The service airbag system is a mix of 7 components that work in tandem to ensure swift deployment of your airbag in a collision. One component checks the airbag every time you turn on the car, and it can send a service airbag message. What does this message mean?
Service airbag is a message or alert that appears in your driver information center when your airbag has a problem. Whether minor or major, you should try to resolve it as soon as possible. It is unsafe to drive without the protection of an airbag.
In this article, I will explore what causes a service airbag light to come on and what a service airbag message means. I have also discussed what you can do when the service airbag light comes and how much it costs to service an airbag.
What Can Cause the Service Airbag Light to Come On?
The service airbag is part of the safety system. It comes on when you turn on the ignition of your car, and it stays on while an airbag check goes on. If there is nothing wrong with your airbag system, it goes off (after 6-7 seconds)
When it remains on, it usually indicates an issue with the car’s airbags. Ordinary glitches can also cause it to come on and off. These are some reasons the airbag light comes on:
- The airbag module needs to be reset.
Not all collisions warrant airbag deployment. If such a collision occurs, the light will come on even if there is no other problem with the airbag system. You will need to reset the system at your mechanic’s garage.
2. Car battery depleted.
It isn’t unusual for your car battery to run down. When it happens, the backup batter picks up its workload until it is also depleted. The airbag system will report an issue since it also requires an electric charge to work. Charging the batteries resolves it.
3. Corroded sensors.
The airbag sensors can get corroded if they come in contact with water. This will also cause the lights to come on. The airbags cannot work if the sensors do not pick up reading on change in acceleration.
4. Faulty wiring.
Side airbags on the passenger side might develop some issues, causing the wires attached to them to become damaged or dislodged. This happens with adjusting the passenger seat forward and backward. If you notice a disconnection in the plug, send it to a garage for fixing. Trying to plug it yourself may set off the airbag
5. Defective seat belt
The seatbelt sensors tell you when you fasten and release your seat bel.t. If anything is wrong with these sensors, the airbag light comes on.
6. Old airbag clock spring.
This spring is a part of the airbag system, and it keeps the driver’s airbag connected to the wiring. Since it is located in the steering wheel, it turns every time you turn the wheel. Wear and tear over time can cause it to pack up. This is often seen in old cars.
What Does Service Airbag Mean?
This message tells you something is wrong with your airbag. Along with this message, your Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) light may be turned on. A service airbag message only tells you something is wrong; it doesn’t tell you what the problem is.
Your car needs to be scanned at a car shop to figure out the exact problem. The issues can arise from the wiring, seat belt retractor, airbags, sensors, etc. you need to treat this with urgency because if an accident happens, your airbags will not deploy properly, or they may not deploy.
What Do You Do When Service Airbag Light Comes On?
The ideal thing to do is to get a qualified mechanic to check your car. As you already know, there are different reasons why the light is on. Do not risk tampering with the airbag system on your own to figure things out.
If it deploys without cause, the resulting injuries are severe. Bruises, cuts, and even broken bones may result if you deploy an airbag with your body dangerously close to it. Before taking your car to the mechanic, you can try to reset the airbag light.
How to Reset an Airbag Light
- Insert your key into the ignition and turn it to the “on” position.
- The airbag light will come on and remain so for 6 to 7 seconds while the airbag system check happens.
- After it goes off, quickly switch off the ignition and wait for 3 to 4 seconds.
- Repeat steps 1 to 3 twice.
- Turn your ignition back on to complete the airbag light reset.
If the light is still on after this, then the problem may be bigger than a simple reset. You should get your car to your mechanic’s garage for a proper scan.
How Much Does It Cost to Service Airbag?
Some people drive with a service airbag message on display or with the airbag light turned on. This is extremely dangerous because any problem with the airbag system deprives you of a functional airbag in an accident.
Since you cannot drive to the mechanic, they will have to come to you. This counts as labor cost. The total cost depends on the model of your car, the number of components that need to be replaced, and the number of airbags involved.
Replacing the driver’s side airbags costs from $150 to $700, and the passenger’s airbag costs from $300 to $850. resetting an airbag module costs from $50 to $160. Including the other parts that have to be replaced, your total cost can read up to several thousand dollars.
In such situations, your insurance company might decide to write off the car instead of fixing it. The only time your airbag can be replaced without charge is if it is defective and your vehicle is part of a recall. Even with an expired warrant, any defect in the system will be replaced for free.