What Does SRS mean in a Car?

SRS meaning in car is a supplemental restraint system. It is related to the airbag system of your car. If you are driving and experience SRS lights are on, it means the airbag system of your car is not working properly. It hints that your airbag system will not deploy during an accident. There are several types of airbags in a car requiring calibrated sensors to deploy during emergency conditions.

Sometimes SRS systems stop functioning properly due to several reasons. In case of any damage to the system, the SRS warning light turns on. You need to get this fixed as soon as possible because driving a car with a defective airbag system can result in serious injuries during accidents. However, you first need to know the reasons behind SRS.

Causes of SRS Lights Turning On:

Knowing the causes of any problem is the first step toward solving it. Only avoiding the reasons can avoid you from getting this problem in the future. The following are the key reasons behind the SRS light turning on.

Causes of SRS Lights Turning On
Photo by: Drew Stephens

Defective Seat Belt Latch

SRS lights are directly linked with seatbelts. They work properly when the belt is properly fastened. However, when its buckle gets defective, SRS lights will not work properly. Sometimes, when something is stuck between the buckle, it leads to turning on the lights. You can clean your seatbelt buckle with a compressed air sprayer to avoid this problem.

Seat Belt Latch

Passenger Seat Sensor Defect

All passenger seats have sensors to detect occupancy. These sensors also measure the weight of passengers as well. It is required so airbags can be prepared accordingly to protect every passenger. When this sensor is malfunctioning, it leads to SRS lights turning on.

Damaged SRS Computer

The SRS computer controls the vehicle symbol related to airbags. You all know every electric part of the car gets defective over time. The same happens in the case of SRS Computer. It can be damaged over time. Temperature, dust, vibrations, and water are some other factors that can lead to the failure of the SRS computer. As a result, it cannot control the light and it is turned on.


Corrosion can also be the reason behind SRS lights. It usually happens due to water or dampness in several parts of the vehicle. When corrosion starts in different parts of the SRS system, it can be a big problem. The airbag warning light will be on, making you feel that your air bad system isn’t functioning accurately.

Furthermore, this dampness can impact the sensors and SRS computer as well.

Defective airbag System

SRS in car means that the airbag system is not working properly. So, the light can turn on when your airbag system is not working. You can check this reason by activating the airbags. If they don’t protrude, it means they are not working properly.

Defective airbag System

Ways to Reset SRS Lights:

The following are some of the most effective ways to reset it.

Charge Your Car’s Battery

The SRS system has a backup battery. However, when your car’s main battery has low power, the backup battery drains the remaining power from it as well. A fully charged battery can reverse the SRS light problem and turn them off. So, recharging your car’s battery can turn off the airbag warning light.

Turning On and Off the Ignition

Another thing you can try is to quickly turn on and off the ignition switch. Firstly you need to turn on the ignition and wait for 3 to 4 seconds. After that, you have to turn it off. The SRS light may turn on and blink for at least 7 seconds. After that, it will turn off permanently unless your airbag system gets defective.

Test Drive

You can perform a test drive as well to reset the airbag light on the dash. Start your car and drive it for at least 3 to 5 minutes. Wait for the SRS light to turn off. If it doesn’t happen, then you need to focus on other factors as well. Checking wiring under the driving and passenger seats can help you reset the system. This wiring is directly linked to the sensors of passenger seats.

You can perform a test drive as well to reset the air bag light on the dash

Checking airbags

The next thing you can do is check the airbags. You can start your vehicle, drive it and check the switches used to manually activate the airbag system. Sometimes, when you activate the airbags, the supplemental restraint system lights turn off automatically.

checking airbags

Visit a Mechanic

If none of the aforementioned tips work for you, it simply means the airbag system of your car has been damaged. You cannot get it repaired by yourself. Therefore, you need to take it to a mechanic. Make sure you are getting the services from skilled persons. Experienced mechanics fix SRS light issues and gives you some vehicle maintenance tips as well to avoid this problem in the future.


What does SRS mean in a car?

The SRS system in a car is a supplementary restraint system. It is based on lights present on the dashboard of your vehicle and indicates if something is wrong with your airbag system.

What can cause the airbag light to come on?

Several reasons can lead to the SRS light turning on. The most common of them is corrosion and damage to several parts of the system.

How to fix the airbag light?

You have to reset the airbag light to fix it. Several methods can be tried to fix it. The most common is to turn on the ignition and then off immediately. A test drive and activating the airbags are also good options to fix the airbag light.

How much does it cost to replace airbags?

Replacing airbags can cost you around $1000 to $6000. The average cost is around $3000.

Bottom Line

SRS light indicates your airbag system is not functioning properly. Therefore, you must check for the reasons behind the SRS light turning on. If you find any damage to the airbag system, get it replaced immediately.

Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by Umar Tanveer

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