Unlike other faulty components with several indicators, an illuminated airbag light on the dashboard is the only warning a driver gets for a defective airbag system. You don't want to be without the airbags during a collision. Although KIA's airbags have a long lifespan and can last more than 10 years (as your vehicle is not involved in a crash) some factors could still cause the airbag's failure.
Causes of an Illuminated Airbag Light
First, let's look at how an airbag works: The crash sensor sends a signal to an ignitor during a collision, which activates the airbags to cushion the vehicle occupants. The collision sensor is triggered based on the severity of the collision. After the airbag has been inflated, the airbag warning light pops up on the dashboard to alert the driver to have the system replaced.
Next, we've listed the following factors which can also trigger your airbag warning light without any collision:
- Low airbag backup battery: If your KIA's battery drains, the backup battery steps in to supply the airbag with power. Once the airbag battery depletes, you may get the airbag warning light on your dashboard telling you that the airbag may not activate during a crash. It will get back to work after the battery gets recharged. Otherwise, the backup battery must be recharged along with a sensor reset.
- Faulty Sensors: Faulty sensors are the most prevalent cause of the illuminated airbag warning lights. These are sensitive gadgets that detect numerous parameters on your vehicle and determine when the airbags should be deployed. The sensor communicates with the ECU to deploy the airbags whenever it detects a crash. If there is an issue with these sensors, it could also trigger the airbag warning indicator on the dashboard. Resetting the sensor may work, but if not, you may need a replacement. This isn't a car part you really want to DIY, given its importance to save lives.
- Airbag Clock Spring Damage: The driver's airbag on the steering wheel requires an additional part called the airbag clock springs. The airbag clock spring maintains the electrical connection between the vehicle's electrical system and the driver-side airbag. The clock spring has some thin circuit bands that may wear over time, thus, breaking the electrical connection to the driver-side airbag. The break-in transmission triggers an error code and consequent illumination of the airbag warning on the dashboard.
- Wet Airbag Module: The airbag module is an electrical device. However, if exposed to water, it will cause the airbag warning light to illuminate. This could be in the form of flooding-related water damage or something as simple as spilling water or drinks on the seat. The airbag module in a modern car is located under the seat. Moisture-induced corrosion on the module can potentially set off the airbag lights.
- Seat Belt Issue: The airbag light may illuminate due to not wearing your seat belt. However, other seat belt concerns could also cause this light to illuminate. It could result from your seat belt not staying in position because it doesn't snap appropriately into the buckle. It could also be due to a malfunctioning seat belt buckle sensor not informing the computer that you have secured your seat belt. Another possibility is that a belt pre-tensioner is malfunctioning and has to be repaired or replaced.
Please note that the airbags are more effective when using the seat belt. If you notice the airbag indicator on the dashboard, you should attend to it immediately because you don't want to be without your airbags during a crash.
Royalty Auto Service Can Help You Fix the Problem
Your KIA airbag is a crucial component of your vehicle's safety features. If you notice that your airbag indicator is illuminated on your dashboard, take quick action by engaging the service of a professional mechanic you can trust.
At Royalty Auto Service, we ensure that your KIA gets the high-quality service it needs. We have ASE-Certified technicians, and we are equipped with the latest factory tools. If you live in St Marys, GA or the surrounding cities of Amelia Island, Brunswick, Kingsland, King Bay Base, Woodbine, and Yulee, please call or visit our shop to set an appointment!