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Problem with SRS light on

Can someone please fill me in the constant SRS light showing on my '02 Civic? Does this mean the side airbags are not activated? I was told by a AAA-certified mechanic that the light came on when I buckled the seatbelt AFTER starting the engine. This is something I do often, without realizing it. I’m concerned - please respond, car-geeks! Thanks

When you buckle the seatbelt has nothing to do with the SRS light. The light should come on when you turn the key to “ON,” and it should go off shortly after you start the engine, regardless of seatbelt use.

There is a separate light to remind you to fasten your seatbelt.

If the SRS light stays on while the engine is running ALL of the airbags are disabled and it will probably require a visit to a Honda dealer to diagnose and repair the SRS system.

My brother had his SRS light come on in his 01 Civic. He took it to the dealer and they said he has a bad seat belt buckle. They are going to replace it for free. Take it to the dealer.

It should not matter when you buckle the seat belt.

On some cars, if you jamb the buckle together at an odd angle, it can trigger an SRS light with a code for “failed seat belt buckle”.

I happen to own two of a car model that is rather sensitive to this (e36 BMW). After getting two driver side seat belt buckles replaced on warranty when one of these cars was new, I realized that there was really nothing wrong with the buckles, other than a questionable design. I bought my own SRS light scanner and now when the SRS light illuminates (which happens a couple of times a year, generally when a stranger rides in the car and jambs the seat belt buckle together oddly), I just reset the light and keep driving.