driving with airbag light on

Automotive

Is It Illegal to Drive With an Airbag Light On? Is It Safe?

No matter what kind of car you drive, your safety is essential, and you should be doing everything you can to ensure your car’s safety features are in good condition. This includes paying attention to warning lights and addressing the issue before it becomes a dangerous problem. For example, the airbag light is one of the most pressing warning lights on your vehicle, and if it comes on, it is worth taking care of.

If your airbag light comes on, this means that the airbags will not be deployed in an accident. This can be a serious safety hazard, but knowing the legality of it and what could be causing it is just as important. Understanding the implications of this warning light can help you keep your car safe and protect you when you are out on the road.

Is it Illegal to Drive With an Airbag Light On?

For the most part, it is not illegal to drive your vehicle if the airbag light is on. While most municipalities have laws regarding the safety equipment that vehicles must have, this usually does not extend to whether or not they are working. This is because there could be various reasons why the warning light is on, and not all of them have to do with that specific safety equipment.

That being said, your vehicle most likely will not pass a state inspection if this light is on. Safety inspections check all the equipment, and any warning lights could trigger a failure for your vehicle. Before going in to have your vehicle inspected, it is a good idea to make sure all your warning lights are off.

Is it Safe to Drive With an Airbag Light On?

While it is not necessarily illegal to drive with your airbag light on, it is not safe. If you aren’t sure of the root cause of your airbag light being on, you should assume that it has to do with the actual deployment of your airbags. This can cause severe injury or even death in an accident, so it is always best to ensure your safety equipment is in good working order before you drive your vehicle.

What Causes an Airbag Light to Come On?

If your airbag light is on, you should first assume that there is an issue with the airbags. This is the most likely cause, but several other reasons this light could be triggered. If you can eliminate the equipment itself, knowing some other reasons your airbag light is on can help you get to the bottom of it and get it turned off.

The System Needs to Be Reset

Newer cars have a CPU unit that runs all the various electronic equipment on the vehicle. Now and then, the CPU will need to be reset, and if it is producing an error, it may turn your airbag light on. When this happens, you can disconnect the battery and see if the airbag light turns back on. If it doesn’t, this is a sign that the CPU was the problem.

 

Sensors Are Corroded

Your car’s airbags have several sensors that determine whether or not they need to be deployed. These sensors are responsible for detecting an accident, and if they are not in working order, they could turn the airbag light on. One of the most common reasons this might happen is that they have gotten water on them and have corroded. You will have to replace them when this happens, and your airbag light should turn off.

The Battery is Depleted

The battery in your vehicle runs all the electronic systems, and if it isn’t holding a charge, it can cause all kinds of problems. One of the issues that can arise with a depleted battery is triggered warning lights. Get your battery checked to make sure it is putting out the right amount of voltage. If it isn’t, replace the battery and see if the airbag warning light turns off.

Wiring is Dislodged

The wiring for your vehicle’s airbag sensors is incredibly sensitive since it has to pick up subtle movements. Now and then, it can get dislodged or disconnected after many years of use. If your airbag warning light comes on, check your wiring to see if it needs to be replaced or repaired.

The Seatbelt Sensor is Faulty

Your car’s seatbelt sensor is connected to the rest of the safety equipment, and if it is faulty, it could turn on your airbag warning light. Buckle and unbuckle your seatbelt a few times to see if it affects the airbag light. If it does, this is a sign that your seatbelt sensors may have become dislodged or have corroded to the point that they have to be replaced.

How to Turn Off an Airbag Light

When you repair the root cause of your airbag warning light, you will have to reset the system to turn it off. You can do this by disconnecting the negative terminal of your vehicle’s battery. Take the black cable off the battery and leave it off for at least five seconds. When you reconnect the cable, the warning light will be off. After reconnecting the cable, you should drive your vehicle at 55 miles per hour for at least five miles. This will give the car’s CPU time to run all the checks so you can be sure that your airbag warning light issue is fixed and won’t come back on.

Protect Your Vehicle With an Extended Warranty

No matter what is causing your airbag warning light to turn on, you should be sure to protect yourself and your vehicle. An extended warranty is one of the best ways to keep your car in good working order and will help you make any repairs that might come up.

Many extended warranties offer 24/7 roadside assistance in their coverage, so you can be sure that you won’t be stuck on the side of the road with a dead battery or a more serious issue with your engine. Getting the right warranty can make a big difference when it comes to your vehicle’s safety and your confidence when you are on the road. Explore our extended warranty provider reviews and buying guide to determine which extended warranty will work best for you and your vehicle.

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