The airbag system is an important part of the car safety set up. The airbag system can mean the difference between survival and serious injury or death in a crash situation. The airbag system is a seriously clever and complex piece of kit which is made up of various components, one of the most important being the airbag sensor. The airbag sensor is an electronic sensor, strategically placed, usually in the front of the car, which detects when the vehicle has crashed and which area is damaged.
The airbag sensor works together with the airbag control unit ECU, a highly advanced computerized part, to ensure this crucial safety device functions effectively. These advanced sensors monitor and measure factors such as brake pressure, wheel speed and which seats in the car are occupied and send this information to the airbag control unit ECU which is the control center of the car's airbag system. The airbag control unit ECU will determine if it needs to implement the activation of airbags as well as deciding if functions such as automatic seat belt and door lock are put into place.
Airbags are made out of stretchy material and are housed, compressed tightly, in several areas throughout the car. Airbags can be placed in all of the doors, on the dashboard, the roof of the car and in all of the seats. Airbags react when there is a crash by filling with air at exceptional speed, creating a pillow which bursts out of the airbag cover or panel it is secured behind and into the car, protecting the people sitting inside the car by cushioning the impact of head or upper body with the interior of the car. The airbag will then deflate afterwards. An airbag needs to spring into action practically as soon as the crash happens. According to studies, an airbag will activate within 55 milliseconds of impact. You can see why it is imperative that the airbag system is functioning fully, and that a vital component such as the airbag sensor is in sound working order for it to be able to respond accurately. Passengers and driver need to be seated properly and wearing seatbelts for the airbags to work effectively in a crash and to avoid receiving an injury from the airbags.
The airbag control unit ECU will regularly carry out routine diagnostic checks of the airbag system, including the airbag sensor. If the airbag control unit ECU picks up a fault with the airbag sensor, the air bag system warning light will illuminate on the dashboard. Once the airbag system warning light illuminates, the system becomes inactive which means if you have a crash the airbags will not work, so it is important to address the problem as soon as possible. If the airbag sensor has been damaged in a crash or otherwise, it will need replacing. You should ensure the replacement is the correct one for your car's airbag system, specific to the make and model of your car. It is imperative when replacing your airbag sensor that it is fixed back into the correct place. The airbag sensor may malfunction if not placed in the correct position, potentially causing the airbag to inflate by accident when not needed or not inflate at all in a crash situation.