ABS is abbreviated as Anti-lock Braking System and almost all modern vehicles are equipped with this system. This Anti-lock Braking System is designed to keep you safe by preventing the wheels from locking up when you suddenly apply a heavy break.
The real purpose of ABS is to give you control over the steering wheel especially when you use the heavy brake on a wet or slippery surface. It increases the friction between the tires and the ground and improves vehicle control.
If there is any fault arises in your vehicle’s ABS, the regular brakes would keep working as normal but the antilock feature that prevents wheels from locking up would stop working. And driving without this safety feature can be dangerous.
Let’s find out more about Anti-lock Braking System!
What is ABS Light in Car
There is an ABS light on the dashboard of your car. Whenever there is any type of problem with the Anti-lock Braking System, this warning light comes on. If this warning light comes briefly or just flashes after turning on the ignition then it is just that your vehicle is doing a self-test as part of the system check. This is completely normal and your ABS is working fine. But if the warning light stays on, it means there is some problem with the ABS of your vehicle.
There are a number of reasons that can cause the warning light to come on. Let’s read about those causes in detail.
Causes of an ABS Light to Come On
There are possibly many reasons that can cause the warning light to come on. But it is not necessary that every time there is the fault with the ABS only. The ABS light can come on even when there is a problem with the sensor or any other component that it uses while transferring information from the wheel sensor to the ABS.
Here are the main causes of an ABS light to come on:
#1 – Low Brake Fluid
The right quantity of braking fluid is required for ABS in order to control the braking pressure efficiently. If the level of braking fluid in the fluid reservoir gets dropped, it can restrict the ABS from doing its job of preventing the wheels from locking up which can simply make the ABS light stay on to indicate the problem.
#2 – Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor
Every wheel has a speed sensor that is located inside the wheel’s hub. This speed sensor calculates the rate at which the wheels of your vehicle are moving. And this data is transmitted to the ABS. If it finds that one of the wheels is moving slower than other wheels, it increases the pressure of braking fluid in order to allow the wheel to resume to its normal speed. But if there is any fault with the speed sensor, it will stop sending data to the ABS and the ABS would not be able to control the movement of the wheels. This will make the ABS light to stay on.
#3 – Corroded ABS Module
The faulty ABS module is another reason for causing the ABS light to come on. Over time, the corrosion can form on the ABS system or the wires that can make the system faulty and cause it to stop obtaining information from the wheel speed sensors. As a result, the ABS light can illuminate to indicate that your vehicle is not safe to drive. In such a scenario, it requires replacement of the entire module including the computer.
#4 – Fault in the Bulb Check
Some vehicles come with the feature of a bulb check that is performed on the dashboard of the vehicle. It confirms that bulbs of the warning lights are working properly. If any fault arises in the bulb check, it may cause the ABS light to come on and stay on even after the bulb check is done.
#5- Failed Hydraulic Pump
When the wheel speed sensor detects that one of the wheels of a vehicle moves at a different speed, this information is transmitted to the Anti-lock braking system. This system releases a hydraulic pump to increase the pressure of the brake fluid to help resume the speed of the wheel to normal speed.
If any fault or damage occurs in the hydraulic pump which restricts it from doing its job, it can cause the ABS light to come on. In this case, you will need to replace the pump.
What to Do When ABS Light Comes On
When ABS light comes on, it’s not always that there is something wrong with the Anti-lock Braking System. If the light comes on when you switch on the ignition and it goes off instantly, there is nothing to worry about it. It’s a normal self-test that is performed by the system to ensure it’s working properly.
But if the ABS light comes on while driving and does not go off, it means there is some fault in the Anti-lock Braking System. With this fault, you would be able to drive your vehicle but won’t be able to stop your vehicle as fast as you want. You would lose control over your vehicle that can cause a serious accident.
Whenever you have to deal with this situation before you go for any replacement make sure the fuse of the system has not blown out. Another thing that you can do is checking the brake fluid level. If the level is low, you can fill it up to its brim using the right type of brake fluid. The other basic thing you can do yourself includes checking the electrical connections and ensuring the components are screwed in tight.
If still, the ABS light doesn’t go off even after doing all of these basic things, you should take your vehicle to an auto mechanic. They are the ones who can diagnose the problem accurately using the special tools and make the required replacement.
Is it Safe to Drive a Car with ABS Light On
Of course, you will be able to drive your vehicle even when the ABS light is on but it wouldn’t be much safer as you can’t perform an emergency stop. So, you will need to drive slowly and if you want to apply the brake, you will need to step on the brake pedal slowly. In this situation, driving your vehicle this way can help you reach to the nearest mechanic shop.
But if you notice that both the ABS light and Braking System light are on, it is an indication of a much bigger problem. And in such a situation, you should not drive the vehicle at all as you may not be able to use the brake. To deal with this problem, you should either call a mechanic or tow the vehicle to the mechanic to get the issue resolved.
The knowledge you will have can make a huge difference in how better you can deal with the issue of ABS light comes on. We hope this article has provided you a lot of knowledge bits that would help you to save your vehicle from extreme damage and also save you from catastrophic tragedy.