Q: If I modify my truck, will that affect how well the airbags and other safety gear work?

asked by on

If I modify my truck, will that affect how well the airbags and other safety gear work?

There are a number of ways for people to modify their trucks. Sometimes it is for utility reasons, like adding a snow plow. Other times the vehicle may be lifted to fit larger tires for better ground clearance. Here’s how modifications might affect the airbags and safety systems in the vehicle:

  • In the interior, modifications can very easily interfere with how the safety systems operate.

  • Avoid anything that clips onto or holds back the seat belt unless it is an OEM seat belt clip.

  • Do not add anything to a panel in the interior that has an airbag underneath. This happens often with GPS units on the dashboard.

  • If there is anything like a massage seat or other seat cover on the passenger seat, make sure the sensors that activate the passenger side airbag when the seat is occupied are working still. The passenger airbag indicator, located in front of the rear-view mirror, should read “On” when an adult is seated in the front passenger seat.

  • Wiring things like TV screens or stereo amplifiers into the vehicle, if done improperly, could have a negative effect on the wiring in the airbag system.

  • Modifications for the vehicle to accommodate the needs of handicapped motorists should be performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s suggestions to ensure proper modification and safe driving.

  • On the Exterior, large running boards or fender flares might have an effect on the sensitivity of the sensors along the side of the vehicle. Aftermarket hoods or bumpers could have a similar effect on the front airbags.

  • Snow plows are an exception to the rule here, as a snow plow package is available from the factory to ensure the airbags work when a snowplow is equipped.

  • Under the truck, the airbag system could be affected by modifying either the suspension or the frame itself. Any increase in height may reduce the effectiveness of sensors in the vehicle meant to keep the airbags deploying when they should.

Tip

When in doubt, contact the manufacturer or a qualified mechanic to oversee any modifications to ensure the proper functioning of safety gear.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. If I modify my truck, will that affect how well the airbags and other safety gear work?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What does the High Coolant Temperature message mean?

The High Coolant Temperature message can appear on your driver information center (DIC) when the temperature of the coolant is too high.

Q: How do the front air bags work?

The front air bags in your car are designed to provide important protection in the event of certain types of collision. Here’s what you need to know about them: Multiple Thresholds: Once, air bags only inflated. However, yours have...

Q: Rransmission slipping causing check engine light to come on hard shifting when warm only first gear is harsh

Hello. From what you describe it would appear that your vehicle may be experiencing some mild to serious transmission issues. If the Check Engine Light is on I would recommend retrieving the trouble codes, as they will likely shed some...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.