In this guide, we take a look at the most common problems that trigger a Porsche airbag light and how to reset a Porsche airbag light yourself.
Keep in mind that unlike a check engine light, an airbag light will not reset on its own and requires an airbag scanner and no active codes to clear the light.
What Does a Porsche Airbag Light Mean
When a Porsche airbag light stays on, it means that the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) has detected a problem with the airbag system. If your airbag light stays on, the airbags may not deploy if you were to get in an accident.
Porsche airbag lights may come on when a vehicle is taken out of storage because the battery voltage may have dropped below 9 volts (dead battery, jump start) due to a damaged crash sensor behind the front bumper or for many other reasons.
You and your passengers will be at higher risk of injury or even death if you drive with the airbag light on and get in an accident.
- Porsche airbag light stays on
- Airbag Fault Messages
- System fault airbag
- Check passenger seat setting
Any of the following problems can trigger Porsche airbag light to stays on.
- Low battery voltage
- Dead battery
- Passenger seat sensor (AWS Occupancy Sensor)
- Damaged airbag wiring harness
- Previous accident
- SRS Module Defective
- Disconnecting airbag wire and turning on the ignition
- Broken crash sensor behind bumpers
- Removing or replacing the battery
- Misconfiguration of the airbag module
To narrow down this problem, read the fault codes from the SRS module. See the instructions in the next section.
How to Diagnose Porsche Airbag Light
- Locate the diagnostic port under the dashboard and plugin your Porsche scanner.
- Turn on the ignition.
- Allow the scanner to power on. Select your Porsche model from the menu.
- Select SRS/Airbag module. Next select Read Fault Codes. You will get fault codes such as drivers' airbag stage 1 below limit/ value. Write down the codes. Verify they are STORED status.
- Go back to the main menu ” next select Clear Fault Codes.
- If the codes do not clear, the codes are in the present status. Fix the problem related to the fault code then try the reset procedure again.
You can only reset Porsche airbag light if codes are in STORED staus. For example, a fault trigged during a jump start can be cleared. A code that was triggered because you accidentally unplugged an airbag wire can be cleared as long as the wire is reconnected.
PRESENT fault codes (also known as CURRENT DTC codes) will need to be fixed before you can clear the airbag light. You won't be able to clear Porsche airbag light if a code is present. For example, a deployed airbag code can not be cleared until the airbag is replaced and crash data is cleared.
If you try to reset Porsche airbag light with a fault code present, the airbag light will return as soon as you restart the vehicle.
Let's take a more in-depth look at common problems that trigger Porsche airbag light to come on.
A common problem that triggers Porsche airbag light to come on is low battery voltage. Also Porsche airbag light may come on when you jump start a dead battery.
The reason why the airbag light comes on is that low voltage is detected and airbag module stores fault code to record this event. Airbags do not work properly if the voltage is critically low. The problem is that even after replacing or charging the battery, the light remains on and the code does not reset on its own.
The good news is that if Porsche airbag light was triggered due to low battery voltage, you could reset the light with a scanner that can read and clear Porsche airbag codes.
Porsche airbag light will stay on if you are involved in an accident.
There are typically two reasons why this may happen.
One is that crash codes are stored in the airbag module. Crash data can not be cleared even with a Porsche scanner. They will need to be reset by a specialist that performs Porsche airbag module reset, or the other option is to replace the airbag module, which is a very expensive repair.
Another possibility is that the seat belt tensioners have been deployed. They will need to be replaced before you can reset Porsche's airbag light.
AWS Occupancy Sensor
The AWS occupancy sensor is located under the passenger front seat. It detects if a person is seated in the passenger seat and if the person is a child or an adult.
The passenger sensor itself can fail, which then triggers the airbag warning light on your Porsche dashboard. The sensor may also need to be calibrated from time to time or if the passenger seat is removed.
Porsche Airbag Scan Tools | Scanners
To diagnose Porsche airbag light, you will need a scanner that can access the airbag module.
Most generic scanners that you buy at auto parts stores don't work and will not show a fault code stored in the airbag module. When you read codes with a generic scanner that can't access the airbag / SRS module, no-fault codes will show even though the airbag light is on.
Here are some scanners that will read and clear Porsche airbag fault codes.
iCarsoft Porsche Airbag Scanner
iCarsoft POR II is a diagnostic scanner that will read, clear and display live sensor data from various modules on your Porsche, including the airbag system.
This is a must-have tool for Porsche owners who prefer to troubleshot and work on their cars. It will save you many trips to the mechanic and pay for itself by saving you one trip.
Launch Multi-System Scanner
Launch Creader II+ is another great tool that will read and clear Porsche airbag light. It can only diagnose and clear codes from engine, transmission, ABS and airbag modules. It does not diagnose other modules, for example, climate control.
While it only covers four systems, the Launch scanner works on other car makes and models while iCarsoft POR II and Durametric only work on Porsche. If you need a scanner to use on multiple vehicles, Launch Creader is the right choice.
Durametic is another popular scanner for Porsche enthusiasts. It is capable of reading, clearing, testing, and activating sensors in various modules.
The entry-level kit starts at $287, which is almost double the price of iCarsoft and Launch Creader.
Can I reset Porsche's airbag light by disconnecting the battery?
No. You can not reset Porsche airbag light by disconnecting the battery.
Why can't I reset Porsche's airbag light?
You can not clear airbag light is there are present fault codes in the airbag module. You need to fix the problem then clear the codes. For example, if you replace the steering wheel, there is a chance the wires to the airbag are not connected properly. You will need to remove the airbag, press the connector all the way in. Once that is done, the codes will change from PRESENT to STORED status. You can now use the scanner to reset Porsche airbag light. Rember you also need an OBD-II scanner that can reset airbag codes and works on Porsche vehicles.
Can I reset Porsche's airbag light with a generic scanner?