Why the Airbag light is on and what to do about it

Today, cars can be equipped with different types of AirBags, including front (for the driver and passengers in frontal impact) and side airbags. Technologically, airbags are not an independent element of the complex, but only a part of the safety system in conjunction with the seat belt.

Working principle and design

Modern cars are equipped with a variety of electronic systems, responsible for the comfort and safety of driving. Some of them are active (directional stability, ABS, stabilization system), and other – passive. The second type includes airbags, which are triggered when the car collides with an obstacle and inflates with air to protect the driver and passengers from hitting hard parts inside the cabin.

The design of the airbags and the principle of their triggering look quite simple. Such a product includes a pyropatron with an airbag, a shock sensor and a control unit. As for the sensors, they are located around the perimeter of the car and are responsible for triggering a particular airbag. The front AirBag sensors are installed in the front, and the side sensors are installed in the car doors.

Receiving a signal from the control unit, the squib triggers a chemical reaction that causes the release of gas, which fills the airbag. The product itself has holes for rapid deflation to take the shape of the human body. Such a system is disposable, and if it has already been triggered, you will have to replace the squib.

Why does the Airbag light come on?

The ignition of the AirBag airbag light is not something exclusive to seasoned motorists. Such an error does not have any effect on important nodes and systems in the car, but it gives visual discomfort in the form of an annoying signal lamp on the dashboard. It also puts the functionality of the safety system under question.

It is important to note that the check of serviceability of the complex is performed by the ECU of the car each time the engine is started. If it is faulty, the warning light may blink 6 times and then goes out.

If the error does not disappear even in the course of repeated diagnostics, it will remain on until it is eliminated. At the same time, the activation of the indicator light not every time is an indication of a critical failure. Perhaps the cause of what is happening is a minor defect.

There are several reasons why the AirBag warning light may illuminate. To fix the error, you often have to change the bags and reset the electronic control unit to erase it from the on-board computer memory.

Often it happens due to the natural wear and tear of the airbags. If the car has been used for more than 10 years and has not had any accidents with airbags deployment, most likely, their expiration date has come to the end.

Sometimes illuminated airbag indicator indicates low voltage in onboard network due to discharged battery. In this case, the system is not able to conduct a full self-diagnosis, so you will encounter an error.

Also, you cannot rule out the blown fuses. If the fuse responsible for the airbag blows, it will cause the warning light to light up.

Sometimes the error lights up due to problems with wiring integrity, oxidation of contacts or broken wires, which makes further diagnostics impossible. Sometimes the system also responds to an unbuckled belt. Therefore, you may try snapping the belt.

If there is moisture in the locking shell of the seatbelt, this can put the sensor out of action. You should also check to see if the shock sensors are disconnected. In critical cases, you have to check the control unit. Malfunctions with this node are performed only by replacing it completely.

There are cases when the Airbag error lights up after repair work that affected the integrity of the above-mentioned components. For example, if the repair involved removing the door with disconnection of the wiring, the control unit may react to a breach of integrity. To fix the problem, make sure the wiring is securely connected and reset.

Also the error often appears when the steering column is replaced. If an unscrupulous technician performed the action, it can provoke the lamp to light up due to a violation of the integrity of the wires. You can get rid of the problem by re-disassembling the steering wheel and checking the wiring.

These are the most popular reasons that cause the airbag warning light to go off. At the same time, it can be problematic to find the problem on your own, and erroneous actions can jeopardize the effectiveness of such an important system.

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