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Old 03-20-2011, 06:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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how to remove airbags - 99 honda civic

The honda civic I got recently has airbags, which freak me out as they're a time bomb waiting to happen. My major concern is if the airbags popped out with a friend in the car, and caused death or tramautic injury. Also they're extra weight and waste fuel, so I should be able to get better fuel economy without them.

How can I disable and remove the airbags, without affecting the functioning of anything else and also making sure any airbag lights don't go on?

Update:
Removing fuse #23 should disable the airbags. See my later posts (42 & 43) on how to get rid of the extra weight by removing them.


Last edited by j12piprius; 03-22-2011 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The crack could have been caused by a very small chip, or no chip at all.
I'm pretty sure removing the airbags from a vehicle that came with them from the factory is illegal. I think your insurance could also get out of paying medical bills if you are in an accident that causes injury.
I doubt the airbags in your '99 Civic are considered next generation, either.
If you really don't want airbags, just get a car that is a few years older.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It might be helpful to read the actual report. About two thirds of those deaths were children, and about four fifths of those deaths were in cars that are 1997 MY and older. Out of the 96 drivers/adult passengers who received a fatal injury from an airbag, only 29 of them were using a belt properly or at all. If you look at the actual figures the vast majority of adult drivers/passengers were over 55.

The general idea is that there is an increased risk for pre-1998 MY air-bags to the elderly and children, and of those deaths most of them were from people not belted in properly or at all. I don't think I would be worried about anyone except for infants in car seats in the front passenger seat. It may be safer to stick them in the back center, but only in vehicles that don't disable the passenger side airbag based on weight, and even then that may not be any safer. It's just the only situation that's possible to be safer. Everyone else was pretty much KO'd because they weren't wearing their seatbelt and/or older air-bags weren't optimized yet.

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Old 03-20-2011, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Get a $15 shop manual and it will tell you, there should be a fuse that you can pull then at least on the steering wheel there is a little yellow clip that you install that shorts it out so that there is no way it can go off.

From what I have read, if you are wearing your seat belt air bags do very little to protect you, so in a way I agree with your desires but I tend to trust Honda engineers more then others, after all around year 2000 the Honda Civic was written about as having fewer deaths per 10,000 vehicles on the road then nearly any other vehicle on the road, the number of deaths were for both passengers and occupants of other vehicles along with pedestrians.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlvs2run View Post
That wouldn't make any sense, as you could remove the steering wheel, the tires, the engine. Why would removing something that could kill you be illegal? Could you provide some evidence?
Because airbags save far more people than they kill. And yes, defeating a safety system is illegal in some instances, just as it is illegal to defeat emissions systems.

So... 238 deaths in a 22 year period due to airbags. A fair number of those are infants, which you are not. In the same 22 year period, over 900,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the US, and the motor vehicle death rate is on the decline due to improved safety systems.

You know what really freaks me out? Some of my neighbors are people who can't figure things like that out, and they vote.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
Get a $15 shop manual and it will tell you, there should be a fuse that you can pull then at least on the steering wheel there is a little yellow clip that you install that shorts it out so that there is no way it can go off.
Thanks, I'll check for a manual.

Any ideas where the clip can be found, or at least the name of it?

Quote:
From what I have read, if you are wearing your seat belt air bags do very little to protect you, so in a way I agree with your desires
Thanks.

Any more info on how to remove the airbags is much appreciated.

Last edited by j12piprius; 03-22-2011 at 01:24 PM..
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What gets me are people who can't think for themselves, and just repeat industry propaganda and anything else they see on the 6 o'clock news.
Natural selection in action
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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NHTSA

Quote:
Since 1972, manufacturers, distributors, dealers and motor vehicle repair businesses have been prohibited from knowingly "making inoperative" any part of a device or element of design that has been installed on or in a motor vehicle in compliance with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). Examples of such modifications include removing airbags, modifying door latches or reducing available crush space. On February 27, 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a Final Rule that provides limited exemptions to this "make inoperative prohibition." These exemptions are available to businesses and individuals who modify vehicles to accommodate persons with disabilities either as drivers or as passengers.
Looks like the will only fine the shop.

Quote:
federal regulators on Wednesday imposed a $16,000 fine on West Coast Customs, the auto body shop affiliated with "Pimp My Ride," an MTV reality show that makes over rundown cars. The shop, which has customized sport utility vehicles for customers like Shaquille O'Neal, was fined for removing front air bags in cars to install video screens in steering wheels.
I guess if you do it yourself it might not apply but insurance might be an issue and state inspection if they detect it.

Good luck
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've never read the air bag part of the motor vehicle law, but I don't believe that they are required, but what is required is something that protects the driver without them playing an active roll in it, but as I understand it Air Bags are required because auto makers are required to install automatic restraint systems, first idea along this line was automatic seat belts but the lap belt part still had to be pulled across and latched so it was a net loss due to lack of use of the lap belt, ideally we would all have 5 point harnesses but that is not going to happen, so what would I like to see instead?



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Old 03-20-2011, 11:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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European airbags are designed to be used with seat belts.

Quote:
Most countries outside North America adhere to internationalized European ECE vehicle and equipment regulations rather than the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. ECE airbags are generally smaller and inflate less forcefully than U.S. airbags, because the ECE specifications are based on belted crash test dummies.
U.S. airbags are designed to be used without seat belts, and are therefore more forceful and dangerous.

Quote:
Airbags can injure or kill vehicle occupants. To provide crash protection for occupants not wearing seat belts, U.S. airbag designs trigger much more forcefully than airbags designed to the international ECE standards used in most other countries.

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