What an Airbag Light Means

airbag warning light

Automotive manufactures have incorporated a safety system into modern car and trucks that deploy a pressurized bag inside the passenger compartment to help cushion the inside occupants from impact incase of an accident, this system is called an Airbag Safety System. This system consists of impact sensors, a control module with driver and passenger airbags. Additionally airbags can be

What Does It Mean?

 There is an airbag warning light inside the instrument cluster to declare how the system is operating. When you turn the ignition key on, this light will illuminate telling you the system is ready to be activated, once the car has started the light should go out letting you know the system is now working correctly. If after the car is started and the airbag warning light stays on, it's informing you the system has shut down and is not working because the self check portion of the airbag operating program has detected a problem.

How to Reset the System Light

 Once repairs are made the system will need to be reset, in general American made vehicles will self clear once the system detects no problems exist, (no codes), but European and Japanese vehicles will need to use a code reader to clear the codes and turn out the light.

Finding Out What's Wrong?

 All vehicles equipped with this safety system will have an OBD2 diagnostic connector under the dash on the drivers side which a code reader can plug into and gather the trouble codes.

Common Problems

Because the drivers airbag is in the steering wheel the system depends on a spiral wire which is sometimes called a clock spring for facilitate the connection from the control module to the airbag when the steering wheel is rotated. This wire can break down, losing the connection which will disable the system and turn the airbag warning light on.


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