Chevy C1500 has air bag ligh on

mkramer777 used Ask the Experts™
My 1998 Chevrolet C1500 shows an airbag light on dash.  Does this mean my air bag is defective?  Should I get this checked out ASAP?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

It may be the airbag or the sensor. I have seen sensor issues but a defective airbag will also trigger the warning.

Yes, you need to get your dealer to check
my 96 chevy 1500 has an airbag key, I don't know what that does, but you may want to check that to see if it's in the correct (on?) position.


I know the passenger side says that it is in the on position.  Im assuning the driver side is always on, or am I mistaken?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

The driver side is normally always on because the car needs a driver
Oh, cool, thanks John, I need to look at my Chevy again.  Thant makes sence.
I had to rebuild my 2000 S-10 and though not the same vehicle as yours there are sensors at the bottom of the radiator support. They are the impact sensors. There should be one on both sides and they are easy to change out. There can also be sensors under the seat. If you do decide to repair it yourself make sure the negative cable from the battery is disconnected.
You may be a dealer person who always goes to dealers. They may charge $75 or more to check the sensors and of course dealer parts are higher than other sources.

Hopefully your repair many does not cause the airbags to open. If they do they are quite expensive to replace.
$1000-$1500 per side.
Fortunately my bags did not open on heavy impact which was a puzzle as to why.

I hope the answers you have received on your interesting question are of help to you.
If your airbag light is on then your airbag will not deploy during an impact.
It could be a number of things.(bad connection, bad sensor, bad airbag module, etc).
You have to hook a scan tool up to your truck to see what codes are present this will let you know what is failing and setting the code.
Your airbag light is on and will not deploy then this in not safe to drive.
All so in most states this is illegal and you can not get a safety sticker inspection..
If you do not have access to a scanner i would suggest for you to take it to Advance , Auto-zone, etc they will scan it for free and let you know what the codes are.
All so most local shops will do a quick scan for free and give you an estimate for repairs.
Hope this helps

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