Can Airbag Go Off With Battery Disconnected: Know Everything That You Should Know

Can Airbag Go Off With Battery Disconnected

Though an airbag is an excellent safety measure during any accident, malfunctioning it poses many risks. Random deployment of airbags while car maintenance or failure to pop out during an accident will cause serious injury.

Regarding the facts mentioned above, the question comes, “can airbags go off with the battery disconnected?” It depends on whether your car has a capacitor or not. The capacitor will provide essential energy for airbag deployment even if the battery is disconnected. Also, if the car uses mechanical crash sensors, there is nothing related to the battery to deploy the airbag.

In this article, we will discuss the success and failure of the release of airbags. You will also learn the safe way to handle the airbag system. Hence, keep reading till the end.

How Does The Airbag Deployment System Function?

Generally, an airbag is an electronically controlled system. This system consists of two crash sensors and a saving sensor. When the car crashes, this sensor sends signals to the airbag.

Check this diagram of the SRS(Supplemental Restraint System) circuit to understand the connections better:

The airbag will consume energy from the battery, and the squibs inside the airbags will ignite. As a result, two gasses, Sodium Azide, and Potassium Nitrate will react with each other inside the bags.

Generally, this reaction will produce nitrogen gas and will inflate the airbags. If, somehow, they can’t get energy from the battery, a backup power supply will function to do so.

Usually, for unbelted passengers, the airbag will require equipment impact of 10-12 mph in the rigid wall. But, for a belted passenger, it will need 16 mph of impact to inflate or deploy the airbags.

Can The Airbag Go Off With the Battery Disconnected?

It depends on whether your car has a capacitor or not. If your vehicle doesn’t have one, the airbag won’t go off if you disconnect the battery. But, with a capacitor, this issue won’t arise. Besides, the airbag release will be independent of battery connections if the car has mechanical crash sensors.

Can Airbag Go Off With Battery Disconnected

Some cars have only one power source operating system. That means those cars will only contain a 12 V main battery. Thus, if you disconnect the battery, the airbags won’t get sufficient energy to ignite the squibs. As a result, airbags won’t deploy.

But, in most cars, there is a secondary or backup power supply. So, even if you disconnect the battery, it will get its energy for airbag release from the backup source.

The main motive of this type of backup or DERM system was to store enough energy for airbag deployment. Because during car crashes, it is usual that the battery may get damaged or disconnected.

Thus, the DERM(Diagnostic Energy Reservoir Module) system will contain enough energy for a limited time to deploy airbags.

Moreover, some cars use mechanical crash sensors. This is quite similar to the electrical ones, but the difference is it doesn’t require electrical power for airbag release. In this case, when the sensor senses any crash, it will trigger a firing pin.

This firing pin will induce an explosion inside the airbag, and the airbag will release immediately. So, indeed, even if the battery is not connected, there will be no issue with the airbag release.

Can Airbag Deploy If You Are Not Driving?

Normally, the airbag can’t go off if you are not driving. Because it doesn’t have the essential power supply for the deployment. Here are several factors regarding this case:

  • For the deployment, you have to make sure that the engine of your car is running
  • All the electronic systems of your car will be running when the ignition is on. That means, even if you are not driving the vehicle, the airbag will go off upon any accident as long as the ignition is on
  • In rare cases, the airbag can go off when the ignition isn’t on. This happens due to the residual energy in the ignition system. Generally, this effect may stay for a few minutes to hours after you turn off the ignition

Can The Airbag Go Off Suddenly Without Any Reason?

Though it’s a rare occurrence, it’s possible that the airbag can go off randomly without any valid reasons. These issues may cause severe injury, even death, to a person. That’s why you must be careful about this issue and should know why this incident may occur.

Here are a few cases when the airbag can go off randomly:

  • Any manufacturer defects can cause this issue
  • If you have modified your car recently, and the modification includes the airbag system
  • Faulty installment or upgrades of the electrical system of your car
  • A malfunctioning “crash sensor” may also result in random deployment of the airbag
  • Troubleshooting the airbag module with testers like ohm meter, powered test light, etc.

Can You Keep The Airbag Turned Off?

Whether you can turn off the airbag or not will depend on the car model. Some car models will provide the option of turning off the airbag only by switches. So, you better check the car manual to know if your car has the feature.

In some cars, there will be an “on” and “off” switch. You can turn off the passenger airbag by pressing those switches. A dashboard light will indicate the successful deactivation of the airbag.

Also, some cars come with an automatic deactivation process of airbags. For example, if the passenger seat is empty or the passenger seat belt is on, the airbag will be turned off.

Is It Possible To Remove The Airbag Safely Without Detaching The Battery?

Yes. It’s possible to remove the airbag without detaching the battery. But we don’t recommend doing so as it’s not safe. It’s too risky at that; at any time, the airbag system may get triggered and can release suddenly.

Generally, it will pop out with a speed of almost 200mph, which will take less time than even eye-blinking takes. So, you won’t get time to move to a safe position to avoid the impact of airbag release.

This may cause severe brain injury, facial injury, bone fracture, chest injury, hearing loss, asthma attacks, etc. So, it’s a wise decision not to try removing the airbag before disconnecting the battery.

How To Remove The Airbag Safely?

Even disconnecting the battery isn’t safe enough to proceed with the removal process. Because residual energy may provide the risk of airbags popping up. So, you have to make sure to follow the proper process of removing it. Here are the steps for removing the airbag:

  • Step 1: Pull out the wiring from the battery terminals. Disconnect the negative terminal first
  • Step 2: Wait for 20-30 minutes for the draining of the DERM module system
  • Step 3: Pull out the fuse from the SRS circuit
  • Step 4: Now, you have to scan the system with any OBD scanner
  • Step 5: Proceed with opening the car’s dashboard
  • Step 6: You need to disable the airbag of the passenger seat
  • Step 7: Now, you have to remove the steering wheel’s lower panel
  • Step 8: Then, you can remove the driver-side airbag too

Frequently Asked Questions

In this FAQs section, we will answer several questions about airbag deployment.

What Is The Replacement Cost Of An Deployed Airbag?

To replace the deployed airbag, you may have to spend around $200-$800 for each airbag module. These are just the cost for the parts, not the overall cost. Because the labor cost will range around $150-$300 for each airbag.

Will An Airbag Goes Off If The Passenger Seat Is Empty?

In cars, which don’t have any airbag sensor, the airbag will go off whether the seat is empty or not. But, in those cars, which have airbag sensors, the airbag won’t go off if the sensor can’t sense anyone on the seat.

Can I Drive a Car After The Airbag Has Deployed?

Yes, you can, as there is no law against it. But, after car crashes, when the airbag goes off, the car engine will automatically shut off. This prevents the further risk of explosion. Even if the engine doesn’t go off, you should turn it off and not drive the car.

Conclusion

Proper functioning of the airbag is necessary to ensure safety during the accident or maintenance of a car.  Sometimes, during an accident, the battery can get severely damaged and disconnected. In this case, an airbag goes off with the battery disconnected.

Generally, the capacitor ensures the popping out of the airbag for a limited time, even after the battery detaches. But, this feature can also cause the random release of airbags which may cause severe injury. We hope you can safely handle the airbag system after reading the article.

Though an airbag is an excellent safety measure during any accident, malfunctioning it poses many risks. Random deployment of airbags while car maintenance or failure to pop out during an accident will cause serious injury.

Regarding the facts mentioned above, the question comes, “can airbags go off with the battery disconnected?” It depends on whether your car has a capacitor or not. The capacitor will provide essential energy for airbag deployment even if the battery is disconnected. Also, if the car uses mechanical crash sensors, there is nothing related to the battery to deploy the airbag.

In this article, we will discuss the success and failure of the release of airbags. You will also learn the safe way to handle the airbag system. Hence, keep reading till the end.

How Does The Airbag Deployment System Function?

Generally, an airbag is an electronically controlled system. This system consists of two crash sensors and a saving sensor. When the car crashes, this sensor sends signals to the airbag.

Check this diagram of the SRS(Supplemental Restraint System) circuit to understand the connections better:

The airbag will consume energy from the battery, and the squibs inside the airbags will ignite. As a result, two gasses, Sodium Azide, and Potassium Nitrate will react with each other inside the bags.

Generally, this reaction will produce nitrogen gas and will inflate the airbags. If, somehow, they can’t get energy from the battery, a backup power supply will function to do so.

Usually, for unbelted passengers, the airbag will require equipment impact of 10-12 mph in the rigid wall. But, for a belted passenger, it will need 16 mph of impact to inflate or deploy the airbags.

Can The Airbag Go Off With the Battery Disconnected?

It depends on whether your car has a capacitor or not. If your vehicle doesn’t have one, the airbag won’t go off if you disconnect the battery. But, with a capacitor, this issue won’t arise. Besides, the airbag release will be independent of battery connections if the car has mechanical crash sensors.

Can Airbag Go Off With Battery Disconnected

Some cars have only one power source operating system. That means those cars will only contain a 12 V main battery. Thus, if you disconnect the battery, the airbags won’t get sufficient energy to ignite the squibs. As a result, airbags won’t deploy.

But, in most cars, there is a secondary or backup power supply. So, even if you disconnect the battery, it will get its energy for airbag release from the backup source.

The main motive of this type of backup or DERM system was to store enough energy for airbag deployment. Because during car crashes, it is usual that the battery may get damaged or disconnected.

Thus, the DERM(Diagnostic Energy Reservoir Module) system will contain enough energy for a limited time to deploy airbags.

Moreover, some cars use mechanical crash sensors. This is quite similar to the electrical ones, but the difference is it doesn’t require electrical power for airbag release. In this case, when the sensor senses any crash, it will trigger a firing pin.

This firing pin will induce an explosion inside the airbag, and the airbag will release immediately. So, indeed, even if the battery is not connected, there will be no issue with the airbag release.

Can Airbag Deploy If You Are Not Driving?

Normally, the airbag can’t go off if you are not driving. Because it doesn’t have the essential power supply for the deployment. Here are several factors regarding this case:

  • For the deployment, you have to make sure that the engine of your car is running
  • All the electronic systems of your car will be running when the ignition is on. That means, even if you are not driving the vehicle, the airbag will go off upon any accident as long as the ignition is on
  • In rare cases, the airbag can go off when the ignition isn’t on. This happens due to the residual energy in the ignition system. Generally, this effect may stay for a few minutes to hours after you turn off the ignition

Can The Airbag Go Off Suddenly Without Any Reason?

Though it’s a rare occurrence, it’s possible that the airbag can go off randomly without any valid reasons. These issues may cause severe injury, even death, to a person. That’s why you must be careful about this issue and should know why this incident may occur.

Here are a few cases when the airbag can go off randomly:

  • Any manufacturer defects can cause this issue
  • If you have modified your car recently, and the modification includes the airbag system
  • Faulty installment or upgrades of the electrical system of your car
  • A malfunctioning “crash sensor” may also result in random deployment of the airbag
  • Troubleshooting the airbag module with testers like ohm meter, powered test light, etc.

Can You Keep The Airbag Turned Off?

Whether you can turn off the airbag or not will depend on the car model. Some car models will provide the option of turning off the airbag only by switches. So, you better check the car manual to know if your car has the feature.

In some cars, there will be an “on” and “off” switch. You can turn off the passenger airbag by pressing those switches. A dashboard light will indicate the successful deactivation of the airbag.

Also, some cars come with an automatic deactivation process of airbags. For example, if the passenger seat is empty or the passenger seat belt is on, the airbag will be turned off.

Is It Possible To Remove The Airbag Safely Without Detaching The Battery?

Yes. It’s possible to remove the airbag without detaching the battery. But we don’t recommend doing so as it’s not safe. It’s too risky at that; at any time, the airbag system may get triggered and can release suddenly.

Generally, it will pop out with a speed of almost 200mph, which will take less time than even eye-blinking takes. So, you won’t get time to move to a safe position to avoid the impact of airbag release.

This may cause severe brain injury, facial injury, bone fracture, chest injury, hearing loss, asthma attacks, etc. So, it’s a wise decision not to try removing the airbag before disconnecting the battery.

How To Remove The Airbag Safely?

Even disconnecting the battery isn’t safe enough to proceed with the removal process. Because residual energy may provide the risk of airbags popping up. So, you have to make sure to follow the proper process of removing it. Here are the steps for removing the airbag:

  • Step 1: Pull out the wiring from the battery terminals. Disconnect the negative terminal first
  • Step 2: Wait for 20-30 minutes for the draining of the DERM module system
  • Step 3: Pull out the fuse from the SRS circuit
  • Step 4: Now, you have to scan the system with any OBD scanner
  • Step 5: Proceed with opening the car’s dashboard
  • Step 6: You need to disable the airbag of the passenger seat
  • Step 7: Now, you have to remove the steering wheel’s lower panel
  • Step 8: Then, you can remove the driver-side airbag too

Frequently Asked Questions

In this FAQs section, we will answer several questions about airbag deployment.

What Is The Replacement Cost Of An Deployed Airbag?

To replace the deployed airbag, you may have to spend around $200-$800 for each airbag module. These are just the cost for the parts, not the overall cost. Because the labor cost will range around $150-$300 for each airbag.

Will An Airbag Goes Off If The Passenger Seat Is Empty?

In cars, which don’t have any airbag sensor, the airbag will go off whether the seat is empty or not. But, in those cars, which have airbag sensors, the airbag won’t go off if the sensor can’t sense anyone on the seat.

Can I Drive a Car After The Airbag Has Deployed?

Yes, you can, as there is no law against it. But, after car crashes, when the airbag goes off, the car engine will automatically shut off. This prevents the further risk of explosion. Even if the engine doesn’t go off, you should turn it off and not drive the car.

Conclusion

Proper functioning of the airbag is necessary to ensure safety during the accident or maintenance of a car.  Sometimes, during an accident, the battery can get severely damaged and disconnected. In this case, an airbag goes off with the battery disconnected.

Generally, the capacitor ensures the popping out of the airbag for a limited time, even after the battery detaches. But, this feature can also cause the random release of airbags which may cause severe injury. We hope you can safely handle the airbag system after reading the article.

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