85 while the cost of the parts is $312. Taxes and other costs are not included in this range, nor are your particular vehicle or geographic area taken into account.

Read more: How to get the best deal on car insurance?

Watch the video to learn how to replace an airbag sensor


Which sensors are used in airbags?

The airbag control unit receives a signal from the crash sensor, an accelerometer, in the event of a collision. The inflating device is triggered by this control unit, which ignites a mixture of sodium azide (NaN3) and potassium nitrate to produce nitrogen gas (KNO3).

Where are the airbag sensors on a car?

The front of the car typically has an impact sensor installed because this is where collisions are most likely to happen. A comparable safety sensor is placed inside the vehicle’s passenger area, and the sensor is situated inside the engine.

How many sensors does an airbag have?

There are often two sensors or more in air-bag systems.

How much does it cost to replace the airbag sensor?

Replacing airbag crash sensors typically costs between $373 and $390. While materials cost $309, labor costs are projected to range from $65 to $81. Taxes and other costs are not included in this range, nor are your particular vehicle or geographic area taken into account.

Can I replace the airbag sensor myself?

Fortunately, replacing damaged airbag sensors isn’t too difficult and is doable if you adhere to a few simple and direct guidelines.

Do airbag sensors need to be replaced?

Any crash sensor that might have been damaged in some way by an accident needs to be replaced. The airbags will definitely need to be replaced if they were deployed during an accident. Additionally, this will show that the airbag control module has to be changed and/or reconfigured.

Is it safe to drive with the airbag light on?

Driving with your airbag light on may not be immediately harmful, but if your airbags fail to deploy when you need them most, that may be a serious issue. If you want to be able to rely on your car to be safe to drive, fix the problem as soon as the airbag light turns on.

What can cause your airbag light to come on?

Should I buy a car with the airbag light on?

Don’t buy a car with the airbag light on!

Some cars have two catalytic converters, and fixing that costs a lot of money. The “airbag light,” not Meatloaf’s song, is one dashboard light you should pay close attention to. Your airbag system is not ready to function as intended if your airbag light is on.

How do I clear the airbag warning light?

First, turn the ignition. Wait for the airbag light to turn on next; it normally illuminates for seven seconds before automatically turning off. After waiting three seconds, immediately turn the ignition switch off. Before starting the engine, go through the basic procedures a couple of times.

Why will my airbag light not go off?

The airbag light signals a problem with the seatbelts or airbags. Therefore, it’s usually not a good idea to drive when the airbag light is on. We advise having it towed to the dealership rather than driving it yourself if it continues to flash inside your car.

Is an airbag light a fail?

Airbags in your car will be examined during the MOT. You must arrange a second visit if the airbag warning light on your car is on during the MOT. Since it directly affects your safety, this warning light is actually seen as the main reason for your MOT to fail.

That is all for this article, where we discussed the definition, functions, symptoms, location, testing, and replacement cost of the airbag sensors. A video was also provided to guide you when replacing airbag sensors.

I hope you learn a lot from reading this article. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!