5 Causes Airbag Light On in Your Car

The airbag light is located on the dashboard. It is a warning light which corresponds with the functionality of your airbag system. As you may know, the airbag is what deploys out of your steering wheel and/or dashboard whenever your vehicle is involved in a head-on collision. The force of the bag is supposed to prevent the driver from getting too seriously injured in an accident. It is important that your airbag stays functional always because you’ll never know when it will be needed to save your life.

5 Causes Airbag Light On

Virtually all new vehicles are built with airbags of some kind. Sometimes the airbags are only available for the driver and front passenger while other vehicles have them available for the front and back passengers too. If the airbag light were to ever start illuminating on the dashboard, this could be an indication that your airbag system is having problems. You could easily ignore this problem by assuming that you’ll never be involved in a car crash. But it would be wiser to have a mechanic check out your airbag system to see what the problem is. It is better to be safe than sorry.

You might wonder what could have caused the airbag system to have problems in the first place. Below are the top 5 causes of the airbag light coming on which might help answer that question.

1. Minor Accident

The airbag system is comprised of sensors and a computer. The system will normally deploy your airbags if you crash your vehicle into something at a minimum of 8 miles per hour. However, there may be times when you crash into something as you’re driving less than 8 miles per hour. Perhaps you pull up too close to your garage door in the driveway or accidentally bump into your mailbox. Whatever the case, a small accident like this that seems insignificant could still trigger the computer to illuminate the airbag light. It might be confused and think the airbag already deployed even though it didn’t.

2. Damaged Components

Your airbag system uses crash sensors to detect a car crash. If these sensors were to get damaged in any way, it would cause them to stop working. The most common reason for them to get damaged would be water and corrosion. In any event, your airbag light will illuminate if these components are damaged.

3. Failure Front Air Bag Sensors

The air bag sensors in the front of the cabin are what detect collision impact when there is an accident. If these sensors were to fail, the airbag light will go on. You may not immediately know this light means bad front air bag sensors, but the mechanic will when they check over the vehicle.

4. Failure Airbag ECU

The airbag electronic control unit is responsible for deploying the airbag when there is an accident. There are separate crash sensors which send information about the impact to the airbag ECU. This information includes the type of collision and the seriousness of it. If the ECU determines that the crash is worthy of airbag deployment, then it will activate the airbags. If the ECU is malfunctioning, however, then the airbag light will come on.

Read also: 5 Causes of Car Engine Misfire

5. Failure Pretensioner Seatbelt

A pretensioner seatbelt is the type of seatbelt which automatically locks the belt down if there is an accident. That way, you won’t be able to get pushed forward by the intensity of the crash. This pretensioner is technically part of the airbag system. That is why if there is a malfunction in the pretensioner seatbelt, the airbag light will come on. All components of the airbag system must remain functional, even indirect ones like this.

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