The question is what is causing the airbag light to come on when I did not have an accident. Does the light mean it is in danger of deploying?
Sunday, September 18th, 2016 AT 7:06 PM
Nope. Its really hard to make an air bag deploy. There are some very simple, but effective safeguards built in. That's why you never hear of an air bag deploying unexpectedly. After a crash, you have other things on your mind besides looking at the "Air Bag" light. If the battery isn't destroyed in the crash, the Air Bag warning light might be on, but not to tell you you just crashed. It's because the electrical connector at the bag melted from the heat of the burning rocket fuel.
There are a number of self-tests every computer runs either all the time or at specific times. When a problem is detected, a diagnostic fault code is stored in that computer. Also, with air bags and anti-lock brakes, those computers will shut the systems down, and they will turn on their warning light to tell you. This has nothing to do with or with no crash.
The most common cause of the warning light turning on is a broken clock spring. It is just unbelievable how everything comes in pairs as I was just saying to some friends. Check out this reply that I posted not even 20 minutes ago:
Rather than retype everything again, that will explain what the clock spring does and what it can cause. This fellow's problem was caused by improper re-installation procedures, but it is just as common for these to break in normal use.
There really isn't a second most common problem with air bag systems. There are one, two, or three crash sensors on older vehicles, and the computer can set up to four different fault codes for each one from monitoring just two wires. You are also going to have side impact crash sensors, auto-tightening seat belts, weight-sensing switches in the seats, and various additional things like that. Every one of those parts and circuits are monitored, so there are potential fault codes for all of that.
Simple code readers only read fault codes in Engine Computers. The people at many auto parts stores will read those for you for free. For air bag codes, you need to find a mechanic with a scanner that can access the Air Bag Computer to read the current code. Almost all independent repair shops have an aftermarket scanner that will do that, so you don't have to go to the dealer.
Sunday, September 18th, 2016 AT 9:50 PM
Thank you so much! I learned a lot!
Monday, September 19th, 2016 AT 7:02 AM
Good to hear, please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help.