Why Your ABS Lights Keep Going On and Off

Many people are fighting to make the ABS mandatory for all vehicles. After all, it is known to save lives in difficult driving circumstances. For instance, recent statistics by the IIHS showed how motorcycles with ABS had 22% fewer fatal accidents.

Since it’s a lifesaver, you want your ABS to always work accordingly. Read below to discover what it means when the ABS light keeps going on and off and why a car tire wheel balancer might be just what you need.

What is the ABS Light?

ABS lights are sensors of the ABS system. They notify drivers that there is an issue. The ABS stands for the anti-lock brake system. It was introduced in the 50s but gained traction in the 70s. It’s a superb solution to a frequent issue - wheel lock-up.

Wheel lock-ups happen when your brake system stops the wheels from turning. As a result, you have no control over the vehicle as your tires scrape the road without rotation. Many things can cause a wheel lock-up, from lack of power steering fluid to a sharp turn. However, the ABS takes matters into its own hands, regardless of the reason behind the lock-up.

How Does ABS Work?

ABS is similar to cadence braking, however, it is much more practical and shows better results.

The system has sensors that follow the wheel turning speed during braking. If these sensors notice that one wheel turns slower than the rest (a sign that it is about to lock), they signal to the rest of the system to reduce brake pressure. This is an ongoing process until all wheels rotate at equal speeds.

The Issues Behind ABS Light Going On and Off

It’s important to know the behaviors of ABS sensors as you want to identify and eliminate issues early on. So, let’s unravel what lies behind ABS light turning on and off.

Usually, it signals drivers about a minor issue within the system, like a dirt buildup. However, each vehicle is unique and uses a different warning system. For instance, some use a more intense flickering frequency to signal more critical issues with the ABS, while others will keep the same flickering pace.

So if you want to stay on the safe side, you should also learn why ABS lights can turn on at all.

As for what causes the ABS light to come on and go off, here are three chief reasons:

  • Brake fluid issues. The ABS carefully follows each change in your wheel and brake systems. So, your light will turn on if there are low brake fluid levels from evaporation or a leak.
  • Malfunctioning speed sensors. The speed sensors are a key part of the ABS as they keep track of wheel rotation speed. When they are damaged, they can disable the entire ABS, which will cause a light to turn on.
  • The control module is not working properly. The ABS shares a module with the traction control system. If one system malfunctions, the other might suffer the consequences as well.

Equip Yourself With The Proper Tools

Need new brakes or tires? ABS light keeps going on and off? Turn to JMC Equipment for assistance! With a decade of experience in the industry, we are the leading automotive tool and equipment distributor. Whether you are an individual DIY enthusiast or an auto repair shop owner, give us a call today.

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