Airbags are an essential safety feature in modern cars, providing critical protection in the event of a crash. They’ve been around so long that most people can’t even remember cars without them.

But Automotivist remembers.

Maybe you’re a sadist looking to hurt collectors and looking to burn some cash.

Or better yet, let’s say you’re a classic car enthusiast looking to inject some safety into the past or just want to know for the hell of it.

Can you retrofit these vehicles with airbags, and if so, is it even worth it?

Should you even attempt this ridiculous idea?

Let’s break down this thought experiment.

We might receive commissions if you click on our links and sign up/make purchases. However, please know this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try to keep things fair and balanced to help you make the best choice for your needs. Thanks

Table of Contents

What Are Airbags and How Do They Work?

Can You Add Airbags To Your Old Ride
Dashboard Airbag

Airbags are a type of passive restraint system that uses a rapidly inflating cushion to protect a vehicle’s occupants in the event of a collision.

When a crash occurs, the airbag control module sends a signal to the airbag inflator, which rapidly fills the airbag with gas.

This creates a cushion that absorbs the impact and helps to prevent serious injuries.

Impact sensors placed throughout the vehicle measure the severity of impact and deploy.

Are Airbags Available for Older Cars?

Can You Add Airbags To Your Old Ride
Classic Car Airbag-less

The short answer is yes, you can retrofit airbags into an older car.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, not all older cars can be fitted with airbags.

The design of the car and its structural integrity play a big role in determining whether airbags can be installed.

Second, the cost of retrofitting airbags can be quite high, particularly for older cars that require extensive modifications to accommodate the new systems.

See classic cars weren’t designed for airbags. So retrofitting them will, at the minimum, require a new steering wheel, airbag, wiring, sensors, and modules.

We’re talking big bucks. Like in the thousands of dollars range.

That’s only for one airbag too, add more if you want a passenger airbag or new-fangled side curtain airbags.

Oh, and that’s parts only. Custom fabrication is required to get this thing working and that labor is steep.

If you want to actually attempt this, at least try and save yourself some money by buying used parts from eBay. No need to throw all your money out the window.

What Are The Benefits of Adding Airbags To An Older Car?

Can You Add Airbags To Your Old Ride
Dash Bag

The primary benefit of adding airbags to an older car is improved safety.

Airbags provide a significant level of protection in the event of a crash, reducing the risk of serious injuries and fatalities.

Although airbags have injured a fair number of people as well. They aren’t foolproof.

In addition, airbags can (probably not) also increase the value of an older car, making it more attractive to buyers who are looking for a vehicle with the latest safety features if they’re into that kind of stuff.

Personally, I think it ruins an older car but hey, people are into weird crap who am I to judge?

What Are the Drawbacks of Adding Airbags to an Older Car?

Can You Add Airbags To Your Old Ride
Danger Never Looked So Good

One of the main drawbacks of adding airbags to an older car is the cost. Retrofitting airbags can be quite expensive, particularly for older vehicles that require extensive modifications.

Keep in mind, airbags can also add weight to a vehicle, which can affect its handling and performance.

If you have a collectible car you’re basically ruining its value and collectability if you modify it too much.

If you care about that kind of stuff.

What Is Involved in the Retrofit Process?

Can You Add Airbags To Your Old Ride
Ruination Of A Classic

The process of retrofitting airbags into an older car typically involves several steps.

First, the car must be evaluated to determine whether it can accommodate airbags and whether any modifications will be required.

Next, the airbags and the necessary components, such as control modules and sensors, are installed.

Lastly, the airbag system must be tested to ensure that it works properly.

Congratulations, you just ruined a car!

Is It Worth It to Add Airbags to an Older Car?

Can You Add Airbags To Your Old Ride
That Look On Your Mechanic’s Face

The decision to add airbags to an older car is a personal one that will depend on several factors, such as the cost, the age and condition of the vehicle, and the driver’s personal preferences.

Also, things like how much you hate your money are a big factor too.

Some people may feel that the improved safety and increased value of the vehicle are worth the cost, while others may prefer to keep their older car as is.

Ultimately, the decision will come down to a careful consideration of the benefits and drawbacks of adding airbags to an older car.

Remember there are only wrong decisions here so no need to think too deeply.

Wrapping Things Up

Adding airbags to an older car can be a great way to improve its safety and increase its value if you’re crazy and absolutely hate originality.

The cost of retrofitting airbags can be quite high, particularly for older vehicles that require extensive modifications.

So think long and hard.

Before making the decision to add airbags to an older car, it is important to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks and consult with a professional.

If you still want to do it, think again.

We might receive commissions if you click on our links and sign up/make purchases. However, please know this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try to keep things fair and balanced to help you make the best choice for your needs. Thanks

 
(Visited 3,892 times, 2 visits today)