What an SRS Airbag Stands For

January 27, 2012

An SRS airbag is an extra safety measure that’s commonplace in vehicles these days. The SRS stands for supplemental restraint system, and it’s intended to provide protection above that offered by the seatbelt in the event of an accident.

How it Works

If your vehicle is in an accident where it hits another vehicle or object, or is hit, the airbag sensor (also known as the airbag ECU) will signal the airbag to open. All modern vehicles have at least one airbag for the driver, which is in the steering wheel, and many also have an airbag for the passenger. These are effectively large cushions that stop the person going forward into the wheel, dash, or through the windshield.

The System

The SRS airbag is tested by the car’s computer every time the vehicle is switched on. A light will come on in the dash. Either a figure of a person with an airbag or just reading SRS. Once checked and found to be fine, the light will switch off again. If the light remains on, the car can still be driven, but the airbag won’t operate.

To check the SRS airbag, a diagnostic must be run on the airbag ECU, which is the control module. It then needs to be cleared in order for the light to go off. This work needs to be done by a trained professional with the proper specialized equipment. Some vehicles do offer side airbags which can keep the driver and passengers safer in the event of being hit side on by a vehicle. So far, however, these are only on a minority of vehicles.

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