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The service airbag light illuminates when a vehicle’s airbag system is experiencing problems. If there is an issue with the airbags, they might not be able to work properly or at all in the event of an accident. In that situation, the display of an airbag light is a significant problem. If left untreated, it can be a major problem. 

In this article, we’ll go over what airbags are, what causes the service airbag light to activate, and six major reasons why airbags fail.

What Is An Airbag?

An airbag is a driver safety thing that could save your life if you are driving and collided head-on with another automobile or a stationary object. Without the airbag, either the steering wheel or the dashboard will strike your head hard. 

If you crash with something at great speed, the vehicle decelerates, causing an accelerometer that triggers the airbag system. In the airbag system, an electric current activates a heating unit. This heat source triggers an eruption inside the airbag, resulting in the sudden release of harmless gas.

Many airbags use sodium azide as an explosive, and the gas emitted is either argon or nitrogen. This gas infuses the airbag, allowing it to stretch and protect the driver by taking up space on the steering wheel and the side. In the case of a crash, the airbag acts as a cushion.

What Might Turn On The Service Airbag Light?

In certain cars, the letters “SRS,” which stand for “supplemental restraint system,” will glow, and for others, an image of a driver with an airbag activated will appear. A written alert, such as “Airbag Off,” “Airbag Deactivated,” or clearly “Airbag Deactivated,” can be seen in certain vehicles. The service airbag light, in whatever form it exists, is representative of the vehicle’s interconnected safety system, which involves the seat belt and airbag systems.

When a car is started, the service airbag light and other dashboard lights will temporarily glow, allowing the device to self-test. However, if everything is running well, the lights will switch off after a few seconds. If it does stay on, something is seriously wrong. 

When the service airbag light turns on, it can sometimes be an easy repair. It’s possible that the light turned on by mistake and that what it needs is a quick restart. However, there are a variety of other causes that may cause the airbags to malfunction.

Major Reasons That May Cause The Airbags To Fail

We have picked out the six major reasons that can cause the airbags to fail. They are:

  • The Replacement Battery For The Airbag Has Also Been Drained

If the battery of your vehicle has just gone out, the airbag warning battery may also have died. It must be able to correct itself before the battery is entirely recharged, but, if not, a battery backup and a sensor reset must be recharged.

  • Might Have A Defect In The Sensors

Various parts in your vehicle are equipped with a variety of sensors. They interact directly with the computer network in the car, identifying and alerting the driver of any potential issues. Sensors can fail or be tripped unexpectedly, resulting in the airbag warning light turning on. It’s worth testing the sensors and resetting the battery if the service airbag light comes on.

  • Water Might Have Damaged The Airbag Control Module

If your car has been affected by water, the airbag control module is one portion that may have been affected. This portion is located under the driver’s and/or passenger’s seats. If this portion shorts out or corrodes, the airbag will not function correctly, and the airbag indicator light will illuminate. If this is the scenario, the airbag unit and sensors must be fixed as quickly as possible.

  • Might Be Due To The Damaged Airbag Clock Spring

The airbag clock spring ensures that your vehicle’s electrical wiring and your driver-side airbag stay linked. The rotary electrical link causes the steering wheel to rotate while holding the airbag, horn, and electrical device connected. As a result, if the clock spring fails, the airbag will not activate.

Each turn of the steering wheel allows the clock spring to turn in and out, so it’s logical that it wears out through time. Due to the extremely weak connection, future airbag failures may occur, allowing the service airbag light to illuminate. 

The clock spring would require an hour or two of labor, and although it is not an expensive repair, it is important that it must be taken care of soon. The cost of replacing a clockspring, including parts and labor will cost you hundreds of dollars, depending on the type of car you have.

  • Might Have Any Issue With The Seat Belt System Switch 

Another common source of airbag light activation is a small component, such as metal, intervening with the seat belt switch or the seat belt sensor. If this occurs, it can cause a false warning light to activate showing that there is a problem with the airbags. 

When the service airbag light turns on, the very first step you must do is double-check that nothing is messing with the seat belt switch. Even if the seat belt has been buckled, the device can fail to notice the link, resulting in the light turning on. This occurs often because people often place objects under the seat, causing harm to the wires inside.

  • Vehicle Has Been Involved In A Minor Collision

A less-common explanation for the airbag or SRS light to illuminate is that the car has been involved in a collision that triggered the vehicle’s impact sensors but did not cause the airbag to activate. The airbag would need to be completely reset in this case.

The aforementioned guide might help you out in getting an insight about airbags and whats causes them to disfunction. If you want to sell junk cars that are taking an extra spot in your garage, you can contact Acres Cash For Cars.