The anti-lock braking system has been installed in virtually every new car for decades now. The main function of the anti-lock braking system is to stop the wheels of a vehicle from locking after you step on the brake pedal. For instance, let’s say you’re driving on the road and another vehicle suddenly pulls out in front of you. With only seconds to slow down, you need to step hard on the brake pedal. Well, if your wheels lock up during this moment, it would be skidding right into the other vehicle and cause an accident.
The benefit of anti-lock brakes is that it will prevent this type of incident from happening. It will also give you a greater ability to steer your vehicle too. Therefore, you must always have functional anti-lock brakes if you want to remain as a safe driver. If your anti-lock brakes were to ever wear out or malfunction, you would be warned immediately. New cars today have an “ABS” warning light which warns you when something is wrong with your anti-lock brakes. This will give you enough time to get your vehicle to the nearest mechanic and have your anti-lock brakes repaired or replaced. Otherwise, you will be risking getting into a serious accident.
5 Common Causes
When your ABS light activates on your dashboard, it may not necessarily be because your anti-lock braking system has gone bad. Sometimes there are corresponding components and sensors which go bad too. This could also cause ABS light to activate. To help you better understand the main causes of this, below are the top 5 causes of the ABS light coming on in your car.
1) Bad Speed Sensor
The hub of each wheel contains a speed sensor in it. The purpose of a speed sensor is to calculate the rate in which the wheel rotates. As the wheels move, the anti-lock braking system receives this information from the speed sensors. If it finds that one wheel moves slower than the other wheels, then the anti-lock braking system responds by using more braking fluid to normalize the speed of that wheel. If this speed sensor doesn’t do this job properly, then the ABS warning light will activate.
2) Bad Hydraulic Pump
Whenever there is a situation where one wheel moves slower than the others, the anti-lock braking system depends on the hydraulic pump to boost the braking fluid pressure so that the wheel can rotate faster. Naturally, if the hydraulic pump were to go bad, then it would be a problem for the system. The result is the ABS light turning on.
3) Low Brake Fluid Level
When you step on the brake pedal, the pressure that is created in an anti-lock braking system depends heavily on the braking fluid. If you don’t have enough braking fluid in the reservoir, then you won’t be able to generate the proper pressure to brake the car efficiently. This will automatically register as a problem in the anti-lock braking system, resulting in the ABS light turning on.
4) Faulty System Module
The anti-lock braking system module is what receives the information from the speed sensors. If this module were to become corroded, then it will fail to receive speed sensor information. This will activate the ABS light on the dashboard. There may even just be a little corrosion for this to happen. The only way to fix the problem is to replace the entire module.
5) Bulb Check Glitch
Does your vehicle do an automated bulb check? This is where it checks the warning light bulbs of the dashboard to ensure they’re functioning okay. The lights turn off when the bulb check is over with. But if the ABS warning light doesn’t turn off by this time, then the bulb check is probably acting glitchy and needs to be fixed.