SRS Light: Why Is My Airbag Light On?

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srs light

There are various indicators on your vehicle’s dashboard, and although the majority of them are easily handled, others are frequently disregarded for an extended length of time. If you’ve never heard of the SRS light, it’s a little light on your dashboard that comes on when your car’s safety system is activated.

The SRS light is pretty important – and can be scary if you don’t know what it means. The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), often recognized as the airbag light, is integrally related to your car’s airbag system.

When the SRS light is on, it’s a clear indication that something is incorrect with it and that you must avoid driving with this light on. Most motorists, though, disregard this. In this article, we’ll explain what the SRS light is, and what to do if it comes on.

What Is The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)?

air bags

Aside from seat belts, the SRS Airbags are employed to provide additional security, and it’s also assumed a passive restraint system. In the case of a vehicular accident, such as a crash, the SRS will activate and deploy your airbag.

This system’s airbag adds assistance in preventing the driver and the passengers from smashing with or thru the car’s windshield. Each time you start your automobile, its airbag is tested. If your airbag system is functioning correctly, a light will illuminate and deactivate after a few seconds; otherwise, the light would stay illuminated.

However, if you may continue driving your car with the SRS light on, there’s a big possibility that your airbag will not deploy, and you risk significant injury in the case of an accident. As quickly as possible, have it repaired.

Although SRS airbags are considerably more costly than standard airbags, there’s nothing more significant than you and your passengers’ safety while traveling. As a result, it’s worthwhile to invest in a higher-quality airbag to keep you and your passengers safe and alive in case of a car crash.

What Does SRS Light ON Mean?

The inbuilt onboard software in your car will illuminate its SRS light whenever it senses that the system isn’t operating correctly or is operating above its designed capability. The SRS mechanism is used to launch airbags and fasten driver’s and passenger’s seat belts in the occurrence of a collision detected by the computer.

Based on your vehicle’s make and model, its system may also turn off its fuel pump and detach the battery to minimize the possibility of a fire. Whenever your SRS warning light illuminates, this effectively signifies that only a seat belt would be your sole line of defense in a crash.

Regardless of how cautious of a driver you are, there’s no way you can predict the driving patterns of other drivers. Aside from the possible hazard to your welfare and those of any occupants in the event of an accident, a deactivated SRS airbag system poses no instant risk. It’s not going to shut down your car and leave you stuck somewhere. However, you must never disregard your SRS light and expect it to disappear.

Since your SRS airbag system is designed to safeguard you in the event of an accident, you must spend the time and money necessary to find a reputable technician to address the problem your SRS issue. Complete diagnostics might take some time since the technician will conduct detailed inspections on your SRS device and its electrical components.

Reasons Why Your SRS Light Is On

Several factors might trigger your SRS light to illuminate. The most straightforward approach to check whether your SRS airbag system is malfunctioning is to utilize a diagnostic scanner device. The following are by far the most often seen reasons for an SRS light.

Seat Belt Latch Issues

The SRS is equipped with sophisticated sensors that detect whether or not your seat belts are tightened. A foreign object lodged within the seat belt buckle may cause a problem, illuminating your SRS warning light.

To resolve this problem, just inspect the inside of your seat belt latch for any foreign objects that are probably stuck and remove them. If required, you might have to reset the SRS system.

Faulty Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor

Your vehicle’s front passenger seat is equipped with a sensor that detects when someone is seated and their weight. This means the SRS system will also deploy the passenger airbag in case of a crash. However, it could activate your airbag light if the sensor is not functioning correctly.

Get a technician to inspect the seat sensor and the wire connections to resolve this problem. You might have to repair or replace any defective components and, if necessary, reset the SRS system.


If any water leakage penetrated your car’s interior, corrosion could have occurred in SRS-related parts. This would lead your airbag system to malfunction and your SRS warning light to illuminate.

Get an expert to inspect and replace all rusted system parts to resolve carefully. Your SRS system might have to be reset to ensure that all your SRS components are working correctly once again.

Failing Clock Spring

An airbag clock spring is an electrical connector located within your steering wheel. While you turn your steering wheel left and right, it keeps electrical contact between the SRS computer and your airbag.

Throughout time, this component could experience depreciation and eventually cease to function. If this occurs, the driver’s airbag won’t deploy as instructed by the system, and the airbag light would activate.

Usually, the SRS computer would record a code that validates this problem. Replace your clock spring and reset your SRS computer.

Dead SRS System Backup Battery

Your vehicle’s SRS computer is equipped with a backup battery to maintain data while the vehicle’s electricity is switched off. A weak or lifeless battery might enable the SRS backup battery can activate your SRS warning light.

Charge or replace the backup battery or your car’s battery. This allows the SRS backup battery to recharge if it’s not broken. Additionally, if necessary, reset the SRS computer.

Previous Accident

Suppose your vehicle has a history of being engaged in a collision that activated its crash sensors but didn’t deploy the airbags. In that case, this might cause confusion and damage to your airbag system and cause the SRS indicator light to illuminate.

Have your technician restore standard functionality to your SRS computer and its crash sensor to resolve this problem.

Faulty SRS Computer

Your vehicle’s electrical system, including your SRS computer, might fail. Numerous causes, such as temperature, oldness, vibrations, and wetness, could contribute to the failure of the SRS module and will indeed activate the SRS warning light.

Driving With An SRS Light On

Whenever your airbag light or SRS warning light illuminates, it shouldn’t be ignored. This doesn’t automatically indicate that your automobile is impossible to drive, but doing so is comparable to flirting with death.

An illuminated SRS light means that your car’s safety system feature isn’t operating optimally, and, in certain circumstances, it means that your airbags have been deactivated and won’t deploy in the occurrence of an accident.

Additionally, your insurance company might impose undesirable repercussions. Your vehicle’s black box recorder located within your SRS will show data that your air bag warning light was on and that you neglected to repair the system before being engaged in a crash.

This might be a reason for coverage denial.

What To Do When SRS Light Is On?

If your SRS light has been illuminated for an extended time, it must be addressed immediately. Here are some approaches you may do solve the problem.

  • Bring Your Car To A Technician

Bring your car to a skilled mechanic at a service center or local repair shop. The experts there can pinpoint and resolve the issue, guaranteeing that your vehicle is diagnosed correctly and is once again roadworthy.

  • DIY Using An OBD Scanner

If you possess any mechanical skill, you may use an OBD2 scanner to identify and remedy this problem. It’s a more cost-effective option than bringing your automobile to a repair facility.

The OBD2 scanner is a device you plug into your car’s OBD2 port. This is utilized to assess your vehicle’s computer system and generate a fault code to identify the specific nature of the issue.

You should obtain an OBD2 scanner capable of reading SRS codes and resetting its system. Various versions are available that are functional with 1996 mode cars up to today’s modern vehicles.

These devices may be either connected or wireless. Choose something that best meets your specifications, yet be sure it’s capable of reading SRS faults on your car’s make and model.

You can conduct a quick Google inquiry to ascertain the issue and its fix. Additionally, several of the most sophisticated scanners provide explanations and remedies.

Suppose your OBD2 scanner cannot recommend a solution to the issue; however, it can assist you in resolving the root cause, which would spare you dollars in the long run.

Cost Of Repairing The SRS Light

Since now that you understand what SRS light means, you’re probably asking how much it would cost to address this safety issue permanently. The initial tests might cost between $100 up to $200.

Additionally, the technician might take extra time to ascertain the depth of the problem. Once the technician has completed the diagnostic, the pricing of components will be considered.

Due to the complexity of SRS systems, there are usually some aftermarket components available. However, it’s suggested that you purchase directly from car manufacturers if possible. The cost of components varies considerably and may vary from $75 up to $1,000. Following are some examples.

  • The clock spring might cost anywhere from $75 up to $125.
  • A new crash sensor might cost between $75 up to $125.
  • A complete computer replacement may cost about $800 up to $1,000.
  • Seat belts might cost up to $300 each.

The total cost would also be determined by other criteria, including your car’s make and model, location, and technician or shop you choose. The reputation and dependability of the technician you choose should take precedence over financial considerations alone.


When the SRS light of your car is on, this indicates that your vehicle’s safety feature or airbag system has been deactivated. According to studies, airbags reportedly saved several lives in the aftermath of catastrophic vehicle disasters.

Therefore, you must not overlook their significance. It makes no difference how cautious you are; car accidents could happen to anyone at any moment. As a result, you shouldn’t take any risks and resolve this problem by visiting a technician or DIYing the issue using an OBD2 scanner.


What does the SRS airbag light mean?

The SRS airbag light signifies that a safety system malfunction has been spotted. This means one or more of your car airbags might fail to deploy in the occurrence of a collision. At the same time, it’s sometimes possible for the airbags to function normally, and with an SRS alert light, your airbag’s inability to roll out is a serious safety risk.

What would cause the SRS light to come on?

When your SRS light illuminates, you might have an issue with your airbags. This might be caused by a malfunctioning seat belt buckle, disconnected wire, or a malfunctioning Engine Control Unit (ECU), which is prompting your airbag indicator light to activate.

Why is the SRS Light important?

The SRS light is critical since it warns you that there’s a problem with your car’s safety feature: the airbag. This implies that if you get involved in a car collision, your airbags might not engage, which is very life-threatening.

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