What Does SRS Light Mean?
The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), also called the airbag system, is designed to deploy airbags that protect the driver and passengers in sudden accidents.
The SRS warning light usually looks like a person sitting in a seat with a seat belt on. In some cars, the letters “SRS” may come up as well.
When you turn the ignition on, the SRS conducts a self-test, triggering the SRS warning light to illuminate for about 6 seconds. Then, it automatically goes off.
However, if the SRS warning light stays on or blinks while driving, it indicates the SRS is malfunctioning. At that time, this safety system has been disabled or the airbags will not deploy during a collision.
Is It Safe to Drive When the SRS Light Stays on?
No. Actually, you can continue driving but have your car inspected and repaired as soon as possible. Driving with a disabled SRS system can put yourself and your passengers in danger. Because an accident can suddenly occur regardless of how carefully you drive and the safety system cannot be working as it should.
A fun fact you should note is that inside the SRS is a “black box” recording details of the accident. And insurance companies might not cover medical bills if they detected the SRS light was triggered in the accident. Then, knowing the causes and fixes helps you avoid troubles with insurance companies.
Why Is My SRS Light On?
In fact, the SRS is quite complex so to diagnose what triggers the light, you need a scan tool (I will show this in the next part). But based on 15-year experience in diagnostic and repair service for Honda, Mercedes, Toyota, etc., here are the common reasons why the SRS light stays on and how to fix it.
How to Reset the SRS Light
Step 1: Test the battery
First, measure the voltage of the battery. The standard voltage is from 11 V to 14 V.
The low voltage can cause all kinds of problems and result in an incorrect diagnosis.
So, recharge or replace the battery if it’s low. If not, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Use a scan tool to read the trouble codes
You can read the trouble codes by using an SRS OBD2 scanner.
Having a scan tool can prevent diagnostic costs because you can easily determine the exact cause of the issue.
So, how to use an OBD2 scanner to diagnose the SRS light? Following these steps:
- Connect the scanner to the car’s OBD port.
- Turn the ignition on.
- Select the “Read Codes” function on the scanner to search for the codes.
- Figure out what the code means.
To know exactly the cause of the issues, use the DTC Look-up Library of the scan tool or go to OBD2 Code Lookup Tool. You will find the Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, and How to fix the codes you have.
I have tested on many cars in the US, including model years like the 2000 Honda Accord, 2012 Mercedes Benz C250, 2001 Acura CL, etc., and found that the following trouble codes are often triggered when the SRS light is on:
- B0028 – Right Side Airbag Deployment Control
- B2436 – Passengers Seat Belt Buckle Switch Circuit Open
- B1013 – Occupant Classification System Calibration Fault
- B2290 – Occupant Classification System Status, Front Passenger Side
Step 3: Repair the broken or malfunctioning parts based on the codes
Let a professional repair or replace the airbag’s parts if you are not sure how to do it.
Step 4: Clear the trouble codes
Select the “Erase” function on the scanner.
After clearing the trouble codes, restart your car and drive for 50-100 miles. Eventually, the SRS light is gone and you solve the problem!
If the SRS light comes on, it’s important to take immediate action to address the issue to ensure the safety of you and your passengers.
Buying a scan tool in case you want to identify the cause and reset the SRS light.
Here’s my in-depth review on the Best SRS OBD2 Scanners. Read on and find the best suit for your vehicle.