How to switch off the airbag light on the dashboard after a crash

Many of us have been there: a moment of misjudgement, following by the slamming on of brakes and the terrifying crunch when you rear-end the car in front of you. In a minor collision, one of the worst parts is the inevitable, unnecessary deployment of the airbag.

It usually has little effect, but does create a headache when you suffer the indignity of a trip to the garage, not for the paint scratches on your car, but just to get the airbag back in.

Sometimes though, even once the mechanics have done their thing, that pesky airbag light stays on. Here we take a look at some of the common reasons for this fault, and how you can sort them.

Seatbelt sensors

The safety systems include the airbag and seatbelts, and the warning light you see may well read SRS, which stands for Supplemental Restraint System. Often this light will mean a problem with the sensors that determine whether the seatbelt is fastened or not. An impact, and the seatbelt being locked suddenly, could have been the cause of this. The best check for this is a visual one; make sure nothing is blocking the mechanism, and make sure it clicks into place.

Airbag sensors

If your fender bender wasn’t quite severe enough for the airbag to deploy in the first place, then it could be that the impact activated the sensors of the airbag, but it just wasn’t quite enough to force the airbag to deploy. If this is the case, it can mean a trip to the garage to have the sensors reset before you can be rid of that annoying light.


Another issue you might encounter is a damaged clock-spring, although this will mainly affect older vehicles. The clock-spring is an electrical connector that connects the steering to the airbag and the electrical systems. If there is a fault with the clock-spring, the airbag won’t deploy.

If your problem is related to the sensors or the clock-spring, you’ll need to get professional help in. When you have electronic issues, then look no further than Autotronics. We can remove the crash data and reset your airbag ECU with a professional and affordable service.

So, sort out that faulty light today, and start enjoying driving again!