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SRS sensor replacement

After sustaining a major accident with my 2004 Honda CR-V, in August of 2005, I received my car back and considered everything okay. In the process of the replacement of my water pump in September of 2007, my SRS light came on. As I was still at the dealership after having the water pump work done, I had them investigate and was told that my sensors were bad and would need replaced and that this was the result of my accident and that they had been bad since August of 2005, and had been reset rather than replaced. My insurance company insists that the SRS sensors don’t need to be replaced unless the airbags are deployed, and that the sensors “can go bad”. My car had 53,000 miles on it at the time of the sensor replacement. American Honda insists that they can’t help me. Any advice

First of all, why should Honda help with the repairs? The car is well out of warranty.

Did the airbags deploy in this “major accident”?

I also agree with the insurance company, the sensors can fail over time. In this case the accident was 4 years ago.

I’m not faulting honda or asking them to replace anything. The airbags didn’t deploy-it was a low speed accident, under 25 mph. The codes that were pulled on the sensor show that they were damaged in the accident and not replaced. The honda dealer says that it’s standard procedure to replace them in the type of accident that I had, but the insurance company is telling me that they will only replace them if the air bag went off. The insurance company says that they will pay for the work if I can get something from Honda stating that the replacement of the sensors isn’t dependent on the deployment of the airbag. Honda corporate says that they don’t have this information and that I could get it in a repair manual. Is this type of information in a standard repair manual?

I did some research on ALLDATA and no where does it say to replace impact sensors after a collision in which airbags didn’t deploy. The paragraph below states to inspect and replace if damage is visable.

There are some recalls and TSB’s related to the airbags on the CRV and a warranty extension to 10 years/150,000 miles. I don’t know if your vehice would be covered under any of these but if you have the dealer check the VIN from your vehicle they could tell you.

After a collision in which any airbags or seat belt tensioners were deployed, replace the SRS unit, front sensors, and other related components. After a collision in which a side airbag was deployed, replace the side impact sensor on the deployed side and the SRS unit. After a collision in which the airbags or the side airbags did not deploy, inspect for any damage or any deformation on the SRS unit, front sensors, and the side impact sensors. If there is any damage, replace the SRS unit and/or the side impact sensors.
Do not disassemble the SRS unit or the side impact sensors.

I have the same issue in my 2002. Looking around the internet, there are plenty of people complaining about this, a few where it turned out to be related to a wiring harness, some think it was due to a crash. There was a service bulletin regarding a different aspect of the airbag system, but nothing about this device. I had only a “minor” fender bender when a deer ran into my car, no deployment of airbags, and it was some time (years) after that the SRS light came on, so I doubt any connection.

I think the problem we all have with this is that the only people who can tell what is wrong are the dealers (or other technicians) and we mere mortals are just told the computer says “the module is bad, that’ll be $800 or you and your kids will die.” Even they can’t say what is wrong, just that it’s broken. No one seems to have any incentive to determine whether there is something about these modules that they die young (five years isn’t so long for someone to own a car anymore), or whether there might be something else going on.

Does anyone out there is CarTalkLand have any alternative ideas?

You can find compentent engineering people and pay them to analyze the enginering of your vehicle,thats up to you.You can refuse to buy cars that don’t meet your enginering standards.Don’t expect the private sector to take up the task of analyzing these “early failures” without compensation.You are exactly right there is no incentive to do this.There was a mechanic that posted a component level repair for BMW AC control heads,he discovered a way for about $1.00 and some time to avoid paying $400.00 for a head,he posted this repair info for free,just out of the goodness of his heart,got to love it,but I would have liked to make some money off it.

I agree, oldschool, and plan not to buy another Honda - this was my first, and it’s disappointing. I don’t see this frequency of such failures in other brands, but there does not appear to be any source for such information. It would be my hope that, if the actual rate of failure were known to any but the inner circles at Honda, they would find a way to make it last better and/or make it less expensive to replace. I’m guessing the mark-up is pretty good, and it seems unreasonable to spend $165 for labor that will likely take 5 minutes. They’ll have me wait 90 minutes so I think I’m getting my money’s worth. In the meantime, some who can’t afford to fix it will perhaps suffer injury and/or death. They won’t buy another Honda, either.