Troubleshooting Volvo SRS Airbag Service Urgent Message

Volvo SRS Airbag service urgent comes on when the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) malfunctions. It means the airbags will not work if you get in an accident.

SRS malfunctions are in most cases caused by low battery voltage or dead battery, working on the electrical system without disconnecting the battery, damaged clock spring or due to SRS control unit issues.

 IMPORTANT!  Even though your Volvo will run and drive fine don't ignore Volvo airbag warnings and think "I'll fix it later". You are at higher risk of injury if you get in an accident.

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Summary

In this article, you will become familiar with common problems that cause Volvo SRS Airbag warning message.

You will also learn how to reset Volvo SRS Airbag warning light yourself using iCarsoft for Volvo.

This article is applicable to all Volvo models including XC70, V70, S60, S40, V40, V50, XC60, XC90, S60, S70, S80, C30. 

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What does Volvo SRS Airbag Service Urgent mean? 

Volvo SRS Airbag Service Urgent

If you are seeing SRS airbag service urgent on the dashboard it means there is a problem with the airbag system. 

The airbags of your Volvo may not deploy if you get in an accident. 

Even though Volvos are some of the safest cars on the road, with an SRS airbag warning message on the dashboard the car is not going to be as safe.

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Common Causes

Performing electrical work with the battery connected

volvo sras light on due to disconnecting radio stereo

Disconnecting components such as stereo, seat, airbag, a sensor of the airbag system without disconnecting the battery is one of the most common reasons that Volvo SRS warning comes up.

The good news is that you don't need to take the car to the dealer to reset the SRS Airbag warning message. While you can't reset airbag warnings with a generic OBD2 scanner or by disconnecting the battery, you can use a Volvo scanner to clear the fault code from the airbag module.

Rember to always disconnect the battery when you work on the electrical system. 

Instrument Cluster / DIM

Volvo DIM problem triggers srs airbag light  XC70, V70, S60, S40, V40, V50, XC60, XC90, S60, S70, S80, C30  240

The Driver Information Module (DIM) which is what Volvo calls the instrument cluster may fail. When DIM fails SRS airbag alert comes up. You will also notice intermittent electrical issues on the dashboard such as other warning lights, gauges not working or speedometer not working.

You can learn more about this problem here: Volvo Instrument Cluster DIM Problems

Previous Accident 

volvo reseting crash data after accident

If your Volvo was involved in an accident, even if it is minor, the airbag light may come on. An accident event will be stored in the SRS module.  After a car accident items such as seat belt tensioners, airbags deploy and will need to be replaced.

After you replace the airbags and seat belt tensioners, you will need to either replace the SRS module or have it reset. Replacing the SRS module costs $1000+ but a less expensive fix would be to remove the SRS module from the center console and send it for repair to a specialist.

Check out these places that offer Volvo SRS Airbag module repair

Dead Battery | Jump Starting

jump starting volvo triggers the srs airbag light

Volvo SRS airbag message can also come on when you replace the battery or jump start the car if your battery died.

This is because Volvo SRS module does not operate properly at low voltage. Therefore it stores a low voltage fault code in the SRS module which triggers the SRS Airbag Service Urgent message. Codes related to low battery can be cleared with a Volvo scanner.

See instructions below on how to reset Volvo airbag light. 

Seat Occupant Weight Sensor (OWS)

Volvo seat mat sensor

Occupant weight sensor (OWS)   is installed in the passenger seat cushion. It detects the weight of the passenger on the front seat. Passenger seat sensor is sometimes the culprit.

Another related problem that happens quite often is that the wires under the seat, that connect to the passenger OWS sensor, get damaged or unplugged.

Inspect the yellow connector under the passenger seat. 

Seat belt buckle

Volvo seat belt buckle triggers airbag light

The seat belt buckle has a small sensor that detects if you are using the seat belt or not. If the wires to the seat belt sensor (which is nothing more than a micro-switch) get disconnect you will get a fault code that points to open circuit to the seat belt buckle. You can use a multimeter to test the switches in the seat belt buckle. 

SRS Module

Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) control module is located under the center console behind the shifter. It can fail expecially if exposed to liquid. Not very common issue. 

Software Issue

The SRS software may need to be updated. This can only be performed by a Volvo dealer. Call your Volvo dealer and ask if there is a recall for the airbag module or a software update. Depending on how old your Volvo is, you may get the update free of charge. 

SIPS Unit

Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) is a passive safety system in Volvo designed to protect against injury in a side collision. Even though it is rare, the SIPS unit can fail and may need to be replaced. 

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How to reset Volvo SRS Airbag light? 

Volvo SRS airbag codes don't reset on their own or by disconnecting the battery. The only way to reset Volvo SRS faults is by using a diagnostic tool. Of course, any Volvo dealer can reset Volvo airbag light but that's not the only route. 

For as much as you would spend at a Volvo dealer in one visit, you can spend on a good Volvo scanner such as iCarsoft for Volvo or Autotel Maxidas and reset the SRS airbag warning light yourself. 

Video file

Follow these instructions to read and reset Volvo airbag warning. For this procedure, you will need a Volvo specific scanner

  1. Locate the OBD-II port under the dashboard. 
  2. Connect your Volvo scanner. 
  3. Turn on the ignition but do not star the engine. 
  4. Select your Volvo model from the menu. 
  5. Select Control Units. 
  6. Select SRS Control Unit
  7. Next select Read Codes. Write down all the codes. 
  8. Go back and select Clear Codes

Disconnecting the battery will not reset Volvo SRS airbag service urgent warning. 

These steps will reset Volvo SRS airbag service urgent message ONLY if there are no current issues with the SRS system. For example, the light was triggered because you disconnected an airbag wire, replaced the radio or had a dead battery. Such fault codes are in STORED status and can be cleared. 

If there is an airbag problem that is PRESENT, you can't reset it. Even if you try SRS airbag urgent warning will come back immediately after you restart the car. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will I fail the state inspection with the airbag light on?

It depends on the states. Several states such as Utah will fail you if the airbag light is on. Other states such as Maryland will pass a safety emission even if the SRS light is on.  

Can I clear Volvo airbag light by disconnecting the battery?

No. Disconnection the battery will not reset Volvo airbag light.

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Volvo Airbag Codes

There are hundreds of possible fault codes that can trigger Volvo airbag light and warning to come up.

Here are a few common Volvo airbag fault codes: 

Show
  • CEM-2FA2 or SRS-00D0 means the driver seat belt buckle is defective. It may be a loose wire or the switch in the buckle. 
  • CEM 2FA5 or SRS 00D1  Means the passenger seat belt buckle is defective. 
  • SRS-0165    Rear left side impact sensor
  • SRS-010F    Control module
  • SRS-010D    Control module
  • SRS-0210    Front right front impact sensor
  • SRS-0220    CAN signal
  • SRS-0231    Switch for the passenger airbag
  • SRS-0250    Occupant weight sensor (OWS)
  • SRS-B000112    Driver Frontal Stage 1 Deployment Control. General Electrical Failures. Circuit short to battery
  • SRS-B00211B    Left Curtain Deployment Control 1. General Electrical Failures. Circuit resistance above threshold
  • SRS-DD00    Control module communication
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Additional Resources

  1. Understanding Volvo SRS system by Volvo Cars
  2. Fixing the SRS light on your Volvo by Fast Lane Europen
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DIY Cost
$100-$160
Mechanic
$110-$250
Dealer
$130-$300