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Why Does My ABS Light Flash?

by Stacy Zogheib

Cars today have a multitude of sensors and warning lights that can alert the driver to a variety of potential problems. There are lights that can warn you that your car is low on oil, remind you to wear your seat belt and indicate a possible problem with your ABS system.

Use of ABS Brakes

ABS stands for Antilock Braking System. When activated it "pumps" the brakes very quickly to allow the car to stop more effectively on slippery or dangerous roads.

Reasons for the ABS Light

The ABS light turns on when there is a problem with the car's braking system. This can mean that the ABS brakes need fluid or that it is malfunctioning. If the ABS light remains illuminated, this indicates a major problem that has disabled the ABS brakes. A major problem could be a faulty wiring harness or wheel speed sensor. If the light turns on then goes out this indicates a minor problem and the ABS brakes may still function. This is more likely to be an issue of low brake fluid or a brake pad that is wet or worn out.

What to Do

Diagnosing a problem with the ABS braking system can be complicated. In general it is best to take the car to a certified mechanic. The ABS system is essential for safe driving and it should be in good working order at all times.

About the Author

Stacy Zogheib's writing has been published in various online publications. She is a teacher and developmental specialist with experience teaching first grade, special education and working with children ages 0 to 3. She has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary and special education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University.

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Photo Credits

  • Car dashboard image by Andrejs Pidjass from Fotolia.com