For Ford F150 owners, the airbag light staying on is a common issue, sparking discussions across online forums and communities.

In this blog post, I’ll outline the causes and solutions for this problem.

What Makes The F150 Airbag Light To Stay On?

Your F150’s airbag light can stay on, because of a bad RCM, loose harness connections, seatbelt tensioner, crash sensor, or just plain bad airbags. You can fix that by swapping all the parts, although, if it’s the airbags, going to a tech might be the only way.

I’ve serviced several F150s that had the light, even without any accidents. Let me explain the reasons why this happens.

What Makes F150 Airbag Light To Stay On

1. Bad Seatbelt Tensioner

The reason the airbag light came on is likely the seatbelt tensioner on the driver’s side going bad.

This can happen due to regular use, moisture, or dirt, causing it to get stuck and not retract properly.

When this happens, your truck’s airbag system senses something might be wrong with your safety gear. As a result, it flashes the airbag warning light.

2. Damaged Crash Sensor / Impact Sensor

The crash sensor is a vital part of the Supplemental Restraint System, detecting big impacts and triggering the airbags to pop out.

But, being right under the front grill exposes it to road elements like moisture, dirt, and debris. Rust or cracks can also appear, triggering the airbag light.

When that happens, the airbags might not work right if there’s a crash.

3. Bad RCM

The Restraints Control Module (RCM) is a key part of the safety system, managing airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners.

It’s usually tucked away in the cabin, under the center console or seats.

This RCM relies on sensors around the vehicle to know things like speed and impact force during a crash.

If anything in the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) fails, the RCM triggers the airbag warning.

Sometimes, the module itself is the problem. It’s prone to a lot of issues, as it can easily get damaged by water or even electrical issues.

Crashes aren’t the only things making it break. It’s so delicate that even with newer F150s, this part can start having problems out of the blue.

There’s also a TSB on the recent 2022-2023 F150s about this.

4. Airbag Harness Issue

The airbag connections under the driver’s and front passenger’s seats in an F150 can become loose due to seat movement or pressure from items underneath.

Cleaning or removing the seat can also disrupt these connections, as can driving on rough roads.

When this occurs, the truck’s engine control module detects the issue upon startup, so it keeps the airbag light on as a safety measure.

Until the connections are repaired, the airbags may not function properly, and you may observe a corresponding airbag code, “Remove Objects From Passenger Seat,” on your odometer.

5. Popped Airbag

If the airbags deploy, it triggers a chain reaction in the SRS system, potentially damaging the airbags and seat belts.

A crash can harm the truck’s frame and the sensors responsible for airbag deployment.

Faulty front sensors can disrupt signals to the RCM, and high voltage can damage the module.

Not to mention the clockspring in the steering wheel can sustain damage, affecting the horn and airbag signals.

Until everything’s fixed, that airbag light won’t turn off in the truck.

How To Get The Airbag Light To Turn Off?

Here are some fixes that can save you a trip to the dealer.

1. Get A New Tensioner

Let’s start with this first, since it’s one of the most common reasons.

You’ll need the following tools: a 15mm socket, U-joint, Impact driver, T-50 star wrench, and a small screwdriver.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Move the seat forward for better access.
  • Remove the rear plastic covers around the seat belt assembly.
  • Pull off the plastic pieces covering the assembly.
  • Pry off the plastic panel behind the seat belt.
  • Completely remove the plastic panel.
  • Guide the seat belt cable through the groove in the panel.
  • Unscrew and remove two bolts securing the pre-tensioner assembly.
  • Use the T-50 star wrench to remove another bolt.
  • Pop out the side connection and cable connection.
  • Disconnect the cable using the screwdriver.
  • Lift out the entire pre-tensioner assembly.
  • Install the new assembly, reconnect the cable, and reassemble the components.

If you’re not sure how to do it yourself but still don’t want to go to a mechanic, you can follow along with this video:

2. Swap  The Crash Sensor

This might be different for your F150 year. You’ll need to look up your owner’s manual to find the right fuse location and sensor location.

  • Turn on accessory power and remove truck accessories.
  • Access the fuse box under the right instrument panel.
  • Remove the passenger side panel and fuse box cover.
  • Extract fuse number 19 (10 amp fuse) from the middle.
  • Wait for a minute with the truck’s power off.
  • Find the crash sensor – usually secured by an 8mm bolt behind the front grill.
  • Remove the bolt and old sensor.
  • Install the new sensor securely with the 8mm bolt.
  • Apply dielectric grease to the sensor’s connector.
  • Seal the connector with silicone or electrical tape.
  • Torque the sensor bolt to 12 Newton meters.
  • Repower by turning the ignition to “On,” adding fuse 19, reconnecting the battery, and turning the keys to “Off.”
  • Check for the airbag light; start the truck to confirm.

3. Replace RCM

If you’re getting codes like U3000:41 or U3000:54 in the occupant classification system, or B00A0:9, B00A0:63, B00A0:64, or B00A0:68 in the RCM, check the TSB. If that doesn’t fix, you might need to swap the module.

  • Disconnect the negative battery terminal.
  • Find two plastic push tabs under the seat in the console.
  • Pry the tabs up and remove them.
  • Lift and slide out the piece underneath to access RCM.
  • Locate the electrical connection with a red switch.
  • Slide the red switch up and push the tab down to disconnect the electrical connection.
  • Slide back the tab on the second electrical connection to remove it.
  • Use an 8mm socket with a small 3/8 impact to remove the three bolts holding the RCM.
  • Remove the RCM.
  • Replace with the new RCM and secure it with the three bolts.
  • Do not over-tighten the bolts to avoid stripping.
  • Reconnect the electrical connections by plugging them in securely.
  • Reconnect the negative battery terminal.

For this, just grab an undamaged RCM from a salvage yard. Once installed, reprogram the module- it’s a simple process. If you need help, check out this video:

4. Check Airbag Connections

You can do module; in just 3 quick steps.

  • Find the yellow wiring harness under the driver’s and front passenger seats.
  • With the key out of the ignition, wiggle and push in the yellow harnesses.
  • Restart the vehicle.
Note: If you’ve got popped airbags, there’s a lot more work to do. You have to take your truck to a tech. They’ve got the tools and parts to swap out all the sensors tied to the airbags.

How To Reset The Airbag Light Of Your F150?

  • Disconnect the battery’s negative cable and wait 15 minutes.
  • Find the airbag module under the seat or in the center console.
  • Remove and place the airbag module on a flat surface.
  • Find the small yellow connector on its back.
  • Connect the two pins in the yellow connector with a wire or paper clip for 15 seconds.
  • Reinstall the airbag module.
  • Check all connections are secure.
  • Reconnect the battery’s negative cable.
  • Start the engine to check the airbag light.


Is it safe to drive your F150 with the airbag light on?

Not at all. Accidents can happen at any time, and working airbags are the walls between you and certain death.

Are the airbag module and RCM the same?

Yes, they’re the same part. Other terms like “SRS (Supplemental Restraint Module),” “ORC (Occupant Restraint Module),” “CSM (Crash Safety Module),” and “MRS (Multiple Restraint System Module)” also refer to the same thing, according to Repair Driven News.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, there was just a glitch in the internals – if you were in an actual accident before, then it might be best to take the F150 to the repair shop. 

If it’s the first, you’ll have your instrument cluster clear of airbag lights in no time, just follow the fixes I’ve shared.

That’s all for this post. Drive safe out there.

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