Understanding Your Car's SRS: An Overview of Airbags

Posted by Artem Martynyuk on

Driving naturally comes with several risks, with internal and external factors playing a huge role in your safety. For starters, it’s necessary to observe the proper guidelines of being behind the wheel. This includes wearing your seatbelt, monitoring your mirrors, and recognizing driving patterns around you. Following these habits will keep you self-aware of your responsibility as a motorist on the road.

On the other hand, there are uncontrollable factors that you cannot expect to encounter. These situations can come from unpredictable weather, poor roadway condition, and – worst of all – reckless drivers. Any of the three variables mentioned can lead to a car crash, forcing your car to trigger its emergency systems to ensure your safety.

The Aftermath of an Accident

When drivers get into car accidents, their vehicle’s airbag sensors can get triggered if the impact is strong enough. This triggers the vehicle’s Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) that set off several safety mechanisms. For starters, it will activate your car’s 3-point seatbelt to restrain the passengers and driver from severe impact. To further cushion the collision, the SRS deploys an airbag module for the passengers and driver.

The Development of Airbag Modules

Older car designs allowed the passengers to reuse airbags by stuffing them back in their previous compartments. However, the distinct danger in reusing your airbag will vary in numerous ways. For example, a driver could install it improperly, causing it to fail deployment during another accident.

Modern airbags’ design doesn’t allow for reusability because these products eliminate the unnecessary risk of failure. These airbags are condensed in small compartments that are triggered by your car’s sensors. They may remain inside the module or inflate rapidly if there’s enough collision force to trigger their deployment.

Once the bags inflate through the introduction of sodium azide and potassium nitrate, nitrogen gas is formed to protect the driver and passengers from harm. Since these compounds are unusable after deployment, it’s necessary to get new airbag modules with a fresh set of chemicals for future protection.

Car manufacturers require airbag module replacements to reinforce the safety of their customers. This ensures that the chemicals are enough to trigger their reaction again when necessary.

The Process of Resetting the Airbag Module

After enduring a car accident, your vehicle needs to undergo a rigorous process of resetting its airbag module. First, it’s necessary to reset the airbag sensors. In cases where the force of the impact wasn’t strong enough to deploy the car’s airbags, you still need to get your airbag lights reset. This ensures that they won’t accidentally trigger even when you’re not in an accident.

Next, it’s necessary to replace the airbags through an auto repair shop. Although older car models have reusable airbag modules, it’s better to get them replaced now to avoid any improper deployment in the future. If you accidentally trigger and pop your airbags, you’ll need to replace them as well and receive testing to confirm their proper function. Keep in mind that some airbag modules are attached to steering wheels, so you may need to replace the whole wheel and column together with the airbag.


Restoring your car’s emergency response mechanisms isn’t limited to its airbags. This is why it’s necessary to go through a proper and thorough check-up of your sensors, seat belts, and airbag modules before driving your car again. Doing so ensures that you’re safe on the road without foregoing the safety nets your car’s mechanisms have in place.

At Repair My SRS, we can attend to your car's post-accident care through SRS repair services in Westfield, MA. We can adjust several vehicle safety elements such as the seat belt retractor and airbag module resetting. Check our offered solutions to receive proper and secure safety solutions!

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