Thread: Air Bags

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    Exclamation Air Bags

    Just wanted to let people know and to watch for this. It has become more evident and has even now been posted on the inside of the doors which is not always that visible. It has become evident that even after the airbags have deployed it is still possible for them to once again deploy meaning that you must still watch yourself with already deployed bags. I have not seen this happen yet but still something to watch for. Safety first.

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    We have a chrysler mechanic on our volunteer department and he has said the airbags can be activated from 30-40 mins after impact. The more and more airbags present in these vehicles the more dangerous our job becomes.

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    Question Wow.........

    If that doesn't get your attention...... Thanks for the "heads up". Anyone know of any particular make/model that this applies to?? Stay Safe....
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    Another challenge is side-impact "curtain" air bags that are made into the top rail between A-post and B-post. Has anyone ran up on these yet?

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    Default Re: Air Bags

    "It has become evident that even after the airbags have deployed it is still possible for them to once again deploy meaning that you must still watch yourself with already deployed bags."

    Are you saying that once a bag has deployed it can once again be deployed or that if the front bags deploy you have to watch for the side bags?

    If you're saying the former then I don't know where you get your information from. Once the bags have been deployed there is no way to "re-deploy" the system. The ignitor and the sodium azide have been burnt off so there is no way to create the nitrogen to inflate the bag.

    I've been teaching a class on air bags since 1991, get all my info from the manufacturers and have never heard of anything like that.
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    dragonfyre, I'll agree with you, I have never heard of a bag re-deploying as a possibility. But, are there not some bags now that have 2 charges, 1 for a slow speed "lesser" inflation and a second charge for a higher speed "larger" inflation? I have not found any information but had heard something about smarter airbags that take speed into the calculation of whether to do a full inflation or less. Just wondering if you have heard anything about that and if so, are there 2 different charges or just 1 that only partially fires?

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    "Some cars have "dual stage" airbags, also called Multi-Stage Airbags. They contain two ignitors. One ignitor is designed to deploy (with less power) if the vehicle occupant is a small person, while the other ignitor deploys (with more power) if the occupant is a larger person. One ignitor is always left over after the airbag deploys. And that ignitor is still capable of going off in spite of the fact the airbag looks deployed."

    This quote came from http://www.airbaginstitute.com/

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    "Always assume a deployed dual stage inflator module has an active second stage because it is impossible to visually determine if both stages have been activated."
    From http://www.asashop.org/autoinc/dec2002/collision.cfm

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    Bob:

    I hear what you're saying and visted the websites but according to everything I've gotten from GM (I work at a GM dealership) it doesn't matter which ignitor goes off, the sodium azide is burnt during the deployment no matter which stage, which PSI is chosen.

    If there is nothing left to burn, when the 2nd ignitor goes off, how can there be re-deployment?

    I'm going to e-mail Keith at the one web-site, I'll let you know what happens.
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    I understand your approach; however, it seems to me that merely having two or more separate ignitors would not change the rate or velocity of the single airbag activation, much like a pile of gunpowder would ignite the same, no matter how many matches were used to ignite it. The only way I could see dual stage airbags being able to work as the auto manufactuars claim would be to have two different charges behind the bag, ignited by two different systems; either separately, together, or in series. I'm an ASE certified Master Tech, myself. But, it's been several years since I worked for a dealership (the last being a Chrysler/GMC dealer), so I'm not as involved in the automotive world as I used to be. I would be very interested in getting to the bottom of this issue. I remember installing airbags in the early 90's; we handled the things like a bomb squad on speed. I sure wouldn't want one going off on my precious melon.

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    With my post I'm sorry if I confused anyone but the mechanic has said if there are airbags that haven't been deployed you have to watch because 30-40 mins after impact they can go off. I haven't heard or been told anything by the mechanic about a bag redeploying after it's been deployed.

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    We bought a book ( I think Halmatro put it out) that discribes where every vehicles airbags are located. Covers just about every vehicle imaginable.

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    Thought I'd knock this one back to the top. Anyone else have any info?

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    Default Started this

    Hi there all, thanks for all the discussion, I am going to check which vehicle it was that I got the actual peice out of that said it flat out in on it to warn of the poosiblity of redeployment, it didn't state that if tehy haven't gone off that they might deploy, it actually did state a warning that they can poosibly REDEPLOY, If my memory is correct it was a newer M class mercedes. I am 98 percent sure that was the vehicle we found it in. I know there are alot of mechanics out there but each company does their own thing and one might not know what the other has in their concerns. The only reason it stands out so much is we were so shocked to find this we took that peice with us. All this news is great to hear, Nothing better then learning more with each day. thanks to all

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    I dug this up, because I think it's very important. Link to the story about automotive safety devices, including two-stage airbags, on Firehouse.com:
    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=19&id=22458
    I followed the link to the news video, and watched it. The headlights on the vehicle the injured firefighters were working in were still on. If your department does not have a policy of disconnecting batteries (both cables) on wrecked vehicles immediately, you should. I'd hate to be that guy. Also, it appears that two stage airbags are a fact, and should be approached very carefully.

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    Default About all I can add

    ...is that there are some models out there with a side-curtain bag in the A-post of the vehicle. Kinda makes you think twice about where you're gonna cut it when you take the roof off.
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    Hopefully if the impact of the vehicle is great enough for it to be cut, the curtain airbags would of gone off already.
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    That NBC special was something too... I think I know one of those guys on that Dayton engine...

    We were always told that if the car still had a roof to tear away the plastic on all the posts just to look, then cut. The other air bags we deal with by having the medic behind the seat and keeping guys clear of those front deploying airbags.

    Dear God I hate airbags... scary things too

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    Default Re: Re: Air Bags

    Originally posted by dragonfyre
    [B

    I've been teaching a class on air bags since 1991, get all my info from the manufacturers and have never heard of anything like that. [/B]
    dragonfyre, were can a volly dept get training info on airbags? looks like it is something we need to keep renewing our training on.

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    Default Re: Re: Re: Air Bags

    Originally posted by enginehouse2


    dragonfyre, were can a volly dept get training info on airbags? looks like it is something we need to keep renewing our training on.
    If you are in Southern New England, I know a company that does Air Bag training. We have them coming out on the 16th for our drill.
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    Originally posted by simfirdept
    We have a chrysler mechanic on our volunteer department and he has said the airbags can be activated from 30-40 mins after impact. The more and more airbags present in these vehicles the more dangerous our job becomes.
    Its not minues...it's seconds.

    Some older model luxury cars have capacitors with longer timeframes..Jaguars comes to mind.

    The airbag can deploy as long as the vehicle's electrical capacitors hold their charge. Most hold a charge for 30 to 40 seconds, some a lot less.

    Holmatro's Vehicle Guide for Emergency Responders is an excellent resource. It lists the location of the airbags, seat belt pretensioners, batteries and the capacitor charge times. Holmatro updates the information each year as new car models and improvements in supplemental restraint systems are introduced.
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    enginehouse2:

    It all depends on where you are. I'm in SE PA and can travel a bit but not real far. Some of the old GM Training Centers were offering a version of my class (which they stole) but most of the centers are closed now.

    You might want to check with a local GM dealer service manager to see if they know of anything available. GM has some information that the dealer can download for you on air bag safety for the technicians. (*)

    You can also check with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety. They have 2 great videos and many brochures that are free for the asking. There's also the Airbag Institute on-line.

    (*) The information from the factory is where the 30-40 minute rule comes from that "simfirdept" refered to. It's simply CYA from the factory so that the techs don't get hurt like the one in Minnesota.
    Captain Gonzo is correct, it's really seconds not minutes. While researching for the class I found that air bags need 5 volts or more to operate. Cars operate on 12 volts and it really takes around a minute to drop from 12 to 5 volts in most cars.

    It's still a good idea to disconnect the battery (if you can find it) and do your 360, stabilize the vehicle, etc while waiting for the capacitors to drain. Keep all tools away from the deployment path of any air bag and also check for side air bags or curtains before you start cutting any posts.

    If you're uncertain about side curtains, do a trench cut in the roof and lift the patient straight up. It's better than having one of your people become a patient also, like in Dayton.

    If you're close to me, let me know & I'll be glad to set up a class in your station.
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    We were taught to cut the battery cables and then wait at least 2 minutes for the power to run out on the backup charge. You can do your walkaround, stabilize the vehicle, and have a member hold inline stabilization from outside the airbag hazard zone. If an airbag is already deployed, I was under the impression that it is now "safe." The problem is that if the steering wheel airbag deploys and the side curtain or side impact airbag does not and you put your body in the way of that potential explosion.
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