What does it mean?

Are you a driver who has ever seen the SRS Warning Light flash on the road? You might feel your heart sink at first because you know there is something wrong with your car.

Before you panic, it’s helpful to know what the SRS light is, what causes it to come on and what you can do to fix it.

Índice de Contenido
  1. What is the meaning of SRS Light?
  2. Why does the SRS light come on?
    1. 1. Seat Belt Latch Failure
    2. 2. Sensitivity to Passenger Occupancy Defective
    3. 3. Corrosion
    4. 4. Bad Clockspring
    5. 5. Back-up for the dead SRS computer battery
    6. 6. Previous Accident
    7. 7. Computer with Faulty SRS
  3. What is the best way to reset your SRS light?
  4. Are You able to Drive with the SRS Light on?
  5. Is it worth fixing the SRS light?

What is the meaning of SRS Light?

If the SRS light is on, it means that an issue with the airbag system has been identified. You will find the letters SRS on some cars, while other vehicles use a stick figure that has an airbag.

The origin of the SRS term? The manufacturers initially thought that airbags were meant to replace standard seat belts when they first appeared in cars. However, it didn’t take long for them to recognize that they were better used in conjunction with seat belts or as a supplement. That’s where the term supplement restraint system came from.

Understanding the components of the SRS system is essential to understand its operation. The modern airbag system is made up of a handful components.

  • Module or series of modules that contain an airbag, inflator assembly and the module for it. 
  • Multiple sensors for the airbag sensor: Vehicles have many sensors which measure what conditions are leading to an accident. The sensors transmit information to the SRS module, which then deploys the airbags when an accident happens. 
  • Clockspring - This cable allows you to rotate the wheel without breaking the contact between the battery and the airbag module.
  • Module SRS: The computer responsible for monitoring the airbag system.

Advanced airbag systems may include additional components. However, these basic pieces are standard parts in all modern vehicles. 

Why does the SRS light come on?

Airbag Light

Many parts can be the cause of an SRS warning light. An SRS scan tool will help you determine if there are any problems.

Below are the top causes of SRS lights:

1. Seat Belt Latch Failure

Sensors in the SRS monitor whether seat belts have been fastened. The SRS can detect if something is stuck in the buckle and could cause damage to the connection. 

You can repair it by cleaning out your seat belt buckle. If you don’t see anything, spray into the buckle with compressed air. 

2. Sensitivity to Passenger Occupancy Defective

The sensor detects if someone is in front of the SRS system. This sensor tells SRS that the person is present and also weighs them.

Passenger airbags will automatically protect adults seated in the seats. However, when the sensor doesn’t work right, it can cause the SRS light to come on.

3. Corrosion

Your vehicle can become corroded quickly from water damage. This can cause serious damage to the SRS component. This can not only cause the warning lights to flash, but can also disrupt the operation of the system.

This problem can only be fixed by inspecting all components thoroughly for any signs of corrosion. Any component that has been affected must be repaired. 

4. Bad Clockspring

Repair Airbag Clockspring

The steering wheel houses the electrical connector. This connector serves a primary function, keeping the SRS computer in communication even as the wheel rotates. 

This part is subject to a lot abuse. If it stops working, the driver’s side airbag might not deploy during an accident. A warning light with SRS will be lit to alert you of the problem. 

5. Back-up for the dead SRS computer battery

To keep the information it receives, the SRS computer requires a backup battery. The battery works even when it is turned off. 

The SRS light can go on if the battery has run out of power. Installing a replacement battery is the only solution. 

6. Previous Accident

The SRS indicator light could come on after an accident, even if your airbags have not deployed. Crash sensors trigger the system after a collision. 

If your airbags fail because of a malfunction, an error will be raised with the computer. If the SRS light is lit, it means that your computer has to be reset. 

7. Computer with Faulty SRS

Every electrical component eventually fails. SRS computers are no exception and can also fail. It can be destroyed by heat, vibration, water damage, and age.

The only way to fix the SRS light is to replace the dead computer. 

What is the best way to reset your SRS light?

It is not a good idea to just switch off the SRS lamp. This doesn’t fix any of the problems; it only stops the alert from occurring. Only after you've fixed any initial issues should you reset your SRS light. 

An OBDII scanner can be used to erase trouble codes or reset the light. This capability is not available on all scanners. Be sure to check that the scanner is capable of reading and erasing SRS codes prior to purchasing one.

Are You able to Drive with the SRS Light on?

The SRS indicator will continue to work on your vehicle. However, it’s not safe to drive with a malfunction in the airbag system.

It is best to visit the service station right away to determine what's wrong. A code scanner might allow you to view the DTCs by yourself.

Driving with your SRS on can also cause problems with insurance companies. If you get into an accident and the black box recorder is looked at, the insurance provider will know that you didn’t protect the occupants, leaving you liable for the damages.  

Is it worth fixing the SRS light?

SRS repair prices vary depending on what problem you have. You might only need compressed air to fix a simple problem like a loose seatbelt latch. You might also have a failing airbag assembly which can cost thousands. Only way to be certain is to scan the codes and receive an estimate.

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