4 Common Reasons Why Your Car’s Airbag Light Is On

Most people will only see their dashboard lights illuminate when there is a particularly mechanical problem with their vehicle. One warning light that you’ll want to keep an eye on is the airbag light.

If your seatbelt is on and the airbag light is still lit up, then you should take this seriously. The light is likely saying that there is at least one non-functional airbag in your vehicle. It’s critical that you fix whatever issue there is with your airbag system; otherwise, you may not be protected in an accident. To help make things easier for you, we thought it would be useful to discuss why this happens. If you want to learn more about this, read on for four common reasons why your car’s airbag light is on.

Deactivated Airbag

The most common cause for the airbag light coming on is that the airbag system is disabled. This can happen for a few reasons, which you may or may not have control over. One reason could be that there is an issue with a crash sensor or the side-impact airbag system (SRS). Another possibility is that the sensor on the passenger seat that determines whether the airbag should be active is faulty. 


Although it is possible to get into a small accident that doesn’t deploy your airbag, the crash sensor will still be activated. This means that the airbag light will remain on until you go to an auto repair shop or airbag specialist and have the issue repaired. While it is possible to have a small accident (such as where you hit something with the front of your vehicle), the crash sensor is likely to detect it.

Water Damage

If your vehicle has sustained water damage, or if water has leaked into other electrical components, then corrosion may form on the crash sensors of your airbag system. This corrosion will distort their ability to function and will lead to the airbag light being on.

Airbag System Needs to Be Reset

When you are involved in an accident where the airbags deploy, you need to have the entire airbag system replaced. Replacing the airbag alone will not work. The crash sensors, the clock spring, the seat belt pretensioners, and other SRS components must be replaced as well. Resetting or reprogramming the airbag monitoring unit (the brains of the system) will also need to be done. You will need to have a qualified mechanic or dealership reset or reprogram the SRS module so you can use the airbag system again. Alternatively, some companies allow you to ship them the airbag monitoring unit; they reset it for a fee; and then ship it back to you ready to install.


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you figure out what to do if you notice that your airbag light is on. If you can resolve the issue yourself, it’s best to reach out to professionals. Be sure to do this as soon as possible as having a faulty airbag puts you and your passengers at risk.

If your airbag light is on, then it’s best to bring your car in for maintenance. Safety Restore accepts all kinds of SRS airbag control modules and restores them to factory settings. The company makes sure that all hard codes and crash data are eliminated so that the driver will no longer see their airbag light on their dash. The best thing is that Safety Restore does not charge as much as a brand new unit costs at the dealer.

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