Similar to all other modern vehicles in the U.S., the Dodge Ram activates a telltale light to notify the driver that there's something wrong with the airbag system. If the airbag light comes on, you need to address the issue immediately for safety. So how do you reset this airbag light? We've done the research for your convenience.
A car's airbag system is a sensitive and complicated one. The airbag light can come one due to several reasons, ranging from disconnected wires to faulty control modules.
Because of this, many airbag light resetting processes can be dangerous and are best left to automotive servicing professionals. However, with the right knowledge, experience, and tools, you may be able to reconnect wires and switches or change fuses and sensors to reset the light.
Would you like to know which airbag light problems you can solve on your own or whether to leave them to the automotive technicians? If yes, then you've come to the right place. Do read on because we've prepared a helpful list for you.
How Do You Reset The Airbag Light On A Dodge?
Airbags are inflatable devices that cushion vehicle passengers from impact injuries during car collisions. Modern cars can have multiple airbags in the front, sides, and even the rear of the vehicle.
Dodge's Supplemental Restraint System
The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) or airbag system typically does not need servicing or maintenance unless the airbags deploy after a crash. If any SRS component does fail, then an airbag warning light should come on somewhere on the driver's instrument console.
The airbag system has seven critical components. Consequently, a failure in any of these parts can cause the airbag light to come on.
- Airbag inflator
- Impact sensors
- Airbag module
- Clock spring
- Airbag light
In some newer models, you can turn the front passenger airbag on or off using a front passenger airbag switch. This option can prevent airbags from severely injuring smaller front-seat passengers.
Proceed With Caution!
Isolating a faulty SRS component by trial and error is very dangerous. Because airbags use explosive chemicals for inflation, they can deploy forcefully within 1/20th of a second. Due to the sudden expansion, accidental deployment can cause injuries or even fatalities.
This is why average car owners should leave airbag problems to automotive service experts. Nevertheless, more experienced auto enthusiasts can try fixing their airbag problems with the right tools and parts.
How Can I Test My Airbags?
The first tool you will need is an automotive scan tool. Although there are many OBD and OBD2 scan tools in the market, not all of them have SRS scanning capabilities.
Here's a helpful video on how to diagnose your airbag light problem using an OBD2 scan tool. You may have a different scan tool model, but the navigation menus should not be very different.
As we saw in the video, the scan tool can detect which component causes the airbag light to come on. However, you can only reset the airbag warning light after you solve the problem. This may require you to reconnect, repair, or replace certain components.
SRS Fix Safety Tips
In the following sections, we will show you some examples of how to fix or replace some SRS components. However, before you decide to do these yourself, we have two important reminders for you.
- Always disconnect your car's battery for at least 30 minutes before working on the airbag system. This will ensure that your airbag system's circuit does not have any residual electrical charge that can accidentally deploy the airbags.
- Always remove static electricity from your body before touching any SRS components. This can minimize the chances of damaging sensitive SRS components as well as deploying the airbags accidentally. You can do this by touching any properly-grounded metal part on your car's body.
What Would Cause An Airbag Light To Come On?
We've prepared a list of common problems that can cause your airbag light to come on. For your convenience, we've arranged the list from the easiest to the most complicated servicing jobs.
Like all other electrical circuits in your vehicle, the airbag system has its own fuse to prevent electrical overload that can damage vital SRS components. A blown fuse can cause the airbag light to come on.
However, take note that a blown fuse does not necessarily deactivate the airbag system. Some vehicles have capacitors in certain SRS components that maintain a sufficient charge for airbag deployment.
Here's a short video showing how you can locate and replace your airbag system's fuses.
Disconnected Sensors Or Connectors
Your Dodge Ram has several airbag wiring connections inside and outside the vehicle, and any disconnected wires can cause the airbag light to come on.
Some of these connectors can be found underneath the front seats or within interior liners. For example, our first video above showed a disconnected airbag warning harness underneath the front seat.
This can happen due to seat adjustment, vacuum cleaning, or even trash accumulation under the seat.
Passenger Airbag Switch
As mentioned above, certain vehicles have airbag switches that can turn the front passenger airbag on or off. In the video below, you will see how a bad airbag switch can cause the airbag light to come on. Check out the short clip to see how you can remove and replace the switch.
Depleted Airbag Backup Battery Or Battery Replacement
In addition to capacitors, many modern airbag systems also have backup batteries in the airbag assembly itself. This helps ensure that the airbags can deploy in an accident even if the main car battery fails.
Nevertheless, if you accidentally drain your car battery, there's a chance that you also drained your backup battery. This situation can activate your airbag light. Moreover, replacing your battery with a new one can also turn the airbag light on.
In some instances, you will need to reset your airbag light manually after replacing the battery.
Faulty Airbag Sensor
With proper vehicle care, airbag crash sensors can last for 10 to 15 years. However, external sensors can get damaged during collisions or simply due to exposure to the elements. If your crash sensors start to malfunction, then you may need to replace them before resetting the airbag light.
Damaged Airbag Clock Spring
The airbag clock spring is an SRS component that allows you to turn the steering wheel without breaking the airbag's electronic circuit. Over time, the clock spring can get dirty or sustain damage because of repeated steering movements.
Replacing a clock spring is not a simple task for average car owners. However, if you're a well-equipped and knowledgeable enthusiast, you may be able to do the job yourself.
Faulty Airbag Module
Your airbag module is the brain of your airbag system. It connects to the sensors, the airbag assembly, the seatbelt sensors, and other safety components.
The Dodge Ram's airbag module may not be the usual suspect because of its secure location and lack of moving parts. However, it can malfunction or get shorted because of flooding or other extreme situations.
Check out this video on how to locate and replace your airbag module.
Airbag Has Deployed And Needs Replacement
Lastly, your airbag light may come on after a collision that deployed the airbags. Modern car manufacturers design airbag systems such that the airbags are non-reusable. You will need to replace the deployed airbag unit with a new one after a crash.
Although airbag replacement is expensive, we recommend that you invest in a new one rather than trying to refurbish a used one. This will provide more safety for you and your loved ones.
Check out this video on how to replace your steering wheel airbag.
Will My Airbag Deploy If The Light Is On?
If your vehicle's airbag module senses something wrong with the airbag system, then it will not deploy the airbags at all. If you want to make sure that you'll have airbag protection for you and your loved ones, then you need to fix the issue that triggers the airbag light to come on ASAP.
Do Airbags Make A Difference?
The car airbag is one of the most important automotive safety innovations in the past several decades. Because of its impact on safety, the U.S. Federal government has required at least front airbags for vehicles that were manufactured in the country since 1999.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), front airbags reduce driver deaths by 29% during frontal collisions. Moreover, airbags also reduced fatalities for 13-year-old and older front passengers by 32%.
Your Dodge Ram's airbag light can come on because of failure from any of the SRS components. Although you may try to replace the fuse or reconnect airbag wires, you may need professional technicians to deal with more sensitive and complicated components.
Thank you very much for reading. We hope that we were able to help you figure out how to reset your Dodge Ram's airbag light.
For more interesting reads about Dodge vehicles and other automotive topics, please also check out these great articles.