Installing Airbags in a Car W/O Them



Is it possible (or safe) to install airbags in a car that doesn’t already have them installed? I’m thinking about buying a 93 Honda Civic but I’m nervous that it doesn’t have airbags. I feel like someone should be able to just put in a steering wheel that has an airbag in it but I’m wondering if the cost will be really high with the computer, etc. Any help would be appreciated!


It would cost more than the car is worth, if it could be done at all…You would have to do it yourself, as NO professional mechanic or shop would touch it because of liability issues…

Spend your money on driving lessons, then you won’t need the airbags…


As the old saying goes, with the application of enough cash, anything is possible. However, two significant questions arise:

*Is the amount of money that will be involved (most likely something over $900. for parts and labor) worth it, considering the book value of a 15 year old Civic?

*Since you would not know if this jury-rigged contraption would actually work until you were actually involved in a crash, DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BET THAT IT WOULD WORK AS DESIRED IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH?

Consider how many millions of $$ are spent by each car manufacturer to design the correct sensors, calculate the correct air bag deployment speed and the angle of air bag deployment for each model of vehicle that they manufacture, and then of course, they crash-test scores of those vehicles in order to fine-tune the functioning of the air bag for each model, prior to finalizing the design. Do you really think that Joe down at the local garage would “get it right” on the first try without the ability to crash test prototype models?

Unfortunately, I think that you envision this technology as being akin to “plug and play” computer components. Unfortunately, this is not true, and you would be the guinea pig as well as the one paying significant $$ for this questionable experiment.

Since it is possible to buy a used Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio, or other low-priced used car that has many factory-installed safety systems on it already, I just can’t imagine why you would want to buy a 15 year old vehicle that lacks several other modern safety systems and attempt to install one air bag on it. Your idea just makes no sense, from any standpoint, IMHO.


No, it’s not practical and it’s potentially dangerous. If you want to own a car with air bags for some reason, buy a newer car. Personally, I avoid owning cars with airbags and try not to crash into things.


Caddyman–While I obviously agree with you on the ridiculousness of installing an air bag on a 15 year old car, I have to disagree with you on: “Spend your money on driving lessons, then you won’t need the airbags…”

That statement makes the presumption that there are no dangerous drivers on the road who cut in front of you without warning, or perform other bone-headed stunts that are sometimes impossible to avoid.

Yes, being a careful, skilled driver is extremely important, as evidenced by my own record of having driven without an accident since 1972. However, no matter how good a driver I might be, one dangerous person on the road could put a fast end to my excellent record, as could a deer jumping in front of my car.


No, it is entirely impractical. The cost for airbags, controller, sensors, and possibly new interior plastic would be more than the book value of the car. And then there’s the labor fee, if you can find some mechanic willing to do the job.

My recommendation is that you ought not let the absence of airbags deter you from buying this car. But if you simply must have this feature, find another car to buy.


no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no, HUGE EXPENSE AND LIABILTY ISSUE FOR SHOP. they do look cool when ignighted.


If you want airbags, buy a car with factory air bags. You could probably do it, but it would require a new dashboard from a year that had airbags - if it would fit in the 1993 Civic.


Even if it could be done…it can’t…it would never work properly. I don’t think you’d ever get all the parts in place, nor could you get everything put back together.


As someone who has been driving for the most part without airbags, I’m surprised you’d want them now. You of all people should know that it’s the driver that prevents and reduces collisions, not the car, as evidenced by the fact you’re still here. Were you nervous that all the other cars you’ve ever driven since 1972 didn’t have airbags?

It’s not feasible, so don’t worry about it.


I couldn’t resist this: Why don’t you ask Hillary RODHAM Clinton to drive with you where ever you go. She has a lot of wind! Seriously, If you can afford to buy after market air bags (Even if you could find them) then you can afford, or should buy a car that has them from the factory as original equipment.
But honestly, did you actually think about how this would seem to hundreds of Americans before you put it in this forum?


Actually, the OP stated that he only wanted to install a driver-side air bag in the steering wheel hub. While that might seem more feasible, as we know, even this smaller project is just not do-able on any practical level.


Actually, he wouldn’t be the first person to post something on this site without thinking about how ridiculous it would sound to hundreds of others.



“Actually, he wouldn’t be the first person to post something on this site without thinking about how ridiculous it would sound to hundreds of others.”

… not to mention any names, norm.


Are you sure it doesn’t have an airbag? I think the 92 model and up have at least a driver airbag.


Spend your money on driving lessons, then you won’t need the airbags…

Tell that to my brother who was hit head-on doing 40 by a drunk driver…There was NOTHING my brother could have done to avoid the accident…NOTHING…and for that matter…NO ONE could have avoided that accident.


The US spec 93 Civic has a driver airbag only. The passenger side was optional in some models.

No worries…


Then why did the OP post his question about installing an airbag in a car that was not originally equipped with one? This is really confusing.

Is it possible that the reference to “SRS” in the center of the steering wheel was not understood by the OP to be a reference to it being equipped with an airbag? Did he not read the Owner’s Manual section referring to the airbag?