The computers in most newer cars will turn on the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) Warning Light if the system malfunctions or stops working correctly. Designed to deploy airbags and tighten seat belts when the computer determines a collision is imminent, the system must work.
In many newer makes and models, the fuel pump will be shut off and the battery disconnected to lower the probability of fire. Due to their importance, computers check the status of these systems every time the car is turned on.
When SRS Warning Light Is On
The SRS warning light tells you that there is a problem with the airbag system or that the system has not been enabled. The warning light will stay on in most cars until the problem is fixed, either by a good mechanic or a dealer technician. The warning light may also flash if there is a problem with the system.
Supplemental Restraint System Warning Light Indications
- Airbag warning light illuminates to indicate that the airbag system doesn’t work correctly or is not working correctly. Either the airbags aren’t inflating, or the seat belt isn’t tightening correctly.
- Seat belt warning light illuminates to indicate that the seat belt system doesn’t work correctly or is not working correctly. Either the seat belts aren’t tightening properly, or the seat belt pretensioners aren’t working.
- Seat belt warning light illuminates to indicate that a seat belt is not fastened.
- Seat belt warning light illuminates to indicate that the front passenger seat belt fastener is not functioning properly.
- Seat belt warning light illuminates to indicate that the rear seat belts are not fastened.
- SRS warning light illuminates to indicate that the SRS system doesn’t work correctly or is not enabled.
- SRS warning light illuminates to indicate that the fuel pump is not operating (most newer models).
How Bad Is an Illuminated SRS Warning Light?
It’s not even close to a good thing. If your SRS light is on, immediately stop the car and turn the engine off. Do not drive the vehicle. Has the problem been fixed right away? If the system is not working correctly, airbags won’t deploy and seat belts won’t tighten properly.
Also, you may violate the federal law requiring ongoing airbag maintenance. You may not register the vehicle if the warning light is on. Another driver or passenger may also sue you in your car if they are injured.
The requirement of ongoing airbag maintenance is a law that came into effect in 1997. It was designed to protect you and your passengers. The law requires the airbag system sensors to be tested at least once a year and replaced at least once every ten years.
Don’t worry if the SRS warning light is illuminated on your dash and you wonder what to do. You are safe as long as you turn the car off and get it fixed. However, if the SRS warning light is illuminated, have the system checked out by a good mechanic or a dealer technician to determine why the system is malfunctioning.
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