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Back again with another C6... how to replace the blown airbags

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David Hallworth   
Sat Jan 31 2015, 07:25pm

Joined: Apr 16 2010
Member No: #90
Location: Glasgow
After selling my old C6 in 2010 I've been hankering for another one on and off for a while now. I saw this car at auction that needed a bit of work done to it, so I bid on it, won it and had it delivered to Glasgow

After doing a bit of digging on the forum it turns out that it's Paul's old car that had hit a kerb on the A1 and triggered all of the side airbags and puncturing the tyre. It was deemed uneconomical by the insurance to repair, presumably due to the cost of the airbags and a replacement wheel and tyre and was categorised a a Cat D write off.

I put the spare wheel on it the day it arrived and got it on the ramp to have a good poke about underneath it. I'm pleased to report nothing obvious is bent. I know a local MOT tested who has also been to see it and has confirmed that nothing under the car is damaged thankfully so it can't of been a particularly hard hit to the kerb. After looking on the internet, there's quite a few reports of side airbags going off when hitting kerbs, especially in cars like Clio's etc.

The car was filthy when it arrived so I gave it a quick wash and took some pictures of it...









The interior is in good condition but was pretty dirty when it arrived...





Initially I wasn't sure what to do with it, if there was damage underneath it I was going to break it for parts to help others keep their C6's on the road, however when I saw it and drove it, I've decided that it's in far to good a condition to break. Steve (Trainman) visited the other day and had a drive of it as well and commented that it was lovely to drive.

Anyway, the airbags have been ordered, the first one to arrive was the drivers seat airbag so that was tackled today...

A big thanks to C6Dave who sent me the pages from the manual, I was able to strip the seat down, replace the airbag, rebuild the seat, and then clean it and condition it with leather cleaner. It now looks great and smells amazing

Here's the seat removed from the car, sitting on the kitchen table waiting to be repaired...



You can reach inside the seat and remove the airbag from the frame...



Once all the necessary fixing are undone and removed the cover lifts off the seat...



The casing for the airbag separates into two pieces...



The beige part mounts to the seat first allowing you to slip the cover over the seat...



The outside cover (black one) then clips on once you've got the back cushion reattached to the seat...







The seat was then cleaned with Gliptone leather cleaner and has had two coats of Gliptone leather conditioner rubbed into the seats...





More progress reports to come once the other airbags arrive

David.
2 User said Thank You to David Hallworth for this Post :
 cruiserphil (01 February 2015) , e3steve (17 February 2015)
jacktherev   
Sat Jan 31 2015, 08:28pm
Joined: Sep 06 2013
Member No: #1423
Location: Co Down, Northern Ireland
Wow that looks as good as new! Well done on saving another C6 from being dismantled for parts. You have some nerve tackling a job like that I can tell you.
David Hallworth   
Sat Jan 31 2015, 09:08pm

Joined: Apr 16 2010
Member No: #90
Location: Glasgow
It's not to bad to be honest.

I've got the passengers seat to strip down and replace the airbag in, both of the rear seat airbags to replace including a piece of trim that was broken when the airbag fired, and then both curtain airbags.

It's easier then people think, however, the airbags aren't cheap either.

David.
1 User said Thank You to David Hallworth for this Post :
 cruiserphil (01 February 2015)
David Hallworth   
Sat Jan 31 2015, 09:26pm

Joined: Apr 16 2010
Member No: #90
Location: Glasgow
Here's what it looks like with the airbags deployed...

Drivers seat:



Nearside Rear Seat & Curtain Airbags



Offside Rear Seat & Curtain Airbags



David.
Trainman   
Sat Jan 31 2015, 10:27pm

Joined: Apr 12 2010
Member No: #86
Location: Penwortham
Replacing the air bags is surprisingly easy, nowhere near as difficult as you would think. The most difficult part to date was probably sourcing them.... which David did.

Paul spent a fair few quid on the car and you really can tell, I really happy to have played a small part in her rescue.
cruiserphil   
Sun Feb 01 2015, 09:39pm

Joined: Jan 24 2010
Member No: #38
Location: Celbridge
Great Pics, David,

Thanks for posting. Keep up the good work!

Best regards,

Phil C.
jacktherev   
Sun Feb 01 2015, 09:53pm
Joined: Sep 06 2013
Member No: #1423
Location: Co Down, Northern Ireland
Super pics indeed and well done to all who rescued another C6 from the scrap heap. I can't understand the way Insurance Companies think. The C6 is the last of the great cars Citroen manufactures. I just love mine.
David Hallworth   
Sun Feb 01 2015, 11:24pm

Joined: Apr 16 2010
Member No: #90
Location: Glasgow
I spent an awful long time doing research into how insurance companies write cars off and what's required to put them back on the road before I bought this one as I wanted to know exactly what I was getting involved in so that I did't get any nasty surprises.

Insurance companies work on nothing other then value unfortunately.

Not sure if you're aware or not, but here's how the categories work:

Category A: scrap only. For cars so badly damaged they should be crushed and never re-appear on the road. Even salvageable parts must be destroyed.

Category B: body shell should be crushed. Signifies extensive damage, although some parts are salvageable. Should never re-appear on road, although reclaimed parts can be used in other road-going vehicles.

Category C: the vehicle is repairable but the costs exceed the vehicle’s value. Can re-appear on road.

Category D: the vehicle is repairable but repair costs are significant compared to the vehicle value – including time delays to source parts. Can re-appear on road.

You'll probably find that the airbags would of cost about what the car was worth, maybe slightly less yet by the time they've added labour costs, costs of a hire car etc. then it was stacking up to be either the same value as the car, or more. Insurance companies generally work on a 75% rule, if the repair is going to cost 75% of the value of the car or more it gets written off.

Reason being, things that weren't seen during the initial assessment can add up, parts being on back order can make the costs of a hire car more as well which can sometimes result in some cars being written off for next to nothing. These are the cars that become Cat D write offs.

Cat C is still based on value, but in these cases the cost of repairs has exceeded the value of the car. The damage on this can sometimes be a bit more serious, but not always. More so on older cars where the bumpers are expensive and the cars value isn't that high it's likely that these will become a Cat C.

When a car becomes a Cat D write off, it will appear when HPI checking the car only. When a car becomes a Cat C write off the DVLA are notified that it has been "substantially damaged". These cars need a VIC check (Vehicle Identity Check) and it will show on the front page of the logbook that it's been repaired after an accident. When a car becomes a Cat D write off, it will appear when HPI checking the car only. All these cars need to go back on the road is a fresh MOT.

I've spent quite a lot of time sourcing the airbags for this one and have managed to come up trumps.

I've hooved the car extensively today whilst the seats were out and the carpets have come up looking like new after a bit of shampooing. I'm hoping the rest of the airbags turn up quickly as I'd like to have it MOT'd by the end of the week. It's going in to our local detailer for his top package on 23rd February so it'll be looking like a new car in no time!

David.
gmerry   
Mon Feb 02 2015, 08:57am
Joined: Dec 11 2009
Member No: #21
Location: Scotland
Hi David, so which bits of trim need replacing as well as the airbags?

Eg, steering wheel cover, fascia trim etc.

Regards
G
David Hallworth   
Mon Feb 02 2015, 12:25pm

Joined: Apr 16 2010
Member No: #90
Location: Glasgow
G,

There is one bit of trim I'm replacing as it's cracked. I'm not sure if this was done by the airbag going off or if it was done previously, it's the bit between the back seat and the rear door.

Other then that, there's no damaged trim on the car at all. Even the headlining appears to be undamaged and has clipped back into place perfectly.

The steering wheel airbag is self contained, so if it goes off you just replace the airbag. The only one that is destructive is the passengers airbag which tears a hole in the dashboard when it triggers which means the entire dashboard has to be replaced.

David.
gmerry   
Mon Feb 02 2015, 02:40pm
Joined: Dec 11 2009
Member No: #21
Location: Scotland
Hi David, its good to know that there is no trim that needs to be replaced other than the dashboard (and possibly a C pillar trim).

Whats the damage for a new dashboard? Are they still obtainable?

The whole saga makes one think twice about any insurance claim, better to just self fund a repair in many cases (unless one truely wanted rid of the car in the first place).

When it comes to plugging in / reinstating the new airbags, I'm presuming that the ECU needs to be reset. Is this just a simple Lexia routine?

Regards
G
C6Dave   
Mon Feb 02 2015, 07:09pm

Joined: Oct 01 2009
Member No: #1
Location: Northumberland
gmerry wrote ...

Whats the damage for a new dashboard? Are they still obtainable?


G a new dash (RHD) if obtainable from Citroen is more than the market value of some C6's now at......... £4,151.57

If it's only an air bag hole then removing the dash and recovering in Vinyl or leather by a car trimmer would cost far less................

BTW the upper 'B' pillar trims are £55.38 - the lower £180.41 but those vary on what actual trim interior trim and colour the car has
Website
Trainman   
Mon Feb 02 2015, 07:21pm

Joined: Apr 12 2010
Member No: #86
Location: Penwortham
David Hallworth wrote ...
The steering wheel airbag is self contained, so if it goes off you just replace the airbag. The only one that is destructive is the passengers airbag which tears a hole in the dashboard when it triggers which means the entire dashboard has to be replaced.


gmerry wrote ...
its good to know that there is no trim that needs to be replaced other than the dashboard (and possibly a C pillar trim).

Whats the damage for a new dashboard?

When it comes to plugging in / reinstating the new airbags, I'm presuming that the ECU needs to be reset. Is this just a simple Lexia routine?

Regards
G


G,

There's no damage to the dashboard, what David said is "The only one that is destructive is the passengers airbag which tears a hole in the dashboard when it triggers which means the entire dashboard has to be replaced" in this case the passenger airbag did NOT deploy it was the curtain airbags and the seat ones. Hope that clarifies it.
David Hallworth   
Mon Feb 02 2015, 08:16pm

Joined: Apr 16 2010
Member No: #90
Location: Glasgow
Well, a load more progress has been made today. Both curtain airbags have been replaced, the O/S rear seat airbag has been replaced, the passengers seat airbag has been sourced and ordered and I've had to order a new piece of trim to fit the N/S rear seat.

I'm aiming for an MOT on Friday afternoon so lets see how we get on

Anyway, here's a few pictures of the new airbags, and the old ones side by side...







First airbag to be tackled today was the O/S rear seat airbag... This airbag had broken the old piece of trim that it sits in when it had triggered so I'd ordered a new one to fit with the airbag.

Broken bit...



The new airbag was mounted into the new piece of trim...



And then they were both fitted to the car...



Unfortunately when I went to fit the N/S rear seat airbag I found that this piece of trim had been broken too, this time it was the fixing points for the screws that had been sheered off the trim rather then the trim being snapped. This part has been ordered today and will hopefully be here fairly quickly.

Next up were the curtain airbags.

I've not really got any during pictures of these as it's an awkward area as you're working behind the headlining. The new bags are all installed, these were the easiest of them all really, metal brackets that just clip into place! Anyway, here's a few completed pictures...

Near side...







Off Side...







The passengers seat is now stripped awaiting the delivery of the replacement airbag tomorrow. The leather has been cleaned and conditioned this evening as well. This seat was utterly filthy compared to the drivers one which was pretty clean. Here's the water from the front passengers seat...



I was a bit concerned about the crease in the headlining so I gave the local coach trimmer a call. Apparently they should disappear given a few days time now the headlining is back where it should be. Sitting in the sun will help this as the heat in the car will soften it a touch according to him so I'm hoping once it comes out of the workshop it'll sort itself out

The airbag ECU needs to be dealt with as well... Insurance companies have to fit new airbag ECU's to the vehicle. Whereas there are companies who can reset the module which means it's much cheaper. The module from this car was sent away this morning and should be returned on Wednesday ready to go back in and get everything back up and running again!

The airbag ECU is located under the centre console, in front of the gear lever. It's quite a strip down process to get to this...



Whilst both front seats and the centre console were removed I took the opportunity to give the whole car a good hoover as it was pretty filthy inside it. The carpets have all come up looking great
2 User said Thank You to David Hallworth for this Post :
 cruiserphil (03 February 2015) , keithc (11 May 2016)
David Hallworth   
Tue Feb 03 2015, 04:48pm

Joined: Apr 16 2010
Member No: #90
Location: Glasgow
Well Fedex turned up this afternoon with another present for the C6. It was the last piece of the puzzle. The one airbag we needed to get finished - the passengers seat airbag.

I'd stripped the seat down yesterday as I was hoping it'd arrive today so half an hour saw it back together.

New airbag fitted...



Seat reassembled, cleaned and treated with 3 coats of leather conditioner...



Both front seats are now refitted into the car, unfortunately they're only held in by the front bolts at the moment though. I need to reconnect the battery to power the motors to slide the seats forward to tighten the rear bolts. I don't want to do this until I've received the airbag ECU back and got everything reconnected.





All I've got left to do now is reconnect the airbag ECU and rebuild the centre console, and then fit the new N/S rear set airbag into it's new trim which should be here tomorrow and the car is finished.

If the ECU and the piece of trim arrive tomorrow then an hour tomorrow evening should see the car finished

David.
3 User said Thank You to David Hallworth for this Post :
 gmerry (03 February 2015) , cruiserphil (06 February 2015) , keithc (11 May 2016)
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