The car airbag is one of the essential safety measures the car has to protect you in an accident. When the airbag light starts flashing, it means something is wrong and should be investigated. What are the ways to reset the airbag so the light can go off? Let’s find out.
How does an airbag work?
Airbags help in saving lives when you hit an object or another car. Hitting something decelerates the vehicle, activating the accelerometer and triggering the airbag circuit. The circuit has a heating element that gets activated through a current charge. The heating element causes an explosion in the airbag, which generates a harmless gas. The gas inflates the airbag and thereby protects the driver from injuries. Many airbags contain Sodium Azide, which serves as the explosion element, and the gas produced is either argon or nitrogen.
Why is the airbag safety light on?
There are many reasons the airbag safety light may stay on. Some of them are listed below:
- The airbag battery is low: the car airbags are hooked to a backup battery as it needs the energy to activate in case of an accident. If the car battery is low, it may as well have discharged the airbag backup battery too. It may self-correct once the battery is recharged; if not, a sensor reset may need to be done.
- The airbag module got wet: per adventure you have driven through a flood or left the window open while raining, which allows the airbag to get wet. It may cause the module to corrode or short out, which will cause the SRS light to be on.
- The airbag clock spring is damaged: the wheel sits inside the steering wheel and keeps the electrical wiring between the airbag and the car from damaging as the wheel is turned. Due to consistent turning of the wheel over time, the spring can wear out or be damaged, which activates the airbag light.
- Airbag sensor is faulty: this is the most common reason the airbag light may come on. The airbag has multiple sensors that help trigger it in an accident. If one of these sensors is faulty, it can cause the airbag light to come on.
What is an airbag sensor?
These are sensors that detect rapid deceleration of the car, thereby signaling the airbags to be deployed. These sensors’ location differs from car to car, but most are found in the front bumper or bender. They can also be found in the engine bay, passenger seat area, car’s rear, and vehicle side.
How to reset the airbag sensor
The airbag light is on mostly because one of the sensors is malfunctioning and may need resetting. It can be done quickly with OBD2 Scanner. However, if there is no scanner, the sensor can be reset by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery from the car. Disconnect the battery from the vehicle for about 10 seconds which automatically resets the airbags sensors too. Reconnect the battery and start the car. If the light stays on, it means there may be a need for professional help.
How to reset airbag light
The airbag light constantly on can cause concern for any driver. You can reset the airbag light by doing the following:
- Insert your car keys and turn the ignition to an on position
- Observe the airbag light; it should be on for 7 seconds before turning off. Immediately, it goes off, switches off the car, and waits 3 seconds.
- Repeat the above steps two more times to reset the airbag light.
Will disconnecting the battery reset the airbag light?
The airbag light coming on indicates a problem with the car’s safety system. Several different factors can cause this. However, the light may go off when you disconnect and reconnect the car battery. Disconnecting the battery for about 10 seconds allows the airbag sensors to be reset, and this can cause the light to go off. If, after this process, the light is still on, it is better to seek professional help.
Can I drive my car with the airbag light on?
You can drive the car with the airbag light on; however, it is not safe as the car safety measure may not be fully functional, and in case of an accident, the airbag may not be deployed.
Car airbags are essential, especially when it comes to the safety of the passengers in the car. The airbag light being on means an issue with the safety system, which several factors can cause. You can easily reset the airbag light by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery to reset the airbags sensor. If this doesn’t work, please seek professional help as the airbag may help prevent severe injuries in case of an accident.