How to Disconnect Air Bags

by Russell Wood

The invention of the air bag on vehicles has saved countless lives. But some people are not fans of this particular safety device. Disconnecting an air bag can be tricky, because you risk accidentally setting off the air bag. But done correctly, you can quickly disable your air bags, using only a couple of basic tools. In this case, the vehicle is a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, but the process is similar for many other vehicles as well. For procedures specific to your make and model, consult your owner's manual.

Step 1

Pop the hood, and disconnect the positive terminal on the battery using the open-end wrench. Let the vehicle sit for about 20 minutes to let any capacitors discharge and reduce the risk of an air bag popping during removal.

Step 2

Move the driver's seat forward, and locate the air bag control box. This is a small box in the middle of the floor, under the seat, with a yellow wiring harness running to it. Any wiring harness in a modern vehicle that is covered with a yellow wire wrap is designated for the air bag system, so it's easy to find.

Step 3

Pull out the orange tab that holds the center of the wiring harness release tab in place, using your hands. This is a protective tab to stop people from accidentally disconnecting the air bag control module.

Step 4

Push down the tab on the center of the wiring harness plug, and pull out the harness. If you can't push the tab down with your hands, use the flat-head screwdriver to provide extra force.

Step 5

Reconnect the positive terminal on the battery using the open-end wrench, then start the vehicle. The air bag light should turn on, which means the air bag has been disconnected.

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