How long are airbags good for? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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How long are airbags good for?

I've read so much conflicting info in the process of scouring the web to find an answer to this question. Some people say the SRS control module is a one time use part when the airbag, whereas others say it isn't. Other people say that the airbag can expire too. But I'm not sure how the car would know this... Can anybody give me some sort of definitive idea?

I'm driving a 1989 190e 2.6 that has never been in an accident. It passed the airbag inspection in 2002, and the light just came on.

The SRS light has been on since I bought the car, and when I took it to an import shop, they hooked their computer up to it to diagnose it and it gave them an error code for "airbag deployed." My airbag was never deployed; the light just popped on one day, so the mechanic said that the code probably meant the SRS control module had gone bad.

My uncle went to a salvage yard and found another identical control module. He said that he thought that the light could have just come on because the system needs to be checked, and that they are all supposed to be checked every 10 years. Oddly enough, the sticker inside my door says it was checked in 2002, 10 years before the light came on... My question is, is it possible for the light to have just come on because it needs to be checked? Is that how it works?

The mechanic cleared all the codes, I believe. I just want to know what you guys make of this, whether buying the control module will solve the problem, hopefully...

Thanks for all your input. I know I've posted mostly questions on this forum, and everyone has been super helpful.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 02:32 PM
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The new cars do have sophisticated programs that COULD have timer build in, but yours 89 model does not have it for sure.
What inspection bags passed in 2002?
As far as I know the door sticker tells you what year the bags should be REPLACED with new ones. I am monitoring the threads and for member having accident in 18 years old MB the bags did not deploy, costing him some bruises.
Even if you fix the problem by replacing part, the SRS light will not reset itself and it takes STAR-level computer to do so.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Star level computer?

Where can I have it tested with a star level computer? I've heard that leaving the battery disconnected for a long time will reset these sorts of warning lights.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 05:41 PM
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Not an SRS code. It is a "hard code" stored in the SRS module.

MB dealers have the MB Star Diagnosis computers, and some reputable independent German car mechanics have them some don't so you have to locate a facility near you that has one.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Vaughn190e View Post
Some people say the SRS control module is a one time use part when the airbag [deploys], whereas others say it isn't.
The people who say it's a one-time-use part are incorrect. The SRS module can store crash data for 3 serious collisions (serious enough for airbag or ETR deployment). After that, I think you should consider replacing it. And taking a defensive driving course.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 04:25 PM
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I have always heard 10 years is their useful life. I also drive a 1994 Plymouth Acclaim in which I see the airbag light come on sometimes. It was never deployed and I know this because I bought the car new. BTW there is only one, and that is on the driver's side. In November I will have owned this car for 20 years and driven it for 186,000 miles.

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