Can Airbags Be Replaced? (After Accident, Cost + Wait Time)

When you get involved in an accident, your airbag sensors get triggered to deploy the airbags that cushion you from injuries during the crash. Airbags are one of the most critical safety features of a car, therefore, they must always function properly.

However, after the accident, can airbags be replaced? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!

Can Airbags Be Replaced?

During an accident or a collision, all your airbags will inflate, and your mechanic will have to replace these safety devices for them to work properly. If the impact sensors were damaged, you must also replace them for the airbag module to function properly. Depending on the accident, some cars will need a driver’s or passenger-side airbag or both.

For more information about airbag replacement, what happens when they deploy, and how much it costs to replace them, keep reading for more useful facts!

Can Airbags Be Replaced After An Accident?

As a car owner, you might be wondering whether you’ll need to replace your airbags after an accident.

Yes, airbags can be replaced after every accident. This replacement process is a must because after they get deployed, they pop out of the dashboard and steering wheel.

After an accident, airbags get fixed by replacing the unit and resetting the sensors.

For most new car models, you have to replace the entire airbag instead of resetting for safety precautions.

This process involves removing both old airbags from the driver’s and passenger’s side and adding new ones.

Before going on the road again, ensure that you replace the airbags so that they can work properly in case of a crash. Otherwise, it’s quite risky to drive without them.

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Why Can’t Airbags Be Reused After An Accident?

Older cars could allow you to put the airbags back into the compartment. However, this could be quite dangerous.

Faulty airbags, even new ones, are also risky and can lead to fatalities. For instance, since 2015, the U.S. has had the largest airbag recall due to reported deaths and injuries. The Takata airbag recall has seen about 70 million cars recalled from 2015 to 2019.

You shouldn’t reuse these airbags, because they might fail to deploy the next time you get into a crash, which is why newer cars require you to replace old airbags with new ones.

In fact, today’s airbags are equipped with technology, which means you can’t reuse them. Airbags inflate quickly due to the presence of potassium nitrate and sodium azide, which react to form nitrogen gas.

When the airbag deploys, the gas that causes the inflation is used up. Therefore, you’ll need new bags with these chemicals to protect you in the future.

Automakers use this technology to maintain the highest safety standards and ensure that car owners don’t reuse airbags.

How Are Airbags Fixed After An Accident?

How Are Airbags Fixed After An Accident?

Once you take your car to the mechanic to fix the airbags, listed below are some of the things they need to do during the replacement of the airbags:

Replace The Airbags With Identical Ones

During airbag replacement, it’s important to use the same brand (preferably the ones made by the same manufacturer) to ensure that they work well in the future.

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Airbags should be brand new and carefully placed in the right direction and exact manner as the old ones if you want them to work properly.

Reset Airbag Sensors

During a crash, the airbag sensors are critical because they’re the ones that trigger airbags to deploy. Therefore, they need to be functioning correctly for the airbags to be useful.

After an accident, the airbags lose their position. Therefore, they will need to be reset after the airbags are back in place. Your mechanic can use the owner’s manual to check where the sensors should be.

In most newer car models, a light will illuminate on the dashboard if the airbag sensors need to be checked.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Deployed Airbags?

Now that we’ve established that you need to replace your airbags, how much does it cost to fix this issue? Is replacing front ones more costly than replacing side airbags?

Replacing the airbag system can cost you an average of $3,000 or more, including parts, repairs, and labor.

However, this price varies depending on your car model, the specific mechanic, and the number of airbags you’re replacing.

While in some cases you might pay about $1,000 to $1,500 per airbag, the average replacement costs can also be as low as $200 to $700 for each type of airbag.

Since airbags are quite delicate, you shouldn’t buy the parts and install them yourself.

Unless you’re an expert mechanic, you should take your car to a professional who understands the process (when budgeting for the repair costs, also include the labor expenses).

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How Long Does It Take To Replace Airbags?

How Long Does It Take To Replace Airbags?

This depends on how many airbags need to be replaced. If only the driver airbags need replacing, the process could take an hour and a half. However, if you need to fix the drivers and passengers, this would take about three hours.

Since these safety features are necessary, you should set some time apart to have them replaced immediately.

To learn more about airbags, you can also check our related posts on airbag statistics, if airbags can be replaced, and how fast do airbags deploy.


Airbags are a critical part of your car in ensuring your safety. During a crash or collision, these safety devices inflate and deflate rapidly to protect you and your passenger from injuries.

Vehicles should always have properly functioning airbags, even after an accident.

Once they deploy, they must be replaced to ensure they inflate next time in case there’s an accident. After an accident, have both the front and side airbags replaced by a professional mechanic.

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