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What is best way to check whether airbags are functional? No accidents. The car is my daughter’s, it is a VW beetle, 1999. I asked our mechanic and he said he has never had this question asked and is not sure.

Not sure about your car…but many vehicles do a check of the airbag circuitry when the car is fist started. That’s really about all it can check.

I’d be far more concerned about the seat-belts. Seat-belts are your BEST protection in a accident. Air-bags are Secondary Restraint.

If your airbag light comes on when it is suppose to and stays out when it is suppose to those bags will go off when the correct parameters are met.

If the SRS warning light illuminates when you turn the key to “ON,” and goes off when the engine starts, the airbag system is functioning correctly. It tests itself every time. If the light comes on and stays on there is a problem and the airbags are disabled.

As others have said, the airbags are a SUPPLEMENTAL restraint system. They only function under a certain, narrowly difined set of circumstances. Seatbelts are the primary restraint system and should be worn at all times when driving or riding in a vehicle.

That is why there is a air bag light. It should come on for a short time when you start the car and then go off. If the bulb does not come on, likely it is just burned out bulb.

If the light comes on when you are driving, likely there is a fault and the air bags are not functional.

Check your owner’s manual as there may be some differences from one car to another.

Or the Deployment Diagnostic module is faulty,never replaced a bulb for this (replaced very few cluster bulbs, BMW’s used up cluster bulbs though)but have replaced diagnostic modules for this.