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Test Air Bag Sensor off the vehicle?

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Old 05-02-2012, 10:57 PM   #1
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Test Air Bag Sensor off the vehicle?

Got a new truck, 2005 Silverado. The "service air bag system" light is on and I had it read on the tech 2 by a friend of mine. It came up that both front sensors are bad. I did the reading online, tried the typical cleaning of the connector in the kick panels but that did not fix it.

While I was at the junkyard today I grabbed two sensors off the core support. One was on a not-crashed truck, the other was crashed but I grabbed it from the side that was not hit.

Obviously there is a risk plugging these in since they are unknown condition... How do these work in the first place? Can I test them before plugging them in?
Old 05-02-2012, 11:03 PM   #2
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Re: Test Air Bag Sensor off the vehicle?

I would not used the one from a damaged panel. If I used a jy sensor, I would only use one from a truck that wasn't wrecked. Make sure the part numbers match. Don't drop them or they're junk.
Old 05-03-2012, 11:14 AM   #3
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Re: Test Air Bag Sensor off the vehicle?

The part numbers do match, I made sure of that. Just because one side of the truck was hit doesn't nessecarily mean the other one got tripped. If there's a way to test them, And it checks out fine, I see no problem going ahead with installing it.
Old 05-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #4
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Re: Test Air Bag Sensor off the vehicle?

In air bag school, we were told if the panel that the sensor was mounted to was damaged, replace the sensor. Personally, I would not use it. I also do not know of a way to test them off the car.
Old 05-05-2012, 03:36 PM   #5
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Re: Test Air Bag Sensor off the vehicle?

I put the junk yard sensors in and it fixed my problem. The light is out now.

After I ran some tests on the sensors by checking continuity and resistance of all 4, I found that the junk yard sensors each measured to be 3.4 Mohms. There is a diode inside of them and they read open when I reversed the multimeter leads. Then I took the sensors off of my truck (silverado) and checked them out and they each read open no matter which way I had the test leads.

I did some googling around some more and found a pretty informational site which helped me feel confident in throwing the junkyard sensors in and not having them deploy immediately. http://www.aa1car.com/library/airbag01.htm The truck is a 2005 and has it's own air bag computer from what I am understanding. it uses all kind of calculations to determine whether or not to set them off. I went ahead and installed the sensors, put the SIR fuse back in and started it up and saw no lights. Woot. I have also learned that most air bag sensors will reset themselves after a hit anyway, just as long as they are not physically damaged.
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