Step-by-Step Guide: How To Reset Air Bag Module Step-by-Step Guide: How To Reset Air Bag Module

Step-by-Step Guide: How To Reset Air Bag Module


Welcome to our detailed guide on how to reset air bag module. If you are having challenges with the airbag light in your car or you wish to erase recorded crash data, this material is for you. It will guide you through every single step required so that you can confidently handle it.

Understanding the Airbag Module

The SRS module is also known as the airbag module and it is a critical part of a vehicle’s safety system. During an accident, it deploys airbags and tightens seat belts. Even after minor crashes, however, the crash data may still be retained in it leading to an illumination of your dashboard’s check engine light.

Common Issues with Airbag Modules

These include the storage of hard codes and soft codes due to accidents that result in continuous illumination of the airbag light. Some issues might come about from electrical faults or sensor malfunctions within the system.

The proper functioning of a vehicle’s safety systems depends on its airbag module. In case of an impact, this module obtains signals from various sensors that indicate whether they will deploy airbags and activate seat belt pre-tensioners.

The post-impact data saved by this unit sometimes includes “hard” or “soft” codes corresponding to event severity and conditions. Some examples of these scenarios where fault codes may arise include:

Hard Codes

These resulted from significant collisions in which the deployment of airbags took place. Resetting them requires professional intervention as they signify that the computer has performed its intended protective action and needs scrutiny or reset by a technician.

Soft Codes

They can be activated by minor mishaps such as bad contact between connectors or battery drainage) unlike their hard counterparts which mostly occur without any requirement for deployment.

Other common issues include

Due to impairment or electronic failures such malfunctioning occurs hence calling for one more reset attempt or maybe some replacement work done on them. Wrong signals can get to the airbag module as a result of defective wiring or circulatory in the vehicle.

how to reset air bag module
Source: Freepik

Over time, individual components of airbag systems may wear out resulting in false codes or other kinds of malfunction. Therefore, resetting your airbag module is necessary to clear these fault codes and turn off the airbag light.

This clears the software code so that it returns the system’s readiness in case there is another crash where it reliably works as designed by the manufacturer. However, one should approach dealing with SRS systems cautiously since mismanagement could lead to accidental deployment, hence harm or damage.

Leave Airbag Module Resets to Professionals for Safety

Geoff Cudd, the Owner of FindTheBestCarPrice, discusses the intricacies of airbag modules and scenarios where professional intervention is crucial:

“The proper functioning of airbag modules is paramount for overall vehicle safety. These components play a critical role in protecting passengers during a collision by reducing the risk of serious injuries.

While some car enthusiasts might consider a DIY reset of airbag modules, it’s essential to understand that this could compromise the vehicle’s safety systems.

Airbag modules are complex and require precise calibration to function correctly. In scenarios where the airbag has deployed due to a collision or if there’s an error in the system, professional intervention is necessary.

Technicians have the specialized tools and knowledge to ensure the airbags will perform as expected in the event of an accident. Attempting a DIY reset without comprehensive understanding and the right tools can lead to malfunctioning airbags, increasing the risk of injury during a crash.

For these reasons, it’s advisable to seek professional help when dealing with airbag module issues to ensure the safety of all vehicle occupants.”

Geoff Cudd
Geoff Cudd

How to Reset Your Airbag Module

Resetting an airbag module sounds daunting but following these directions will guide you through this process safely and efficiently.

Locating the Airbag Module Connector

The first step for resetting is finding where the airbag module connector is plugged in. Often located under a driver’s seat or passenger seat or center console in your car. Look up your owner’s manual for the exact location of your car.

Steps for Resetting the Airbag Module

Identifying the Connector

The SRS module’s location must be identified after which you can look for the right connector. Mostly, a yellow plug is attached to it.

Use a Jumper Wire or Paper Clip

By doing that, some of the terminals within the connector are bridged and hence reset by putting a jumper wire or paper clip. There should be great care taken in doing this only as described in your vehicle’s repair manual.

Holding Connection for Reset

In case you have used jumper wire or paper clip keep on holding for about 10 seconds to enable the module to reset. Remove the jumper after this and reassemble the connection.

Clearing Fault Codes on Your Airbag Module

After resetting your module, you will need to clear any stored fault codes. This ensures your airbag system is fully functioning without any light remaining illuminated.

Restart Your Car Using Ignition

For the codes to be cleared start your car and let it run for several minutes. The system will carry out a self-check and if everything is fine, then the airbag light must turn off.

Using an OBD2 Scanner for Identification Purposes

The most reliable way of reading off error codes and clearing them is through an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD2) scanner. Connect the scanner into your car’s OBD2 port following its instructions which will guide you through how you can clear off those codes.

Turn On The Passenger Airbag Switch

Some cars have a switch that allows turning ON/OFF of their passenger airbags. Ensure that this switch is in the ‘ON’ position unless there’s a child seat inside.

Ensure Seat Belt Functionality

Ensure all seat belts are functioning properly as they are part of SRS. When faulty seatbelts are again capable of triggering an airbag light too.

Inspect Sensors and Avoid Dashboard Clutter

David Bui, Director and Business Specialist – Automotive and Automation, Schmicko, suggests essential maintenance tips for your vehicle’s SRS System to ensure longevity and reliability:

“Maintaining the integrity of your vehicle’s SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) is crucial for ensuring the safety of all passengers. At Schmicko, we emphasize not only the proper maintenance of airbag modules but also several key practices to ensure the system’s longevity and reliability.

Regularly inspecting airbag sensors and ensuring they’re free of damage or obstruction is paramount. Avoid placing heavy objects on seats or dashboards that could interfere with sensor functionality.

Ensuring that your vehicle’s battery is disconnected during any SRS system repairs can prevent accidental deployment or damage to the system. 

A common mistake many vehicle owners make is ignoring or delaying dashboard warning lights related to the SRS. These warnings are early indicators of issues that could compromise the system’s performance and should be addressed immediately by a professional.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your vehicle’s safety features operate as intended, providing peace of mind on the road.”

David Bui - Featured
David Bui

Buckle Up Heavy Objects

It would not be wise to place heavy objects on passenger seats without buckling them because weight sensors could interpret that as an unrestrained passenger and make a fault code come up.

By following these steps, you should be able to reset your airbag module and clear any fault codes. If unsure, always consult your vehicle’s manual or seek professional guidance regarding the process. Drive safely!

Seek Professional Help for Safety

Craig Focht, Co-founder/CEO of All Pro Door Repair, discusses key safety considerations for resetting airbag modules:

“Before anything else, I want to emphasize that while some car owners might consider resetting the airbag module themselves, it’s usually best to get professional help.

Trained technicians have the necessary skills and equipment to execute the reset both accurately and safely.

When undertaking a reset, it’s critical to adhere to safety measures. Make sure your vehicle is on a flat surface and disconnect the battery to avoid any unintended airbag deployment. Mishandling airbag modules can lead to further complications.

For a DIY approach, start by focusing on safety. Turn off the car, remove the keys, and disconnect the battery. Allow at least 10 minutes for any remaining electrical charge to dissipate. This precaution helps prevent the airbag from deploying accidentally and keeps you safe during the reset.

Next, locate the airbag control module. Its position varies based on the vehicle model but is ‌found under the dashboard, near the center console, or behind the glove compartment. Check your car’s manual or consult a professional to find the module accurately.

Gently detach the wiring harnesses linked to the airbag module. Look over these connections for any damage or corrosion and make sure they are clean before reconnecting them securely to the module. Proper connections are vital for the module’s effective functioning.

After reattaching the battery (be mindful of the correct polarity), start your vehicle and observe the airbag warning light on the dashboard. A successful reset is indicated by the light turning on briefly and then switching off, showing that the airbag module is reset and operational.”

Craig Focht - Featured
Craig Focht

Final Airbag Module Maintenance Tips

Regularly check for wear or damage in your vehicle’s SRS system. Your car’s interior and airbag components should be kept clean and free from excessive dust which can interfere with their performance. Stay informed on recalls or software updates related to your automobile’s airbag system.

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

Last Updated on by Milan Maity


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