What to Do If Your Cars Abs Light Comes On

In your car, there’s an ABS light on the dashboard that can serve you important information about your car. Although it’s just a light, it can let you know some pretty useful things. This light turns on each time you turn on your car to let you know that your cars functioning properly, and it will come on again if there’s a problem with your anti-lock braking system. The anti-lock braking system prevents your wheels from locking up when you break – this is used a lot when you’re driving in wet conditions in conjunction with the VSC system.

Your ABS light can also blink to let you know whether the problem in your vehicle is severe. If the ABS light is on with another light, it can really highlight some problems with your car.

What Is an ABS Light?

The ABS light on your dashboard is tied into your cars or trucks anti-lock braking system and it can come in yellow amber or red. It’s the letters ABS surrounded by two circles. If you’re an inexperienced driver driving in unusual, usually wet conditions, in an attempt to avoid any collision with cars ahead, the anti-lock braking system will prevent your vehicle’s wheels from locking up and increases traction with them on the road.

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The ABS is part of your car’s stability system know as the electronic stability control which monitors the wheels using sensors connected to each wheel. When the sensors notice a change in one wheel e.g. the wheels about to lock up, the ABS will apply the brake. The ABS applies brake pressure to each wheel just enough not to entirely lock up the wheel.

If the ABS lights are on, you may feel the brake pulsation in the brake pedal as you press it. This system does take some control of the vehicle, but the drive is still in control. The ABS prevents your car from skidding on the road by taking control of the wheels and applying brake pressure when necessary.

What Causes the Light to Come On?

When your ABS lights come on, it’s usually to warn you about a problem that’s going on with the anti-lock brake system.

Here are a few reasons why the ABS light will come on:

Low Fluid Reservoir – the braking fluid in your car helps to control the braking pressure. A reservoir contains the braking fluid and sometimes this fluid might leak from the reservoir which can cause levels to drop. This can cause the ABS warning light to turn on in the dashboard.

Faulty Speed Sensor – there are speed sensors connected to every wheel which can calculate the movement and RPMs behind that wheel, and this gets sent to the anti-lock braking system. If one of these wheels isn’t performing like normal or is moving too slowly, then the ABS will increase the traction on the wheels by applying the breaks. If there’s a problem with the sensor connected to the wheels, then the ABS light could start illuminating.

Bad System Module – If the ABS gets corroded over the years, this could damage the system. It won’t be able to collect information from the speed sensor in the wheels and this can trigger the ABS light to illuminate on the dashboard. It takes a lot of corrosion on the ABS for it to stop having the ability to collect information from the speed sensor.

Bulb Check – Some cars can perform a bulb check on the dashboard and this is for the driver’s convenience to know that their lights are working properly. This is a very common reason for the ABS to come on. After a certain about of time, the lights should turn off themselves.

Worn Hydraulic Pump – If one of your vehicle’s wheels moves at a different speed than the other wheels, then the speed sensor will send this information to the ABS. When this happens, the hydraulic pump will increase the amount of brake fluid pressure to the wheels. After years of having your car, the hydraulic pumps could get worn out and therefore cause the ABS lights to turn on.

Making Sure the ABS Light Doesn’t Come on Again

If the ABS light is coming on because one of the components within the vehicle is bad, then you could be in some trouble – you might have to go to the mechanic to get one of these components fixed. If you want to fix/replace one of these components yourself, or you want to make sure that these components never get damaged again, then you need make sure that you’re maintaining your vehicle often – this involves checking key components often so they don’t become faulty.

If you want to avoid ABS problems or other issues and save $100s of dollars that you’ll spend at the auto repair shop, you’ll need to service your vehicle often – you can use our mechanic-rated Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual to do this. It’s basically what mechanics use to go through your vehicle to check if there are any problems that need fixing. As soon as they notice the most minor problem, they’ll ask you to fork out some money even though it’s a problem you can fix yourself in minutes – the manual will teach you how to maintain your vehicle every few thousand miles and it’ll teach you how to fix minor problems that mechanics will ask you to pay for; saving you money in the long run.

A lot of our readers have the Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual printed on their garage wall and 92% of them haven’t visited the auto repair shop in the last year because they know what to do to avoid problems. All it takes is giving your vehicle a little attention every few thousand miles and you’ll never spend money at the workshop again.

What to Do When Your ABS Light Comes on

If your ABS lights do come in, there are a different number of ways you can deal with the problem. If this is just a bulb check – where your car just checks if your dashboard lights are working properly and they ABS light turns off after the check is done, you won’t have to do anything.

If your ABS lights come on when you’re driving, then your cars ESC could have detected a problem with your car. This can mean that the ABS is not working properly and if you end up in bad conditions when your ABS is turned on to assist breaking to your wheels, you could find yourself in serious trouble.

In most circumstances, you can continue driving when your ABS lights come on. However, you should know that a lot of your car’s systems rely on the ABS system. If this isn’t working problem and you’re unaware, your care won’t be able to stabilize itself when it needs to, and you could end up in a serious accident if you’re not an experienced driver.

ABS Components to Check

If you’re worried that there could be a problem in your car, you can check some of the ABS systems yourself. A lot of the components may require an OBD2 diagnostics tool  (View on Amazon) to read errors going on within your car. Most cars do come with this and they allow you to diagnose problems within your car.

When you see the ABS light come on, you can connect the OBD2 scanner to OBD connector that is under the steering portion of most vehicles. Once this is done, you can switch on your car’s ignition and turn all the other devices connected into the car. Once the computer and car are connected, press the Read button on the scanner so it can check everything going on in the engine control unit.

After the scan is complete, you can write down all the error codes that the scanner diagnosed. Then, use your car’s manual to decode the problems. After you’ve decoded the problem and the problem is detected, you can take appropriate measures to solve the problem. This may require certain parts to be checked.

Adding Brake Fluid

If you notice that there isn’t enough brake fluid in your ABS reservoir, then you need to know what type of fluid your car uses. This information should be in the reservoir. If it’s not, then you may find it on your car’s manual.

Some brake fluid won’t be compatible with your car which is why it’s important that you don’t use the wrong one. Using the wrong type of brake fluid can end up damaging the internal seals of ABS components.

If you’ve previously opened a bottle of brake fluid, make sure not to use it again. Brake fluid that’s been sitting around is hygroscopic – this means it has absorbed moisture in the air and this can damage your brake pedals and make it harder to stop.