Are you fed up with the GMC airbag light or service airbag being constantly on? It is important to take swift action when you observe the illuminated airbag warning on your GMC vehicle dashboard. Don’t ignore the issue if you want to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers. This article will discuss the symptoms and causes of airbag light to stay on and how to troubleshoot and fix the problem. By following this article, we can help you restore your airbag system’s functionality and ensure your safety on the road.
What does the airbag / SRS light mean on a GMC?
The Airbag System or Self Restraint System (SRS) is a safety feature on every vehicle. The warning light means there’s a problem with the airbag system, which disables the airbags from deploying in the event of a car crash. It can be caused by a faulty clock spring, worn or torn wiring, faulty airbag control module deployed airbag, and many more, which will be discussed below. You must not disregard the airbag warning light and instead get it fixed promptly. Ignoring this crucial warning could result in severe injuries to both you and your passengers in the event of an accident.
Can You Drive Your GMC with Airbag Light On?
Driving a GMC with the airbag light on is unsafe and not recommended. Because If the airbag system is not functioning properly, the airbags may not deploy correctly or at all, leading to the risk of serious injuries or even death to vehicle occupants. It is better to fix the problem as soon as possible before driving the vehicle again. The airbag warning light may not affect how your vehicles runs but will save you from serious injuries in the event of an accident.
When the airbag light is on in a GMC, it’s an indication that there is a fault in the airbag system. Some of the symptoms that may accompany the airbag light being on include:
- Airbag Light Illuminated: It indicates a problem with the airbag system.
- Airbag Light Flashing Intermittently: It indicates that the system detects a fault code or airbag module is not programmed.
- Horn or Cruise Control not Working: Faulty Clock Spring can cause the airbag light to illuminate and the horn/cruise control to not work.
- The airbag Won’t Deploy or Will Deploy Randomly.
- The passenger airbag may not activate or may deactivate when a passenger is present.
- Dashboard warning lights may flicker, indicating a problem with the vehicle’s electrical system.
- The GMC’s diagnostic system may store a specific diagnostic trouble code (DTC) related to the airbag system.
The most common problem with why the airbag light stays on in GMC vehicles is the failure of the passenger occupancy weight sensor mounted on the front passenger seat, with the most common problem being the clock spring’s failure, which interrupts communication to the driver’s airbag. To find out exactly what is triggering the airbag light on your GMC truck or SUV, use the YOUCANIC full system scanner to read the fault codes from the airbag module. Let’s look at what can cause the airbag light to stay on in GMV vehicles.
Faulty/Defective Crash or Impact Sensors
Crash/impact sensors are the ones that signal the airbag control module to deploy airbags when a collision happens. Once these sensors malfunction, the airbag warning light will come on. The sensor and wiring wear out over time due to heat, age, and corrosion caused by moisture. Also, when replacing the front ends of the vehicle, sometimes the wires get bent or pinched, causing the wires to break. To troubleshoot the sensors, use an airbag scanner to point out what sensor needs to be replaced, and before replacing the sensor, we recommend inspecting the connectors and wirings.
Faulty Airbag Control Module
The Airbag Control Module is the system’s most important component because it controls the airbags and is connected to the sensors. The airbag module is the one that controls the airbags whether to deploy or not to deploy in an event of a collision. If the module malfunctions, the airbag light will illuminate. Some possible causes why airbag module fails is because of damaged wiring, water damage, and not being installed properly.
The airbag module needs to be reset when the airbags have been deployed, and if major issues occur on the module, resetting it is not a solution, and it should be replaced with a new one. You’ll need a scanner that can run through the airbag system to diagnose a faulty airbag module and an airbag module expert to guide you if you need to reset or replace the module.
Faulty Clock Spring
The clock spring is a rotating electrical connector that connects the airbag system’s wiring harness to the steering wheel, allowing the steering wheel to turn while maintaining a connection to the system. If the clock spring is faulty, it may cause an interruption in the connection between the steering wheel airbag and the airbag control module, leading to the airbag / SRS Light being illuminated. A faulty clock spring could also result in the airbag system’s horn, cruise control, or other steering wheel-mounted controls malfunctioning. To check if the clock spring is already bad, you can use a multimeter to check the connectors to see if there’s still voltage passing on the system. We recommend disconnecting the negative battery first and pressing the horn a few times before working on your vehicle’s airbag. This process will drain stored voltage on the airbag system, preventing the airbags from deploying randomly when working on them. Never probe the airbags or airbag wires themselves with a multimeter.
Weak or Dead Battery
The airbag system’s components require a stable and adequate power supply above 11 volts to function correctly, and a weak or dead battery can lead to the system malfunctioning. A weak or dead battery can cause the airbag control module to lose power and reset, leading to the airbag / SRS Light staying on. The diagnostic system will store a specific diagnostic trouble code (DTC) related to the battery issue, which can be retrieved using a diagnostic tool, or you can also check the battery using a voltmeter. A weak battery can also cause other dashboard warning lights to come on.
Occupancy Passenger Sensor
The occupancy passenger sensor is responsible for detecting whether a passenger is present in the front passenger seat and, if so, whether the passenger is an adult or a child. Based on this information, the airbag control module determines whether to deploy the passenger airbag and, if so, with what level of force. If the occupancy passenger sensor is faulty, it may not detect a passenger or may detect an incorrect type of passenger, leading to the airbag / SRS light being on. This could indicate that the system cannot function properly, and the airbags may not deploy or deploy with incorrect force in the event of an accident. The diagnostic system will store a specific diagnostic trouble code (DTC) related to the faulty sensor, which can be retrieved using an airbag diagnostic tool.
Deployed Seat Belt Pre-tensioner
The seat belt pre-tensioner is a component of the airbag system that tightens the seat belt during a collision, reducing the occupant’s forward movement and minimizing the risk of injury. If the seat belt pre-tensioner has deployed, it may cause the Airbag / SRS Light to stay on. This could indicate that the system cannot function properly, and the airbags may not deploy or deploy with incorrect force in the event of an accident. The diagnostic system will store a specific diagnostic trouble code (DTC) related to the deployed pre-tensioner, which can be retrieved using a diagnostic tool.
The airbag is a critical safety component designed to protect vehicle occupants in the event of a collision. If the airbag has deployed, it may cause the Airbag / SRS Light to stay on. A blown airbag typically occurs after a collision, indicating that the airbag has performed its intended function. Once an airbag has deployed, it needs to be replaced as it can no longer offer any protection in the event of a subsequent collision. The diagnostic system will store a specific diagnostic trouble code (DTC) related to the blown airbag, which can be retrieved using a diagnostic tool. The airbags are for one-time use and should be replaced immediately. After an accident where the airbags deply, the airbag control module needs to be replaced or reset by specialists to clear the hard crash data.
Lose, Corroded, or Damaged Wiring
The airbag system’s wiring harnesses transmit electrical signals between the sensors, control module, and airbags. If the wiring is loose, disconnected, corroded, or damaged, it may cause the Airbag / SRS Light to stay on. This can cause an interruption in the signal, leading to communication errors between the airbag system components. The airbag control module will store a fault code related to the wiring issue, which can be retrieved using a diagnostic tool. Some of the causes why wiring breaks down is because of rodent damage (where animals chew on the wirings), wirings getting pinched or bent, excessive heat, abrasion, and more.
How to Reset GMC Airbag Light without a Scanner?
- Turn the ignition switch to the on position or Press the push start button to the on position without starting the vehicle.
- Wait for 10-15 seconds and turn the ignition switch to the off position.
- Do steps 1 and 2 for 2-3 cycles. The reset is successful if the airbag light turns off after a few seconds.
- If the airbag light does not turn off, drive the vehicle for 5-10 minutes.
If resetting the airbag light does not work, you will need an airbag scanner to read the fault code. Then after reading the fault code, you will need to resolve the issue and clear the stored code using the scanner.
How to Reset GMC Airbag Warning Light with a Scanner?
The airbag light on a GMC can come on for several reasons, including a bad clock spring, a faulty sensor (weight/crash sensor), a weak/dead battery, a faulty airbag control module, a blown airbag, etc. To find out, you need to read the codes with a scanner that can read the airbag module, such as YOUCANIC full system scanner. Then fix the underlying issue and clear the codes outlined in the section below.
- Locate the OBD-II port under the dashboard and plug in your adapter.
- Power on the Youcanic scanner: Press the power button until the device turns on.
- Go to the ‘Diagnose’ option: On the scanner’s main menu, select the ‘Diagnose’ option.
- Select the Vehicle Make: You will see a list of vehicle makes. Scroll through the list until you find your vehicle’s make, then select it.
- Select ‘Control Units’: The next screen will display different options after selecting the make.
- Find and select the ‘Control Units’ option.
- Select ‘Airbag/SRS Control Unit’: The next screen will show a list of various control units.
- Scroll down until you select the ‘Airbag/SRS Control Unit’.
- Read or Clear codes: Here, you can ‘Read codes’ or ‘Clear codes.’ To read the airbag codes, select ‘Read codes.’ The scanner will then display any stored airbag codes.
- To clear the airbag codes, select ‘Clear codes.’ Follow any prompts that appear to clear the codes. Please note only clear codes after the problem has been fixed. Clearing the codes without fixing the problem may cause the codes to reappear.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Diagnose Airbag / SRS Warning Light?
Diagnosing the cause of the GMC Airbag / SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) Light requires a systematic approach and specialized equipment. Here are the general steps that a qualified technician may follow:
Connect a diagnostic tool: The first step is to connect a diagnostic tool to the vehicle’s diagnostic port to retrieve any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) related to the Airbag / SRS Light. The DTCs can provide valuable information about the nature and location of the problem. (Recommended Scanner: YOUCANIC Full System Scanner)
Check the airbag system’s sensors: The technician will check the system’s sensors to ensure they function correctly. This may involve checking the wiring harnesses and connectors for any damage or corrosion, inspecting the sensors for any physical damage or malfunction, and testing the sensors’ electrical resistance and output signals.
Check the airbag control module: The technician will check it to ensure it’s functioning correctly. This may involve testing the control module’s power supply and ground connections, checking for any software updates or recalls, and verifying that the module receives and processes the signals from the sensors correctly.
Check the airbag system’s components: The technician will check the components, such as the airbags, pre-tensioners, and clock spring, for any physical damage or malfunction. This may involve inspecting the components for wear or tear, testing their electrical resistance and output signals, and verifying that they’re installed and positioned correctly.
Repair or replace any faulty components: Based on the results of the diagnostic tests, the technician will repair or replace any faulty components as necessary. Depending on the specific issue, this may involve repairing or replacing wiring harnesses, sensors, control modules, airbags, pre-tensioners, or other components.
Perform final tests and reset the system: Once the repairs or replacements are completed, the technician will perform final tests to ensure the airbag system functions correctly. This may involve conducting functional tests of the system, clearing any remaining diagnostic trouble codes, and resetting the airbag control module.
Does Replacing GMC Clock Spring Triggers Airbag SRS Light?
Replacing the GMC clock spring can trigger the Airbag / SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) Light if the clock spring is not installed or calibrated correctly. The clock spring is a component of the airbag system responsible for transmitting electrical signals between the steering wheel and the airbag control module.
If the clock spring is not installed correctly, it can cause an interruption in the signal flow, leading to communication errors between the airbag system components. This can trigger the Airbag / SRS Light to stay on. Also, turning on the ignition while the airbag is disconnected will also trigger the airbag light to stay on, but you can use the YOUCANIC scanner to clear the light.
What is the Importance of the Airbag Light?
The Airbag / SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) Light is an important safety feature in a vehicle, as it warns when there is an issue with the airbag system. The airbag system is designed to protect vehicle occupants in a collision. The Airbag / SRS Light indicates that the system may not function correctly in an accident.
Can I reset Airbag Light by Disconnecting Battery?
No. Disconnecting the battery may temporarily turn off the airbag light in a GMC vehicle, but it is not a reliable or recommended method for resetting the airbag system. When the battery is disconnected, it may reset some of the vehicle’s electronic systems, including the airbag system. Still, it can also cause the loss of stored data, such as radio presets and clock settings. Additionally, disconnecting the battery does not necessarily address the underlying issue that caused the airbag light to turn on in the first place.
Can I Reset Airbag Light without a Scanner?
No, you will need a scanner to reset the airbag light. You can use the YOUCANIC Full System Scanner to read and clear codes; this scanner can run through every control module of your vehicle, including the Airbag or SRS Control Module.
Resetting the GMC airbag light without a scanner is possible, but it is not recommended for several reasons. Firstly, the airbag system is a critical safety feature in your GMC vehicle. Any issue with the system needs to be properly diagnosed and repaired to ensure that it will deploy correctly in the event of a collision. Secondly, modern GMC vehicles have sophisticated electronic systems that require specialized diagnostic equipment to diagnose and repair issues properly. Without a scanner, you may not be able to accurately diagnose the issue or determine if there are any other issues with the airbag system.
How Much Does it Cost to Fix GMC Airbag / SRS Light?
The cost to fix the airbag/SRS light on a GMC vehicle can vary depending on several factors, such as the specific model, the underlying cause of the issue, and the labor rates of the mechanic or dealership performing the repairs. Generally, a diagnostic scan to determine the cause of the airbag/SRS light can cost between $50 to $200. If the issue is a faulty sensor or module, the replacement part alone can cost between $200 to $600, with the cost of labor added to that amount.
Can Airbags Deploy when Airbag Light is On?
The airbag light means there’s a malfunction in the system, which will prevent the airbags from deploying in case of an accident. Also, a malfunction in the system can deploy the airbags randomly, which can be dangerous. Lastly, modern vehicles have a system preventing airbags from deploying when the light is on.
Can a blown fuse trigger the Airbag Light to Come on?
Indeed, the airbag setup includes fuses and relays, serving as a protective mechanism for the system’s electrical parts. If an overload or short circuit situation arises within the airbag system, the fuse is designed to be the first component to sustain damage. This action disrupts the electrical circuit, thereby safeguarding the primary elements of the airbag’s electrical infrastructure.
The GMC Airbag / SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) Light is a warning light that illuminates the dashboard when there is an issue with the airbag system. When the Airbag / SRS Light is on, the system has detected a fault, and a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) is stored in the airbag control module.
- B0012: Driver frontal deployment loop resistance low
- B0013: Driver frontal deployment loop open circuit or high resistance
- B0014: Driver frontal deployment loop stage 2 resistance low
- B0015: Driver frontal deployment loop stage 2 open circuit or high resistance
- B0021: Passenger frontal deployment loop resistance low
- B0022: Passenger frontal deployment loop open circuit or high resistance
- B0023: Passenger frontal deployment loop stage 2 resistance low
- B0024: Passenger frontal deployment loop stage 2 open circuit or high resistance
- B0033: Left roof rail deployment loop open circuit or high resistance
- B0034: Left roof rail deployment loop resistance low
- B0035: Left roof rail deployment loop stage 2 open circuit or high resistance
- B0036: Left roof rail deployment loop stage 2 resistance low
- B0043: Right roof rail deployment loop open circuit or high resistance
- B0044: Right roof rail deployment loop resistance low
- B0045: Right roof rail deployment loop stage 2 open circuit or high resistance
- B0046: Right roof rail deployment loop stage 2 resistance low
- GMC Acadia
- GMC Canyon
- GMC Savana
- GMC Sierra
- GMC Terrain
- GMC Yukon
- GMC Envoy
- GMC Jimmy
- GMC Safari
- GMC Sonoma
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