Any standard car has around 15-20 warning and/or status lights on its dashboard. As a car owner and driver, you should familiarize yourself with these lights and understand what each one is for. That way, you know what’s wrong when one of them lights up. One of the newer lights added to car dashboards is the airbag warning light. As the name suggests, it’s a warning light connected to the airbag of the car. But what does it mean if it lights up? Let’s find out.
What are airbags for?
Before we talk about what you do when the airbag warning light comes on, let’s first talk about what airbags are. An airbag is considered a passive vehicle occupant-restraint system that activates whenever it senses a collision. It is designed to inflate within milliseconds to protect the passengers from fatal injury, then subsequently deflate to prevent suffocation.
The airbag system in your car consists of 4 major parts. These are:
- The airbag cushion
- A flexible fabric bag
- An inflation module
- An impact sensor
Nowadays, the airbag is part of a more extensive system called the SRS or supplemental restraint system. That is why the airbag warning light is often called the SRS light on certain occasions. Whenever the SRS light goes on, you have to consider several possible circumstances, which we discuss below.
What does it mean when the airbag warning light is on?
- Your airbags might not deploy: The first thing that comes to mind when the airbag warning light goes on is that your airbag might not deploy when you need it to. The warning light is connected to the sensors in your vehicle’s SRS, so when it detects something is wrong, the light goes on. While this is not the case all the time, it is the safest and most logical assumption.
- There’s something wrong with your seatbelts: As mentioned above, the airbag is just part of a more extensive system called the SRS within your vehicle. So, when the SRS light or airbag warning light goes on, there’s a possibility that other parts of the SRS have problems too. One of the more common culprits is your seatbelts. When there’s something wrong with the pretensioners on your seatbelts, the airbag warning light or SRS light will turn on.
- The crash sensors might be due for a replacement: Crash sensors in our cars are not designed to be used multiple times. So, if you have had a minor crash in the past, there’s a chance that you need to replace your crash sensors.
- You may have problems with your electrical wiring: There’s a chance that your SRS light is on not because your airbags have issues but because there’s something wrong with your vehicle’s wiring. A faulty SRS computer might also be a reason.
Never Fix An SRS/Airbag Problem Yourself
There are many videos online showing how you can fix your SRS/Airbag warning light. Most of these fixes are risky and can cause more significant problems in the future. Worst case scenario, you’ll end up with a faulty SRS, which will cause the whole system to fail when you need it to work most – like in a crash.
While it is true that seeing your airbag warning light go on is not an emergency situation, you should not disregard it, either. It’s best to visit your trusted mechanic ASAP to get it diagnosed. Most importantly, understand that the best way to solve the issue is to have a professional fix the real problem and not follow a DIY video online.
If you see your SRS light turn on, contact T3 Atlanta. We can have one of our expert mechanics promptly check your vehicle. T3 Atlanta specializes in servicing Lexus, Infiniti, Toyota, and Nissan vehicles. We can help you trace why your airbag warning light is on and provide a real fix for it. Contact T3 Atlanta today.