You’re cruising through the city and suddenly, a dashboard light turns on. You lean forward to check, you see the Airbag Light On. You must be thinking, “Did I get into an accident? Why is the Airbag Light On?”.
We’ve encountered a similar situation before. And to be honest, we were quite shocked. We didn’t know how or why it would turn on. We weren’t sure if it was even safe to drive. But don’t worry, it’s actually quite a common thing to see.
Safe to Drive with Airbag Light On?
Even though this issue might be common, driving with your Airbag Light On can lead to disastrous outcomes. But we understand why it’ll be so easy to just ignore. Like every other light on your dashboard, you’d probably be thinking that it’s no big deal.
But this is one indicator you should not ignore. Why? Simple. When you see the Airbag Light On, it usually means that there’s a problem with the seat belt system, the airbags or the computers and/or wiring. This can mean a million and one things. Maybe the airbag won’t deploy during an accident or maybe it’ll deploy unexpectedly.
We don’t want to imagine the consequences of having a faulty airbag!
Plus, that’s probably most (if not all) of the safety features/mechanisms in your car. Which means… you might be putting your life or your passenger’s lives at risk by ignoring it.
So, to answer if it’s safe to drive with your Airbag Light On – nope… please don’t.
There’s a whole lot of reasons why the airbag light is illuminated. Some are more common than others. And some are more serious than others.
With the Airbag Light On, the first thing you should do is check your seat belts. More often than not, it has something to do with your seat belt. For instance, there might be an issue with the seat belt switch. There could be a coin or something of that sort stuck in the seat belt switch. This might cause the ‘airbag light on’ situation.
Another common cause is a damaged clockspring, which tends to break in older cars. The clockspring is an electrical connector that allows the steering wheel to turn. The spring keeps a connection between the airbag, horn and the electrical system. With a faulty clockspring, the airbag won’t deploy.
Also, if you were in an accident before, this could be a reason why it’s illuminated. Being in an accident might have triggered the car’s crash sensors. Just enough to trigger the sensors but not enough to deploy the airbag. As such, the airbag must be reset.
These are the common reasons why your airbag light is on, but there are rarer causes. For example, when your car was involved in a flood which results in a corroded computer or wiring. This would then result in the airbag light on. It could also be some sort of water leak or just general water damage.
If you’re unsure what the cause is, we suggest heading down to the nearest workshop to get it diagnosed.
How To Fix?
You can fix the ‘Airbag Light On’ issue on your own. There are plenty of guides around the web like this and this. The steps are pretty straightforward and probably (PROBABLY) anyone can do it. But if you’re not sure what’s the cause of the issue, we think that you shouldn’t try fixing it on your own.
Just head down to your nearest workshop and the mechanics there will do all the work for you. Most of the time, if it’s not a problem with the airbag itself, the mechanics can fix it pretty quickly at a reasonable price.
However, if the problem is with the airbag itself, the mechanics will usually refer you back to the authorized dealers to get it fixed.
What about the other indicators?
You look at them every time you drive, but do you know what each indicator means and what should you do if it’s lit up? Yes? No?
If the answer is the latter, you should check out our comprehensive guide to on the symbols on your dashboard.