Protective Mechanism: The Inner Workings of an Airbag Module

Everyone is aware of how important airbags are. Besides the fact that they can protect the life of the driver, they may also protect the other passengers within a vehicle. That said, many are still clueless about what airbag modules are and how they work.

If you are curious to learn more about them, there is no need to worry. We have written a few informative tidbits about them below.

The Major Components of an Airbag Module

To start off, the airbag modules are composed of several components that help to keep you safe in case of an accident. These components consist of sensors, actuators, gas generators, and the airbags themselves. They help keep the driver, passenger(s), and the steering wheel from hitting each other during an accident.

The sensors are in charge of detecting the impact of an accident. The actuators are the ones who move the bag upward within the module. On the other hand, the gas generator is in charge of filling the bag with the right amount of gas. There are also airbags to help cushion the impact of an accident.

Just in case a collision occurs, the sensors will detect it. They will then activate the actuators and the gas generator almost instantaneously. As for the airbags themselves, they will move upward. In fact, in most cases, they will first inflate with nitrogen. They will then inflate with compressed gas shortly after.

A Protective Design

In order for the airbags to activate efficiently, they will take the shape of a dome. The material used to make it is a strong plastic. This helps to absorb impact, which keeps the driver and passenger safe. If a child is in the car, the airbags will not inflate. That said, they will not be able to get themselves trapped inside their arms.

In most cases, the bag will be able to inflate within 50 milliseconds. However, this will depend on the type of vehicle. For instance, in the case of a heavier vehicle, it may take more time for the airbag to inflate. It will also depend on how the car is manufactured.

If you are wondering how much time it takes for the airbag to inflate, you should know that there is usually a lag between 100 and 200 milliseconds. Keep in mind that it would take a lot longer if the impact that activated the airbag was severe.

Types of Airbag Modules

There are two major types of airbag modules that are commonly used in most vehicles.

1. Driver-Side Inflator Module

This type of module is primarily used in passenger cars. It is specifically placed in the steering wheel.

2. Passenger-Side Inflator Module

This type of module is installed by the dashboard. It is meant to protect the passenger in the seat next to the driver.

How Do They Work?

Airbag modules can be triggered by different circumstances. However, most of them are activated by the impact of an accident. As a result, airbags are designed to inflate when the impact of an accident exceeds a certain threshold. Some of them are also activated by a seat belt or even a seat occupancy sensor.

Others are triggered by the dashboard, which detects the car’s deceleration. It will then trigger the inflation of the airbag module when it exceeds a certain threshold.

It is important to keep in mind that the threshold of inflation of an airbag is different in different vehicles.


Airbag modules are meant to protect the occupants of a vehicle by cushioning their bodies from impact. The technology behind them is quite fascinating. However, it may not suit everyone or every type of vehicle. Thus, if you are planning to install airbag modules, it is best to consult an expert mechanic to avoid over-inflating an airbag, which could cause it to rupture.

If you are looking for a company that deals with airbag module reset services, look no further than our expertise here at Seat Belt Restore. We offer a wide range of services that ensures the efficiency of your vehicle’s safety features. Call us today for more information about our seat belt and airbag replacement and repair services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.