Knowing how to reset an airbag light is one of the important things all technicians need to know. One of the important safety components of your vehicle is the supplemental restraint system (SRS). Its function is to alert you to problems by turning on your airbag or SRS light. The light shows a seated individual wearing a seatbelt and an airbag in the shape of a circle in front of them. It can have a red, amber, or ‘AIRBAG’ display.

You should pay attention to the engine and airbag lights if they come on the dashboard, especially the airbag light. This is because of how crucial it is for your safety. Airbags are intended to activate during a car crash, but they won’t do so if the airbag light is on. So, how can you reset the airbag light?

How to reset an airbag light with or without a scanner

Well, don’t worry; we’ll get to discuss that in this article. We’ll also get to discuss if it is good to drive with the airbag light on and the reasons why your airbag light is on.

Let’s get to it.


How to reset an airbag light in six steps

The following are the six steps involved in resetting an airbag light:


How to reset an airbag light with or without a scanner

Here’s how to reset an airbag light:

Turn the ignition on and off.

The ignition switch should first be turned on. Next, check if the airbag light illuminates. It typically does so after seven seconds and stays on until it automatically turns off. After that, turn off the ignition switch right away and wait three seconds.

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 completely if everything is done correctly.

Take a quick test drive.

Restart your ignition and take a quick test drive. Check the electrical system under the driver’s and passenger’s seats before restarting your car. Inspect the connector plug for any corrosion or loose wires.

If none, spray an electronic cleaner onto the connector plugs. To see if the light shuts off automatically, drive for 3 to 5 minutes. If you drive around for a while, the airbag light may go off. Well, this only works for certain makes and models.

Locate and check the passenger airbag switch.

When trying to turn off the airbag light, one of the things to check is the passenger seat airbag on/off button, which is only present in some vehicles. It’s possible that someone accidentally turned it off, leaving the airbag light on. When you open the glove box or passenger door, you will be able to see this button, which is often on the passenger-side dashboard.

Check the seat belts to ensure that they are working properly.

Your airbag light can come on because of a defective seat belt. Plug each seat belt in individually to ensure that it clicks before pressing the button to release it while your car is running.

Your car might think that a seat is occupied and that the light should stay on if any of the seat belts are defective or fail to lock securely. Most car’s airbag sensors activate when the seatbelt is fastened, with the idea of determining whether an adult is seated on the passenger side. A broken seatbelt may interfere with the sensor.

Verify if the passenger weight sensor was triggered.

Most cars have a passenger weight sensor that is highly sensitive. The issue with these particular vehicles is that placing a heavy box or container on the passenger seat will trigger the sensors. Thus, the airbag light comes on.

Either remove the object from the passenger seat or fasten the seatbelt to solve this problem. If either resolves the issue, it will prove that the sensor was engaged, making the airbag light come on.

Utilize an OBD-II scanner to reset the codes.

To reset your airbag light, you can buy a scanner with SRS capabilities if you have the technical know-how. Just be aware that not all OBD-II tools can automatically reset the airbag light. It’s wise to do some research before buying an OBD-II scanner with the features you require.

The diagnostic link connector (DLC) underneath your steering wheel is where you should connect your OBD II scanner. To find the underlying fault, run a scan and examine the code displayed on the screen.

Go to see a mechanic if the airbag light still won’t turn off. The common reason why the airbag light is on could be a worn-out clock spring inside your airbag’s control module, a dead backup airbag battery, or a corroded terminal inside the airbag system. In rare cases, your airbag may need to be serviced.

It could be necessary to replace the sensors. In any case, get a mechanic to examine and repair it. This is not a DIY job unless you’re a serious amateur mechanic. Diagnoses and adjustments must be made to the delicate electrical systems in control of life-saving emergency systems.

Check out the lists of best OBD II scanner here

Reasons why your airbag light is on

The following are some of the common reasons why your airbag light is on:

Your Car Battery is down
Airbag Clock Spring has Worn Out
Wet Airbag Module
Faulty Sensor
Seatbelts Are not connected
It Wasn’t Reset After a Collision
Your Airbag Is ‘Off’

Your Car Battery is down

Since the backup battery for your airbag is dependent on the battery in your car, it could be a problem. Your airbag battery will lose power if your primary battery dies, making the airbag light come on. Once the battery problem has been rectified and the backup battery for your airbag has enough power, this should go away on its own.

Airbag Clock Spring has Worn Out

A flat wire that has been spirally wound into the steering wheel is a clock spring. It makes sure that the electrical wiring, such as the airbag connectors attaching to the driver’s airbag inside your steering column, is not affected when your steering wheel is turned.

The driver-side airbag may become disconnected as a result of the airbag clock spring’s constant movement, which can wear out over time. This may cause the airbag light to turn on, and the airbag’s activation may be delayed as a result.

Wet Airbag Module

Typically, the airbag module is located under the driver’s or passenger’s seat. However, some cars could have it under the steering wheel or radio. To find your airbag control module, consult your owner’s manual. If the airbag control module is physically damaged, rusts, or gets wet, it won’t function. Therefore, take care to avoid spills since they could harm your control module.

Faulty Sensor

Your car functions smoothly due to a variety of sensors (knock sensors, TPS, and impact sensors).  The airbag light may appear if broken or faulty sensors give the wrong signal to the computer in your automobile. A normal person won’t be able to figure out why an airbag sensor is broken. In this situation, choose a qualified mechanic to do diagnostics.

Seatbelts Are not connected

Your seat belt may not engage if there is an obstruction or damaged parts. Additionally, your airbag light will come on since cars have sensors that may detect if your seat belt is buckled incorrectly. Some cars’ airbag lights will even go off if you aren’t buckled up. So always buckle up to keep protected!

It Wasn’t Reset After a Collision

After crashes, you should have your car serviced, especially if your sensors were the reason the airbag was faulty. A bad airbag should be replaced, and after that, the airbag light should be reset. However, after replacing an airbag, mechanics occasionally neglect to reset the airbag light.

Your Airbag Is ‘Off’

You may be able to disable your passenger-side airbag but not your driver-side airbag in some automobiles. It’s a safety measure since an airbag in your car could seriously hurt small children or pets. To safeguard your next passenger, remember to deactivate the airbag once more.

air bag light

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In conclusion, the airbag light, which displays the state of the airbag system in modern cars, is a critical safety indicator. When illuminated, it indicates that there might be a problem with one or more airbag components, which calls for immediate care to ensure passenger safety.

To fix these problems and ensure your airbags will operate properly during an accident, it is essential to reset the airbag light. But it’s important to keep in mind that simply turning the light back on won’t address the problems. To deal with any problems with the airbag system, a competent technician must perform accurate diagnostics and repairs.

To keep both drivers and passengers safe on the road, routine maintenance and addressing the underlying issues that result in the illuminated airbag light are essential. Prioritizing the safety of everyone inside the car is always preferable when it comes to vehicle safety. I hope you now know how to reset an airbag light!