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What is your opinion of cars with or without airbags?

Discussion in 'Residing in Thailand' started by Garden, 26 Nov 2016.

  1. Garden

    Garden Thread Starter Much ado about nothing

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    Here is my predicament:
    I am currently looking for a used car. It seems airbags are a must-have for safety?
    Further, how will a Thai mechanic exactly determine that the airbags actually do work?
    Is it different from secondhand cars and new ones? I've got no idea.
     
  2. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    A quick google search has proved inconclusive, sorry no help but in a head on fight, give me a car over a motor bike
     
  3. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Well, airbags, as well as ABS are two very important technical innovations a car should have.


    I've got neither airbags nor ABS in my Mitsubishi truck, an L 200 series with the 2.8-litre engine.


    I'm driving my car now for 13 years and had quite a few strange experiences. A speeding Kathoey, doing a red light with the pick-up of a befriended female teacher hit me with full speed sideways that my truck was pushed about nine meters and I was not wearing a seatbelt, I was tossed around like a ball, ended up unconscious for a few hours, sitting on the other seat.


    No idea if airbags would have been of great help (of course together with seatbelts) because the force was so great and coming from the side. Of course, did nothing happen to this guy, I was brought to the hospital stayed there for six hours but nobody was even thinking about some X-Rays, or eventually some spine injuries.


    I had a few broken ribs, couldn't sit on a motorbike to get me home only about 900 meters away. So I had to pay 500 baht to a very friendly employee of the Sisaket hospital to give me the 500-meter ride home. I was so in pain that I could only lay down, not able to move my body without severe pain.


    When I felt a little bit better I consulted our private hospital where they finally X-rayed my spine.


    Yep, it looks like there's something broken, but we're not sure was enough to make it to Ubon Ratchathani's Sapphasit and it turned out that I had a fractured spine at two places near my neck.


    Very close to a wheelchair and they gave me a funny looking thingy to wear that kept my body straight, together with a neck brace I finally left the hospital. Waiting the whole day, I didn't even mention the two broken ribs. I could exactly feel where they were broken.


    OP, sorry for my adventurous story. To answer your question, it's very difficult to find a mechanic who understands electronic in Thailand. To check if an airbag's working is pretty difficult in this country.


    You really need an electronic specialist to check if your airbags still work or not. I've had only little electrical problems with my Mitsu and had to find out the hard way that they just don't understand electric and electronic.


    Dangerous is when the car already had a crash and the airbags were triggered. So, if you buy a second-hand car, please go to a garage before you buy it and let them check the chassis and particular parts that could proof that the car had a very serious accident before.


    Mine was also completely redone including the cabin. Unfortunately, was almost everything so out of order that very serious problems with the steering, four completely messed up ball joints (from the accident)

    I got my car back after 13 months !!! of waiting for it. When I found out that the steering and brakes had some very serious issues and I drove to Mitsubishi where they lifted the truck up. I almost started crying when I saw the mess……


    You could see with your eyes that the frame and the chassis were completely out or order, nothing of the chassis, or frame was fixed when they had it in bits and pieces.


    Even the insurance guys saw with their own eyes what a terrible job the garage did, they had a contract with.


    It was sure that the truck wouldn't go back to the same place and only after a chat with my wife's uncle who's at the time the boss of the transportation department, they agreed to redo the whole car once more.


    Then I saw the damages at the frame once it was in parts and they started welding from the back to front, straightened some parts and renewed a lot of others.


    That took another eight months and when I got my truck back and went for an alignment it turned out that four ball joints weren't changed.


    If the car didn't have a serious crash before the airbags should work. Here's a good example why you should have them:





    There's an airbag indicator light when you switch the ignition on. If you don't see such a light when you turn the ignition on and it turns off after starting the engine, there's a problem with your system and they won't work.


    But I wouldn’t trust a car mechanic who’s holding a plus cable to ground (chassis-negative) to see if there’s electricity. Good luck finding the right car.

    Airbag warning light.jpg
     
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  4. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    Sirchai, I love you, but enough of the accidents
     
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  5. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    If it only helps to prevent one nasty accident where a member's involved and hurt or killed the post wasn't wasted time.

    And it might help some people to think twice before they buy a good looking second-hand car with serious issues that can cause death.

    Did I tell you the story about the airborne CBR 125 cc that hit my truck right after we got it back? Cheers.-
     
  6. marcusb

    marcusb Active Member

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    Google airbag recall before purchasing a car. I know Toyota and Honda have thousands and thousands on recall worldwide. The recalls will list the serial numbers and models that are faulty. The airbags malfunction and bits of metal fly out with the bag, been a few deaths.
     
  7. SageAdvice

    SageAdvice Well-Known Member

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    Breathlessly awaiting this windstorm :smiling .
     
  8. Hey_ewe

    Hey_ewe Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to buy a car based on safety anywhere, then it should be in Thailand. There are so many pickup trucks on the road and they can do a lot of damage in a collision. Do not assume that a large truck/vehicle, automatically means that the occupants of the vehicle will be safe. Bigger heavier vehicles generally come out better in a collision but some big trucks can be deathtraps too, it's just that they’ll take out anyone else on the road at the same time. Just because it’s big and heavy doesn’t always mean the chassis and passenger compartment hold out well in a crash. I always check out crash tests videos and data before buying a car.

    I would second what Sirchai said, ABS and Airbags can be lifesavers, I’d add side impact protection to that list. You’d be shocked to find the number of new cars for sale without ABS, which is absolutely essential, far better to avoid a collision altogether.

    Not surprisingly, safety features on cars in Thailand are nowhere near the standards of our home countries, even on the same model of car. A few years ago, I took a top of the range Chevrolet Trailblazer out on a test drive with a view to buying one. When I got back to dealership I had poke about the cabin and could see the small plastic tabs where the side impact curtains normally go. The car had driver and passenger airbags in the steering wheel and dashboard but no side impact curtains for the front compartment or any of the rear passengers. I was told "Thailand no have” so I told him thanks but 'no have sale today.’ Car companies are being cheap and Thai customers don’t demand safety features so they don’t get them.

    Things are gradually getting better and most manufacturers are realising that safety sells. Obviously Volvo are renowned for safety but they are quite expensive here 1.6mb for a V40. The parent company Ford have taken many features from Volvo and put them into their models 750k-1mb for a focus which is based on the same chassis. Fords aren’t as popular as Honda and Toyota with Thai people, so you tend to get more for your money from ford models, especially as far as safety is concerned.

    If I were buying a second hand car I’d definitely buy an old Volvo...safety first, they are usually comfortable motorway cruisers with lots of room.

    Also perhaps a good idea stay clear of Sirchai....he’s seems to be magnet for car accidents!! =D
     
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  9. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    I had an accident with my 2003 Isuzu D-max, 4 door, 4WD back in 2003.

    It was good the have the airbag.

    129-2942_IMG_R.jpg

    Checking the airbags yourself can only be done by checking the warning lights on your dash. Nothing else you can do.

    Checking ABS is easy. Drive on a dirt road at 30-50 km per hour and just brake. You can feel the system negotiating the braking of the 4 wheels.
     
  10. Garden

    Garden Thread Starter Much ado about nothing

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    Dear Stamp,
    I am looking to buy the exact make and model and year. Isuzu D-Max 2003, 4 door, with airbags.
    Stamp, can you tell us what happened in your accident? What did you hit or what hit you? At what speed? There does not seem too much damage?
    Furthermore, did the airbag hurt you? Was your passenger hurt, and/or do airbags go off even without a passenger in the passenger seat?

    According to your picture it all looks very benign, but still the airbags fired off. So how hard was the accident? Your answer would give me a frame of reference.

    I know that Takata is recalling millions of airbags for premature inflation. But, in your specific case, what happened?
    Do you think that Isuzu's D-Max are vulnerable?

    Godspeed,
    Heiko
     
  11. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    I drove into a parked car in the city centre of Hua Hin at about 3 AM. I was overtaking a bus on the left side. Before I took over, there was that parked car! I was alone, wearing the seat belt. Air bag blew right in my face. I think I was driving 60 km/h but police said over 100 km/h. My car was only 2 months old. Had to miss it for 4 months or so. :ashamed


    129-2925_IMG.JPG

    129-2926_IMG.JPG

    129-2932_IMG.JPG


    The Ford Ranger I hit.

    129-2953_IMG.JPG


    129-2954_IMG.JPG


    129-2956_IMG.JPG

    I loved the D-max, 4 door and 4WD. Think it's a great car. In 2007 I bought a new one.

    On the right the old one and on the left the new one. Trading cars.

    Nokia 6230_008.jpg
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2016
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  12. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    My left front wheel.

    129-2937_IMG.JPG
     
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  13. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

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    Look, if you are going to drive in Thailand, then you need to take a lot of precautions. Thailand ranks #2 in the world for the danger of its roads.

    Get airbags, maintain your car well, don't drive after the discos let out, buy lots of insurance (to include personal accident insurance). I have a car in Thailand right now, and I have it maintained for when I come back. I never thought to ask the maintenance people at the dealer to check the airbags, but I certainly will. A mechanic at a dealer should know what to do.
     
  14. SageAdvice

    SageAdvice Well-Known Member

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    I admire your confidence :smiling.
     
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  15. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Sounds pretty much like a Thai-English teacher's command in English is way better than those of the so-called " native English speaking teachers."

    Not many mechanics at a dealer know how to check such things, regardless what car you're driving.

    Not too many mechanics who know how to do a tune up at a Porsche 911 Turbo in this country. Maybe 5?

    They might not even find the engine.

    And the face losing attitude doesn't make it easier.
     
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