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Request

What does I-CAR say about disconnecting the battery prior to welding on the vehicle, specifically in regards to air bags?

Response

Per I-CAR curriculum: “Vehicle Protection - Induction of current or voltage spikes can destroy sensitive electronic parts. When welding, protect computers and other electronic parts by:

  • keeping the current path short by placing the work clamp close to the weld site.
  • disconnecting and isolating both battery cables. Remove the negative battery cable first.
  • keeping the machine as far away from vehicle computers as possible.
  • not allowing cables to pass near computers or sensors.
  • removing computers or other sensitive electronic parts if welding closer than 300 mm (12").
  • covering glass and other areas of the vehicle with a welding blanket."

"It is important to take certain precautions before or during inspection of airbags and other SRS parts. These precautions include disabling the restraint system to prevent accidental deployment. Even if an airbag looks fully deployed, it may be capable of a second deployment. Disabling the restraint systems is commonly done by disconnecting and isolating the negative battery cable. Time must also be allowed to pass for the system to completely discharge. Refer to vehicle-specific service information for the proper procedure to disable the restraint system. Disabling the SRS may also need to be done to protect parts during some types of repairs, such as welding."