Last Updated on January 21, 2023 by Victor Lukasso
The airbag module also known as the airbag electronic control unit is an important component of a vehicle’s airbag system.
The airbag control module is responsible for controlling the deployment of the airbags in the event of a collision.
The location of the airbag module varies depending on the model of a vehicle, but it’s typically found in the center of the vehicle, behind the steering wheel, or under the car radio.
The airbag works together with the seat belt and vehicle crash sensors to determine the angle, collision type, and severity of the impact and this plays an important role in the deployment of airbag modules for better protection.
In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about the airbag module including all the places where it’s located in your vehicle.
What is the Airbag Module
The airbag control module is an important safety feature that controls the deployment of the airbag in case of emergency.
Airbag modules may have other functions as well, such as controlling the deployment of side airbags, and seatbelt pre-tensioners, storing crash data, exchanging information with your car’s engine, and even deploying the curtain airbag.
Let’s briefly discuss some of the features of the airbag module:
- Records seatbelt data: the airbag control module keeps a record of the seatbelt usage and helps deploy the airbag if the belt is in a case where it’s stretched unusually.
- Stores car speed data: the ACM also keeps track of the car speed record in a car. It uses this information to determine the severity of an impact.
- Monitors car sensors: the airbag module collects data from other sensors in a car for easy collision detection and airbag deployment.
- Records collision history: advanced cars have a system that records the moments that resulted in previous collisions.
You can initiate an airbag module reset if the airbag light is still on after implementing repairs or airbag module replacement.
A malfunctioning airbag module may not properly deploy the airbags, which can put drivers and passengers at risk in the event of a collision.
You can watch out for the airbag light on your dashboard to detect faults on time.
Depending on your car model, the following term can also be used to represent an Airbag Module:
- Sensing Diagnostic Module (SDM)
- Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC)
- Airbag Control Module (ACM)
- Restraint Control Module (RCM)
- Event data recorder (EDR)
- SRS Airbag Control Module
- SRS Control Module (SRSCM)
- Airbag ECU (Electronic Crash Unit)
- SAS Unit (Sophisticated Airbag Sensor) Module
Where is the Airbag Module Located?
The location of the airbag module can vary even among different models of the same make and model.
However, the airbag module is mostly located behind the vehicle steering wheel, underneath the radio, and in the center of the vehicle.
Modern vehicles may have up to 10 airbag modules situated in places such as the driver seat, passenger seat, car side-curtain, seat-mounted, door-mounted, B and C-pillar mounted side-impact, inflatable belts, knee bolster, and a pedestrian airbag module under the bonnet.
While these are all the locations of airbag modules in a car, it is best to consult the owner’s manual or a vehicle repair manual for specific information on the location of the airbag module in a particular vehicle.
Can you reset the airbag module?
It’s possible to reset and repair an airbag module after a collision. However, airbags damaged due to fire, flood, or other impacts that might damage the hardware needs to be replaced.
If the airbag module is replaced, it must be reprogrammed to match other specific data in the vehicle. This is done by a qualified technician using specialized equipment.
How many airbag modules are there?
Modern vehicles also have up to 10 airbag modules situated in places such as the driver seat, passenger seat, car side-curtain, seat-mounted, door-mounted, B and C-pillar mounted side-impact, inflatable belts, knee bolster, and a pedestrian airbag module under the bonnet.
What happens if you unplug the airbag module?
If you unplug the airbag module, it will no longer deploy the airbags in an event of a collision, which can put you and the passengers at risk.
How do you check an airbag control module?
On your car’s dashboard, there’s an SRS check engine light that comes on to notify you of problems with your airbag module.
Can I drive my car without an airbag module?
Yes, a car is movable without the airbag module installed. However, it’s advised to take safety measures such as putting on your seatbelt in case of a collision.
Are airbags controlled by ECU?
The Electronic control unit (ECU) controls how fast the airbag responds in a case of collision. This is made possible by evaluating the stored data provided by other sensors.