According to surveys from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), front passenger airbags have saved over 50,000 lives since the late 1990s, while side airbags can cut your chance of death by up to 52%.
Those impressive numbers are more than enough to prove the importance of these inflatable cushions. That’s why you shouldn’t overlook your Hyundai airbag light.
It will flash when the system detects a problem with the seatbelts or airbags. Keep scrolling, and let me tell you what to do when the Hyundai airbag light stays on!
What Does The Hyundai Airbag Light Indicate?
If the Hyundai airbag light just blinks for a few seconds, it means the SRS system check is done, and no problem is detected.
But once it stays on, there is a problem in the side impact sensor, airbag control module, seat sensor, airbag battery, clock spring, or seat belt buckle.
You can see the Hyundai airbag light on the vehicle’s dashboard. It takes the form of a person’s side view as he sits on the seat. A large circle in front of the person represents the airbag.
The airbag light on Hyundai Sonata or any Hyundai model belongs to the supplemental restraint system (SRS).
Most people believe that the SRS only consists of several airbags, but it also includes seatbelts and crash sensors.
The most common triggers of the illuminated airbag light are the following:
Faulty Side Impact Sensor
The supplemental restraint system’s brain is the side impact sensor. These sensors send signals to the control module so it can determine when the airbag should inflate.
They also oversee other system components and ensure all of them remain in good shape.
Why is my airbag light staying on? If one of these sensors begins to deteriorate and malfunction, you will see the air bag light flashing on your Hyundai.
You should pay extra attention to this auto part if you were recently in a minor crash.
Even when none of the airbags were inflated, it is still best to have your side-impact sensors checked.
Damaged Airbag Control Module
Another reason the Hyundai Accent or Hyundai Elantra airbag light stays on is a faulty airbag module. It is around the front fascia, near the passenger seat.
As the name states, this component controls all the airbags’ operations. When something goes wrong with the airbag module, the first symptom you will notice is the red airbag light on dash.
Additionally, a problematic airbag control module will make the airbags unable to deploy. Unless you are caught in an accident, there is no way to recognize this symptom.
You wouldn’t want to find out this way, so don’t overlook any of the airbag light’s unusual behavior.
Passenger Seat Sensor / Occupancy Sensor Issues
Do you know that there is a sensor under the front passenger seat’s cushion? This special sensor can detect when someone sits on the rear.
Using the total seated weight condition, it determines whether the airbags should be deployed during an accident.
As helpful as it is, this auto part can sometimes cause trouble for your airbag light. The problem with every Hyundai model is that these airbag sensors are overly sensitive.
Even placing a big box on the passenger seat can trigger the sensors, and therefore, the airbag light comes on.
Fortunately, fixing this problem is quite simple: I remove the object from the seat or fasten the seatbelt. If the latter stops the light from flashing, the sensor is certainly the culprit.
Airbag Backup Battery Problems
If you have a dead car battery, the SRS backup battery might have been drained as well. As a result, the Hyundai airbag light will begin to flash until you recharge the battery.
In most cases, the air bag light will turn off by itself once the SRS battery is charged.
If it doesn’t, you will need to perform a Hyundai Elantra airbag light reset or a Hyundai Sonata airbag light reset.
This depends on which model of the car you own.
Damaged Airbag Clock Spring
Have you ever wondered how the electrical parts in your Hyundai’s steering wheel communicate with the vehicle? Well, it’s all thanks to the clock spring.
Also known as the spiral cable or spiral spring, this part sends signals from the steering wheels to the car’s control module and ensures several components function correctly.
It oversees the horn, the traction control system, the cruise control, and even the airbag system.
Because the clock spring plays a crucial role, you can quickly tell when it malfunctions. The most common symptom of a failing clock spring is an air bag light on the dashboard.
Aside from that, I also notice the traction control light flashing. Seeing these two lights together is a tell-tale sign your clock spring is in trouble.
Seat Belt Buckle Defective
Hyundai cars, especially newer models, include sensors that can tell when you have fastened your seat belts.
If the seat belts don’t buckle properly – even if they seem tight enough – the sensors will trigger the airbag light.
Having debris lodged in the belt buckles can make them unable to be fastened properly. Sometimes, the sensors themselves are at fault.
They might malfunction due to corrosion and fail to detect the connection.
There were some times I forgot to buckle my seatbelt, and I saw the same warning light. Don’t forget to buckle up – your seatbelt keeps you safe and secure.
How To Diagnose & Reset The Hyundai Airbag Warning Light?
To perform a Hyundai Elantra airbag light reset, you need a professional auto-scan tool. This applies to all Hyundai car models.
The scanner helps you read and identify trouble codes on your vehicle’s control module.
Now, let’s see how to reset the airbag light on your Hyundai with a scanner:
Reset Hyundai Airbag Light With A Scanner
The procedure consists of 5 steps and will take you approximately one hour. It is not much different from resetting the airbag light on Nissan.
Step 1: Locate The Passenger Airbag Switch
Whether you are performing a 2011 Hyundai Sonata airbag light reset or a 2012 Hyundai Sonata airbag light reset, every Hyundai car has one thing in common: The front passenger airbag switch.
Locating this button is the first thing to do if you want to turn off the airbag light. The light might stay on just because someone accidentally turned on the key.
This switch is on the passenger side, underneath the vehicle’s dashboard. You can see it if you enter the car through the passenger door.
Step 2: Use The Auto Scan Tool To Find The Faulty Codes
This step is critical: You need to find out what’s wrong with your airbag system before resetting the airbag light.
Otherwise, one or more airbags might fail to deploy in the event of a crash, posing a serious safety risk.
That’s why an auto scanner is necessary to detect the trouble codes. From there, you will know where to begin your troubleshooting.
Go through all the codes carefully, one by one – you wouldn’t want to miss any warning signs!
After you find out the source of the problem, let’s get to the next step.
Step 3: Repair The Problem
Now, it’s time to deal with the root of the problem. If the auto scanner detects faulty sensors, airbag control modules, or passenger seat sensors, you will need to repair or replace it.
Remember to unplug the battery before performing any auto repair. If you are unsure what to do, take your Hyundai to the auto repair shop.
The average cost of a sensor replacement falls between $362 and $380.
In most cases, the airbag warning light will turn off on its own after you have fixed the fault.
Step 4: Reset The Airbag Light
After you install the new auto parts, double-check to ensure they are installed right. Then, reset the airbag light. You still need the auto-scan tool for this job.
Use the tool to reset the light and ensure it has vanished from your dashboard. If the airbag issue comes back, review the codes to see if you still need to correct a faulty one.
Step 5: Double-check & Test Drive
When the airbag light has been turned off, use the ignition key to jumpstart the engine and do a test drive.
If the light doesn’t come back on, the problem has been dealt with. If it turns on again, recheck the codes and repeat the steps above.
Reset Hyundai Airbag Light Without A Scanner
In fact, it is possible to reset the airbag light without a scanner by restarting the vehicle altogether. However, this method only works if your airbag light stays on due to a minor glitch.
If there is a problem with your sensor or control module, the warning light won’t go away after restarting the ignition. In most cases, a professional auto-scanner is still required.
How Much Does Hyundai Airbag Light Reset Cost?
The cost depends on what makes your dashboard light malfunction and what Hyundai model you drive. It can range from $250 to about $600.
Is It OK To Drive With The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Airbag Light On?
Not recommended. When the airbag light comes on, there is a chance your airbags won’t deploy.
During a collision, they can be a life saver, so it is best to stop driving and have the airbag system checked as soon as possible.
Can You Bypass The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Airbag Light?
Yes, you may bypass an airbag light by simply connecting the resistor to the circuit. However, for safety concerns, paying attention to the airbag light’s warning signs is strongly recommended.
Now you know what the Hyundai airbag light is and how to handle the part when it malfunctions!
It could be as simple as not buckling up the seat belt or as complex as a mechanical failure.
Anyway, don’t overlook the safety importance when dealing with a vehicle’s airbag or SRS system.
If you don’t have the necessary tools and knowledge to fix these auto parts by yourself, talk to the mechanic and let them do the job to avoid potential issues.