Why Is My ABS or Traction Control Light On?

Why Is My ABS or Traction Control Light On?

| By: Chip Fenner, Christian Brothers Automotive

When an unfamiliar light flashes on your vehicle’s dashboard, it’s understandable to feel a little uneasy or concerned. Some lights, like the check engine light, could indicate a serious issue, while others might simply act to inform you that it’s time to fill up your gas tank. Whatever the purpose, it is important to do your homework to discover what light has turned on and why. Your ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and traction control often share the same control module in a vehicle’s system, so if the light for this module turns on, it might be more challenging to discover the real issue.

Your ABS or traction control light might turn on due to any of the following reasons:

1. The Anti-lock Braking System is Malfunctioning

Because the ABS and traction control often share the same module, a problem with one mechanism might be indicated by a light for both. If the brake system is malfunctioning, the traction control light might come on as a result.

2. Your Brake Fluid Levels Are Low

The light for your ABS might also come on if the brake fluid is low. Your car likely has sensors in those tanks in order to detect when fluids are low, which could be dangerous. If your brake fluid is low your vehicle may also drive a little differently. The braking system may feel soft or spongy, and it might feel as if your car is slower to come to a complete stop. However, when the brake fluid is low you will likely get other system indicators or warnings besides the ABS light. These indicators may be very sensitive so it may be only slightly low which would be a simple fix. Be sure to use the correct fluid type for your vehicle. The fact that the fluid is low could also indicate a brake fluid leak which is very dangerous. Be sure to check for any leaking from the entire brake and ABS systems. At Christian Brothers Automotive Grant Rd., our professionals can diagnose the system and check for any leaks.

3. The Wheel Speed Sensors Are Damaged

Most vehicles also have wheel speed sensors, which can measure the rate at which each wheel is moving. When the wheels move at different paces, or if some other irregularity is detected, the traction control might determine that a shift in power is needed in order to even out wheel speed. Or, sometimes the sensors could become dirty or damaged, leading to an incorrect reading. If the sensors are broken, your traction control module will be unable to accurately detect wheel speed and will not know when to enable the traction control system.

4. Traction Control is Off

When you turn off traction control, the light may turn on as a result. Even though vehicle manufacturers do not recommend that drivers turn off traction control for safety reasons, there may be circumstances where a driver decides that turning off traction control is best. If you did not mean to turn off traction control, take a look at your vehicle’s manual to determine how to turn traction control back on.

If your ABS or traction control light recently turned on in your vehicle, our auto repair team is here to help. We have extensive experience working with traction control systems, Anti-lock Braking Systems. And electrical issues that may cause false vehicle notifications.

Contact Christian Brothers Automotive Grant Road to discuss your car problems with our auto repair specialists in Cypress.

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