can a steering wheel airbag be replaced

Can a Steering Wheel Airbag Be Replaced? Cost & Insurance

Is it possible to replace only the airbag without the steering wheel? This question arises for many drivers post-accident or in regular vehicle maintenance.

In this comprehensive guide, we will reveal crucial info about airbag replacement, costs, and insurance coverage aspects. Let’s start! 

Can a Steering Wheel Airbag Be Replaced?

Yes, a steering wheel airbag can indeed be replaced, typically after it has been deployed in an accident or if you think that it’s defective.

The replacement process, while intricate, is a vital aspect of vehicle safety and should be performed by a qualified professional.

Moreover, the position of the airbag can vary from one vehicle model to the other. So, without clear knowledge, you should not try to replace the steering wheel airbag. 

It’s essential to use only genuine or manufacturer-approved steering wheel airbags for replacement to maintain safety standards.

After installation, a diagnostic test is often run to ensure the airbag system is functioning correctly.

Replacing a steering wheel airbag is not just about restoring the vehicle’s interior aesthetics; it’s a critical safety measure.

Proper installation ensures the airbag will deploy effectively in the event of a future collision, providing essential protection to the driver.

How do I Know if My Steering Wheel Airbag Needs to be Replaced?

Here are some symptoms that suggest you need the steering wheel to be replaced. 

Airbag Warning Light

If you notice the airbag warning light on your dashboard, it says that you need to pay attention to your airbag. If this light stays on after starting your car, it indicates a problem with the airbag system.

After an Accident

If your vehicle was involved in an accident and the airbag was deployed, it must be replaced. Note that, airbags are designed for single use only. 

Visible Damage

Check the steering wheel cover for any signs of damage, such as cracks or warping. This usually is an indication of internal damage to the airbag.

Error Codes

A diagnostic tool can read error codes from your car’s computer system, revealing issues with the airbag.

Can I Replace Only the Airbag or Do I Have to Replace the Steering Wheel Itself?

You can replace only the steering wheel airbag without needing to replace the entire steering wheel. Airbags are designed as separate components and can be individually replaced after deployment or damage.

However, it’s essential to ensure that the replacement is compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. In addition, the steering wheel airbag installation must be done correctly by an experienced mechanic to ensure proper functionality and safety. 

How Much Does it Cost to Replace Steering Wheel Airbag?

The cost to replace a steering wheel airbag typically ranges from $200 to $1,000.

That said, the cost can be higher and it hugely depends on some factors such as the make and model of your vehicle, the cost of the airbag part itself, and labor charges by the mechanic or dealership.

If you own a luxury or specialized vehicle may incur higher costs.

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Steering Wheel Airbag?

Replacing a steering wheel airbag typically takes about 1 to 2 hours. Again, the time to replace a steering wheel depends on the complexity of the steering wheel assembly and the experience level of the mechanic.

Our experience with similar incidents suggests that installing a new steering wheel airbag is a relatively straightforward process for a professional, but we recommend providing adequate time for your mechanic to complete the task given the importance of a steering wheel airbag in an accident situation. 

Will Insurance Cover Steering Airbag Replacement Cost After an Accident?

Insurance typically covers the cost of airbag replacement after an accident, provided the policy includes collision or comprehensive coverage.

Nevertheless, airbag replacement cost is not included in the standard third-party insurance; it will only cover 50% of the airbag cost. 

 If the airbag deployment resulted from a collision, and the policyholder has collision coverage, the insurance will likely cover the replacement costs minus any deductible.

On the other hand, for non-collision incidents, like theft or vandalism, comprehensive coverage may pay for the airbag replacement.

Coverage is subject to the policy’s limits and terms. Therefore, it’s important to review your policy or consult with your insurance provider for specific details.

Remember that policy deductibles apply. If the cost of replacing the airbag is less than or close to the deductible, it might not be cost-effective to file a claim.

In order to claim the costs, you should report the accident to your insurance provider promptly and provide any required documentation.

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