You’re not alone if you’ve recently noticed a strange symbol illuminated on your car’s dashboard. Many drivers are surprised when the airbag light on their car’s dashboard illuminates. Like other dashboard indicators, this illuminated light often indicates underlying issues.
Addressing the illuminated airbag light is essential as soon as you notice it. Determining and fixing the underlying cause will ensure that you can drive safely and don’t have to worry about malfunctions. Luckily, most drivers can reset the airbag light in just a few simple steps.
What Does The Illuminated Airbag Light Mean?
The air bag light, also known as the SRS warning indicator, is meant to let drivers know if there are any issues with their vehicle’s airbag system. If the light is illuminated, the car has detected some problem that may cause the airbags to malfunction.
Airbags are essential for surviving car crashes. They prevent thousands of injuries and deaths every year. To drive safely, you need airbags that you can trust will deploy at the proper time. If your car’s SRS light is illuminated, addressing and fixing the issue is essential.
Why Is My SRS Airbag Light Turned On?
More than a few issues can cause the SRS airbag light to illuminate. The light indicates a malfunction in the airbag system, the seat belt pre-tensioner system, or the front passenger occupant classification system.
The airbag system can easily break if you make modifications to your vehicle. If you install new electronics or a different wheel in your car, it may disrupt the circuit for the SRS system and cause airbag issues.
The SRS airbag system can also malfunction due to the seat belt pre-tensioner system. If the seat belt buckle or latch has some kind of damage that causes the pre-tensioner to misbehave, the SRS system may also malfunction.
It’s also common for the SRS airbag light to turn on if the weight in the front passenger seat doesn’t register correctly with the front passenger occupant classification system. Modern cars use sensors underneath the seats to determine how and if the air bag will deploy.
If an item in the front passenger seat is heavy enough to get the attention of the front passenger occupant system but lighter than most people could feasibly weigh, it may cause the SRS system to behave strangely. You can fix this by removing the object from the seat.
Addressing the underlying cause of the illuminated SRS light is essential. In a crash, you’re kept safe because your airbags deploy and your seatbelt tenses correctly. If these systems have any issues, you will be put through tremendous risk every time you decide to go on the road.
How To Reset Airbag Light
Restart Your Car With The Ignition
You should restart your car with the ignition to resolve an issue with the SRS airbag light. You can restart your vehicle by turning the ignition switch on, allowing the car to sit for around 10 to 20 seconds, and then turning the ignition switch back off.
Next, attempt to start your vehicle. Your issue may have been resolved if you notice that the SRS airbag light is turned off. You should verify that the car operates as intended by conducting a test drive and checking that the SRS airbag light stays turned off.
Turn On The Passenger Airbag Switch
Some vehicles have a switch determining whether the passenger seat airbag will deploy. If the switch is turned off, it may cause your vehicle to display the SRS airbag warning light. You can fix this by turning the switch or pressing the button while your car runs.
Verify That Your Seat Belts Are Working Correctly
Broken seatbelts can falsely activate the SRS warning system in cars. If you suspect a damaged seat belt might cause your airbag light issues, you should lock and unlock each seatbelt to verify they are all secure correctly.
Buckle In Any Heavy Objects
Your vehicle relies on a system known as the front passenger occupant system to determine whether someone is sitting in a seat and how the airbags should be deployed. If you place a heavy object in a seat, your car may believe that the item is a person.
You have two options for dealing with this issue. You can place the object in the trunk to avoid triggering the front passenger occupant system altogether. If you just want the airbag light to turn off, you can buckle in the object and secure it against the seat.
Use An OBD2 Scanner To Identify The Underlying Issue
If you’re experienced with working on cars or know someone with an OBD II scanner on hand, you can use the device to diagnose the unidentified issue you’re dealing with. Plug the diagnostic link connector (DLC) into the port underneath the steering wheel.
Wait for a trouble code to appear on the scan tool, and then reference it against a manual or online resource to identify the issue. Once the OBD2 has offered some information on what’s causing your car troubles, take the necessary steps to fix your car or schedule a repair with a professional.
Visit An Experienced Mechanic If Necessary
If you cannot resolve the issue with your airbag light, visiting an experienced auto technician is essential. You rely on the SRS system to keep you safe every day. If the airbags don’t deploy or your seatbelts don’t hold proper tension, you could be seriously injured in the event of a crash. Having your vehicle professionally serviced will eliminate these terrifying possibilities.
Go On A Short Test Drive To Verify The Issue Is Resolved
Before assuming that your SRS airbag light issue is completely fixed, you should take your car for a drive to verify that the problem was resolved. Most manufacturers recommend driving for around 10 minutes.
A short test drive can also help with an unresolved SRS airbag light issue. Sometimes, the front passenger occupant system sensor needs to restart. A short drive often allows this reset to take place.
Pay Close Attention To Your Dashboard Indicators
Your vehicle’s dashboard indicators are designed to alert you if a dangerous malfunction occurs in one of your car’s internal components. Addressing these indicators as soon as they appear is vital for ensuring your safety on the road and keeping your vehicle in good condition. Luckily, the SRS airbag light is among the most straightforward indicators to address.