The average cost for an airbag control module replacement comes between $685 and $712 for most cars and locations. The labor costs for this procedure are estimated between $103 and $130, while the cost of the parts is more expensive at $582. Based on this replacement cost, drivers can assume the airbag control module is a vital and important component of car safety.
What is an airbag control module?
When figuring out the total airbag control module replacement cost, drivers need to know the importance of this part to justify paying for the procedure at a mechanic’s shop. Modern-day trucks, cars, sedans, SUVs, and other motor vehicles are all equipped with specific safety systems that keep the car, driver, and passengers safe in the event of a crash or trauma.
Designed to protect the vehicle occupants and the car’s structural integrity, the airbag control module plays a key role in deploying the airbag on time during impact. The first component of the safety system to protect the occupants of a vehicle are the seat belts. This first line of defense keeps the occupants in their designated seat when hit by another car or object, ensuring they are not thrown out of the moving vehicle.
Supplemental Restraint System
Next, to add to the seat belts’ safety, a Supplemental Restraint System is utilized to further enhance the protection of the occupants. The SRS, also called the passive restraint or airbag system, was created to cushion and pad the driver and occupants during a crash. The airbag system was first introduced in 1998 and consists of sensors, front airbags, airbag clockspring, front airbags, and root airbags.
The differing locations of airbags ensure to protect the driver and passengers from multiple points of impact. Since there are various types of airbags and locations in the vehicle, the airbag control module replacement cost can vary depending on what module needs repairing.
Along with the airbags and seat belts, seat belt pre-tensioners automatically tighten the seat belt on impact. This feature ensures the seat belt is not lax during a crash, and can properly restrain the driver and passengers and keep them in their seat.
Airbag Electronic Control Unit
Lastly, the airbag control module, also known as the airbag electronic control unit or the SRS control module, is the computer or brain of the Supplemental Restraint System. Just like the engine control module or powertrain control modules are the brain and internal directional system of the vehicle, the airbag control module is in charge of all safety components. Due to this mechanism’s importance, the airbag control module replacement cost is typically higher than that of other SRS parts.
How does the airbag control module operate?
The airbag control module monitors, analyzes, and sends data from the vehicle sensors to the car’s electrical components. By reading the data and gathering information about the SRS system, the airbag control module evaluates and detects a crash’s likelihood based on certain external factors.
If the SRS and airbag control module detects a crash is about to occur, the safety system will engage to protect the driver and occupants. The Supplemental Restraint System components will activate, like the airbags and seatbelts, according to the timing, severity, and location of impact.
The airbag control module must also analyze the severity of the crash to determine if the airbags should or should not deploy. Sometimes, the crash is so minimal that the airbag deployment might cause more harm than good. As you can see, the airbag control module replacement cost will vary depending on the seriousness of the crash and the over or underuse of the module.
Lastly, the airbag control module stores and analyzes valuable data that a technician can read and interpret in the event of repairs or replacements. Mechanics will download the stored data about vehicle speed, brake usage, seatbelt use, accident occurrence, and throttle position to determine the overall airbag control module replacement cost.
Symptoms of a Faulty Airbag Control Module
Suppose there is an issue with the airbag control module for Supplemental Restraint System in your car. In that case, the SRS warning light will illuminate on the dashboard and alert the driver to an internal safety problem. In this case, drivers should immediately bring their car to a mechanic, since any problems with seat belts or airbags could be deadly in the event of a crash.
This warning light on the dashboard signals a clear issue in the SRS system, which could indicate one of a number of problems. If the light is on in your car, it could mean there is a fault with the sensor, airbag, clock spring, seat belt pretensioner, or airbag control module. No matter what the issue is, bringing your car to a local mechanic to get an estimate for the airbag control module replacement cost is the next step.
Can you drive with a malfunctioning airbag control module?
If your airbag control module or Supplemental Restraint System is not working properly, chances are you'll be playing with fire if you decide to continue driving. Since both of these components are crucial to driver and passenger safety, operating your vehicle without any safety mechanisms will lead to a much greater vehicle and user damage in the occurrence of an accident.
If your airbag control module is not working properly, then the SRS system will be turned off as well. In this case, your car will self-diagnose itself to determine why the SRS system is not turning on when the engine is started by turning the key in the ignition. At this point, the car will try and determine the root cause of the safety issue in your car.
If the airbag control module is not working or is defective, the airbag warning light will come on the dashboard. In this case, the driver should figure out the total airbag control module replacement cost to see how to turn the SRS system back on in the vehicle.
Drivers need to figure out the total airbag control module replacement cost in order to fix the part, turn the airbags back on so they can deploy during a crash, and switch the SRS system back into working mode. If the airbag warning light remains on, the vehicle should be serviced as soon as you can so they can diagnose and repair the safety problem.
How is the airbag control module replaced?
When asking the local mechanic the average airbag control module replacement cost, drivers should be aware of replacing or repairing this crucial safety mechanism. If your mechanic tells you that a replacement is necessary to keep your vehicle on the road safely, a technician will first disconnect the battery.
If the battery is not disconnected, the SRS system will still be active. Disarming the SRS system lets the mechanic work on the internal electrical components without any potential safety risks. Next, the mechanic will determine the location of the airbag control module. After the mechanic visually inspects the module, they will remove any components necessary to gain complete access to this part.
Once the extraneous parts are removed, the mechanic will remove and replace the airbag control module. After the module has been reinstalled, the technician will reset the SRS system to ensure the airbags, seatbelts, and other safety components are still working as they should. At this point, the mechanic will tell you the quoted airbag control module replacement cost you need to pay for the fix.
Can I replace the airbag control module myself?
If you find that you have a knack for cars and want to save a few hundred dollars on the airbag control module replacement cost, you may think that doing this fix yourself can be the way to go. However, it is recommended by car experts, dealerships, and mechanics that you leave any issues with the Supplemental Restraint System to the professionals.
Since this system is such a crucial part of your vehicle, any inaccurate diagnoses or repairs can significantly harm your vehicle. In the end, this could actually lead to a higher airbag control module replacement cost if you accidentally harm another component in the process.
Lastly, a technician may also have to reset the entire safety system with specialized software after the old components have been replaced with working parts. If owners skip this final step, it can lead to a much higher airbag control module replacement cost.
The Bottom Line
Calculating the total airbag control module replacement cost is crucial to keeping your car running safely and protecting occupants in the event of a crash. If you skip any repairs or replacements in the Supplemental Restraint System, you could be putting yourself and others at extreme risk in the event of a collision.
To prevent any unsafe driving conditions, mechanics recommend paying around $685 and $712 for the airbag control module replacement cost as soon as you notice any warning signs in your vehicle.