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ABS Light On: What Does It Mean? How To Turn It Off?

Here's where you can find out what to do when the ABS light comes on
If you’re trying to find out what to do when the ABS light comes on, this is the right place

ABS- the anti-lock braking system, is a computerized system found in almost all modern cars. Its job is to prevent your car from skidding and maintain contact with the ground when the brakes are applied.

The brakes prevent tires from moving which can cause the car to skid. However, ABS is an automated system that releases brake fluid pressure when the brakes are hit so that there’s little rotational movement in the wheels. This helps ensure the car doesn’t skid uncontrollably.

While the ABS system is important, it can malfunction as well. When the ABS light on your car is turned on, it means that there is something wrong in the ABS system.

Why Did My ABS Light Came On?

There can be many reasons for the ABS light to turn on. These include lower levels of brake fluid in the system, a blown fused in the ABS system, faulty control unit, solenoid malfunction, an unresponsive hydraulic pump, etc.

Sometimes, the ABS light may flash for a few seconds and then remain on. The number of times the ABS light is flashed denotes a trouble code and can help you figure out the issue.

What If The ABS Light Comes On And Off?

It is normal for the ABS light to come on and then go off when you turn on your vehicle. There’s nothing to worry here because it’s your car is performing a basic self-test.

However, if your problem is different and the ABS light stays on then it can be problematic.

In addition to this, the light may also often go off after you drive for a few kilometers, park your car, or restart the engine.

This is mostly due to a bad ABS sensor or something being wrong with the reluctor ring. The former is usually the main cause of this problem.

Still, you shouldn’t take it lightly. Use a scanner with ABS code reading capabilities to find the real problem.

What Does It Mean When Both ABS And Brake Lights Are On?

We know that ABS light comes on when there’s an issue in the ABS system but what does a brake light has to do with the ABS system? There is a connection.

Sometimes, both the lights may turn on simultaneously. It’s a bad sign and you must check your car as soon as possible. You can do this with the help of an OBD2 scanner that can read advanced ABS codes.

The scanner will help read the code and point out the problem. In most cases, you will only need to replace the wheel speed sensor or work on the DSC control unit.

Is It Safe To Drive A Car With ABS Light On?

Generally, it’s okay to drive when the ABS light is on, however, one needs to remain cautious.

You must not pull last-minute brake stunts when you have the ABS light on because your car won’t have any skid-protection.

Driving with the ABS light on and hitting emergency brakes can cause the car to roll off the ground due to poor tractive contact with the road.

What To Do When The ABS Light Is On?

Your first step should be to stop the car in a safe place and turn the engine off. After waiting for a few seconds, restart the engine. This will perform a full check on all the sensors and if you are lucky, the ABS light might not come on this time.

However, if it does, then a simple reset won’t do you any good.

What you need to do is get an OBD2 scanner that can read ABS codes. Connect it to the obd2 port and run an ABS check. If there’s a problem in the system, it will generate a trouble code for you to figure out what the problem is.

If that’s not an option then take your car to a mechanic and have it checked.

ABS-Anti-lock braking system.
Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org

How To Turn Off ABS Light?

There are two ways to turn off the ABS light in your car. You can do it with a scanner or by checking the ABS system manually.

We suggest that you use a scanner if the ABS light is on. This will remove the need to worry about finding the cause why ABS light is on.

How To Turn Off ABS Light Without A Scanner?

This requires a lot of work and a good amount of knowledge.

First, you need to elevate the car with a jack and remove the wheels using a lug nut wrench.

Now, inspect the sensors on the wheels. Trace the wires closely and see if they have sustained any damage. Replacing the damaged wheel sensor might solve the problem.

If there’s no problem in the sensors, go for the ABS fuse now. An ABS fuse can blow off if there’s an electric surge in the circuit. Replacing the damaged fuse might correct the problem.

Check the ABS module on the top of the pump motor. One of the valve controls could be damaged and a replacement could do the trick.

There might be a problem in the stator ring as well. It could have been dislodged or damaged.

These manual methods are time-consuming and difficult if you do not know much about cars.

How To Turn Off ABS Light With An ABS Scan Tool?

You can purchase a scan tool with ABS scanning ability to figure out the problem. It will pass a trouble code that starts with a C and followed by digits such as C0035, C0040, C0041 etc. These indicate a problem in the wheel sensors.

Similarly, you may get some other trouble codes as well. You can Google these codes and get to know what the problem is. This way, you will know why the ABS light is on without having to take your car to a mechanic.

ABS Light On: Best ABS Code Scanners

You can use an ABS Code Reader if the ABS light is on to find the cause behind the issue and make it easy to solve the problem.

Read my review of the Best ABS Scanners Here.

The Bottomline

It’s a wise decision to use an ABS scan tool to determine faults in the ABS system if the ABS light is on. Consider solving the problem as quickly as possible to ensure safety.

Tim MillerFounderOBD Advisor

I’m Tim Miller from Denver, Colorado. I’m the founder of obdadvisor.com, an automotive blog about "Auto Diagnostic Tools and Repair Guides". My fan page is facebook.com/autozikcom. I've been working as an automotive mechanic and blogger for over 10 years writing articles to share my experiences and expertise.

Web: https://www.obdadvisor.comEmail: [email protected]
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