Four Reasons Your ABS Light Is On

Four Reasons Your ABS Light Is On

November 29, 2021

Your vehicle’s brake system is one of the most important safety features available—and if you have an anti-lock brake system (ABS), you have another layer of protection. Anti-lock brake systems in Everett, WA give you more control over your car and increase the lifespan of your tires, wheels and brake components.

If your ABS light comes on, you should pay attention.

Here are four reasons why your ABS dashboard light may be on:

  • The system is off: You do have the option to turn off your ABS system, which comes as a surprise to many vehicle owners. Look at your dashboard, and see whether there are any other indicators lit up. If it’s just the ABS light or traction control, there’s a good chance that your ABS has been turned off, either intentionally or accidentally. When the ABS is off, the light comes on to alert you that this safety feature is not currently engaged. Check your owners’ manual to find out where the switch is, and turn it back on to take advantage of this feature. While someone may have had a legitimate reason for turning it off, most drivers will want to use the ABS.
  • The ABS or traction control system is malfunctioning: Your ABS shares some components with the traction control system—specifically, a control module and self-diagnostic system. Traction control is meant to detect when a wheel comes off the ground. It can then shut off power to the engine until all wheels are back on the ground. If you haven’t accidentally shut off the ABS, take your car in to get professionally diagnosed. It may be a problem with either or both systems.
  • Your fluid levels are low: Your brakes operate on a hydraulic system, and hydraulics depend on fluid to create pressure. The hydraulic cylinder pushes against fluid, which, in turn, allows your brakes to squeeze the calipers and brake pads, bringing your vehicle to a stop. If there’s not enough fluid in the hydraulic brake system, your brakes cannot operate properly. This can occur due to leaks or evaporation. The ABS can detect this and will switch on the light as an alert. Take your car or truck into the shop right away.
  • Your wheel speed sensors are broken: Finally, you might have a broken or dirty wheel speed sensor. These detect the individual speed of each wheel, which can tell your car’s electronic system when something is out of sync. This alerts the traction-control system. However, when the sensors are broken or dirty, your ABS light may come on. (If you have a separate traction control light, that should also light up.)

With the exception of accidentally shutting off your system, noticing the ABS light is on is a warning sign in Everett, WA. Troubleshoot by trying to turn it back on—then get in touch with the team at Auto Truck Service Inc. for repairs and maintenance right away. We look forward to assisting you soon!

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