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SRS Warning Light Stays On. What it means. Tools needed to reset it yourself.

Is the SRS / Airbag Warning Light coming ON in your Mercedes Benz instrument cluster? Are you getting a warning message: Restraint System Defect! SRS Visit Workshop!  Keep on reading to understand how to troubleshoot and reset the SRS light.

How to reset the SRS using an OBD II scanner.

In this video, we will show you how to use the iCarsoft i980 to reset the SRS on Mercedes-Benz cars manufactured after 1996.

What does SRS light mean?

SRS stands for Supplemental Restraint System. If this warning light stays on in your Mercedes Benz, that means that there is a problem with the airbags or the components that are part of the SRS system. It is very unlikely that your airbags are going to deploy randomly, but the concern is that they may not deploy at all in a case of an accident. While your car will run with this light on, it is important that you diagnose this problem as soon as possible.

Under normal operations, when you first turn the ignition and start the car the light stays on for about 5 seconds and then turns off. If the SRS light stays on constantly or you get Restraint System Defective Visit workshop warning or airbag light on, then you know you have a problem.

SRS Warning System 

The SRS system checks the operation of several components in your car such as:

  • Airbags
  • Airbag control unit
  • Crash sensors
  • Emergency Tensioning Devices
  • Belt force limiters
  • Child occupancy sensor in front passenger seat.

These systems and other sensor data are first checked when the driver turns on the ignition. If all these systems check out ok, then the SRS light goes out. The SRS components are also checked frequently when the car is running. If a malfunction is detected the SRS warning lamp or error message is displayed in the instrument cluster.

How to read and RESET the SRS / Airbag Light

Unfortunately, the SRS  Airbag light doesn’t reset on its own. Even if the problem has been addressed, you will need an Airbag scanner to reset the light. Very often the light goes on because of a dying battery. But once the light is on, it will stay on even when you install a new battery, until you manually reset it.

You can’t rest the airbag SRS light with a simple OBD II scanner which gives you the check engine light codes. You will need a more advanced scan tool to reset the airbag light. For around $110-150, which is how much a diagnosis costs anyway, you can get your airbag reset tool. It will tell you where the problem is and allow you to reset it once the problem is fixed.

Our favorite scanner that will read and reset your SRS / airbag light is theiCarsoft i980 for Mercedes-Benz which will retrieve the SRS light but also the check engine. If you need a scanner that will also troubleshoot Transmission, ESP, ABS and any other control unit on your Mercedes-Benz, check out the iCarsoft MB II, a powerful diagnostic scanner for Mercedes-Benz cars.

Want to know why the SRS light came on? First, get a hold of an OBD II SRS/Airbag scanner. You can either borrow one from a friend or consider buying one.  You will be spending the same amount of money at your mechanic so he can tell you the same thing that you an SRS / airbag scanner will tell you. Except that, you can use your scanner over and over in your vehicle. Using these scanners is very easy even if you have never used one before, watch  this video if you need help on how OBD II scanners work.  Here is a scanner that works with Mercedes-Benz and will rear fault codes and reset the AirBag, ABS and check engine light.

Our favorite scanner that for an in-depth Mercedes-Benz troubleshooting is theiCarsoft MB II. Not only does it read the SRS light (Airbag Control Unit) but also every control unit in your Mercedes-Benz. Note that this does not work with Mercedes-Benz, pre-2000 that require 38-pin connection. For those models you should consider the Carsoft Multiplexer 7.4 which requires a laptop.

Unless you are not concerned about the cost. If you are that lucky, you should consider getting the Autel DS708 which covers more vehicles, not just Mercedes-Benz. It allows you to read and diagnose control systems in most cars. You can perform programming and stream sensor data live. It’s what independent auto repair shops use, and it is easy to use.

Top reasons that cause the SRS light / Airbag warning message to come on.

Are you wondering what could be the problem with your car? Why is the SRS warning staying on? Here is a list of some of the most common problems with the SRS system on a Mercedes Benz.

  • Seat Occupancy Senor in the passenger seat.
  • Low voltage in the electrical system. Battery issue or charging.
  • Seat belt latch.
  • Steering Wheel Clock Spring
  • Seat Belt Sensor
  • Damaged Wire Contacts at the doors.
  • Defective Airbag
  • Defective, damaged or loose contact at the impact sensors.



  • If the SRS light is on, the child restraint system can be triggered randomly. Or it may not be triggered at all in the case of an accident.
  • Airbags contain perchlorate material which required special handling.
  • Air bags and Emergency Tensioning Devices (ETD) are designed to function one time only. Once these systems deploy they must NOT be reused.
  • If you work on the SRS system, you should disconnect the battery.
  • Do not use seat covers unless approved by Mercedes-Benz. Seat covers can restrict the proper operation of the airbags integrated into the seats.
  • If you are involved in an accident and the air bags deployed, a small amount of powder will be released from the airbag. Avoid breathing the powder used in the airbags as it could cause breathing difficulties.
  • Airbags may not deploy in low-speed accidents if the speed is below the required threshold. This is by design.
  • Be careful when you work on the doors as sensors are located in this area and also airbags. If you damage any of these components, the SRS system may show a warning and not protect you properly in case of an accident.


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