Airbag System

Understanding Your Car’s SRS Lights and Airbag System

Every vehicle with an airbag system has an SRS light. It is often found on the dashboard as a symbol of a seated person with an airbag in front of them. Usually, there are illuminated “SRS” letters found right next to this icon. While it is clear that these letters are linked to the airbag system, not everyone knows what they mean and how they work. 

If you want to have a better understanding of how your car functions, specifically this feature, this article is for you:

The SRS Light

SRS stands for Supplemental Restraint System. It refers to the entire system that controls your car’s security features, particularly the seatbelt restraint system and the airbag system. This feature falls under the category of passive safety mechanisms, which means that it does not need any action or trigger from the user to activate. 

The SRS is a vital feature of your car’s dashboard because it identifies the condition of the car’s airbag system. Since the airbags are sealed tightly on different parts of your vehicle, the SRS lights alert you if there is an issue within the system. It also alerts you when the system suddenly deactivates. 

Driving without a functioning SRS means that the airbags might not deploy in case of an accident and that seatbelts might not tighten in crucial scenarios. 

How It Works

SRS has an automatic detection system powered by the vehicle’s onboard computer. When you start your car, the whole system goes into a quick self-check, and all the icons on the dashboard will light up and then turn off on their own. When something is wrong with the SRS system, the light will stay on or start flashing as soon as you start driving.

SRS relies on triggers, such as brakes, the speed of the car, and pressure location from a collision, before it deploys further restraint mechanisms. All this information will travel to the airbag control unit, which will determine the location of the seatbelts and airbags to activate. 

The signal will first go to the seatbelts and immediately tighten them, ensuring that the driver and the passenger are in the right and secured position. Then, the signal will travel to the airbags. An electrical impulse will trigger a chemical reaction that will cause the inflation of the bags. Once the impact is absorbed entirely, the bags will automatically deflate. 

If the detection system recognizes an impact on the side of the car, the side airbags will inflate as well. Compared to other airbags, the side airbags last longer. They are designed to protect the people inside in case of a vehicle rollover. 

The whole process happens in a split second.


The SRS light indicates your car’s safety situation, particularly the airbag and seatbelt system. If you notice something wrong with any of the components, you need to have the whole system checked. If you want everyone inside your car protected, make sure to keep an eye on your supplemental restraint system.  

If your car needs an SRS airbag module reset, airbag replacement, or seat belt repair service, call us at Seat Belt Restore. We are America’s most preferred after-accident repair company, and we offer 24-hour turnaround times and lifetime warranties. 

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