It can be quite frustrating to see your ABS system light illuminated. There is a procedure on how to do a quick reset on your ABS system. This is something that the repair shops, dealerships, and car manufacturers don’t want you to know about.
I used to drive with my ABS system light illuminated for quite a while before I took my car to the repair shop. Once I got there, the maintenance chief told me that they need to do a reset of the ABS system and that it will cost me $100. At that point, I didn’t know a lot about ”resets” but I knew that it was something done on a computer without any labor or parts included.
I got angry that they were going to charge me so much money just for a simple reset and I took things into my own hands. After a quick search on the internet, I was able to find a hidden jewel. This is how to do a quick reset on your ABS system:
How To Do a “QUICK Reset” on Your ABS System
Follow these steps and at the end of the procedure, hopefully, your ABS system light will be turned off.
1. Turn the key on
Place the key into the keyhole and turn it on. However, do not start your vehicle just yet. Keep the key in the ‘on’ position. This action is only to provide power to the vehicle’s system. You should have your ABS light illuminated at this point.
2. Press the gas pedal 3 times
Once all of the lights are illuminated on the dashboard, including the ABS light, press the gas pedal 3 times. There is no clear information on why you have to press the gas pedal in order to activate the ABS system. But, I’ve tried it and it worked for me so please do it yourself.
3. Start your engine
At this point, the ABS system reset process is completed. Hopefully, this will reset your ABS system light. Performing the previous steps allows the vehicle main computer to reset all of the error data associated with the ABS and gather new data. Your ABS system parameters will realign and begin working properly. This new information will be then sent to the vehicle’s main computer and the ABS light will stay off.
4. If your ABS light didn’t go off
If you performed the previous 3 steps and your ABS system light still didn’t reset, that is absolutely fine. Some vehicles require an additional thing that you need to do. Take your vehicle for a test drive and accelerate above 15 miles per hour.
When I did the ABS system reset on my Hyundai, it worked with the 3 steps. But, my brother’s Volkswagen didn’t. We did research online and found out that on some vehicles, the ABS systems are activated when you drive above 15 miles per hour. That’s when the ABS system sends information to the main computer.
4 Most Common Causes For Illuminated ABS Light
I am going to talk about the 4 most common causes for illuminated ABS light. Before you start, always cut all electrical power to your vehicle system. Remove the black terminal on your vehicle battery and place it in a way that won’t touch the car battery while you work on your vehicle.
1. Failed Speed Sensor
The most common cause of ABS light illuminating on your dashboard or instrument cluster is a failed speed sensor. You can check the condition of the speed sensor by performing an inspection. This inspection can be done with your tire still attached to the vehicle.
The speed sensor works in a way that a magnetic ring that the speed sensor wiring connects communicates with the speed sensor on the hub assembly as well and sends that reading to the actual vehicle computer.
All four tires have to be the exact same reading. In the event that one speed sensor fails, it will no longer create that constant reading that the other three are giving, thus you will get the ABS fault.
So, just inspect the speed sensors and make sure there is no heavily coated corrosion and no dents. Make sure all of the electrical wirings are secure and there are no signs of stress (melted or cut wires).
2. Damaged Magnetic Sensor
As the wheel spins, your magnetic ring communicates with your speed sensor and your speed sensor sends that data to the onboard computer. All four tires have to have the exact reading which means all four tires have to be spinning at the same speed. However, over time these parts fail and the most common cause of this failure is a damaged magnetic ring.
With that said, over time as the magnetic ring ages, it becomes brittle and weak. It actually begins to fall apart inside and pieces of the magnetic ring begin to fall off. At that point, as your wheel is spinning, your speed sensor is no longer gathering a constant or correct reading from the magnetic ring because the magnetic ring is missing pieces. Once it gets to that point, your speed sensor sends the signal to the onboard computer that something has gone wrong here and your onboard computer will throw that ABS light on.
3. Blown ABS Fuses
Most vehicles have three ABS fuses. If one of those, or all three fuses are blown, you will definitely see an ABS light on your vehicle’s dashboard. Locate the fuse box in your engine compartment. Open up the fuse box cover and flip it. You will see that on the inside of the cover there is a scheme of how the fuses are set up. Position the cover in a way that it is mirroring the actual layout of your fuses.
The ABS fuses are marked and you will be able to find their location on the cover (example ABS 30 or ABS 40). Remove the actual ABS fuses and inspect them. If they are blown, replace them with new ones. While you are at it, inspect the inner ports where the fuses are installed.
4. Bad ABS Control Module
I have placed this most common cause as number four because it is the least likely. However, in the event that you have completed all the first three steps and/or replaced all the parts and your ABS light is still on, it’s very possible that your ABS control module needs to be replaced. A bad ABS control will throw an error code and your ABS light will be illuminated.
This is a very dynamic and unique part because the module is the brain of the system. It communicates with the entire ABS system and verifies that all ABS parts are properly configured and operating to their normal state. However, again, this could fail.