Why Is My ABS Light On : Causes, Meaning & Fixes


Illumination of the ABS light in vehicles is a common problem, which refers to problem with the ABS brake system of the vehicle. When the vehicle is moving at high speed, the ABS braking system prevents the vehicle’s wheels from locking when braking. But many times, when there is some kind of problem with the ABS system, the ABS light starts illuminating on the dashboard of the vehicle. In this post, you will learn about the possible reasons why the ABS light comes on.

What Does ”ABS Light” Mean?

The “ABS light” in any modern vehicle is a warning light for the anti-lock braking system that indicates a problem with the vehicle’s ABS brake system.

The ABS system helps prevent the wheels from locking during sharp braking, further improving the handling and stability of the vehicle. There are several different possible causes for the ABS light to come on. To solve this problem, first of all, you should carefully investigate its causes.

Why Is My ABS Light On – Causes

Common causes for an ABS light to illuminate include a faulty wheel speed sensor, a blown fuse, faulty wiring, a brake fluid leak, or a faulty control module. Additionally, low brake fluid levels, damaged wheel bearings, or air in the brake lines can also trigger the ABS light.

Let us now know the causes of ABS light coming on in detail one by one, so that you can inspect and possible solve it based on these symptoms.

1. Bad Speed Sensor


If a vehicle is equipped with an ABS braking system, then each wheel of that vehicle has separate speed sensors, which send signals of wheel speed and hydraulic pressure to the ABS control module. Based on data provided by the speed sensor, the ABS control module increases or decreases hydraulic pressure to stop the vehicle’s wheels, and the ABS control module adjusts the ratio of hydraulic pressure sent to the wheel cylinders.

But sometimes one or two speed sensors located on the wheel create problems. This disrupts the functioning of these speed sensors, causing the ABS warning light to come on in the dashboard of the vehicle.

2. Low Brake Fluid Level

Low Level Clutch Fluid

The ABS braking system works on the basis of hydraulic brake fluid, which is one of the keys to the working principle of the ABS braking system. The ABS control module delivers hydraulic brake fluid from the master cylinder to the piston cylinders mounted on the vehicle’s wheels.

The piston presses the brake pad against the brake disc, slowing the vehicle’s wheel speed according to the pressure. But if the brake fluid level in the vehicle is low, the ABS control module will not be able to function properly to apply the brakes. This can sometimes cause the ABS warning light to turn on the dashboard. Therefore, always keep the brake fluid full.

3. Faulty Wiring


If the ABS warning light is on or flashing in a vehicle, it is possible that the communication wire between the vehicle’s ABS control module and the speed sensor is cut or damaged. This does not allow the ABS control module to read the speed of the wheels and may interfere with the functioning of that wheel’s braking system. So after scanning the vehicle with a digital scanner, get this damaged or cut wire repaired by a vehicle expert electrician or replace this wire with new wire.

4. ABS Module Fuse Blown


ABS is an electronic brake system part in which the power supply is provided by the ECU module of the vehicle. For which a fuse is installed in a fuse box by the company to protect the ABS and ECU from short circuits. So that in case of emergency, it can turn off the power supply of ABS.

But this ABS control module fuse can blow for some other reason as well, due to which the ABS control module may not work properly. For this reason, the ABS light can also be on.

5. ABS Control Module Malfunction

absystem module

The ABS Control Module plays the most important role in the smooth functioning of the ABS braking system. But sometimes there is some kind of defect in the ABS control module installed in the vehicle. Due to this, the working efficiency of the ABS braking system can be severely hampered. Due to this, the ABS light may be on in the cluster meter of the vehicle.

6. ECU Failure

ECU is a kind of brain for every vehicle, which makes all the functions of the vehicle working smoothly. The ABS braking system also works based on the signals and commands sent by the vehicle’s ECU. But sometimes some kind of error occurs in the ECU module of the vehicle or one or two of the small components in the ECU unit get damaged. For this reason also the ABS warning light may turn on in the cluster meter of the vehicle.

7. Brake Light Switch Failure

In many vehicles, the ABS braking system is installed with a brake light switch to receive the brake pressure signal. The brake light switch sends a signal to the ABS module about the pressure the driver is applying to the brake pedal. Based on this, the ABS control module sends hydraulic brake fluid to the wheel cylinders in the same amount.

Due to which the ABS system of the vehicle works properly. But sometimes the function of the ABS Control Module is hampered due to a faulty brake light switch. For this reason, the ABS warning light may also turn on. This can also be one of the reasons why the ABS warning light is on.

How To Turn Off ABS Light

The ABS light should never turn off without resolving the underlying problem. Because turning off the ABS light without solving the problem can compromise the safety of your vehicle. This is a safety feature that alerts you to a problem with the ABS system.

  • Fix Main Problem: First, investigate the cause of the problem with the ABS light coming on. This may include checking sensors, wiring, control modules, or other components of the ABS system. You can use an OBD scanner to identify the problem.
  • Clear Error Codes: Once the problem is fixed, clear the error codes stored in the vehicle’s ECU with an OBD-II scanner. This procedure will reset the ABS light.
  • Take a Test Drive: Next, take a test drive to make sure the ABS light is off and the ABS system is working properly.

How To Fix ABS Light

If the ABS brake system warning light is coming on in the cluster meter of your vehicle or the light is flashing, you have to get your vehicle checked by going to an expert vehicle mechanic garage.

What To Do?

  • Scan the vehicle with a digital scanner for fault detection.
  • Repair or replace a bad speed sensor.
  • Fill brake fluid level to full.
  • Repair or replace the brake switch.
  • Check the ABS wires and repair or replace the old wires.
  • Check the ABS model. Get it scanned and repaired.
  • Check the fuse of the ABS module.

ABS Light Repair Cost

On average, the total estimated cost to fix an ABS light plus mechanic labor can range from $180 to $400, with the ABS sensor costing around $90 to $150 and mechanic labor costing around $50 to $150.

There are many other reasons why the ABS light may come on, depending on which parts of the ABS system are damaged and need repair or replacement.


Q. Is it okay to drive a vehicle with the ABS light on?

If the ABS light is visible in your vehicle, So you can drive your vehicle with care. But this can be a risky move. The ABS light coming on is a sign of some kind of error in the braking system of your vehicle, which can cause serious problems at any time. So you can get your vehicle’s ABS light diagnosed and repaired.

Q. How can I fix my ABS light?

  • Scan the vehicle with a digital scanner for fault detection.
  • Repair or replace a bad speed sensor.
  • Fill brake fluid level to full.
  • Repair or replace the brake switch.
  • Check the ABS wires. and repair or replace new wires.
  • Check the ABS model. Get it scanned and repaired.
  • Check the fuse of the ABS module.

Q. Can Low brake fluid cause ABS light to come on?

Yes, if your vehicle has a low level of brake fluid. So your vehicle’s ABS light may be on.

Q. Where are ABS sensor located?

On a four-channel ABS system, the ABS sensor is normally found in each wheel hub or rotor. In some rear-wheel drive systems, the sensor is installed in the rear differential.

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