As drivers, we may be accustomed to a few dashboard lights. Perhaps it’s the “high-beams” light when you’re driving dark, unlit roads, the “tire pressure” indicator on cold mornings, or even the “low gas” light when you’re feeling brave. But, what about the ABS warning light? Anyone see that one lately?

ABS Warning Light, Northwest Auto Center of Houston

What Does ABS Stand For?

Over the years, cars add more and more safety features. And in vehicles manufactured during or after the 1990s, those safety features include the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS).

ABS has one purpose: keeping your tires from locking at the same time when braking. This technology allows your vehicle to keep a grip on the pavement instead of skidding and sliding.

This especially helps in situations where grip is already reduced, like on wet pavement or dirt roads.

While you don’t think about it until you need it, you always want the ABS ready to spring into action. So, when you see your ABS warning light on, it’s essential to take notice.

My ABS Warning Light is On, What Does that Mean?

When turning on your car, you may notice that your dash lights appear. But, after the vehicle has started, you’ve noticed your ABS warning light stayed on. 

What does that mean?

Unfortunately, that means that something is not right with your ABS and that your anti-lock brakes are compromised. This could be because of several different issues, including:

  • a broken wire between the light, sensor and/or ABS
  • damage to the wheel-speed sensor
  • blown fuse within the ABS
  • low brake fluid levels
  • problems with the hydraulic pump
  • general ABS failure

The ABS warning light tells you something is wrong with your ABS, but it doesn’t tell you what.

If the ABS Light is On, Does that Mean My Brakes are Broken?

With the ABS compromised, that means systems related may not function correctly (like traction control or stability control).

Luckily, that doesn’t automatically mean your brakes won’t work. If it’s just an ABS light on, chances are your brakes will still function normally. But, when in doubt — test them! It’s better to find an issue when cruising down your street versus on the highway.

If you do notice other warning lights, it could mean you’re having an issue with your entire braking system. That means a tow truck may be the best mode of transportation to your local mechanic.

What to Do When Your ABS Light is On

That’s simple — take your car in!

When it comes to your car and your safety, your brakes and anti-lock brake system is not something you want to just “hope” is working correctly. When the ABS warning light appears, your next step should be calling your local automotive shop.

Keeping yourself and those you share the road safe with should be priority number one when behind the wheel. When your brakes are in question, that’s no longer possible. Luckily, the technicians at Northwest Auto Center of Houston are qualified and ready to take a look at your vehicle. Call us today at (281) 894-8880 to make an appointment or visit us at 9137 Cypress Creek Parkway, Houston, TX 77070.