Can You Pass Emissions With Airbag Lights On?

Can You Pass Emissions With Airbag Lights On?

The airbag system is, no doubt, an important safety component of a vehicle. Airbags are designed to provide inflatable cushioning – this protects the driver’s head and chest from sustaining a serious injury during auto crashes or collisions. After airbag deployment, the best thing you need is to replace the airbag and reprogram the airbag module.

The airbag light will come on if the airbag is not properly reset. Furthermore, before an airbag deployment, the light can also come on if the system is faulty. This brings us to this question; is it possible to pass an emissions test if the airbag light is on?

The airbag lights on a vehicle’s dashboard have nothing to do with passing or failing emissions tests. Safety inspections, however, differ from emissions tests. Airbag lights only matter during safety inspections, and in this case, drivers will fail the inspection if the airbag light is on.

Will airbag lights affect emissions? Can you pass emissions with your airbag light on? Can you reset the airbag warning light? Can you pass emissions without any airbags? These are the frequently asked questions that I’ll be providing answers to in the rest of this article. So, without further delays, let’s get straight down to business.

Will Airbag Lights Affect Emissions?

Can You Pass Emissions With Airbag Lights On?

In case you don’t know, emissions testing or smog checks are compulsory testings in many states in the US. It’s used to measure the level of pollutants in your vehicle. Speaking of pollutants, they are the harmful substances coming directly from your vehicle exhaust, such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, oxygen, and oxides of nitrogen.

In the US, emissions inspection started in California in 1966. The test was created to combat the issue of smog. Today, however, over 32 states in the country now require emission testing.

OBD Emissions Inspection

Furthermore, you need to understand that there are two different types of emissions testing. The first test is known as OBD emissions inspection, which stands for “On-Board Diagnostics.” 

Otherwise known as DSL test, an OBD emissions testing is the very first thing that you’ll do when going for emissions inspection. The purpose of the test is to check and measure the efficiency of your car’s engine control module (ECM).

In case you don’t know, the ECM is the component that monitors your vehicle’s exhaust system, as well as the catalytic converter, engine, transmission system, and fuel system. That said, the OBD emissions test is effective for checking and ensuring that your car’s engine control module is working at the correct standards.

Exhaust Gas Analysis

The second type of emissions test is known as exhaust gas analysis. This is the point where your vehicle’s exhaust will be checked to understand its level of pollutants.

This analysis involves placing an exhaust line gas analyzer into the tailpipe of your vehicle. Once that is achieved, the analyzer will perform its job by checking for your vehicle exhaust’s level of pollutants.

During the analysis, the analyzer will measure the level of exhaust gases, such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.

Your Car’s Airbag Light Will Not Affect Emissions: Here’s Why

The simple and direct answer to the question is no; your vehicle’s airbag light can never affect the emissions test. It’s pretty simple; the inspection only involves testing your vehicle’s engine control unit and the level of pollutants in the exhaust. This has nothing to do with whether or not you have a functioning airbag.

So, the bottom line is that the state of your vehicle’s airbag will not affect you during an emissions inspection.

Can You Pass Emissions With Your Airbag Light On?

Can You Pass Emissions With Airbag Lights On?

Normally, your vehicle’s airbag light is not supposed to turn on. If the light is on, then it means everything is not okay with your vehicle’s airbag.

Most times, if the airbag light is on, this could be a warning sign that your vehicle’s airbag system is faulty or has deployed. This is why you need to always inspect the airbag before going ahead to buy a vehicle.

Another factor that could make your airbag light remain on is if the steering wheel of your vehicle is removed and replaced without the airbag system reconnected. The simple explanation for this is that; as you remove the steering wheel, the electrical connection between the airbag sensors and the ECU will automatically be broken.

Electrical issues can also make your airbag lights remain on. In case you don’t know, airbag deployment is usually triggered by a crash sensor, which has a lot to do with the electrical system. If there are electrical issues in your car, it could affect your airbag system, making it misbehave.

The working conditions of your vehicle’s airbags have nothing to do with emissions inspection. As such, if the airbag light is on or off, you can always pass the emissions test, as long as your exhaust system and the engine control unit is in good working conditions.

Can You Reset The Airbag Warning Lights?

You can always reset the airbag warning lights of your vehicle without necessarily having to contact a mechanic. However, for you to do that, you need to first understand why the light is on and fix the issue.

After all the repairs have been performed, you can then proceed and reset the airbag warning lights. To do that; here are the simple steps that you can follow:

  • Start by turning the ignition to the “ON” position.
  • Next, the airbag light will automatically come on for about 7 seconds before going off. After shutting off, immediately turn the ignition to the “OFF” position and wait for three seconds.
  • Again, repeat the first two steps above. After that, turn on your car engine. This time, the airbag light should come on for 7 seconds, shut off, and reset itself.

Can You Pass Emissions With No Airbag

As you already know, airbags have nothing to do with emissions testing. As such, even if your vehicle doesn’t have an airbag, you can still pass the emissions test if your exhaust system and ECU are working properly.

Gui Hadlich

Hey there! I'm Gui. To be honest, I'm not really that interested in cars. But what I'm really, really not interest in is spending lots of money fixing my car up. Thankfully, I have a father-in-law who's obsessed with cars and a brother getting a PhD in internal combustion engines, so I get to learn about fixing cars. And with Fixing Engines, I hope to help you save a lot of money and take good care of your cars.

Recent Posts