Why Does the Anti-Lock Brakes Light Come on?

by Nina Hughes

Anti-lock brakes reduce emergency stopping distance by 25 percent. Sometimes, if anti-lock brakes are not working properly, or need maintenance, the anti-lock brake light comes on in your car.

ABS Electronics

Anti-lock brake systems are created to be fail-safe. But there are times when there are issues with the electronics connected to the anti-lock brake system. If the electronics fail to work and the system deactivates, the ABS light will come on in your dash.

Hydraulic System

When your anti-lock brakes kick in during a hard stop, hydraulic pressure is applied and released to the brakes to create the anti-lock feature. If the hydraulic fluid is low or there is a loss or pressure, then your ABS light will come on.

Speed Sensors

Cars with anti-lock brakes have speed sensors for each tire. These sensors pick up signals when the brakes are pushed hard enough for the anti-lock system to kick in. If these sensors are not working properly, the ABS light will come on.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images