why is my anti lock brake light on

SYMPTOM SUMMARY The ABS or Anti-Lock Brakes light remains on after the engine is started and remains on or flashes. USUAL CAUSE The Anti-Lock brake system is designed to rapidly modulate the braking action during a panic stop. This prevents the wheels from locking up and maintains vehicle control and stability. An ABS control module monitors the wheel speed and other various sensors to determine when wheel lock-up is about to occur. The ABS module continually performs diagnostics to ensure that the system is functional. When a malfunction occurs, the ABS module will illuminate or flash the ABS or Anti-Lock light on the dash panel to alert the driver. During start up, the module will illuminate the light as a self test. Shortly after the engine is started, the light should go out indicating the system is functional. If the light remains on the ABS Module has detected a system failure. On most vehicles, the ABS system will not be functional while the light is illuminated. Usually, normal braking will result unless the failure is related to a component that is used for both normal braking and anti-lock braking. If the Red Brake light is also on, normal braking may be degraded as well indicating a system wide failure. DIAGNOSIS On almost all ABS systems the module will store a diagnostic trouble code that relates to the circuit or component that has failed. The diagnosis will require the module to be placed in self diagnostic mode, which will result in it transmitting the stored diagnostic code. Once the code is received, the diagnosis should focus on that particular component or sensor. A vehicle specific service manual will indicate how the module is placed into diagnostic mode and will indicated what circuit or component relates to what code.


Often a special scan tool, similar to a hand held computer, is required to interface with the module. Once the code has been retreived from the modules memory, that component or circuit will require service. Some components, such as the wheel speed sensors, are usually simple to replace. However, other components such as the hydraulic modulator and control solenoids require special tools and special bleeding procedures to ensure proper operation. PRECAUTIONS, TIPS, and NOTES
If the ABS light is on, the failure should be corrected as soon as possible. If possible, you should leave repairs to the ABS system to trained service personnel that are equipped with the correct tools and equipment. The Hydraulic Modulator may contain brake fluid pressurized to over 1,500 psi, that if not properly bled, can pose significant danger to someone servicing the system. (Lance owned his own auto repair shop for 30 years before retiring in 2006. ) The majority of todayБs vehicles come with an anti-lock braking system as a common feature. In caring for your automobile, it s important to understand how each component operates. In doing so, you ll be able to recognize when something isn t working properly and can schedule an appointment to have it fixed before it becomes a major repair. In this post, we ll cover the anti-lock braking system (ABS). The ABS helps you safely stop your automobile in situations that are less than ideal, like when you re driving on slippery roads or have to brake quickly to avoid an accident. As its name aptly connotes, the ABS prevents the wheels on your car or truck from locking up so your vehicle doesn t skid uncontrollably.


How does the ABS work? The anti-lock braking system is designed to keep the wheels from skidding when you decelerate. When the ABS becomes engaged, you not only stop faster, you are able to steer while you stop. But how does the ABS know when a wheel is about to lock up? There are 4 components your vehicle s ABS the speed sensors, valves, pump and controller. The controller is continuously monitoring the speed sensors looking for unordinary or rapid decelerations, like when a wheel locks up. When this happens, the controller reduces the hydraulic pressure to the brakes until it notices an acceleration. This allows the tires to decelerate at the same rate as the car or truck. If you ve ever felt a pulsing sensation when you applied your anti-lock brakes hard, you were experiencing the ABS at work. What about the Anti-Lock Brakes Warning Light? With so many lights on a car dasboard, it can get confusing to know what each means. Here are answers to some of common questions you may have about the anti-lock brakes warning light on your dash. What is the ABS warning light? Whenever you turn the key in the ignition and start your car, the ABS computer performs a self test. YouБll notice the light illuminates briefly when you start your vehicle. If the computer that monitors the anti-lock braking system finds a problem (e. g. a hydraulic pump or valve isnБt responding), the warning light will illuminate on your dashboard and will remain lit. Exactly what does it mean when the anti-lock brakes warning light turns on while IБm driving? If the ABS light illuminates while you re driving, it signifies there s a problem with the ABS it s not functioning.


When this happens, you are still able to use your brakes, but without the added benefits of the anti-lock feature. In most cases, the light will turn off the next time you start your car. If, after it cycles through its self test, the light remains on, you should schedule an appointment with Country Road Automotive, in Lincoln Park, NJ. WeБll check the computer and perform a diagnostic to determine what is causing the problem. Is my vehicle still safe to operate if the ABS warning light is illuminated? Yes, your automobile is safe to drive, however, you should have us look it over in the event the light remains illuminated. ItБs also important to note if both the ABS and Brake System warning lights come on simultaneously while youБre driving, you should stop your car or truck as soon as you can safely do so and call a towing company. That pulsing sensation that comes from the anti-lock brakes can feel somewhat disturbing. Remember, it s normal. Even so, we think it s important to know how to use your anti-lock brakes. The National Safety Council provides several tips for driving with ABS. You can click here to download and read their information sheet Б. Б Should you be concerned about your vehicleБs braking system, have them checked right away (see our page on to learn some of the signs you may need a brake job). The technicians at Country Road Automotive in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, can inspect your braking system for signs of rough spots or damage. We ll also let you know how much is left on your brake pads and will examine the brake lines for cracking and corrosion.

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