Is a 15+ year old airbag really going to work when needed? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Is a 15+ year old airbag really going to work when needed?

Discussion in 'Safety & Security' started by needWheels, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. needWheels

    needWheels FEOA Member

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    Considering all that fails on our 2nd gens (even little things like I just had to sandpaper the contacts on my dome light to make it work again) is that 15 year old airbag really going to work and all the sensors/electronics that fire it?

    Has anyone ever done a study on this, maybe on some cars in the junkyard or on their way there?
  2. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    As long as the airbag itself hasn't gotten wet inside and the airbag light stays off during driving it will work. If there were a problem with the airbag system the light on the dash would stay on.
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    should take it to a dealership to test airbags on 10 year intervals according to Ford, not sure what they do though... Maybe they check the dash light?
  4. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    While you are thinking about the 15 year old airbag being workable, do you want to think about the equally old parts of the brake system - the hoses, the lines, the caliper seals, etc. etc.

    After each time I do work on my brakes, I take the car for an evening drive to a road with few houses and no traffic - and from 40 or faster I try to shove the brake pedal through the floor. If anything is going to break or give way, I want it to happen where there is nothing & nobody ahead of me to run over.
    rbailin and zzyzzx like this.
  5. vtec-this

    vtec-this FEOA Member

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    fyi I was going down a hill in a 93lx and locked up the brakes on a sheet of ice. hit the car and the bottom of the hill doing ~40kmph.

    the impact was so hard that both the side mirrors went flying off the car into the intersection, the rear seats flung open, everything from my trunk hit the back of my head and the windshield.

    no airbag ever deployed and no light came on. car just stalled.
  6. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    no airbags in 93
  7. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Depending on what month it was made, might a 93 have had airbags? After all, a good percentage of the "94" model year cars were manufactured in 1993.

    As for whether the air bags will work in my 94: I commuted to work on a motorcycle for 36 years - a commute that was over 50 miles in each direction for 20 of those years. My best safety feature were ''thinking ahead of the bike" & "paranoia". I did take my 64 VW beetle to work if the roads were icy. No seat belts in that either.
  8. needWheels

    needWheels FEOA Member

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    All cars with airbags are listed as such on the door label (also Ford likes to show it off, I think they label the dash SRS ?)

    I thought the 96 was the first escort year to have airbags, my steering wheel definitely is much fatter than the 92 wagon.

    Also, for airbags to deploy it has to be an impact to the front, the sensors are near the radiator?
  9. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    They had one airbag on the steering wheel in 94. I think for the 3rd gen Escorts they started having the passenger side airbags also.
  10. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    for american escorts, 94 was the first year for airbags, and it was only on the driver side.

    in 95 they added a passenger side airbag as standard equipment, and it continued until the end of the production of any escort model/variants.
    Wilberforce likes this.
  11. needWheels

    needWheels FEOA Member

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    I think I read somewhere that modern airbags are much better than the ones from the 80's and 90's and can vary how fast they inflate and are less likely to injure the person they are meant to protect.

    In the 80's you could be killed by the airbag meant to protect you, on the very few cars that had them.
  12. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    yes, airbag technology has advanced in the 20-odd years they have been available on vehicles. True, the first airbags were just that - bags of air that went POOF in your face, no matter if you were sitting with the seat all the way back, or right on top of the steering wheel like some people drive. The "second generation" (not to be confused with 2nd gen escorts) of airbags were introduced around 1998.
  13. Felina

    Felina New Member

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    Ford I'm sure can test the airbag systems...but most diag tests are around 89.95 or above :(
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  14. Demache

    Demache New Member

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    I believe this is correct. My 99 Escort is listed with "second generation" airbags on the price sticker as standard equipment (for some reason, the original owner kept it). I know on some other Ford models, they actually had stickers on the side windows that said "second generation airbags".

    1st post in 2 years. Lurking much?
  15. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Just wear your seat belt and don't worry about it if the air bad doesn't deploy. You really don't need them if you are wearing your seat belt.
  16. JamesGarfield

    JamesGarfield FEOA Donator

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    Not that our Escorts have Takata airbags of course, but with all the recent news of airbag issues, this is an interesting topic.

    Someone please refresh me -- where is the airbag warning light on our dash? In a 2'nd Gen Escort LX wagon, would it be the amber light at the far right bottom of the panel?

    Reason I ask, whenever our Escort has sat outside in the rain overnight, that little light will come on with a peculiar pattern: 3 blinks, pause, then 3 blinks. Then a longer pause, then it repeats. If that's the airbag warning light, I'm wondering if it's indicating some issue with the impact sensors down in front.

    We inherrited our Escort with cracked bumpers front and rear (courtesy of the dingbat sister-in-laws that bashed and trashed this poor car before it dropped a valve seat). The crash sensors are located in a position vulnerable to contamination and corrosion. Wondering if there's something I should check.
  17. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    I'm going out in a blaze of glory with my wagon. No airbag will save me.
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  18. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    For a sense of perspective: For 34 years of my 37 year working career, I commuted on a motorcycle, and for 12 of those years it was 63 miles each way. If it was pouring rain I still rode the bike. If it was snowing - then I drove my car.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  19. copcarguy

    copcarguy FEOA Member

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  20. chestypuller

    chestypuller making the wifes commuter better

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    i want to remove the airbags from my scorts. our 3rd gen has 2 and our 2nd gen has 1, is there any problems with the engine functioning thru computer by removing them? i like my kids to ride up front. so might just remove passanger side one from 3rdgen

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