You may have heard friends or family members talking about needing to get an SRS airbag reset but have never understood what they meant, or what an SRS airbag even was! Because the SRS airbag control module is such an important unit in your vehicle, it would behoove you to learn a little bit more about the role it plays in the overall function of your vehicle. Hopefully you will learn some of that below.
To start off, it is vital that you know where the unit is located in your car. That way, if you have to have it replaced, you’ll know where to look! In most cars, the module can be located underneath the passenger or driver’s side seat. Sometimes, though, it can be found in the kick panel, below the radio, behind the steering wheel, or in the center console.
You’ll know that an SRS airbag reset is necessary if your car has recently been involved in a crash. That is because when a car is involved in a crash, the module automatically stores information from the crash in the form of hard codes and crash data. When this data is present, the airbags will stop working. That is why getting an SRS airbag reset immediately after a crash is so important. You don’t want to face a situation where you need the airbags to protect you and not have them work!
Another obvious reason to get an SRS airbag reset is if the airbag light suddenly turns on in your dash. If this light turned on in your car, that means the computer sensed a fault inside of the airbag system and is trying to tell you to fix it right away. Again, you don’t want to put off getting this repair, as it may be detrimental to both your safety, as well as the safety of the passengers in your vehicle!
Think about the number of car accidents you see during a typical week, and then try imagining that amount occurring in every neighborhood, every city, and every state in the country. The amount of car accidents that occur daily is mind-boggling and the number is just steadily increasing with each passing day. That is because there are more drivers out on the road today then there were even a decade ago!
Unfortunately, when a car is involved in a crash, there is a lot of damage that needs to be repaired—and often times these repairs cost a lot of money. Some of them can be left the way they are and will simply make the vehicle look less than favorable. Others actually infringe on the function and safety of the vehicle and shouldn’t be ignored. “Clear crash data airbag module” is one of the top searches for vehicle owners who have been involved in a crash. If you are searching, “Clear crash data airbag module” online, then you likely are dealing with a serious problem. The SRS airbag control module is the unit in all vehicles that registers when an accident occurs and stores information in the form of hard codes and crash data. This crash data can be accessed through an OBD airbag scanner. However, nothing but an airbag reset will get rid of this data. It is important to note that if the hard codes are not cleared, the airbags in the vehicle will not function—which can be very dangerous. As you probably already know, the airbags are the second most important safety feature in vehicles, right after seat belts. You definitely don’t want to risk them not working!
The airbag module is a key component of a vehicle. It controls the supplemental restraint system in your car including the airbag sensors, seat belt pre-tensioners, and the inflators. In addition, it acts as a storage box for hard codes and crash data when your vehicle is involved in a collision.
When a vehicle is involved in a crash that deploys the airbags, crash data and hard codes are automatically stored in the unit. Only a reset or buying a brand new unit will allow a driver to have a properly functioning airbag module. Many people choose to purchase a new module at the dealer, but this comes with a hefty price tag. Others choose to reset it at home. You certainly can remove the SRS airbag module from your vehicle and reset the unit to factory settings, you just need to have the right tools and follow the steps correctly in order to succeed in resetting it properly.
To begin the process, you need to remove the SRS airbag module from your vehicle. Generally, it can be found underneath the driver’s seat but sometimes its location varies to underneath the front passenger seat, in the center console, kick panel, behind the steering wheel, or under the radio. To access the module, the bottom half needs to be removed. After it has been removed, the disassembly process can begin. When you open up the unit you need to look for the 8-pin SMD EEPROM chip that stores all the crash data. You should then solder some 32-gauge hookup wire to connect the unit to a serial port EEPROM reader. The next step would be to analyze the crash data. There are different types of software available that can read from the EEPROM chip. After analyzing, you can finally replace the airbag computer. Replace all the values from the crashed chip with those from the virgin chip and rewrite it into the computer so that the hard codes can be cleared. The final step would be to place the unit back into your vehicle and check if the reset was a success. Within just 6 seconds, your SRS light should go off. You can also check with your vehicle’s tech-stream software to see that there aren’t any faults or codes present.