I worked at a salvage yard for a while. During that time I pulled hundreds of airbags. I thought I'd share a few things.
I've provided this as a supplemental reference. The precautions are applicable to handling all airbags. It provides important additional information you need to be
aware of when working on or around SIR (Supplemental Individual
Restraint) airbag systems. It lists the potential dangers of doing so
and the appropriate precautions against accidental premature
Precautions for working with and handling airbags: Take these Seriously!!!
- Alway wear safety glasses.
- Control the environment - no kids, pets, people horsing around.
- Disconnect the negative battery terminal. After you
are done, make sure no one is inside the vehicle when you reconnect the
battery. If your vehicle has an anti-theft system, you'll need to get
your activation codes to reset your sound system.
- Do not use solvents to clean your airbags. They may ignite if accidentally deployed. Use only a damp cloth.
- Airbags are sensitive to heat in excess of 190 degrees F. Store them accordingly.
- Airbags are sensitive to impact - handle them carefully
- Airbags are sensitive to static electricity - ground
yourself, Spray the seat and rug with fabric softener (anti-static -
ever heard the term 'static cling')
- Wires for the SIR are bright yellow, the connectors are labeled.
- In addition to forward mounted sensors, there can be sensors in the dash.
- Disconnecting the battery alone is not enough, the diagnostic module can retain a firing charge.
- Do not use voltage testers or VOM's on SIR wiring.
- Do not haphazardly disconnect airbag components
- Be safe
- Be aware
Disable the system:
- Turn the wheel to the straight ahead position
- Lock the ignition and remove the key
- Disconnect the negative battery cable. Be advised, this alone
will not render the system safe. The diagnostic module (DERM) can
retain a charge
- Remove the airbag fuse (refer to fuse block cover for location)
- At the bottom of the steering column locate the Airbag connector. (Yellow wire, yellow conduit)
- You may need to remove the sound insulator panel beneath the instruments to access it
- Disconnect the plug
The system is now disabled. That does not mean you can let your guard
down. It means that you can now continue working around the system with
a higher degree of safety. Continue to observe all safety precautions.
Airbags should be handled with caution at all times.