car dashboard

What You Need to Know About the SRS Light in Your Car (Part 1)

Every responsible driver knows what every single light on their dashboard means. As a driver yourself, you know which one signals a need for an oil change, to check the tire pressure, and to top up the gas, among others.

But how much do you know about the SRS light? In this two-part article, we will share more about what the SRS light really is, the reason behind it lighting up, whether or not it’s safe to drive when its indicator is on, and how to fix the problem.

What Is an SRS Light?

SRS stands for Supplemental Restraint System, which is the technical term used for that particular system in your vehicle that controls the airbags and the automatic seat belt restraints. Because the SRS is a passive system, you won’t have to do anything to get it activated. It automatically detects significant changes like sudden brakes, impact location, deceleration, and whether or not there’s a passenger in the front seat, in which case, it activates the airbags and tightens the seat belts.

The SRS icon looks like a side view of a person buckled up with an inflated airbag in the front. Some vehicles also have the letters “SRS” lighting up.

Whenever your car’s engine is turned on, the car self-checks, and all the indicators light up, including the one for SRS. Within seconds, all these indicators usually turn off, signaling that everything is working well and the car is good to go. But if you see that the SRS indicator is still on and not going away or if it suddenly lights up when you’re driving, it could be an indication that there’s a system issue.

Why Does the SRS Indicator Light Up?

Your vehicle is so complex that it’s impossible to determine the culprit behind a lit-up SRS indicator straight away. Of course, for seasoned technicians, some reasons may be obvious, but the cause may be hard to determine in some instances. Because your SRS is a complicated system that has something to do with your safety, it is highly recommended for you to consult with an experienced mechanic who can determine the issue and tell you if it’s safe to use the car.

At times, the SRS computer will generate a trouble code that can help the mechanic diagnose the issue. This will be the first thing that they will check to get to the root of the issue. You can also check on the website of your vehicle’s brand if there are any recalls that are related to airbags or SRS, as this means you will be covered by a warranty and not have to pay anything for the fix.

Now, here are some of the most common causes behind a lit-up SRS indicator:

  • Problem with the seat belt latch
  • Sensor for the passenger seat occupancy has malfunctioned
  • Corrosion in the system from water damage
  • Issues with the airbag clock spring
  • SRS computer’s backup battery is dead
  • Previous accidents did not trigger the airbags
  • Faulty SRS computer

Your mechanic will be able to determine which among these is causing the problem. During emergency situations, it would be better not to use the vehicle until the issue with the SRS light has been resolved.


No matter what may be causing the SRS light malfunction, there’s no other way around it but to have it brought to a service center. Don’t delay it like you wouldn’t delay an airbag or a seat belt repair because your and your passengers’ safety is at stake!

If it turns out your SRS module needs a reset, Safety Restore in Westfield, MA, can help you out. We are the trusted pros for any post-accident restoration, including SRS light, airbag, and seat belt replacement or repair. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services!

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