Airbags are made to deploy faster than an accident causes damage, as they release within milliseconds due to their sensitive airbag sensors.
However, you may wonder where the airbag sensor is located. If so, keep reading this article to see what I learned!
Where Is The Airbag Sensor Located?
Airbag sensors are placed in the front around common impact zones so they’re more likely to detect a collision. They’re usually fitted behind the bumper so they can register a crash as soon as possible. Some manufacturers put an airbag sensor in each door to detect side impacts, but there are almost never any airbag sensors in the rear of the car.
If you’d like to learn about airbag sensor placement, including where they are on different models, why they’re mounted at strategic regions of the car, and more, keep reading for more facts and tips!
Where Is The Front Airbag Sensor?
Sensors for the front airbags are normally placed at the front of the vehicle, right behind the bumper so they detect collisions as soon as they happen.
Usually, there are two sensors on either side, so they have a wider area available to register crashes.
A car’s bumper is usually the part that’s farthest out at the front, so fitting the crash sensors here makes sense because they have enough time to kick into action before the effects of the impact reach the cabin.
Some models will have sensors in the seat belts that detect the presence of a passenger and whether the belts have been fastened.
These sensors also affect the deployment of the front airbags, e.g. they are less likely to deploy in a light crash when the belts are fastened.
That said, different manufacturers place their airbag sensors in different regions of the vehicle depending on what they might have found to be more effective between models, so you should consult your owner’s manual, your mechanic, or contact the manufacturer directly to know where the sensors are.
Where Are Side Airbag Sensors Located?
Crash sensors that control deployment of the side airbags are usually mounted inside each of the front doors.
Like most components that are fitted onto the doors, they’re behind the soft panel covering for additional safety.
They can be found on the lower rear quadrant because studies have found that this is the most ideal position to register most side collisions.
Where Is the Airbag Sensor Located On a Ford F-150?
On a Ford F-150 truck, the front airbag sensors can be found underneath the driver’s and front passenger’s seats.
There are also some sensors fitted inside the seat belts that are used to detect when the belts have been fastened and whether there is someone sitting in the front passenger seat.
If the sensors don’t detect someone occupying the front passenger’s seat, then the airbag on that side will not be deployed in a crash.
Super Cab and Super Crew models of the F-150 are also fitted with side airbags whose sensors are located inside the front doors.
Where Is the Airbag Sensor Located On a 2005 Chevy Silverado?
On a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado, the airbag sensors are located underneath the car, right behind the engine splash shield.
Where Is the Airbag Sensor On a 2009 Chevy Silverado?
Like the 2005 model, the airbag sensors on a 2009 Chevy Silverado are located on the underside of the car, and you have to remove the engine splash shield to access them.
Where Is the Airbag Sensor In the Passenger Seat?
Crash sensors that deploy the dashboard airbags on the front passenger’s side are located in the front where the sensors for the driver’s airbag are also located.
Sensors that deploy the side airbags for the front passenger are usually fitted in the lower rear quadrant of the front passenger door.
Front passenger seats on more modern vehicles contain special sensors underneath them that scan for the presence of an occupant to determine whether or not to deploy an airbag.
What Do Airbag Sensors Look Like?
Airbag sensors look different depending on what car you have, but generally, they’re made in the form of a rectangular block with a smaller rectangular block sticking out of the top.
Their design resembles that of the common USB thumb drive, and they can also be held between just the thumb and index finger.
How Do You Test an Airbag Sensor?
You can test an airbag sensor using an automatic scan tool that is capable of running diagnostic tests on the entire system and reports on the status of different components.
Testing an airbag sensor is a risky procedure because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could deploy one or all of them by accident, and the consequences of this could be anything from needing costly replacement to being critically injured.
Therefore, if you suspect you have a bad airbag sensor, take your car to a qualified professional and have them look at it as soon as possible.
How Do You Determine Which Airbag Sensor Is Bad?
You can determine if you have at least one bad airbag sensor if the light stays on instead of turning itself off a few seconds after starting the car.
As stated above, there are special scanners that you can use to run tests on the whole airbag system to pinpoint the root causes of different issues.
These scanners come with user manuals that teach you how to read different error codes that pop up, so you should refer to them to know which sensor is bad.
However, the procedure is best left to professionals for the reasons mentioned in the previous section.
Front airbag sensors are usually located in the front around the bumper to detect and react to crashes fast enough, while side airbag sensors are normally fitted onto the lower rear quadrant of the front doors.
Some cars will have airbag sensors underneath the front seats that detect whether the seat belts have been fastened and scan for the presence of a front passenger to determine when to deploy airbags and which ones to deploy.