9 Signs You Should Get An ABS Light Inspection

The ABS light of motor vehicles can illuminate on several grounds, demanding an ABS light inspection.  Here are some common reasons:

1. ABS Light Is On

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that your Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) light is on. This is a direct indicator that you have an ABS issue and should get an ABS warning light inspection done to find the root cause.

Some additional warnings, such as the traction control indicator, may also be illuminated.

When the ABS light turns on, the engine control module will store a corresponding diagnostic trouble code (DTC) in its memory. An auto repair mechanic can use that code as a starting point for further troubleshooting.

2. ABS Doesn’t Work

Typically, if there’s a problem triggering the ABS warning light, the ABS module will disable the system entirely.

If the motor vehicle has stability and traction control, those systems may also be inoperative since they’re integrated with the ABS.

3. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Don’t Work

Do you have a late-model vehicle with advanced driver assistance systems, such as automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control?

In that case, several of these functions may be disabled if the ABS doesn’t function right.

4. Loss Of Power-Assist

Loss of power-assist can turn on the ABS light. This is typical if your motor vehicle has an ABS that depends on an electric pump and pressure accumulator pump instead of a conventional vacuum brake booster.

Your car’s brakes will function; however, it’ll lack the usual power assist. This is quite dangerous for drivers who find it difficult to stop their motor vehicles without power-assisted brakes.

5. Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor

The ABS module draws information from the wheel speed sensor (ABS sensor). This sensor determines the rate at which the wheels are moving and forward that information to the ABS module.

If the module receives information that one or more wheels move slower than the others, the system releases brake fluid pressure. This then permits the wheels to continue their movement.

If the wheel sensor is faulty, or the wiring from the sensor to the ABS module is flawed, the Anti-lock Brake System won’t receive the proper wheel speed information needed – illuminating the ABS light.

Note: Since the wheel speed or ABS sensor is positioned near the braking system, the high heat from the brakes makes the speed sensor prone to damage.

7. Unresponsive Hydraulic Pump or Valve

The ABS utilizes a hydraulic valve that releases or increases the brake fluid pressure to prevent the wheels from losing traction with the ground. It does so when the wheel speed sensor detects a tire or more moving at different speeds.

Like most valves, this valve connected to the ABS is susceptible to damage and becomes unresponsive. This typically happens due to internal wear from contaminated brake fluid.

8. Faulty ABS Module

If there’s corrosion on the ABS module, it can prevent information from traveling between the wheel speed sensor and the Anti-lock Brake System.

Corrosion in the wheel speed sensor wires, a common occurrence, can also prevent the system from functioning.

However, it can also be that the computer in the module is malfunctioning (less common) and needs a repair or replacement.

9. Low Brake Fluid Level

The Anti-lock Braking System relies on brake fluid to regulate pressure. Now, if the ABS fluid reservoir (brake fluid reservoir) has a low brake fluid level or there’s a lot of air in the system, the Antilock Braking System can malfunction.

How Urgent Is An ABS Light Inspection?

You should definitely go for an ABS light inspection if the ABS light is on. There may be a brake issue that could endanger your car’s safety in the case of an emergency.

Besides, your Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System (TCS) are dependent on the ABS. It means a malfunctioning ABS control module will probably impact your car’s ESC and TCS – compromising safe driving.

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