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Air Bag Light On After Going Through Car Wash (2000 Ford Explorer)


At startup my air bag light blinks a few times & then stays on.

This started after I went through an automatic car wash.

I have a 2000 Ford Explorer.

What’s the best/easiest way to check a sensor or reset the system?

Thanks in advance for your help.


I’d wait a few days and see if the light goes off. Maybe whatever got wet will dry out, if that’s the problem.

If the light stays on the only thing to do is have someone scan the airbag computer and see what’s up. This might necessitate a visit to a Ford dealer.

Please be aware that while the light is on the airbags are disabled and will not function in the event of a crash.

When your air-bag light “blinks a few times” it is flashing out a code to tell you what area of the SRS is having a problem. It should be a two digit format. That is it will give a series of flashes (one to nine), a pause, and another series of flashes (one to nine). Count and record those flashes and post then numbers that you get back to this forum, and we may be able to help.

I have no real experience with air bag systems - just a story involving water and air bag lights.

I have an old Caravan with some kind of water related short in the rear wiper - if you actually use it when it is raining it blows the fuse. Just so happens that part of the airbag system (I think pass side air bag) is powered via that fuse. So anytime the wiper fuse blows I have an air bag light. (Its old so I never bothered to fix it - I just don’t use the rear wiper).

So at least check the fuses related to the air bag system. If you find a problem there you’ll need to find the fault.

How long ago did you go through the car wash? If it wasn’t too long ago, as others have said give it a little time, whatever got wet will hopefully dry out. My sister had an Escape that used to do the same thing after driving through the occasional large puddle and after a day or two the light would go out.

I’ve had the same thing happen although my airbag light has stayed on, and also the 4 wheel drive light will occasionally blink while driving and also the door ajar light and buzzer go off sometimes, but only if you go over 45 MPH. I’ve never been able to figure it out and also the drivers side mirror light doesn’t work and it only can unlock the doors from that side at certain times. Which made me think it was a short in the drivers side door but I wasn’t able to find anything. I’m curious if this was resolved or if anybody has any clue where to look next.

My vote is a sensor that got wet or some maybe no longer making too contact in the car wash.

Good Luck.

the airbag light blinks 3 times then pauses and blinks 4 more if that helps.

My bet is you have falsely connected the trip through the car wash with the light staying on. Have you give the vehicle a good visual inspection? These questions are easily solved by a code scan, that’s why it is there.

34 is for driver’s airbag resistance too low. That would be unlikely to be related to the car wash (unless you washed the inside).
It could be a bad air bag, a wiring issue, a bad SRS module, or a bad clockspring. 90%+ of the time, it is a bad clockspring. (The clockspring makes electrical connections between the rotating steering wheel and the rest of the car.) The horn, cruise control, and radio controls (if you have them on the wheel) go through this too. They may start to fail soon too.