When replacing air bags on a 2000 Dodge Stratus, do I need to do anything other than just plug in and mount new air bags? Vehicle had minor damage to front cornor.

10

Asked by Oct 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM about the 2000 Dodge Stratus SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2000 Dodge Stratus which was hit on front corner causing air bags to go off. Repaired fender but now need to replace air bags. Does this require any special pre work or can I just install the new ones by plugging them in and mounting them in place? Anything to reset in the system?

7 Answers

Air Bags are not DIY. Ever. Unless you are specifically trained by a factory or certified trade-school. Professionals only.

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10

This may sound dumb but why? Are special tools needed to calibrate the system? I have a background in electronics and can fix most anything with a little help

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It's not dumb. Now what I should have made clear is that is just my opinion, no science or statistics to back it up. It's just the air bags are a dangerous safety feature (I always look twice when I write that, I know oxymoron) but true. If deployed inadvertently they can do serious harm. And your insurance company won't like it, trust me on that one. In my one and only accident in 45 years of driving that an air bag deployed, (In my mother-in-laws car, imagine how that went) her insurance company wanted proof, in writing, the air bags were re-installed by a dealer of manufacturer of car. Brand new car, and not totaled.

http://www.safetyairbags.com/dodge-airbags.html Okay. I found that site that sells the components, But Stratus is not listed, but close as I could find. They also say if you need help, they will instruct you, --for a fee--and try as I might I could find no DIY help for replacing a deployed air bag. Maybe you are better at research that I am..but I do a lot. Of research that is. There is mention of .module re-set....and more. Best wishes bigguy. Please come back or send me a PM here if you end up doing it. I'm genuinely interested

Google "how to replace air bags" I missed that. Some videos and more

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95

the airbags deploy after 2 or more sensors have been activated, meaning structural damage to the vehicles unibody has occurred for this to happen. Never mess with the system till you have had battery disconnected for a certain amount of time, I think 20 minutes but give an hour to be sure. I would also replace the sensors in the area of damage to be safe.

The air bag control module on my 2000 Stratus was made inoperable when a foot of water got in the car during a flood. On my first test drive after doing a couple of weeks of flood remediation work on the car I noted the air bag light was on. Then I saw that the air bag control module (the impact sensor) was mounted under the parking brake lever. I replaced the module with one from a 2000 Cirrus that I got on Ebay for $17. I followed the procedure in the factory shop manual, with the exception of hooking up a $2000 DRB III scan tool which I don't have to read BCM codes. Per the manual, no relearn or reprogramming is required to replace this module. As a safety precaution, the key should be in run with no one in the vehicle when reconnecting the battery in the event of a fault in the system that would cause the air bags to deploy. With the replacement module from the Cirrus the air bag light cleared indicating that all self-diagnostic testing of the system was satisfactory. I disagree with the notion that do-it-yourself folks should not do air bag system repairs, especially on such an old car with a plethora of good used factory parts available in the salvage world.

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