ABS light

Common Reasons Why Your ABS Light is on

Vehicles with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) have better control and stability since it helps prevent wheel lock-up during heavy braking. The ABS light will automatically come on when you start the vehicle. This is due to the fact that your car always tests the ABS system before starting; if there are no issues, the light will go off. If the light continues to illuminate, there is an issue with your car’s anti-lock brake system.

ABS light

In order to prevent lock-up, the ABS system continuously monitors wheel speed and adjusts the brake pressure applied to each wheel as necessary. Sensors that are mounted on each wheel measure how fast the wheels are spinning when ABS is engaged. If one of the wheels is turning more slowly than the others while braking, it is likely to lock up, which could lead to skidding and a loss of steering control.

Thus, in this article, we’ll be discussing ABS light as the following questions will be discussed:

Well, in this article, we’ll be looking at the reasons why your anti-lock braking system (ABS) light is on as the following questions are discussed:

  • What does the ABS light mean?
  • What are the Reasons Your Anti-lock Braking System Light Comes on?
  • How can one reset the ABS light?
  • Can one drive with the ABS light on?

Read more: Understanding the working of anti-lock braking system (ABS)

Without wasting any more time, let’s get to it.


What does the ABS light mean?

When the ABS light is illuminated, it indicates that there’s an issue with the anti-lock braking system. The ABS system is intended to enhance vehicle control by assisting in preventing wheel lock-up during hard braking. A defective ABS sensor, an issue with the ABS control module, or a broken ABS hydraulic unit are a few possible causes for the ABS light to illuminate.

The ABS light normally appears on your car’s dashboard as a circular symbol with the letters “ABS” inside, usually in red, yellow, or orange light. Depending on the brand and model of your car, the ABS light may appear differently than other warning lights like the check engine light. However, it is typically recognizable as a yellow or red warning light that is separate from other warning lights.

The moment the ABS light illuminates, you should stop the car in a secure location, turn off the engine, and then start it. Then the computer will assess all of the sensors for any anomalies. The light may turn off if you do a simple reset, just like you would on your personal computer.

It’s not always so simple, though, as the system can be faulty and needs to be diagnosed most of the time. The best course of action is to have a qualified mechanic connect a scan tool to the vehicle and check any existing trouble codes.

What does the ABS light mean?

Read more: Is it safe to drive a car with the SRS airbag light on?

Reasons Why Your Anti-lock Braking (ABS) Light is on

The presence of an ABS indicator light on your dashboard indicates that there may be a problem with your system and that you should have it checked properly. Here are the most common things that cause the ABS light to come on:

Defective ABS Module or Wirings

The most common and possibly correct reason why your ABS light may come on is a defective ABS control module or corroded wires. The ABS module may develop problems. The wiring itself, though, might also be at fault. Corrosion on these cables could delay or prevent communication between the ABS module and the speed sensor. If the vehicle only required updated wiring, that would be better.

However, if you’re unlucky, you could have to replace the ABS module, which is substantially more expensive. You should observe a lack of braking response with either issue. It might only be noticeable occasionally at first, but it should keep getting worse. Additionally, it’s possible for the brakes to lock up or for you to notice some clicking.

Bad wheel speed sensor

A wheel speed sensor measures how fast the wheels are moving and sends that information to the ECU. The ECU will determine how to utilize the ABS based on this information. When the ECU detects that one of the wheels is rotating more quickly than the other, it will release more brake fluid, causing the wheel to slow down and enhance traction on the road.

The ECU won’t get accurate information if the speed sensor fails, which will cause the ABS light to come on. In order to measure how fast the wheels are moving, the speed sensor is situated very close to them. Due to its position near the brakes and exposure to excessive heat, it sustains serious damage. Additionally, it may sustain damage from metal shavings or other material that comes off the brakes.

Defective hydraulic pump

Another reason why your ABS light may come on is that a defective hydraulic pump and the brake fluid that passes through it must be under the control of the ABS system. When the brake pedal is depressed, this pump is in charge of forcing brake fluid through the cylinder, where it is supplied to the brakes.

Based on the speed sensor measurement, the ABS system additionally modifies the amount of braking pressure applied to each wheel. With this knowledge, the right quantity of fluid may be supplied to the brakes, where it is most needed. This system typically functions as intended.

However, the hydraulic system’s valve could malfunction or the hydraulic pump could stop working. Both of these situations are undesirable. The pump is vulnerable to dirt and metal shavings from tainted brake fluid, and it is sensitive to wear. However, by having the fluid changed routinely, you can help prevent this scenario.

Low brake fluid

Brake fluid is required for the ABS pump to operate properly. To supply the brake system, this fluid is forced through the cylinder. You will experience problems, including a potentially illuminated ABS light if there is insufficient brake fluid. If the fluid level is low, it’s critical to determine why. You can have a leaking fluid reservoir, air in your brake system, or a faulty seal.

It may also occur if the brakes are worn out. The ABS module won’t balance the pressure between each tire if you let the system drop too low, which may cause slipping and sliding. You could notice that stopping becomes more difficult as the brake fluid level drops. Additionally, there’s the potential that when you brake, noise levels will increase.

Blown Fuse

The ABS light may illuminate due to a blown fuse since it can disrupt the electrical circuit and impair the ABS system’s proper operation. When the ABS light is on, it’s crucial to check the fuses for the ABS system as part of the troubleshooting process. A fuse might blow at any time for no apparent cause. Fortunately, checking the fuse is not difficult. If you aren’t observing any symptoms other than the light coming on the dashboard, it can even be the first step in the diagnostic process.

Read more: What does the ESP light mean? (Causes and how to fix it)

How can one reset the ABS light?

Here’s how to reset the ABS light in three simple steps:

  • Disconnect the positive cable from the car battery.
  • Replace the ABS sensor
  • Utilize an OBD-II scanner.

Disconnect the positive cable from the car battery

Your automobile battery’s positive cable should be disconnected. Next, keep your foot firmly planted on the brake pedal to shut off the car’s electrical system. The central computer of the vehicle will reset as a result of this. Reconnect the cable to restore power. This ought to reset the light if the system has no issues.

Replace ABS sensor

You might need to replace the ABS sensor if the light remains after the reset. In order to do this, you should unplug the sensor’s cable and unscrew the sensor’s housing, which should be mounted to the wheel hub. Next, mount and attach a new sensor. The above-mentioned method may be required to reset the computer after you’ve successfully installed the sensor.

Utilize an OBD-II scanner

If the light continues to illuminate, you should utilize an OBD-II gadget to figure out what’s wrong because the car still believes there is a problem that warrants the light. Take your car to a shop to have the issue identified and fixed if you don’t have an OBD code reader.

Read more: How to reset airbag light in six simple steps

Can one drive with the ABS light on?

It is not recommended to drive with the ABS light on since it denotes an ABS system problem. In emergency situations, the ABS system is intended to help prevent wheel lockup and enhance braking ability. Your ABS system would not operate as it should if it were malfunctioning, and you might have less control over your car during hard braking. This could extend your stopping distance and increase collision risk.

Furthermore, driving the vehicle while the warning light is on can cause additional damage to the ABS system as well as other components. It is advised that, if the ABS light comes on, you have the ABS system examined and fixed as soon as possible to guarantee your safety and the proper operation of your vehicle. The warranty on your vehicle may also be voided if you keep driving with the ABS light on, so it is important to fix the problem right away.

Read more:  Understanding ABS sensor


To sum up, the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) light is an essential warning indicator in modern cars that informs drivers of potential problems with their braking system. When the ABS light comes on, there may be a problem or error with the ABS system, which may prevent the vehicle from maintaining ideal control during braking.

After repairs or a problem has been fixed, resetting the ABS light is frequently required to turn off the warning signal. It is essential to stress that turning off the ABS light does not serve as a substitute for conducting an accurate diagnosis and fixing the underlying issue. Addressing the underlying issue that is causing the ABS light to be on is crucial for ensuring secure and efficient braking.

Always put the safety of the car as the main concern. The safety of both drivers and passengers on the road depends on routine maintenance, timely repairs, and obtaining professional assistance when the ABS light is on. Keep in mind that a properly maintained ABS system makes a substantial contribution to a vehicle’s capacity to react to emergency braking circumstances, lowering the likelihood of collisions and enhancing overall road safety.

That is all for this article, where we looked at the reasons why the anti-lock braking system light is on, and discussed the following questions:

  • What does the ABS light mean?
  • How can one reset the ABS light?
  • Can one drive with the ABS light on?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!