Car hasn't been in a crash, but the AirBag light is ON.

Chevrolet certified dealership was unable to provide exact reason why it is ON, but they suggested to first change battery to see if it helps in the long term (which I didn't do right away). They also removed all the codes as a short term test - the light went off for few weeks, but it turned on again.

Since my 8 year old battery died yesterday, I just changed it as dealership suggested, but the light is still on. The thing is that, I don't want to go again to dealership just to reset all the codes to see if the new battery solved the AirBag issue.

Is there any other way to clear codes without using expensive AirBag scanner?

This is in California where AutoZone told me that they are not allowed to rent or lend AirBag scanner because of the state law. Car is Chevrolet Aveo 2007.

  • 5
    You generally don't want to just clear the airbag light because it indicates something is wrong with the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS). It could be that the airbag has expired or that something is wrong with the wiring. Whatever the cause, most cars disable the SRS when the light is on, which means you currently don't have functioning airbags. This is obviously a safety hazard. It would be in your best interest to discover the cause of the light instead of just resetting it. Nov 18, 2015 at 23:31
  • @PoissonFish I completely agree with you that this is what should happen in ideal world. However, since there were no obvious AirBag issues that even dealership was able to find with their AirBag scanner - they already suggested to use exactly the same troubleshooting methodology - ie fix one thing at a time and reset the AirbBag code to see if the issue will go away. They suggested first to replace my 8 year old battery that was working fine until yesterday. I also cleaned the cables from rust below my seat and it did not help either. This makes me think that perhaps AirBag light is "sticky".
    – Jonny
    Nov 18, 2015 at 23:44
  • 1
    Clearly there was a fault that they cleared, would be great knowing what it was. Lights aren't sticky. Mar 14, 2016 at 15:48

2 Answers 2


There are many reasons your airbag lights can come on. With GM vehicles, it's generally due to the SRS (Safety Restraint System) circuit having a fault. When the ECM is powered on the SRS system and your ECM communicate with eachother. As a safety measure the computer will throw a code to alert you to a fault in the system. Generally if you don't have an advanced or OEM scan tool you can disconnect all power to the vehicle for around 30 minutes. This should wipe the code. IF it does however reappear, this means that is a problem that needs to be fixed and it wasn't a one time issue.

The fact that the dealership can't figure it out tells me that you need to take it somewhere else and have it looked at, or you need to contact GM directly and tell them about this. I worked for Honda, GM and Toyota and when the airbag issues started popping up, people were getting killed because of randomly deploying airbags. I never had problems pulling airbag codes or diagnosing airbag issues in those vehicles. If I did, it was a computer/ electrical issue and the SRS system was replaced. I would highly suggest taking it to a skilled diagnostician or a different dealer if they can help you.

  • Disconnecting battery does not help - I left it overnight, but the light still comes ON. What I am looking for is something like youtube.com/watch?v=fpBliOt5UJ0, but for chevrolet. It explains how to reset Honda AirBag light.
    – Jonny
    Nov 19, 2015 at 20:46
  • Thats a Honda/ Acura specific method. I doubt Chevy would make it that easy. Especially since that is a 2007 and the majority of it is computer controlled.
    – cloudnyn3
    Nov 19, 2015 at 21:03

The most common problem that will trigger the airbag light to come on is the passenger seat mat sensor. This may be the problem in your case since you are mentioning that it goes off sometimes. Also considering the fact that the deader didn't know what was the problem. The seat mat may have been working properly when then scanned the codes. Still they should have provided a history of codes. enter image description here

I would recommend that you read Chevrolet airbag codes yourself. There is not way that I know that you can do that without a scanner. The cheapest scanners that you can get to read and clear Chevrolet and GM airbag light are in the $99-$150. Worth the investment since they also can diangse ABS, transmission and engine problems.

It is very easy procedure. If you need help follow this guide on how to diagnose Chevrolet airbag light yourself.

Airbag light cannot be reset by disconnecting the battery. In case there is a short, it will often reset on its own if the short is fixed.

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