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Impact sensor bolt?

I have an airbag light and code for front impact sensor on my equinox. The sensor is mounted next to hood latch on radiator support. It has 1 bolt. And the bolt is between the 2 layers of steel and cannot be removed. I can see the female torx head bolt if I remove the latch assy. But I cannot access it. Unless I drill a hole in upper support. How do you replace the sensor? Short of replacing the welded in radiator support?

Any chance it might be the wiring or connector?

its possible. many sites online have the sensor for sale. $150-250 seems avg. easy to find in junkyard too. that is how i found out you could not remove it. maybe the guess is if you need to replace it, you also need to replace the core support? they sell sensor but you cant install it. easily

I recall a similar situation replacing a similar sensor. It seemed impossible, but I finally figured it out… now if I could only recall what I did :thinking:.

Do you have the new sensor to look at for a clue?

See if there’s any way to access it from underneath the sensor… if I recall (which I don’t) that could be the solution. (The fastener can possibly be going right through the sensor and out the bottom where a nut of some kind is located.)

Small mirrors and flashlights sometimes help investigate.

Mr. Obvious, here, but I imagine you tried to Google it for help?

Sorry, these days I have a great memory, it’s just really short.

Would relocating the sensor be an option?

ggg shopping
i tried to turn recessed torx bolt in the counterbore and it sheared off. the button head is on top of sensor. if i could turn the button head with a super short hex “L” than the sensor can drop straight down as it is mounted on the underside of the sheetmetal support

That’s it! That’s what I was trying to recall!
The fastener goes clear through and can be accessed top and bottom.

Too late now, but you were considering that it would be “righty-loosey” from underneath and not “lefty-loosey,” correct?


i have a E5 socket and i tried to unbolt it on 2 cars and both times it sheared. i resorted to using a channel lock to rip out the top layer of metal and had straight shot down to the button head. and than twisted the T30 or so driver clean off. that small bolt is tight. maybe the sheared bottom portion of bolt ended up seizing inside the nut as i tried to unscrew it now? i have a code for pass airbag also. maybe i dont really have one now? all this trouble to remove sensor and airbag is gone from previous accident?

Looks like left hand thread on the bolt, you might be turning them the wrong way.

i did not apply a lot of force to remove the bolt using the torx socket. it is 1/4" drive and somewhat awkward as you are reaching in under the support.

I replaced one of these on my 05 Sierra when I first bought it used to get rid of an airbag light (after I paid a shop with the correct scanner to diagnose it). Looks really similar to the sensor I used, may possibly be the same part. That bolt hole is lined with a steel insert, so the fastener corrodes really nicely in there. It’s a pretty common issue for them to fail, partly due to the corrosion, I think. It was right hand thread (righty tighty) on my truck. I’m betting the torx screw is corroded severely, hence you’re breaking them off easily. I just replaced mine with no issue, but I wonder if the corrosion could cause it to lose ground and maybe once a good ground is established (clean the rust from where it mounts) the sensor would be ok?

Either way, I’m not sure how to tell you how to remove the sensor once the head of the screw is broken off. It should just pull off what’s left of the screw by pulling it straight out from where it mounts. If you don’t have room to pull the sensor straight out, maybe you could try to work it back and forth and break the screw off on the other end…?

If you have to buy a sensor, I used a Dorman sensor. The GM sensor was quite a bit more, if I recall correctly. The Dorman sensor has worked fine to get the light off the dash. I’m trying not to test the airbag deployment!

that would affect how/if the airbag(s) deploy

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Just a thought, I am not sure of the logistics, but I would think the impact sensor would still act appropriately if mounted couple of inches behind the current location, but I am not an engineer or a lawyer.

the button head is not broke off. its the torx bit on the bottom that snapped. but the button head faces up and is under the top sheetmetal layer and i cannot touch it. if i drilled a hole in top layer than i can see it and get a torx bit on it. i tore off the top metal layer at the junkyard to see the bolt head and could not unscrew the bolt. the bolt is in a place you cant touch it. seems like GM does not want you to touch it

Hmmm…not good.

It was easy access on the truck, one on each side, near the front, accessed from underneath. I think they were bolted to the frame, or something pretty substantial, can’t recall. I do remember removing a plastic skid plate/guard.

The good thing about junkyard parts, you can do some “destructive disassembly”. Sometimes that helps. Then you can look back and say “Ohhh, I should’ve done X to remove it”.

The bad part is, I’m assuming your part on your nox is going to be rusty and crusty too…