Is It Safe to Drive with the Airbag Light On?

by Joshua Thomas

Every driver needs to keep checking the dashboard while driving. The area contains valuable information concerning the status of your ride.

You can note the fuel level, driving speed, lights, and other important features. The dashboard is arguable the heartbeat of a vehicle.

So, is it safe to drive with the airbag light on? Maybe or maybe not. An airbag warning light usually means several things. The most crucial one is that the airbag won't deploy.

It would be best to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic for diagnosis. Failure of the airbag to deploy during a collision will put your life at risk.

Supplement restraint system (SRS) control the proper functioning of airbags in a vehicle. The safety system has sensors strategically located in your ride.

These sensors are responsible for detecting violent impact and instantly trigger the electrical charge to deploy the airbags. The airbags cushion the driver in case of a head-on collision.

All drivers need to be concerned when they spot the airbag warning light coming on and off. It would be best to consider fixing the issue as soon as possible.

Is It Safe to Drive with the Airbag Light On?
Is It Safe to Drive with the Airbag Light On?

Is It Illegal to Drive with Airbag Light On?

The airbag light comes on and off while driving means your safety is not 100%. Sometimes the airbag warning light implies that the airbags are disabled and won't deploy in case of an accident.

The supplement restraint system usually provides an additional safety cushion. It supplements the seatbelt and improves the protection of the occupant during a collision.

It would be best to investigate what can cause the airbag light to come on. The underlying cause will help you take the right course of action.

So, is it illegal to drive with an airbag light on? Absolutely. It is not safe to drive with your airbag warning light on. It is a clear indicator that the airbag system has a problem that needs instant fixing.

The most exciting thing is that you can sell your car with an airbag light on. But the used car dealer will have to determine the cause of the issue to avoid causing safety-related problems.

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What Can Cause the Airbag Light to Come On?

The airbag light comes on and off while driving due to several reasons. Below are some of the most common reasons:

Electronic System Failure

Driving your car in flooded areas increases the risk of water leakage into the computerized system. The system gets damage and loses the ability to read the airbags. It happens since the water corrodes the electronic system.

You should also note that vibration, heat, depreciation, and age would cause a computerized system failure. These factors make the airbags not deploy in case of an accident or collision.

Seatbelt Switch Interference

When the nickel gets stuck in the belt buckle, the airbag light will appear due to seatbelt switch interference. The good news is that the issue can be resolve without hiring a professional mechanic.

Airbag light appears since the interference trigger a false warning to the system. Always develop the habit of inspecting the cause before concluding.

Previous Accident

Minor collusion is not enough for triggering airbags to deploy. The impact might interfere with the crash sensor, and this might be the reason behind the airbag light coming on and off.

Keep in mind that the factor rarely happens. But it could be the possible reason behind the SRS light is on in your vehicle.

Faulty Airbag Clock Spring

A damaged airbag clock spring makes the thin circuit bands frayed and susceptible to falling. But these bands allow the steering wheel to perform its task well.

However, the steering vibration and shaking make the clock spring to break. It could be the reason behind the airbag failing to deploy and hence the appearance of light.

Drained Battery Backup

Battery backup is typically useful during an emergency like a collision. But the primary car battery is responsible for charging it.

The main battery is prone to get drained, and this might affect the SRS battery as well. A dead backup battery might switch on the SRS lights in your car.

It would be best to replace the battery with a new one. The airbag light will start functioning well.

Damaged Passenger Occupancy Sensor

A passenger occupancy sensor is connected to the adjustable seat with some wires. Frequent seat adjustment increases the risk of wear and tear. Sometimes, it causes wire disconnection.

Interference of the passenger occupancy sensor will result in an airbag warning light on your car dashboard. These wires creating a link between adjustable seat and passenger occupancy sensor are highly-sensitive.

Will My Airbag Light Disappear by Itself after Fixing the Problem?

Not really. The airbag control system needs to be troubleshot manually to erase the code causing the problem. It is the only way to make the airbag warning light disappear.

It would be best to consider using an OBD2 scanner. The instrument is suitable for erasing the trouble code without interfering with the SRS.

The scanner usually searches through the airbag system and identify the code. It is recommended to purchase an OBD2 scanner that is compatible with your ride.

Alternatively, consider hiring a professional mechanic to remove the trouble code. The good news is that deletion of the code usually takes less than one minute.

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In Conclusion

Should your airbag light be ignored? No. It is an indicator of a serious problem that might deny your safety when the need arises. Therefore, it is unsafe to drive with the airbag light on in your car.

Never gamble with your life when the safety net is not working. Improper functioning SAS system inhibits the deployment of the airbags when an accident occurs.

It would be best to take your ride to a professional mechanic for diagnosis and fixing of the problem. Keep in mind that the cost of fixing an airbag warning light usually varies from one garage to another.

Remember to use an OBD2 scanner to remove the trouble code. Failure to erase the code will make the airbag light come on and off while driving.

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About Joshua Thomas

Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.

He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.

His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.

Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.

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