When you have an airbag that you don’t know what to do with, your first instinct will likely be whether or not you can sell it.
However, unlike other car parts that go on sale in the second-hand market, airbags are not as straightforward. So, can you sell used airbags? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!
Can You Sell Used Airbags?
You can sell a used airbag only if it hasn’t been deployed, as it will no longer work as a safety precaution. If the airbag has already been deployed, whether or not it still looks functional, you can recycle or repurpose it as something else. Only buy used airbags from reputable sellers to ensure they’re safe.
To learn more about buying and selling used airbags, including how much they’re worth, where to find them, and precautions to take, read more for useful facts and tips!
Are Used Airbags Worth Money?
Used undeployed airbags are worth a couple hundred dollars depending on their condition and age.
A brand new airbag that has never been installed in a car could go for as much as $1,000 or more, but their value drops off considerably if they have been fitted into a car before.
These high prices are for airbags that you get directly from the manufacturer or car dealerships.
If you’re looking to sell one you pulled out of a car, even if it’s unused, it’s only going to be worth about $300 at most.
This price is usually for front airbags (steering wheel and dashboard) but you could get more money for special types of airbags. Curtain and roof airbags, for instance, are less common, so they could net you more cash even in the used market.
Airbags for more expensive vehicles would also go for more money than ones for everyday car models.
Is There A Market For Stolen Airbags?
There is a booming market for stolen airbags, and many law enforcement agencies across the United States are actually referring to them as the new car stereos, owing to the break-ins that target them specifically.
As stated in the section above, a single used undeployed airbag could go for a few hundred dollars. They’re also in high demand because a brand new airbag could go for thousands while a stolen one could cost less than half of that, making them a more cost-effective option.
Most break-ins target the front airbags in the steering wheel and dashboard because it’s easy to use a screwdriver, Swiss Army knife or something similar to pry them loose without the car owner noticing right away.
Therefore, if your car gets broken into, make sure that you have a professional take a look at it to ensure that your airbags are still intact.
It’s also advisable to ask them to run some diagnostic tests to make sure they’re still functional, just in case someone tried to take them and failed but affected their functionality in the process.
There are several reasons to want to avoid stolen airbags but the above safety risk is a significant one, so make sure you get your used airbags from reputable sellers.
Can You Sell Airbags On eBay?
You can technically sell airbags on eBay, but the platform has several restrictions in place for vehicle parts and accessories that regulate several items, including airbags.
You can only sell airbags on eBay if you’re an authorized seller. Your airbags should be undeployed, new and sourced directly from the manufacturer.
You should also take active steps to ensure they’re not part of a recalled batch and declare this on the listing.
When shipping, you should follow the guidelines for shipping hazardous materials (since airbags are capable of exploding).
You also can’t ship them using the United States Postal Service (USPS) because they won’t accept airbags, so you’ll have to use an alternative like UPS or Fedex.
Note that you’re prohibited from listing rebuilt airbags and airbag covers on the platform.
What Do You Do With Old Airbags?
If you’ve taken care of your old airbags, one good way to get rid of them is to sell them on the used market.
You should make sure that they still work and that they weren’t removed from the car due to a recall so they don’t put the buyer in danger. You can also recycle them, but this is easier if the airbag hasn’t been deployed.
Airbags are able to inflate as fast as they do because they work by creating a chemical explosion that releases gas to fill them up instantaneously.
This means that an undeployed airbag still contains the uncombusted chemicals and is still at risk of exploding, so it must be handled with care.
Most recycling centers will not accept them in this state, while those that do will likely charge you to handle them.
If you don’t want to sell your airbags, look around your area for recyclers that are equipped to handle them or do a walk-in and ask.
If the airbags have been deployed, then they are safe to recycle like anything else made of the same material.
Why Don’t Junkyards Sell Airbags?
Some smaller self-service junkyards will refuse to sell you airbags because of the hassle of inspecting them to determine which ones are safe to put in your car.
When an undeployed airbag arrives at a junkyard, it could be difficult to tell if it got there after a recall that announced they were defective.
It’s also not easy for junkyard employees to be certain that the airbag was handled with the level of care that enables it to work. As well, there is potential for legal trouble if they sell you an airbag that fails to deploy, as they’d be held liable for the consequences.
This, however, is not standard practice across all junkyards because some of them will still sell airbags to you.
They could either go through the trouble to comb through the airbag’s history to make sure it wasn’t part of a recall, handle it with care so it still works as intended, or have a way to absolve the junkyard of liability if the airbag fails.
You can sell used airbags provided they have not been deployed, either by yourself online or to a local junkyard.
Used airbags don’t fetch a lot of money, going for about $300 maximum, but you can get more for uncommon airbag types or ones that are intended for more expensive vehicles.