What to do if your SRS airbag light is illuminating

Everything you need to know about a car SRS light

When the SRS light comes on while you are driving, there is a problem with the airbag system of the vehicle. Additionally, it implies that if you are in an accident, the airbags may not deploy. There are multiple kinds of airbags in contemporary cars, and each one needs precisely calibrated sensors to deploy.

The SRS system in the vehicle may occasionally need a checkup, even though this technology helps to prevent any unwanted deployment of the system. The airbags are ineffective if the sensors are malfunctioning.

Everything you need to know about a car SRS light

Get the SRS sensor checked on your automobile as soon as possible if the light illuminates. Don’t disregard the SRS light on the dash if it comes on. Your car will actually have a problem until the system has been properly checked, and you may be endangering your safety and the safety of your occupants.

Well, in this article, you’ll get to know the meaning, causes, and how to reset the SRS light.

Read more: Is it safe to drive a car with the SRS airbag light on?

Let’s get to it.


What does the SRS light mean?

The supplemental restraint system (SRS) warning light illuminating means that there is an issue with the airbag system. The SRS is a passive restraint system, meaning you don’t have to do anything to activate it. It is designed to supplement the primary function of seatbelts.

Things like acceleration, braking, collision position, and whether the passenger seat is occupied are all automatically detected by the system. The Airbag Control Unit uses the information it receives to determine which seatbelts need to be fastened and which airbags should deploy.

When there is a problem, some vehicles display the letters SRS, while others use the symbol of an airbag. The SRS light should stay on when the car is first started for a period of time between one and five seconds as the system performs a series of tests on its own.

The system is ready if the light goes out. If the light continues to flash, the SRS airbag system is faulty. At this point, the system is disabled. The seat belts won’t tighten, the airbags won’t deploy, and no other features will engage in the event of a collision.

Read more: Everything you need to know about a car SRS light

Can one drive with the SRS light on?

The answer would be no, because doing so poses a huge risk in the event of an accident, even though it is possible that the airbags could still deploy with the light on.

We advise having a professional check it and identify the problem so that it may be fixed right away. One should not disregard the airbag light or the SRS warning when they show.

Even if it doesn’t necessarily imply that the vehicle is unreliable, driving it anyway would be playing with fire. If this light is on, it means that your safety system isn’t working correctly. In some cases, it could also mean that your airbags are disabled and won’t deploy in an accident.

Read more: Things you need to know about car sensors

What causes the SRS light to come on?

There are lots of things that cause the SRS light to come on. Below are lists of what causes the SRS light to illuminate.

Seat belt latch failure

Sensors in the SRS keep track of when the seat belts are fastened. The connection may be hampered if anything has gotten inside the buckle. Remove anything that is different from the seat belt buckle to solve the issue. Spray some compressed air into the buckle if you don’t see anything.

Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor Defect

There is a sensor in the front seat that alerts the SRS system if someone is sitting there. In addition to alerting the sensor that someone is around, it also measures weight. The passenger airbag will be prepared to protect any adults in the seat. However, if the sensor is malfunctioning, the SRS light may turn on.

Defective SRS computer

All electrical parts degrade with time. The SRS computer is susceptible to failure just like any other computer. Its death may be caused by heat, severe vibration, age, and water damage. The only solution is a replacement if the SRS light illuminates as a result of a dead computer.

A faulty clockspring

The steering wheel’s inner housing houses this electrical connector. Its major job is to keep the SRS computer and the wheel connected when the wheel is rotating. But this part often receives a lot of abuse. The driver’s side airbag might not inflate in an accident if it stops operating. The SRS light will also give you a warning to let you know what is going on.

The backup SRS computer battery is dead

For the purpose of storing received data, the SRS computer requires a backup battery. When the engine is off, the battery still functions. The SRS light may turn on if the battery is running low or dead. The installation of a new battery is the only solution to this problem.


Well, corrosion inside the car is a quick result of water damage. This can really be disastrous if it happens among the SRS parts. It may not only result in the warning light turning on, but it may also have an impact on how well the system works. Corrosion must be extensively inspected in all of the components if this issue is to be resolved. Everything that has been impacted must be replaced.

How to reset the SRS light

How to reset the SRS light

Here’s how to reset the SRS light

Turn your ignition on and off

Turn on the ignition switch first. The airbag light should then turn on; it typically does so after seven seconds and remains bright until it automatically turns off.

After waiting three seconds, immediately turn the ignition switch off. Before starting the engine, go through the basic procedures a couple of times.

Your car’s airbag light should illuminate for seven seconds before turning off permanently if everything is done correctly.

Start your car up again and perform a test drive

Restart your ignition, then take a test drive. If the airbag light eventually stops flashing for good, the issue has probably been resolved.

If not, carry out the remaining tasks on this list. Check the wiring system under the driver’s and passenger’s seats before restarting your car.

Also, check the connector plug for any corrosion or loose wires. If not, use an electronic cleaner to spray the connector plugs.

Check the airbag switch for the passenger

When trying to turn off the airbag light, one of the first things to check is the passenger seat airbag on/off button (only present in some vehicles). It’s possible that someone accidentally switched it off, leaving the airbag light on. Normally located on the passenger-side dashboard, this button can occasionally be seen by opening the glove box or passenger door.

Inspect to see if the seat belts are in place and functioning properly

The airbag light may turn on if the SRS detects loose or poorly fastened seatbelts since it is concerned with vehicle occupant security. The airbag can even be turned off automatically if the seatbelt is not used.

Therefore, make sure that the appropriate operation of seatbelts and seat belt sensors is on your list of things to check out. Even easily overlooked things like spare change may cause seat belt sensors to malfunction, which may come as a surprise to you.

A little bump or pothole can cause a small coin to enter a seat belt fastener and get stuck between the sensor and the buckle since money is frequently placed close to the fasteners.

When this occurs, the sensor might not detect when a seat belt is fastened, which could result in the airbag light turning on. Check the inside of the buckle to see if anything is stuck there before replacing your sensors.

The majority of car owners underestimate how much it will cost to remove any obstructions from inside the seat belt fastener. If your seat belt’s parts can’t be changed separately and the sensors are built into the belt, the situation is reversed.

Use a scanner with the ability to reset the SRS or airbag light

In order to reset your airbag light, you can consider purchasing a scanner with SRS features if you’re mechanically inclined. Just be aware that not all OBD-II devices can automatically reset the airbag light. It’s wise to do some research before buying an OBD-II scanner with the features you require. Check out the list of best OBD2 scanners.

Check to see if the passenger seat sensor is off

Most cars contain a passenger weight sensor that is highly sensitive. The issue with these particular cars is that you may easily trip the sensors by putting a big container or box on the passenger seat. The airbag light, therefore, comes on.

Either remove the object from the passenger seat or fasten the seatbelt to resolve the issue. If this fixes the issue, it will show that the sensor was used, resulting in the airbag light turning on.

Replace or repair a broken clock spring

The clock spring sometimes referred to as a spiral cable, coil assembly, contact reel, or cable reel assembly, is a significant part that, if destroyed or damaged, can result in the airbag light coming on.

A clock spring will cost between $80 and $150 in parts only; however, if a professional mechanic replaces the spring for you, the average labor cost would be between $200 and $400.

If you change the clock spring yourself, you can save money as long as you use extreme caution and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Fix a broken airbag sensors

Particularly with more contemporary vehicle makes and models, sensors play an important role in how well an automobile functions. For starters, sensors make sure airbags inflate in the case of a collision.

Multiple sensors that are installed in different vehicle parts, particularly the SRS, are what makes it operate. You will definitely notice the airbag light coming on if any of these sensors corrode, fail, or stop functioning.

Airbag sensors occasionally fail, suddenly triggering without any apparent cause. If the car has experienced water damage, it may potentially malfunction and turn on the SRS light.

Additionally, there are instances where the airbag system control unit may have just failed. If any of these things happen, the issue might be resolved by replacing the faulty sensors, control unit, or water-damaged components.

Check to see if the airbag is working properly

Defective airbags are uncommon, but they do happen. It might be the cause of your failure to reset the airbag light. You won’t be able to solve this problem on your own if it turns out to be the main cause. This issue requires professional assistance, which will cost you a few hundred dollars.

The cost of replacing an airbag can be much more than the airbag itself. They take a long time to replace, and the cost of replacing all the related parts adds up quickly.

Replacing airbags normally costs between $360 and $1,500, depending on the type, model, and complexity of the SRS in your car, and the labor cost isn’t taken into account.

The cost of labor varies based on which airbag is broken. Airbags on the driver’s side are easier to replace than those on the side or for passengers. As a result, working on that costs more. You wouldn’t want to put off either of them because they can be expensive.

You probably should take your vehicle to a mechanic for a long-term fix in case anything else fails. The cost of taking this path will be more, but the mechanic will correctly determine what is causing your airbag light to flash and fix the issue long-term.

Read more: How to get the best deal on car insurance?


What does the SRS light mean?

The supplemental restraint system (SRS) warning light illuminating means that there is an issue with the airbag system. The SRS is a passive restraint system, meaning you don’t have to do anything to activate it. It is designed to supplement the primary function of seatbelts.

What would cause the SRS light to come on?

You could have an issue with the airbags themselves, a loose wire, a broken seat belt buckle, or an issue with the Engine Control Unit (ECU) if the SRS light remains on or starts flashing intermittently.

Can you still drive with the SRS light on?

The answer would be no because, despite the fact that it’s still possible for the airbags to deploy with the light on, doing so would be extremely dangerous in the event of an accident.

How do I fix my SRS light?

  • Turn on and off your ignition.
  • Start your car up once more and take a test drive.
  • Take a look at the passenger airbag switch.
  • Check to see if the seat belts are in place and functioning properly.
  • Make sure the passenger seat sensor is not turned on.
  • Use a scanner with the ability to reset the SRS or airbag light.

How much does it cost to fix SRS light?

Although it typically costs a few hundred dollars and takes several hours, depending on the type of car, this process might cost as much as $600.

How much does it cost to fix the SRS airbag?

Expect to pay, on average, between $1,000 and $1,500 for each new airbag. This only accounts for the airbags themselves and ignores any other components that require replacement. A replacement airbag module will cost an additional $600 and above.

What is SRS malfunction?

Supplement Restraint System is what it actually means. This applies to things like airbags and safety belts. Your airbags might not deploy in an accident if your SRS is malfunctioning. You can see why—making sure these things are in good working condition is crucial!

Where is the SRS sensor?

Most often, it can be found on the floor in the center of the dash or under the center console, which is located between the two front seats. The majority of GM vehicles have it under the driver’s or passenger’s seat.

Can you clear the SRS code?

No, scanners are unable to remove these codes. These codes, which are also known as crash data, are kept after a car accident.

How do I disable SRS?

Before continuing with a diagnosis or service, unplug and separate the battery negative (ground) cable and give the system capacitor at least two minutes to discharge.

Is SRS light an MOT failure?

Indeed, it is. A number of changes to the MOT test went into effect in March 2013, and this was one of them. A Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) malfunction indicator lamp showing a system malfunction is listed as a reason for rejection in Section 5.4 of the MOT testers’ manual.

That is all for this article, where we discussed the meaning, causes, and resetting of the SRS light. We also looked at the frequently asked questions about the SRS light.

I hope you learn a lot from reading this article. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!