You are driving your car on the way to work and suddenly a light called “SRS” appears on your instrument cluster.
What does it mean and is it dangerous to drive with it? Will my car stop or be damaged if I continue driving? How much will the repair cost?
There are many questions that come to mind when a light appears on your instrument cluster, but don’t worry. In this article, I will explain everything you need to know about this light and how it works.
What does the SRS light mean?
SRS stands for Supplemental Restraint System. In other words, it is a part of your airbag system. Some manufacturers use an airbag light and some use the SRS light. It is the same thing with different names. When your SRS light occurs, it means that you have an error stored in your airbag system and you need to fix it as soon as possible.
Your airbag system contains an airbag control unit, several crash sensors and several airbags. The crash sensors are located at the front and side of your car, although some cars have more crash sensors. When a sensor detects a collision, it sends a signal to your airbag control unit to trigger the airbags. When the airbag control unit receives this information, it sends a signal to your airbags, which are mounted in several places in your car. All this happens in a matter of milliseconds.
What are the possible causes of my SRS light?
There could be several possible causes for an SRS light. The easiest way to find out is to read the error code memory with a good OBD2 scanner. The cheapest OBD2 scanners only read the engine control unit. So to read the airbag system, you may have to spend a little more money on a good reader that is compatible with your car. You could also drive it to your mechanic’s garage, who will read it for a few dollars. The error codes in an SRS light are fairly accurate, and they often describe the problem well.
The most common causes of an SRS light are bad connections and plugs. The control units measure the airbags carefully and often monitor them between 2-5 ohms. When a bad connection occurs in a wiring connector, the resistance rises above 5 ohms and the SRS light comes on. You can often spray a little electrical cleaner into these connectors and then clear the error code memory.
An SRS light will not go out by itself after you have repaired the problem for safety reasons. You must clear the fault codes manually with an OBD2 scanner so that the SRS light will not illuminate after the repair. Always remove the battery connection when working with an SRS system.
- Faulty crash sensors
- Faulty airbags
- Faulty acceleration sensors
- Bad connections in wiring plugs
- Wiring damages
- Airbag control unit defective
A really common case is the connections under your front seats. The connectors of an airbag system are often yellow. If you move the seats forwards and backwards, the connectors move a little each time, and bad connections between the airbag control unit and the airbags/seatbelt airbags can occur and cause an error code. Normally you can spray some electrical cleaner into the connection and remove the fault codes and the fault should be corrected.
Is it safe to repair the airbag system myself?
As long as the SRS light is on and an error code is stored, the airbags will not be triggered by the control unit. The dangerous part is if you short-circuit something and apply power to the airbags, causing them to deploy. A common cause of this is when people measure the airbags with a multimeter. A multimeter emits microvolts and could cause an airbag to deploy. Always remove the battery connections and never measure the airbags with a multimeter when working with an SRS system.
When repairing an SRS system, always repair it according to the instructions in the repair manual and never use improper solutions. It can cause the airbags to deploy while driving, and you really wouldn’t want that, as it can cause you serious injury.
To remove the airbag light, you must remove the fault codes manually using an OBD2 scanner. Always keep a safe distance when removing the codes, as a faulty repair can cause the airbag to deploy when the codes are removed.
- An SRS light means that there is an error stored in your airbag system
- Your airbag system will not function if your SRS light is on and will not deploy in case of an accident.
- Always fix your airbag system as soon as possible.
- Always remove the battery connection and never use a multimeter to measure the airbags when you are working with your SRS system
- You have to remove the error codes after a repair to get the SRS light to turn off.
- A common reasons for the SRS light is a bad connection under your front seats
- Always repair your SRS system according to the repair manual and never make improper repairs, as it may cause your airbag to deploy.
If you have further questions about your SRS system, you can leave a comment below and I will answer your questions as soon as possible. If you have further questions about your car, you are welcome to ask them free of charge on our homepage.
If you want to find out about more dashboard signs, you can check out the article Dashboard Warning Lights.