Will Disconnecting My Battery Reset The Airbag Light?
Will Disconnecting the Battery Reset the Airbag Light?
If the airbag light on your car's dashboard is illuminated, you may wonder if a simple fix, like disconnecting the car's battery, will reset the system and turn off the light. In almost all cases, the answer is NO. A lit airbag light signals that one or more parts of the SRS system are in need of service. The range of SRS components on a modern car includes airbags and seat belt pretensioners, plus headrest actuators, hood actuators, and other SRS parts. In most cases, one or more of these SRS parts have deployed during a collision. Once they deploy, seatbelts, airbag modules, and other SRS parts need service after a collision. It's not enough to just replace the airbags. So disconnecting and reconnecting the battery does not reset the airbag light. Here's what to do instead.
Disconnecting the Battery
While disconnecting the car's battery may reset some of the vehicle's electronic systems, the trick does not work on airbag systems. This may temporarily turn off the airbag light. However, it's crucial to understand that if there is an underlying problem with the airbag system, the light will likely come back on as soon as the OBD-II system scans the vehicle and detects the issue again.
DIY or Professional Diagnosis with OBD-II
When the airbag light comes on, it's best to check your vehicle for DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes using an OBD-II Scanner. Most modern vehicles are equipped with an On-Board Diagnostics II (OBD-II) system. This system continuously monitors various aspects of your car's functionality, including the SRS airbag system. Once the problem is determined, they can provide the appropriate repairs to ensure your airbag system functions as it should. If you are a DIY enthusiast, most of the scanners available at auto parts stores can read your SRS system for DTC codes. A great example of an SRS-ready handheld scanner is the Innova 5310. As of this publish date, the Innova 5310 has a street price of around $130 and is available at most auto parts stores as well as Amazon. Just plug the reader into the OBDII port under your dash, turn on your car's ignition, and the scanner should automatically read and display trouble codes. There are also smartphone-friendly bluetooth code readers such as BlueDriver that are super compact yet powerful. It's the number one selling OBDII scan tool on Amazon. The price is only $99.
While it's a great idea to get your own OBDII code reader, you can also take your car to a collision repair shop or mechanic and have your car scanned for codes. Any qualified shop will have a capable code reader and can service your airbag system. You can also get your car scanned at an auto parts store, and then find a qualified repair shop.
Replacement Parts Can Be Expensive and Out-Of-Stock
Once you scan your car for SRS fault codes, it's time to have the affected components replaced, repaired, or reset. If the faulty part is an airbag, it needs to be replaced. They cannot be repaired. However, if the error code points to a faulty seatbelt, the unit can be removed and sent to MyAirbags for repair. The same is true for active headrests and roll-over bar actuators. While replacement units may be available for these items, they are likely to be expensive and are often on backorder. When it comes to seatbelts and actuators, there is a great alternative to replacement parts. Have your existing parts repaired and reset. You'll save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by having these parts repaired instead of buying replacements.
There is one more piece to the puzzle. Last but not least are airbag control modules. The unsung heroes of your airbag system, these small computers tell SRS parts to deploy in the event of an accident. Like the black box on an airplane, airbag modules also store crash data and monitor diagnostic functions. In fact, the airbag module lights up the airbag light when it identifies a system fault. After a collision, the airbag module needs to be reset. Like other SRS parts, the module can be replaced, but the new unit can be expensive and out of stock. A replacement unit will also incur additional costs since it will need to be coded to your vehicle. Resetting your existing module is an excellent alternative to buying a replacement unit.
In conclusion, if your airbag light is on, don't take any chances. Safety should never be compromised for the sake of convenience. Disconnecting the car's battery to clear an airbag light is wishful thinking. Scan your vehicle with a code reader or consult with a professional. The DTC codes displayed will help you determine what SRS parts are at fault. Get those parts serviced ASAP. MyAirbags can reset and repair your SRS parts in one working day and guarantee that they will function as originally designed. The MyAirbags team is here if you need us.