Like all the other mechanisms on an instrument cluster, the airbag light serves its individual—and very important, may I add—purpose. Let me explain it a little more in detail below.
Normally, the airbag light turns on then quickly turns off when you start your car. This is how it should be, and indicates a properly functioning airbag system. If the airbag light stays on, however, this means that there is something wrong with your airbag system. While it is still on, the airbags will not deploy. This can threaten your safety on the road, as airbags serve as secondary restraint systems.
Contrary to what you may think, the airbag system doesn’t just consist of the airbags. It also consists of the impact sensors, SRS airbag control module, and the seat belts. Therefore, you should isolate the problem to see where it is coming from. More often than not, the solution to your airbag light lies in resetting the SRS airbag control module. By removing the unit from your vehicle and taking it to a mechanic, you’ll be able to identify any crash data or hard codes that are stored in the computer. You can also buy a scanning tool and do this step from home. The next step would be to either purchase a brand new unit or reset it on your own. If you can complete the reset successfully, you’ll end up with the same result as a brand new airbag module. Plus, it will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. If you are not a seasoned mechanic and don’t think you’ll be successful in resetting the unit, you also have the option of sending it into the company Safety Restore. They are much more affordable than a dealership and guarantee quality work.
While you are waiting to get your unit reset, avoid driving unless you find it necessary. You don’t want to be jeopardizing your life or that of your passengers.