Road Safety: Understanding Supplemental Restraint Systems
Posted by Artem Martynyuk on
Maintaining your car is a lot about looking at structural damage and how it affects your driving ability. Although minor dents are ignorable, imbalances in your wheel alignment can make a world of difference in how you drive on the road. Besides looking at your car’s handling in terms of steering and driving, you should also look at the components that reinforce your safety.
Understanding your vehicle’s SRS requirements
Your vehicle’s Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) refers to the collection of safety measures that your car has to keep you and your passengers away from harm. Your airbags, modules, position sensors, and even seat belt switches are all components that secure your safety during an accident. Since these components are critical parts of your vehicle’s safety, it’s necessary to give your car a check-up to ensure that they’re working properly.
In this article, we’ll discuss three ways to troubleshoot your SRS’s components.
1. Initiating SRS troubleshooting
For your SRS input components, you’ll need a non-factory scanner and a volt-ohm meter. The scanner is for accurately reviewing clear codes after a repair. Over time, a car’s SRS input components will corrode, mainly on your front-end sensors (FES). This results in your car’s SRS lights flashing seven times and staying on.
Look at the trouble code on your scanner if it shows a reading that recommends a replacement for your sensors. If corrosion isn’t an issue, you can swap sensors to diagnose which one is the failed sensor. Besides rusting, resistance issues can also affect your SRS input components. If you get a reading below 1 or beyond 3 ohms, you may have your resistance problems. You should have the right SRS load tools for diagnosis for use to substitute inflators or deployment circuits.
2. Checking your seat belt pretensioners
Wearing your seatbelts is a necessary precaution against any kind of road-related accident. This is why it’s one of the simplest yet most effective ways to keep you safe in your car. With your driver seat headrests, the cushioning effect prevents you from experiencing whiplash after a hard impact due to a collision.
To check your seat belts correctly, you must pull out and observe how it will retract properly. After an accident, seat belt pretensioners will lock up and require repairs to return to their normal state. You will need to go to a garage to have a technician revert them back to their original factory state after replacing their damaged components.
3. Resetting your airbag control module
Besides your seatbelt, your vehicle’s airbag prevents you from sustaining damage from collisions. Your airbag control modules have two distinct parts: the occupant classification system (OCS) and airbag control module replacement. Each has its own tool-use requirements for proper diagnosis and repair.
To reset your airbag module, your vehicle needs to undergo recalibration and programming after repairs. Unlike simple part replacements for seatbelt pretensioners and FES, the airbag control module goes through a rigorous series of steps that requires a professional mechanic to handle.
Although it’s crucial to invest in your car’s driving components, you shouldn’t forget to have a check-up on its SRS. The better you invest in your car’s safety features, the more at ease you’ll be even if you end up in a car crash.
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