The airbag light goes on and off. Causes and solutions

Does your car’s airbag light go on and off? You have to know that if there is a problem with the car’s airbag system, it’s when the warning light should stay On.

You can see such actions of your vehicle, especially when you start it; the airbag warning light may blink or come a few seconds and then stop.

The airbag warning light is controlled by the car’s computer, which is responsible for monitoring all parts of the vehicle. The car’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) system monitors if there are faults with the car’s components, and the respective signals are sent after detection.

Causes of why the airbag goes on and off

Therefore, if your car’s airbag light goes on and off, the likely issues could be a faulty airbag system, the sensor may be malfunctioning, its wiring could be damaged or its signal may have issues; however, other problems can be subjective to the cause.

The most common issue associated with airbag light warning is when there has been a deployment with the airbag system. In this case, the computer system in the car will be unable to work on the airbag system, therefore initiating a reset via activating the airbag warning light.

Still, the airbag system may not be deployed or have issues, but the warning lights come on. In this case, sensors may be failing, or the computer system has errors.

Sensors that monitor or control the functionality of airbags may have worn out or developed faults. The connection of the computer system to the airbag system may have developed a fault but only connected to the sensor light signal. 

Other common issues that cause Airbag lights to come on and off include;

  • Issues with a seat belt; airbag light may come on if you may not have put on your safety seat belt. Again, you may have put on the seat belt, but the computer system has not detected it. This can happen if there is less snapping of the seat belt in the buckle.
  • Your car may have had a small collision with objects.
  • Moisture conditions causing corrosion on airbag’s system

Solutions to Airbag lights coming on and off

Every light signal that is set to show a hazard in you when it appears shouldn’t be taken carelessly. Airbag lights coming on and off is a common issue with cars and can be terrible to new car users, and this should be attended to immediately. You have to know that no minor fault or issue should be ignored as it may result in a greater one in the future.

However, you can’t cure what is unknown; if airbag lights are coming on and off indicating a problem, think of diagnosing the airbag system to detect precisely where the issue is coming from. With the common causes of airbag lights coming on, here are some solutions.

  • Reset the airbag system
  • If the sensors fail, work on them and remove the worn-out or faulty ones.
  • If there is corrosion in the airbag systems or parts, clean them out. 
  • If the issues result from the seat belt when not put on or the computer system doesn’t sense proper security, then do it to avoid the airbag light coming on.
  • Work on the car’s computer system and check if its connection with the airbag is correct. If you find some faults, make the system work as usual.

Can I drive with the airbag light that goes on and off?

Whenever the airbag light comes on and off, it is a sign of an issue with the system that needs an immediate fix. This, therefore, means that it is not safe to drive with an airbag light that goes on and off.

Once you spot that on your car, you shouldn’t drive any further as it can bring in serious problems. Because of your safety, you shouldn’t continue driving until the mechanic checks and fixes the problem.

Can a blown fuse cause the airbag light to come on and off?

A blown fuse can cause an airbag light to come on and off but only If the blown fuse is directly related to the airbag system. However, although this is the main cause of this light, other issues can make an airbag light come on unexpectedly.

The light can come on and off if the airbag system malfunctions, you interfere with the seat belt sensor, a broken clock spring, damaged wiring under the seat, wrong data details sent to the computer system, or the car was involved in an accident causing some damage to the sensor.

Can the airbag light reset itself after a while?

Once you start your car, its computer runs diagnostics to determine if your vehicle systems are defaulted or operating optimally. After the check, the computer will let you know your car’s condition by illuminating it.

However, it cannot reset itself once the airbag shows this light. This means that you have to fix the issue by taking your car to a mechanic to resolve it. You shouldn’t ignore the problem because it is not safe to drive with a faulty or illuminating airbag system. 

How much does it cost to fix the failing airbag sensor?

The airbag sensor is a crucial part of your airbag system for safety measures while driving your car, as it is responsible for ensuring the whole airbag system is ready to respond.

Even slight issues that tend to develop, the airbag sensor will detect, although sometimes it encounters problems. Wearing out or faulting is one of the common issues that result in its failure.

As the essential part of your car safety features, a failing airbag sensor should be replaced immediately. However, replacing a failed airbag sensor is costly.

The cost of fixing a failing airbag sensor will vary from place to place due to factors such as the type/material of the sensor, the car model, region, and the type of the mechanic.

So, how much does it cost to fix the failing airbag sensor? Starting with the costs of airbag sensors that range between $49 and $300, it will cost you between $100-$600 on average to replace the airbag sensor. This will include labor which costs between $50 and $300 and other costs.


However, working on airbag lights coming on and off without knowing the causes can be tricky if you are doing it yourself. The best idea, in this case, is to seek professionals like mechanics who will help diagnose the main cause and help reset the airbag system properly.

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