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How to Reset Airbag Light: 7 Steps

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Addressing the illuminated airbag light is crucial for ensuring driving safety and avoiding malfunctions. Understanding how to reset an airbag light is essential knowledge for all technicians. The supplemental restraint system (SRS), a vital safety component of your vehicle, alerts you to problems by activating the airbag or SRS light. This light, depicted as a seated individual wearing a seatbelt with a circular airbag in front, may be displayed in red, amber, or as ‘AIRBAG’.

Paying close attention to the engine and airbag lights on your dashboard, particularly the airbag light, is of utmost importance for your safety. Activating during a car crash, airbags rely on a properly functioning airbag light. So, how to reset airbag light?

Fear not, as this article will delve into that topic. We will also explore whether it is safe to drive with the airbag light on and the potential reasons behind the illuminated airbag light.

How To Reset Airbag Light – 7 Steps

The following are the 7 steps involved in resetting an airbag light

How to Reset Airbag Light (1)

1/Restart Your Car With The Ignition

To resolve an issue with the SRS airbag light in your car, follow these steps:

  • Restart your vehicle by turning the ignition switch on.
  • Allow the car to sit for approximately 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Turn the ignition switch back off.

After restarting, check if the SRS airbag light has turned off. If it has, your problem may be resolved. To confirm that your car is operating correctly, take it for a test drive and ensure that the SRS airbag light stays turned off.

2/Turn On The Passenger Airbag Switch

If the passenger seat airbag switch is turned off in certain vehicles, it may result in the SRS airbag warning light being displayed. To resolve this issue, you can simply turn the switch or press the button while your vehicle is running.

3/Verify That Your Seat Belts Are Working Correctly

Seatbelt damage can trigger false activation of the SRS warning system in vehicles. To confirm if a malfunctioning seatbelt is causing airbag light problems, it is recommended to engage and disengage each seatbelt individually to ensure proper fastening.

4/Buckle In Any Heavy Objects

The front passenger occupant system in your vehicle is responsible for detecting a person’s presence in a seat and determining the appropriate airbag deployment. However, it may mistake a heavy object for a person, leading to potential issues.

To address this concern, you have two practical options. Firstly, you can avoid triggering the front passenger occupant system entirely by placing the object in the trunk. Alternatively, if you simply want to turn off the airbag light, you can secure the object against the seat by buckling it in.

5/Use An OBD2 Scanner To Identify The Underlying Issue

If you have experience working on cars or have access to an OBD II scanner, you can use this device to diagnose any unidentified issues you may be facing. Simply follow these steps:

  • Plug the diagnostic link connector (DLC) into the port located underneath the steering wheel.
  • Wait for a trouble code to appear on the scan tool.
  • Reference the code against a manual or an online resource to identify the issue.
  • Once the OBD2 has provided information on the cause of your car troubles, take the necessary steps to fix the issue or consider scheduling a repair with a professional.

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6/Visit An Experienced Mechanic If Necessary

If you are unable to resolve the issue with your airbag light, it is crucial to visit an experienced auto technician. Your safety depends on the proper functioning of the SRS system, which is responsible for the deployment of airbags and the tension of seatbelts. Failure in these areas could result in severe injuries during a crash. By professionally servicing your vehicle, you can eliminate these potentially life-threatening situations.

7/Go On A Short Test Drive To Verify The Issue Is Resolved

To ensure the resolution of your SRS airbag light issue, it is important to take your car for a test drive after any repairs. This step allows you to verify that the problem has indeed been fixed. Most manufacturers recommend driving for approximately 10 minutes.

In addition, a brief test drive can also help address any lingering SRS airbag light issues. Sometimes, the front passenger occupant system sensor may require a restart. By going on a short drive, you give this sensor the opportunity to reset itself and potentially resolve the problem.

What Does The Illuminated Airbag Light Mean?

The air bag light, also known as the SRS warning indicator, serves the vital purpose of alerting drivers to any potential concerns with their vehicle’s airbag system. When this light is illuminated, it indicates that the car has detected an issue that could lead to airbag malfunctions.

Given the life-saving role that airbags play in car crashes, ensuring their reliable deployment becomes paramount for safe driving. Therefore, promptly addressing and rectifying any problems signaled by the illuminated SRS light becomes imperative. By doing so, you can maintain your peace of mind and trust in the proper functioning of your car’s airbag system.

Why Is My SRS Airbag Light Turned On?

The SRS airbag light may illuminate due to various reasons. This light indicates a malfunction in the airbag system, seat belt pre-tensioner system, or the front passenger occupant classification system.

Modifying your vehicle can lead to airbag system breakage. Installing new electronics or a different steering wheel may disrupt the SRS system circuit and cause airbag issues.

Another potential source of malfunction is the seat belt pre-tensioner system. If the seat belt buckle or latch is damaged, it can cause the pre-tensioner to misbehave, resulting in a malfunctioning SRS system.

Moreover, the SRS airbag light may illuminate if the weight in the front passenger seat is not correctly registered by the occupant classification system. Modern cars utilize sensors underneath the seats to determine airbag deployment.

Should an item on the front passenger seat be heavy enough to trigger the occupant system, but lighter than typical human weight, it may cause abnormal behavior in the SRS system. Removing the object from the seat can resolve this issue.

Addressing the root cause of the illuminated SRS light is crucial for your safety. During a crash, the airbags deploy and seatbelts tighten correctly to protect you. Any issues with these systems pose a significant risk every time you venture onto the road.

Pay Close Attention To Your Dashboard Indicators

Your vehicle’s dashboard indicators serve the crucial purpose of notifying you about potential malfunctions in its internal components. Promptly addressing these indicators is of utmost importance to ensure your safety on the road and maintain the optimum condition of your vehicle. Fortunately, dealing with the SRS airbag light is relatively straightforward, making it easier for you to take necessary action.

FAQs About How to Reset Airbag Light

Can I Drive With the Airbag Light On?

Driving with an illuminated airbag light can be dangerous, as it indicates a malfunction in a critical part of your safety system. In the event of a crash, the SRS module may prevent airbag deployment, putting you at risk of serious harm. We strongly advise against continuing to drive with this warning light on. It is imperative to promptly identify and resolve the issue to ensure your safety on the road.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Airbag Light?

Here are some approximate costs (including labor charges) for common car repair items:

  • Clock spring: $80 to $400
  • Seat belt: $20 to $250
  • Side curtain airbag: $400 to $1,500
  • Steering wheel or standard airbag: $1,000 to $2,000

Are There Different Types of Airbags?

Yes. You have the:

  • Front passenger or driver’s airbag: Standard airbags that protect your head and upper body from hitting the steering wheel or dashboard in case of a collision.
  • Side airbag/curtain airbag: Cushion your side and torso from impact, while the curtain airbags in the ceiling protect your head. Together, they provide comprehensive protection for the front passenger and driver.
  • Knee airbag: Designed to prevent your knees from shattering on impact.
  • Inflatable seat belt: Not available in every vehicle, this type of airbag aims to disperse the force of the accident over a wider area, ensuring enhanced passenger protection.

How Do Airbags Work?

When driving at high speeds, airbags are deployed upon detection of a crash or impact by your sensors. This triggers the SRS module, which activates the inflator system within your airbag ECU. As a result, your airbag instantaneously inflates, providing crucial protection in the event of an accident.


If your car’s SRS light becomes activated, it indicates a problem with the airbag system. However, it doesn’t provide specific details about the issue.

At Brad’s Car Tunes, you can count on us to decipher the meaning of the SRS warning light and, if needed, perform a successful airbag replacement. Our expertise also extends to addressing other concerns like check engine lights and clutch repairs with precision diagnostics and reliable fixes.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. Our qualified technicians will come straight to your driveway, providing all repairs and services with a 12-month / 12,000-mile warranty.

Timothy Ballard

I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.

1 thought on “How to Reset Airbag Light: 7 Steps”

  1. Tips to Turn off an Airbag Light, with or without a Scanner:

    1/Begin by turning your ignition off and on.
    2/Take a short test drive to assess the system.
    3/Locate a passenger airbag switch if available.
    4/Ensure all seat belts are functioning correctly.
    5/If an object is on the seat, plug in the seatbelt.
    6/Utilize an OBD II scanner to reset the codes.


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