Is It Safe To Drive With ABS And Brake Light On

When you turn on your engine, the computer runs a series of tests to ensure that all the features are working properly. If there is something wrong with some of the features, the computer lets you know by illuminating a light on the dashboard. One of those features is the ABS. Is it safe to driveOpens in a new tab.

When the ABS system has a problem, often it’ll turn the ABS and the brake light on. It is not safe to drive with ABS and brake light on because the light indicates that there is something wrong with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) which provides reduced braking distance and steerability control of the vehicle at all times.


Is It Safe To Drive With ABS And Brake Light On

Is It Safe To Drive With ABS And Brake Light On

Almost all modern-day vehicles are equipped with ABS. An anti-lock braking system or the ABS is very simple. The ABS has a main function to prevent the wheels from completely locking up when you hit the brakesOpens in a new tab.

When one of the speed sensors detects that the wheel or wheels are about to lock up, a modulator unit releases the brake pad on that wheel partially. This way, the wheels spin aperiodic during braking. This will definitely allow the steering to function, and the driver will be able to steer the vehicle even during the braking.

If there is an issue with your ABS, the ABS light and the brake light will illuminate on your dashboard. Is it safe to driveOpens in a new tab.

When you go hard on the pedal in an emergency stop, you’re going to feel a little pulsation underneath your foot. That’s the anti-lock braking system pulsating on and off. This allows for your wheels to not lock up and then you can steer around the object you’re trying to avoid.

Experienced drivers may find a non-ABS equipped vehicle more reliable. Sometimes ABS is engaged when it’s not necessary leaving the driver with no control over braking. This might not be the best option under certain conditions.

What Is ABS And How Does It Works

So, what exactly is ABS and what does it mean? ABS stands for the anti-lock brake system and it’s a safety and stability feature that our vehicles offer and have offered for quite a long time. What exactly does ABS do?

In the event of a panic stop or a situation on a slippery, snowy, and rainy road or something like that, you hit the brakes and the tires lock up. The ABS systems job is to modulate the brakes for you. It’s essentially pumping the pedal like you normally would have on your vehicles before the ABS system.

It’s doing it much faster than we can and it’s keeping the wheels from locking up. By keeping the wheels from locking upOpens in a new tab.

When the ABS system has a failure, the red brake lightOpens in a new tab.

The ABS system is going to watch the speed of the wheels. So, in the event of a wheel slipping during takeoff, the traction control would use that information to control the wheels from slipping to help you stop easier on a snowy or rainy day.

How To Quickly Reset The Your ABS System

When your ABS light is on, it probably means that there is something wrong with your ABS system. Every time you turn on your engine, the computer performs a series of checks. For each error, a light is illuminated on the dashboard.

But, you probably noticed that sometimes a check engine light comes on and then after 2,3 days it disappears? How can a check engine light turn off? Well, as the computer performs a check, due to a misreading of information or a misfire, the computer can read the wrong data and tell you that there is something wrong with the engine. But, at the next data reading, everything is okay and the check engine light is turned off.

When it comes to the ABS light, if it comes up, it will stay. Even if it is an error reading. What you can do is you can do a quick reset of your ABS systemOpens in a new tab.

How To Quickly Reset The Your ABS System

  1. Turn the key on but do not start your engine. Just turn it to the on position and wait for all the lights on your dashboard to start illuminating.
  2. Do three quick presses on your gas pedal.
  3. Wait a few moments and check your dashboard.
  4. Start your engine and check your dashboard again.

At this point, the reset process is complete. Hopefully, this resets your ABS system and allows all of the system parameters to realign and begin working properly. During that reset, the actual computer dumps all the data and then regather the new data. It will verify that all parts that are tied to your ABS system are workingOpens in a new tab.

If your ABS light is still on, then there is something wrong with your ABS system and the previous ABS light was not due to an error reading. At this point, you should drive your vehicle to the repair shop and fix your ABS system.

Igor Iwanowski

I am a certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic since 2018. I specialize in Brake systems, dashboard warning lights, EGRs, general engine problems, EVAP and Emissions issues.

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