5 Causes of an ABS Light to Come On in Your Car and What to Do


Modern vehicles have what is known as an anti-lock braking system. The purpose of this system is to keep the driver safe by preventing the wheels from locking up as you apply the brake. That way, you can keep control over the steering and your vehicle won’t skid as a result of the wheels locking up. In addition, there is a warning light on the dashboard which will illuminate if there is any sort of problem with the anti-lock braking system. This is a light that you need to take seriously because it is an early warning sign that your braking system needs to be inspected right away.

Jump to: What to Do When the Car ABS Light Comes on

5 Common Causes of an ABS Light to Come on

There are many causes which could make an ABS light come on. It doesn’t always mean there is a problem with the anti-lock braking system directly. There could also be a problem with other sensors or components that it communicates with as well.

Below are the top 5 causes of an ABS light coming on.

1. Low Fluid Reservoir

The braking fluid has a lot to do with controlling the braking pressure within an anti-lock braking system. There is a braking fluid reservoir which holds the fluid of the anti-lock braking system. Sometimes there could be a leak from this reservoir which will cause the fluid levels to drop. Either that or excessive amounts of air may exist within the system. Either way, it will certainly cause the ABS warning light to illuminate on the dashboard.

2. Faulty Speed Sensor

There are speed sensors built into every wheel’s hub which calculate the movement rate of that wheel. This information then gets transmitted to the anti-lock braking system. If it turns out that at least one of the wheels is moving too slowly, the anti-lock braking system will increase the pressure of the braking fluid to allow the wheel to move at a normal speed. But if there is a problem with the speed sensor, the anti-lock braking system will detect that and cause the warning light to illuminate on the dashboard.

Read also: 5 Symptoms of a Bad Intermediate Steering Shaft and Replacement Cost

3. Bad System Module

The module of the anti-lock braking system can form corrosion after a while. This is actually one of the most common reasons for why there ends up being a problem with the anti-lock braking system. If the module is corroded, then it can’t obtain information from the wheel speed sensor. As a result, the ABS light illuminates on the dashboard. It doesn’t even take a lot of corrosion to cause this to happen either. But you will need to replace the module after this happens.

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  1. Chukwuma Charles 6 May, 2019 at 15:11 Reply

    Your information are really rich and I will like updates on different clues anytime anyday.

  2. Mary Kaufman 15 May, 2019 at 03:29 Reply

    Abs light comes on while driving and acts like brakes are on when you put on the gas. Just had
    S new brakes put on and also there is like a burnt rubber smell also.

  3. Steven Brooks 31 May, 2019 at 21:16 Reply

    My abs light comes on and when ever I hit the gas or turn on head lights the car shuts off and it drains my battery I look at the break flud it’s good I don’t have no emergency brakes at all I even before thes started and it’s done thes once before and it stop and it was fine until now and it did it again

  4. DEW 15 July, 2019 at 11:37 Reply

    I had a bent rim for a couple years until I was able to replace it in June 2019. I regularly kept the tire pressure at the required air pressure. And still the ABS light would display on the dash. After replacing the bent rim, the ABS light stopped appearing on the dash. ABS brakes work by measuring the speed and pressure of the tire. If the pressure is inadequate, it will cause the ABS light to appear on the dash.
    In this case the lesson is check tire pressure every two fill ups of gas.

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