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SRS Light: Why Is It On? What To Do?

What does SRS mean?

When many people hear the acronym SRS, they don’t know what it means. The SRS stands for Supplemental Restraint System. You will typically see the SRS light on your dashboard.

As you turn on your vehicle, the light will flash for a few seconds. However, a problem with the SRS light occurs when it stays on when you are driving. This can be annoying at first, but there could be a much bigger problem going on.

Why is the SRS Light On?

What is SRS light?

SRS light is on. 
Credit: khandallahgarage.co.nz

There are a few reasons why the SRS light turns on.

Airbag Interference

One of the most common reasons the airbag light turns on is because there is an interference happening with the seat belt and the sensor. This causes the warning light to falsely come on.

Passenger Seat Problems

The next reason the SRS light might be on has to do with the passenger’s seat. A sensor may be malfunctioning and saying that someone is sitting in the seat when no one is. This could cause the airbag to fire inadvertently.

Water Damage

Corrosion is another possible outcome with the airbag light being on. If your car has ever gotten water inside the vehicle’s cabin, water damage may be your issue. SRS components do not take kindly to water, so this could be the culprit.

The Breakdown

Sometimes, the components of the SRS start to break down. Depending on the years and the mileage on your vehicle, your SRS components may need updating. A clock spring could be the reason why your SRS light is coming on.

A Sickly Spring

A clock spring connects directly to the steering wheel through an electrical system. This system contacts the SRS computer and the driver’s airbag when the steering wheel moves side to side. Unfortunately, this component can breakdown over time.

Malfunctioning Airbag

If you are checking to see if your airbag deploys, and it doesn’t during a test, the warning light will stay. Once the problem is fixed, the light will go off naturally.

Accident Troubles

Have you ever got in an accident before? This could be causing your SRS light to come on, too. When an accident does occur, the sensors in a car are triggered for the airbags to protect anyone inside the vehicle.

However, the car can start to break down from the toll an accident takes on a vehicle. In this way, the SRS light may stay on your dashboard.

Computer Issues

Every SRS computer has a backup battery. This battery is used to keep the SRS computer up and running, so it can collect data. Even if the car’s power doesn’t turn on, the battery will keep things going strong.

Blown Battery

However, if the backup battery gets too low, the warning light can come to light. This usually happens when a car’s main battery is low or thoroughly drained.

Computer Corruption

The last issue could be a broken SRS computer. This is an expensive failure, but heat, age, water, and constant vibrations can be the perpetrator.

Is it Safe to Drive with the SRS Light on?

Is it safe if the SRS light is on?

SRS light is blinking after ignition. 
Credit: Flickr.com

When the SRS light does turn on, people want to know what to do. Do they need to take it into the shop immediately or can they take their time getting into a mechanic? An SRS light doesn’t need to be addressed immediately, but you have to remember that you are taking a risk.

In the unfortunate chance that you get in a car wreck, your airbag may not deploy, leaving you and your precious cargo unprotected. This really could be a life-altering experience. So, make sure to schedule with a local repair shop as soon as humanly possible.

Another issue with not getting it repaired A.S.A.P. is your insurance company may not cover the damages of a wreck. Why? Every SRS computer has a “black box” of sorts, like a commercial airline.

This “black box” provides information if the airbag system is working correctly or not. Ultimately, this information may add insult to injury in this case.

How can I Reset the SRS Light?

There are two ways to reset the SRS light: with an SRS scanner and manually.

Reset the Airbag Light with an OBD2 Scanner:

SRS Light Scanner.
The SRS Light can be reset with an OBD2 Scan Tool.

When using an SRS scanner, there are a few steps to follow.

Step #1 – Find the fuse-cover and take it off.

Step #2 – Fit the scanner in the port.

Step #3 – Turn ignition to the “run” spot.

Step #4 – Observe the codes the scanner displays.

Step #5 – Look at the owner’s manual for more information.

Step #6 – Unplug scanner and replace the fuse-cover.

How to Reset the Airbag Light Manually?

Airbag Light reset.

The SRS light can be reset manually or with an OBD2 Scanner.
Credit: pixabay.com

The manual steps are a little different.

Step #1 – Open the hood of your vehicle.

Step #2 – Remove the fuse-cover on the driver’s side.

Step #3 – Wiggle the SRS fuse located in the lower right-hand corner of the fuse box.

Step #4 – Turn the vehicle “on.”

Step #5 – Leave the vehicle on for at least 1 minute, as the car resets.

Step #6 – Turn off the vehicle.

Step #7 – Cover the fuse box and close the hood.

With both of these methods, it is crucial for you to wear work gloves and goggles to protect yourself during the process. This way, you will stay safe and sound when resetting your SRS light.

The Bottom Line

Remember that it is imperative for you to get your vehicle in to fix an SRS problem. Resetting the light is a handy thing to know, but that won’t always fix the problem. Additionally, all vehicles have certified mechanics that sign off on airbag upgrades.

So, fixing an airbag problem on your own will not be covered by dealerships, and maybe not even your insurance. So, make sure to get the job right and cover all your bases. This way, you will be safe wherever you decide to take your vehicle, keeping you and your family protected.

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