If your Air Bag Light comes on, we strongly suggest that you do not ignore it. With all the lights on your dash, it can be very tempting to ignore one, thinking that it is no big deal. However, the simple fact is that if your Air Bag Light comes on, and you ignore it, you could be playing Russian roulette with your life and the lives of your passengers. It might mean nothing much, or it could mean that in the event of an accident, your airbags are not going to deploy. With that in mind, here is what you need to know:
On your dash, you will see a light that either says Air Bag or SRS. SRS stands for “supplemental restraint system.” In some vehicles, you might also see an illustration of a person with an air bag deploying.
In some vehicles, you might see a warning saying, “air bag deactivated,” or, “air bag off.”
If your Air Bag Light is on, it could also indicate a problem with your seat belts.
Your Air Bag or SRS Light might also come on if your vehicle was in an accident that activated the crash sensors in your car, but not to the point where the air bag was deployed. If that is the case, then you need to have your air bag reset
Air bags may also fail to deploy if your car sustained serious water damage to the point where the sensors were corroded.
A qualified mechanic can diagnose problems with your air bags, and determine why your Air Bag Light is coming on.
So, to get to the point, is it safe to drive with your Air Bag Light on? Maybe. It could just be a problem in the sensor that causes the light to come on. Or, the problem could be that your air bags are not going to deploy if you should end up in a collision. It is your choice if you really want to take the chance?
At YourMechanic, we can diagnose why your Air Bag Light has come on. If it is a problem with a sensor, then we can replace the sensor. If your air bags need to be reset, we can do that for you as well. You should always assume that if your Air Bag Light has come on, your safety could be compromised, so get it checked out.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is It Safe to Drive With the Air Bag Light On? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.