The Honda SRS light is an important indicator to you, the driver, that one of your important systems is failing or has already stopped operating as intended. Unfortunately, the SRS light can be for many problems so it is normally a good idea to avoid driving until you can work out what the issue is and take steps to resolve it. Or, in some cases, simply reset the light due to a faulty warning. So, What is the Honda SRS light, what’s it for, and how do you reset it? You’ve come to the right place!
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What Is An SRS Light?
The SRS light on a Honda stands for Secondary Restraint System (SRS). It is the most important safety feature in your car as it controls everything from your airbags to your steering lock. The SRS has sensors all over the car to feed as much information as possible into the system ensuring no part of the vehicle is currently compromised.
The most commonly thought of, and most important, example of this is that without the SRS system working properly your airbags may not deploy. Which, understandably, can be quite problematic and is not something you want to leave unattended.
What Does an SRS Light Mean?
Unfortunately, the SRS light means many things and it is not always clear at a glance why it is on. Given that if one safety feature of the car is compromised the whole vehicle, and you, are at risk this may be an intended feature. By warning that there is an SRS error rather than explaining what the particular error is fewer people are likely to keep driving because they deem the error unimportant.
However! In much older Honda vehicles, the SRS system was known to display a warning light even when nothing was wrong. Regularly, even when nothing was wrong, the SRS light would pop up. Naturally, people found it quite annoying!
Hilariously, Honda knew about this and instead of fixing it simply left instructions on how to fix it in the owner’s manual. Is this an example of excellent planning on lazy manufacturing? Probably both. It is funny in hindsight nonetheless.
Can I Still Drive With An SRS light?
Whether or not you think it is safe to drive even with the SRS light on is certainly a complex question and one that probably only you can answer. On the one hand, if your SRS light is on and the airbags have genuinely been disabled then driving, especially with young children in the car, is a horrible idea and is putting everyone at risk of suffering a devastating injury.
Conversely, if the SRS light comes on every day, it isn’t feasible to take it to get checked out every time before you drive anywhere. Use your best judgment and the recommendation of a good mechanic to decide whether or not your SRS light is a genuine warning or a frustrating fault.
How Much Will It Cost To Have A Mechanic Check Out My SRS Light?
Unfortunately, checking out the entire SRS in full can be a multi-hour tedious job. Even just checking every airbag in the vehicle could take a few hours and cost you several hundred dollars. However, if you do have your vehicle checked out and can be certain the SRS warning light is on unnecessarily it can provide some much-needed relief and you can move on to reset the SRS light. More than once, if needs be.
How To Reset An SRS Light
So, you have decided that you can go ahead and reset the SRS light. Great! Thankfully, Honda has anticipated this tedious task and has written some detailed instructions on how to reset the SRS light yourself. All you will need is an insulated piece of wire, an SCS service connector, and a metal paperclip.
First, go ahead and find the MES connector. It is below the dashboard and is responsible for the memory-erase signal. It is not a live electrical wire so don’t worry. It is a white cable end that plugs into the driver-side dashboard panel via a yellow cable. You are going to need to short the MES in order to trick it into erasing the need for the SRS light. Crafty, right?
Next, with the ignition off, connect both sides of the plug with your SCS shorting wire, or even the paperclip if you are struggling to make it reach/ Next, all you need to do is turn the ignition key to the on position. You do NOT need to start the engine. Once you have started the ignition, the SRS light should blink once or twice and then turn off. You need to then repeat the process, turn the ignition but not the engine on, wait for the double SRS light to blink, and turn it off.
Now, when you turn your car on the SRS light should be gone. If there is a faulty signal somewhere that triggered the alarm then it will very likely come back on again at some point. It could be next week or it could be in 6 months’ time. However, if the SRS light comes on and stays on regardless of how many times you short-circuit the MES, then there is very likely a genuine issue and you will need to speak to a mechanic about fixing it. Which could be pretty expensive, sorry. But safety comes first and airbags are a pretty big part of that. One not to be neglected!
Hopefully, you now understand exactly what the SRS light is and why it does (or doesn’t) matter. It is always best to play it safe. If you find that the SRS light won’t turn off no matter how many times you have tried to short-circuit/reset it – go to a professional.
Even if you are unsure whether or have been doing it properly, speak to a mechanic. They can identify the trouble code responsible for all of the issues and work to fix them. The newer your Honda is, the more likely that the SRS light is a genuine warning and not just a faulty signal somewhere in the system.