Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

ABS light on — what it means

ABS light on — what it means

What causes an ABS light on condition?

The anti-lock braking system detects wheel lock-up when you’re on a slippery road surface and pulses the brakes to prevent skidding and lose of control. The traction control system acts in a similar way to prevent wheel slip when accelerating. The traction control system receives all wheel speed data from the ABS system. If there’s a fault in the ABS system, you’ll see the ABS light on and the ABS system and traction control system will be disabled. You may also see the traction control light on.

What are the components of an ABS system?

The ABS system consists of an electronic module, a valve unit, a pump, wiring harness and wheel speed sensors and tone rings.

what are ABS brakes

ABS components

Most common causes of ABS light on

• Faulty wheel speed sensors and problems with the tone ring are the two most common causes of an ABS and traction control light on condition.

To diagnose the system, get the trouble codes read. That will tell you which wheel is reporting bad data. Then check to see if there’s debris on the wheel speed sensor or rust buildup on the tone ring. See this post for more information on those issues.

If you’ve cleaned the tone ring and wheel speed sensor and still have an ABS ABS and traction control light on condition, you’ll have to dig further to determine whether the wheel speed sensor is faulty. See this post for information on how to diagnose a wheel speed sensor issue.

Can you continue to drive with an ABS light on?

Yes, but the ABS and traction control features will be disabled. So you should exercise more care when driving on slippery roads.

©, 2022 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat



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