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How Do I Replace The Passenger Airbag?


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I'm selling my 1996 ES300. I had some famous people sign the dashboard. Only problem is, it's where the airbag is. I want to take it out, but learned that I will have to replace the entire airbag to do this. I was just going to purchase a used one on ebay and have a mechanic swap it out. Any thoughts on this?

Maybe it's not that easy...

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We do these time to time in the shop, and for the most they are not a big deal to exchange.

NOTE: Air bags, as well as some seat belt lower anchor points have an electrical capacitor that stores enough electricity to fire them, even if the battery is disconnected. This is provide the ability of the systems to still work, even if the battery is damaged in a collision upon initial impact. Wait at least a half hour after disconnecting the battery before you attempt to do any work on either system. The charge will leak down to zero in 20 minutes or so, but if you accidentally have one fire before, an airbag could kill you, and an explosive bolt could cost you an eye or a finger.

Usually removing the glove box gives you access to the bolts that secure the airbag assembly to the frame of the dash. You may also have to pry up the dash section that hides the airbag. Once loose, you disconnect its wiring harness (watch for the yellow lock clip and remove it first) and wiggle the unit out of the car. Installation is just the reverse. Good Luck!

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