RE: Air Bag Warning Light
The 1995-99 Ranger, Explorer and Mountaineer vehicles are available with an air bag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS). The SRS is designed to work in conjunction with the standard three-point safety belts to reduce injury in a head-on collision.
The SRS can actually cause physical injury or death if the safety belts are not used, or if the manufacturer's warnings are not followed. The manufacturer's warnings can be found in your owner's manual, or, in some cases, on your sun visors.
The SRS is comprised of the following components:
Driver's side air bag module
Passenger's side air bag module
Right-hand and left-hand primary crash front air bag sensors
Air bag diagnostic monitor computer
The SRS primary crash front air bag sensors are hard-wired to the air bag modules and determine when the air bags are deployed. During a frontal collision, the sensors quickly inflate the two air bags to reduce injury by cushioning the driver and front passenger from striking the dashboard, windshield, steering wheel and any other hard surfaces. The air bag inflates so quickly (in a fraction of a second) that in most cases it is fully inflated before you actually start to move during an automotive collision.
Since the SRS is a complicated and essentially important system, its components are constantly being tested by a diagnostic monitor computer, which illuminates the air bag indicator light on the instrument cluster for approximately 6 seconds when the ignition switch is turned to the RUN position when the SRS is functioning properly. After being illuminated for the 6 seconds, the indicator light should then turn off.
If the air bag light does not illuminate at all, stays on continuously, or flashes at any time, a problem has been detected by the diagnostic monitor computer.
So, take it to shop and have them trouble shoot the problem. Good luck and let us know how it goes