What causes secondary collision brake system malfunction?

There are several different causes of secondary collision brake system malfunction. Three of the most common include those that have been listed below.

  • Faulty Primary Collision Radar Sensors
  • Delay In Airbag Opening
  • Broken Cables

Therefore, a professional auto mechanic may need to look at each problem to determine the cause of their secondary brake system malfunction. So, here is a little more information about each.

Faulty Primary Collision Radar Sensors

A problem with this braking system may arise because of faulty components in the front of the vehicle. For instance, because many of today’s modern cars are designed with radar sensors and cameras in the frontal end, virtually any impact to this area can cause a malfunction that will need to be corrected.

Delay In Airbag Opening – Sensor Problems

The activation of the airbag sensors plays a critical role in the proper functioning of these types of systems today. These sensors are designed to calculate several key elements in this process including the following:

  • Overall speed
  • Intensity
  • The exact timing of airbag deployment

All of these elements must be accurate for the brakes to stop the collision. If there is any delay in the airbag opening or sending a signal to the braking system, it can also cause a secondary brake collision system malfunction.

Broken Cables

Today’s vehicles can be described as a complex or sophisticated network of cables that connects one system to another system. Though complex, each cable is an essential part of a properly functioning secondary collision brake system.

As a result, if there is any damage in the cables that support it, the secondary collection braking system can fail at the most inopportune time.

How to fix a failing secondary brake system

The repairs required to fix a failing secondary collision braking system are dependent on the cause of the malfunction including the following:

Repairs for Faulty Primary Collision Radar Sensors

To repair faulty primary collision radar sensors, the mechanic will need to inspect these problems on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if these sensors are faulty due to a previous collision, these parts may need to be repaired, replaced, reprogrammed, and recalibrated.

Delay in Airbag Opening Fix

If the secondary collision brake system malfunctions due to a delay in the airbag opening process, the mechanic will need to identify the exact cause before making the repairs.

For instance, if the malfunction is linked to an airbag control module problem, it does not have to be replaced. Instead, the airbag control module can be reset to clear the history after a collision.

Broken Cable Repairs

When these systems are inspected, they may find broken cables for some reason. One of the most likely is caused by an animal chewing on the cables. When this happens the cables will need to be replaced.

How much does it cost to fix?

The cost of these repairs can vary greatly based on many different factors including the cost of the repairs required, parts, labor, and the auto shop that does the work. That said, here are 2 common cost examples that you may need to know.

Cost of fixing a Faulty Primary Collision Radar Sensors

The cost to repair a faulty primary collision radar sensor issue can range anywhere between $850 and $2050 to replace. These prices are based on several different factors, including the placement of the sensors.

For example, in some cars, the front radar sensors are mounted behind grilles. This means the labor may be a lot higher than average, especially since these components may be more difficult to reach.

Cost of fixing a Delay in Airbag Opening

The cost of repairing a delay in the airbag opening can vary based on the actual source of the problem (i.e. Defect in the sensor, electrical components, or the air control module).

Whatever the situation, the cost is often dependent on the severity of the accident and the cause. For example, the average cost of an air control module reset is about $49 based on the auto repair shop that supplies these services.


These types of secondary collision brake malfunctions tend to occur quite often in many of today’s vehicles. Therefore, every car owner must be familiar with these and other problems that can occur.

Also, by learning how the secondary collision brake system functions in advance, you will know what to look out for. Particularly, when it comes to encountering problems with sensor defects, broken cables, and other things that may cause secondary collision brake system malfunction when it is needed most.

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