Honestly, you really can’t know if your airbags are safe. The airbag compartment is sealed, which means it is impossible to know if you even have airbags or what kind of condition they are in. However, here are some tips that can help you identify a potential problem.
- If own a used car, order a vehicle history report from CARFAX or AutoCheck. The report will tell you if your car has been in any previous accidents, has been declared a loss, been issued a salvage title, or has been rebuilt. Look to see if the vehicle has had any previous airbag deployments.
- If your car is a salvaged vehicle, look for signs that the vehicle has been in a flood. Water damage can prevent even an unused, intact airbag from deploying. Signs include:
- Musty smell
- Water stains
- Electrical problems
- Mismatched upholstery or carpet
- Debris in engine
- Fog or condensation in headlights or taillights
- Check whether the airbag cover matches the rest of the car. A mismatched airbag cover could be a sign of tampering.
- Does your airbag indicator work? When you turn on your car, the airbag indicator should light up and then go out. If it doesn’t light up, flashes, or remains lit, you may have a problem with your airbag system.
To check your car for active recalls, use this site to check by VIN. If you suspect a problem with your airbag, take your car to a trusted mechanic or auto dealership for an inspection. An airbag is an important safety feature. You don’t want it to fail in the event of a car crash.