“Do airbags expire?” is a thought most of us have had after a particularly rash drive. No one wants to get into an accident and then realize the airbag of their used car in Dubai had expired long ago. However, in all fairness, you can’t really regret not having your airbag replaced if you’re already dead.
CarSwitch, a UAE-based company where you can buy and sell cars, has put together this guide to help you learn everything you need to know about the air bags of your car. So, without further ado, let’s delve into it.
Vehicle Age: New or Old?
In newer cars, airbags are far more durable and are designed to last as long as the vehicle itself. It was generally recommended that, for older vehicles (those produced between the 70’s and the 90’s), an inspection should be carried out every 10 to 15 years. Even replacement dates were scheduled for the vehicle airbags.
However, of all the older vehicles that have been tested, the airbags were found to be fully functional. Subsequently, manufacturers came to the conclusion that airbags are highly unlikely to expire.
But even then, as an extra safety precaution, it is recommended to have it checked at least once.
Airbag Material: Glass or Plastic?
The airbag igniter, also known as the squib, comes in two different materials: glass and metal, or plastic and metal.
The plastic squibs are not as durable and are more likely to allow moisture to enter the seal, leading to corrosion of vehicle parts. This is exactly why plastic squibs have slowly phased out and been replaced with the glass squibs.
Glass squibs are a lot more reliable and have allowed airbags to last as long as the vehicle itself, without any need for replacement or maintenance.
Airbag Monitoring and Maintenance
These days, it is not considered necessary to regularly maintain your airbags. It is advised, however, to check your airbag light regularly.
Ideally, when you start the ignition of your vehicle, you should see the airbag light switch on and then switch off. If it does not follow this pattern, for example, it stays off or turns on but does not go out, you should immediately consult a mechanic.
Car manufacturers and mechanics alike are confident about the durability of airbags since they have proven their reliability ever since they were introduced. There is no need to ever be too worried about your airbag expiring, though Carswitch would still advise you to avoid reckless driving just to impress your friends. Airbags cannot protect you from particularly violent collisions, not to mention bystanders aren’t protected at all.