5 Possible Causes for a Flashing Airbag Light and How to Fix Them

The illuminated airbag light in your vehicle is a clear indicator that there’s an issue with your safety system. You should take it seriously and get to a shop right away.

Your airbags can save you or your passengers from serious injury in an accident. Here are a few possible reasons why your airbag light might be flashing.

Depleted Battery

If the airbag light was flashing, it indicates a problem with your car’s safety system. Driving your vehicle is unsafe when this signal is active, so you should visit a mechanic as soon as possible to get it fixed. The underlying problem may be something as simple as a corroded terminal on the backup battery or as severe as a defective clock spring inside your airbag control module.

Your vehicle has many sensors connected to various parts and components that directly link to the car’s computer system to detect and alert you of any problems. Unfortunately, these sensors are not immune to failure or getting tripped accidentally, which causes the airbag warning light to illuminate.

One of the easiest ways to fix this problem is by fully charging your battery and resetting your sensors. If this doesn’t work, you may need to remove a soft-code error from the airbag control module with a scan tool. Alternatively, you can always go to a professional mechanic who quickly and permanently solves the issue.

Damaged Control Module

Your airbag light may turn on if the control module malfunctions. It is a serious problem because your SRS system will be inactive, so you’ll leave yourself unprotected should you get into an accident.

A damaged module can be caused by water damage, corrosion, or an electrical short circuit. It will immediately trigger a warning light and likely cause the airbag to fail to deploy in an accident.

Corrosion is a common problem with airbag modules because the module is located under your car seat. The module is also exposed to heat from the sun and other sources. Heat is unsuitable for electronics and can quickly damage the module.

A faulty clock spring is another reason your airbag light may be flashing. The clock spring maintains continuity between the driver-side airbag and the car’s electrical wiring. Over time, the clock spring’s thin circuit bands can wear down and become brittle, which will cause the airbag to report a soft-code error to the airbag control module. Replacing the clock spring is one of the best ways to fix this issue.

Damaged Sensors

Your car’s airbag system relies on many sensors to operate correctly. If one or more of them are damaged, your airbag light will flash to tell you something is wrong.

A broken clock spring, a dead backup battery inside your airbag control module, or a corroded terminal can all cause this issue. Having any of these problems can prevent your airbags from deploying in the event of an accident, which is a dangerous proposition for you and your passengers.

A faulty sensor determining whether your seat belt is fastened could also trigger this issue. For example, if you’re seated on the passenger side with a box or heavy object, it can interfere with this sensor and cause your airbag to not activate in an accident. Fortunately, this problem is easier to diagnose and fix than you might think. Unplugging your battery and spraying its terminals with an electrical cleaner will reset this sensor. However, if the light doesn’t turn off, you should take your vehicle to a professional auto shop for more extensive testing.

Worn-Out Spring

A car’s airbags protect you and your passengers in an accident. If they don’t deploy as intended, it can be perilous. Diagnosing and fixing your airbag light as soon as possible is crucial.

If the airbag light is flashing, there’s a problem with the system. It could be anything from a minor electrical glitch to a large-scale component failure. The good news is that most of these problems can be fixed without replacing the entire SRS system.

Your car’s clock spring is a vital part of the SRS system. It maintains continuity between the srs computer and the driver’s airbag as you turn your steering wheel. Over time, it can naturally wear out and cause a poor sensor connection.

If the clock spring is worn out, your airbag light will likely start to flash. The best solution is to replace the old clock spring and reset the SRS computer. It should fix the airbag light. However, if the backup battery is drained, you may need to recharge it.

Damaged Seat Belt

The seat belts in your vehicle are designed to keep you secure in a crash, but they can only do this if the webbing and buckles are in good condition. Damaged buckles and webbing will not protect you in a car accident, increasing the risk of spinal cord injury or death.

A damaged seat belt can also prevent your airbag from deploying in an accident, meaning you will be unprotected. If you notice cracks in your seat belt buckle or webbing or it looks worn out, replace it immediately.

If you’re unsure what’s causing your airbag light to stay on, an expert can diagnose and fix the problem. Sometimes, it will be as simple as swapping out a malfunctioning part or resetting the computer system. In other cases, the problem may be much more severe and need a professional diagnosis. An experienced product liability attorney can help you determine if your airbag light is on because of a defective component in your car and file a lawsuit against the car manufacturer.


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