5 Causes of an ABS Light to Come On in Your Car and What to Do
4. Bulb Check
Some vehicles will perform what is known as a bulb check on the dashboard. This check is for the driver’s convenience, so they know the bulbs of their vehicle’s warning lights are working properly. These lights will usually turn off by themselves after a certain amount of time. In some instances, there may be a glitch in the bulb check which keeps the ABS warning light illuminated after the bulb check is completed.
5. Worn Hydraulic Pump
If there is one wheel of a vehicle that moves at a different speed than the other wheels, the wheel speed sensor detects this and then notifies the anti-lock braking system. Once this happens, the system will activate the hydraulic pump to increase the amount of brake fluid pressure. This will allow the wheels to maintain their traction as they’re touching the ground. Unfortunately, hydraulic pumps tend to get worn out after years of using them. This would certainly cause the ABS light to come on, which means you’d need to replace the pump right away.
What to Do When the Car ABS Light Comes on
When the ABS light activates on your car’s dashboard, it signals that something is wrong with the anti-lock braking system. That means if you need to step on the brake pedal quickly to stop your vehicle, then it might not stop as fast as you want it to. As a result, you could end up in a serious car accident.
Basically, the function of the anti-lock braking system is to keep your vehicle’s tires on the road as you aggressively step on the brake. That way, the wheels don’t lock up or skid uncontrollably on the road during the braking process. This is particularly important if the road is slippery or wet.
There are different reasons for why the car ABS light would come on. The main reason is from simply turning on your vehicle. After you put your key in the ignition and turn it on, the computer does a test on the anti-lock braking system to ensure it is functioning normally. If the computer doesn’t find a problem, the ABS light will turn off quickly. But if the ABS light stays on, it means there is a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
Sometimes you might be driving, and the ABS light will suddenly come on too. In any case, you need to bring your vehicle to an auto mechanic whenever you experience this issue. They are the only ones equipped to diagnosing the issue and turning which component of the anti-lock braking system needs repair or replacement.
Just because your ABS light is on, that doesn’t mean you can’t drive your vehicle. In fact, you will still be able to step on the brake pedal and slow the vehicle down. However, you cannot perform any kind of emergency stop by slamming the brake pedal quickly. So, what you need to do is drive slowly to the nearest mechanic after the ABS light comes on. Brake slowly when necessary but avoid braking quickly or aggressively. If you can do that, then everything will be fine.
The only circumstance where you shouldn’t even attempt to drive your vehicle is if the brake system light comes on when the ABS light is on. The brake system light indicates a much bigger issue with your braking system — a problem which may limit your ability to brake the vehicle at all. Therefore, you would need your vehicle towed to the mechanic if you notice both lights on.