Pay attention to airbags when buying a used car

October 4, 2011 12:00 AM

The airbag is one of the most critical parts in any vehicle, but it's one that typically goes unnoticed - until an accident happens. When buying a used car, you shouldn't automatically trust that it has an airbag. The devices are a common target of thieves, and if they're detonated in an accident, they may not always be replaced.

Typically, an issue with an airbag will be indicated by the vehicle's airbag warning light, reports eHow. This light should come on once when the car starts up, then turn off. If the light stays on or begins to flicker, you should take your car into an auto repair shop. It's possible that you need a new airbag or there's a problem with your current one.

When buying a used car, it's important to look into the accident history of that particular vehicle. If the airbags have been detonated in the past, you need to double-check and make sure they were replaced with new ones. It's rare, but still possible that the light won't illuminate even if there is no airbag installed.

Another area that could be harmful in a crash is your brakes. Just like it would be a nightmare scenario if your airbag didn't deploy, nobody wants to drive a car without brakes. Regular brake service can quickly catch any issue with these critical parts and fix them before they cause major harm.

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