Warning lights in cars/vehicles are there to alert drivers that something is wrong with their car. The idea is to tell you when something needs your attention.
If the airbag light in your car comes on, it is a clear indication that there is something wrong with the airbag system that needs to be fixed. Therefore, will disconnecting battery reset airbag light?
No, disconnecting the battery will not reset the airbag light neither will it make the light go away if the problem that caused the light to come on is not fixed. You need a scan tool to reset an SRS airbag light after the problem is fixed.
Will Disconnecting Battery Reset Airbag Light?
Disconnecting the battery will not reset an SRS airbag light. You need to make use of an appropriate scan tool to be able to reset an airbag light.
However, there are exceptions to this. For you to be able to use a scan tool to reset an airbag light, you need to ensure that the scan tool is equipped to do so, otherwise, you won’t see the option to reset the light.
Furthermore, you may be able to reset an airbag light by disconnecting the battery if the car brand and model you drive allows such settings.
For example, if you Use a KIA and the airbag lights goes away after the battery is disconnected, it means that KIA allows such settings.
I use Lexus IS350 and for the period of time I’ve heard my airbag light on the dashboard, I was not able to clear the light by disconnecting my battery.
Trust me when I say this; I’ve even disconnected the battery overnight thinking it will give the car’s system enough time to clear the code that caused the light but it didn’t.
Therefore, you need to figure out what caused the airbag light to come on, fix it and reset the car with a scan tool.
In some cases, if you disconnect the battery while fixing the airbag issue, the light may go off when you reconnect the battery and starts the car. Provided the problem is fixed.
In my case, I didn’t disconnect the battery when fixing mine. It was the driver side knee airbag that was having the issue. It was not properly connected or probably got loosened by itself.
After scanning the car, I disconnected the airbag from the switch and reconnected it bad. Start the car and the light went off without disconnecting the battery or resetting the code.
Therefore, sometimes, depending on the brand of your car and what the problem with your airbag is, you may not need to reset the car’s computer or disconnect the battery to clear the light. Once the problem is fixed, the light may go off on its own.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that resetting the airbag light with a scan tool when the problem that caused the light to come on is not fixed is a complete waste of time. This is because, after you complete a drive cycle, the light will come back again.
If you drive an older vehicle, you may be able to reset the airbag light by disconnecting the battery. Again, you need to fix the problem that caused the light, otherwise, the light will come back on.
Reasons Why Your Airbag Light is On?
What causes airbag light to come on are:
Loose Airbag Switch
If the airbag switch get too loose, it can trigger the light to come on. In this case, you just need to firmly reconnect the switch and the light will go away.
This was the problem I had with my Lexus IS350 airbag. After I unplugged and plugged the switch firmly, the light went off without resetting the system or disconnecting the battery.
Bad Airbag Clock Spring
The airbag clock spring functions to maintain stability between the airbag and the driver’s seat. When the circuit bands of the airbag clock spring get worn out, the driver’s seat sends a message to the airbag control module which turns on the airbag light. The airbag clock spring gets worn out if it has been in use for a long period
The supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbag system is designed to enhance the safety of a passenger along with the seat belt system.
The supplemental restraint system assists the seatbelt system and provides support for the passenger by deploying the airbags when the car crashes or when certain types of collisions occur.
So when the SRS isn’t functioning well, it won’t be able to deploy the airbags to ensure that the passengers and driver are kept safe as much as possible.
Airbag Module Exposure to Moisture
The airbag module is exposed to moisture or any amount of water body, this could result in the airbag module getting corroded.
When the airbag module gets shorted out or corroded, it immediately generates a trouble code and sends it to the supplemental restraint system which turns the airbag light in the vehicle on. It is usually located under the driver’s seat or the front passenger’s seat.
Seatbelt Pre-tensioners Malfunction
The supplemental restraint system includes seat belt pre-tensioners. When the vehicle is in a collision and the passengers are tilted forwards, the seatbelt pre-tensioners would engage and hold the passengers tightly to the seat.
This prevents them from sustaining any injury to the head as a result of hitting their head against the dashboard, steering wheel, or airbag. If there’s a problem with the seatbelt pre-tensioners it would trigger the airbag light to come on.
Bad Crash Sensors
If your car was involved in a crash recently and the airbags were not deployed, this could cause the SRS system to develop a problem because a crash sensor was set off and the airbags were not deployed.
The crash sensor detects a very fast decrease in the speed of the vehicle along with the seatbelt movement, so it sends a message to the SRS computer so it knows which airbag to deploy. When the crash sensor is faulty, it can trigger the SRS airbag light to come on.
If all the above listed isn’t the cause of the airbag light coming on, it could be a result of a fault in the wiring of the main computer system
Dead Airbag Backup Battery
The airbag has a backup battery that powers the airbags and this battery may have been completely used up if the battery of your car was drained completely in recent times. Once the battery charges fully again, the SRS airbag light would go off.
How to Reset Airbag Light
You can reset the airbag light by using a scan tool. Scan your car and read the codes. Once you get the error codes, clear them and the light should go away. It is important to note that not all scan tools can reset airbag light. You need a scan tool that is equipped to do so.
You can also reset an airbag light by turning on the airbag switch on your passenger side of the car. This is if your car have a passenger switch for airbags on the dashboard in front of the passenger. Check if the switch was turned off and turn it on because it can cause the airbag light to come on.
Disconnecting the battery will not reset the airbag light if the cause of the light is not fixed. You need to fix whatever caused the light to come on before attempting to make the reset otherwise, the light will come back after you drive for a short mile.