Your airbag light is on? It’s flashing and it didn’t turn off long after starting your car? Take time to diagnose the code and find a solution. Learn codes and see how to fix it yourself. Watch video and find out what are the most common problems including seat belts. 

“Air bag deactivated”or “Air bag off”!

Some problems with airbag light, if you understand them correctly, are easily to manage

The airbags are part of the supplemental restraint system (SRS), which also includes your seat belts. As you already know, SRS system protect you in the event of a major frontal impact (and even in side impacts, on newer cars).

The SRS warning light on the dashboard usually looks like a side view of a person sitting in a seat with a seat belt on, with a large circle (the airbag) in front of the person. It will normally light up briefly each time you start your car and then goes off.  If it stays ON while you drive, or comes ON while you’re driving, it indicates a problem with your airbags or some other part of the SRS.

If safety system isn’t working at 100%, in some cases, it could mean that your airbags are disabled and will not deploy in an accident.

Airbag light on troubleshooting

Because your SRS is a complex system some problems may be obvious, while others may be hard to track down. Since you’re dealing with a key safety system here, they are best left to an experienced mechanic. However, it doesn’t harm you to know where the problem started.

Most cars today can do an airbag diagnostic test. The SRS computer can produce a trouble code that can be helpful in the diagnosis of the problem. If the system detects any problems, it sends you a trouble code signal through the airbag indicator by flashing the light several times. This way you can see the number of specific problem the test has detected.

You may also want to check for any airbag or SRS-related recall notices on your car.

SRS system airbag and seat belt

Airbag light on trouble codes

It is important that you familiarize yourself with trouble codes so you get the appropriate airbag repair services. The airbag codes are double digit numbers. To read the codes, count the number of times the light flashes, wait for the pause and count the flashes again. For example, two flashes, a pause and four flashes mean that your airbag system’s problem is a code 24.

These are some of the most common codes and problems:

  • 12  – Battery voltage low
  • 13 – Airbag circuit is shorted or grounded
  • 14 – Short or ground is on the primary crash sensor circuit
  • 15 – Driver side air bag circuit shorted
  • 16 – Passenger side air bag circuit shorted
  • 19 – Restraint control module (RCM) memory full
  • 21 – Airbag  is mounted improperly
  • 22 – Safing sensor output is shorted to battery voltage
  • 23 – Safing sensor input feed or return circuit is open
  • 24 – Restraint control module (RCM) internal fault
  • 25 – Passenger air bag deactivation (PAD) switch fault             
  • 27 – Passenger air bag deactivation (PAD) warning lamp inoperative
  • 29 – Incorrect Vehicle Identification Code
  • 32 – Driver air bag circuit resistance high
  • 33 – Passenger air bag circuit resistance high                             
  • 34 – Driver air bag circuit resistance low
  • 35 – Passenger air bag circuit resistance low
  • 42 – Front impact sensor
  • 46 – Drivers side seat-belt pretensioner circuit                           
  • 47 – Passenger side seat-belt pretensioner circuit

Check it with user manual  because codes can differ for some models.


How to fix  Code 46 – Driver side seat-belt tensioner circuit

When you start your car light flashed take time to read the code. It will show code for about five times and then it won’t appear again and will stay on. Code 46 it means your driver side seatbelt pretensioner circuit is broken.

If you move seat often or there are foreign object under it, this can cause connector to get loose. All you have to do is disconnect it and spray with WD-40 in it.  In video from YouTube channel “CrisFix” you can see how Chris do it and learn how to recognize airbag light on problem.