How to Clear the ABS Trouble Code Indicator Light

by Susan Revermann
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An anti-lock braking system (ABS) comes standard on most late-model cars. When you depress the brake pedal quickly, the ABS pulsates through the braking system so you do not lock your brakes up. This helps to slow the vehicle down gently without skidding. If your ABS indicator light is flashing, it is letting you know that this system is not currently working and will not engage if you push on the brake abruptly. Resetting the light will resume the ABS function.

With a Scanning Tool

Step 1

Clean around the ABS computer located under the hood. Dirt and debris may be triggering the light. Turn the ignition on to test if this solves the problem. If not, turn the ignition off and proceed to Step 2.

Step 2

Attach a scanning tool to your car's computer, such as a PGM tester, Actron OBD-II scanner or Hypertech power programmer) This will give you a code to indicate what the problem is.

Step 3

Look the code up in a shop manual specific to your vehicle. Perform the required repair before clearing the code.

Enter the clear code provided with the tester to reset it. Unplugging the battery will not clear the indicator light.

Manual Reset

Step 1

Purchase a fused jumper wire or service connector adapter kit from an auto parts store. While you are there, ask the sales associate which fuses to use for resetting the light and where the Data Link Connector (DLC) is on your specific vehicle as this will vary.

Step 2

Locate the DLC on your specific vehicle. This may be below the glove box, under the driver's side dash or in the engine compartment by the intake manifold. Make sure your ignition is off.

Step 3

Connect the two fuses on the DLC for resetting the service light with a jumper wire or service connector. Turn the ignition on without cranking the engine and wait for the ABS light to flash a couple of times.

Step 4

Press down on the brake pedal with your hand. You will hear a click at which point you will release the brake. Push and release the brake pedal eight times within three seconds. The ABS light will stop flashing, stay illuminated for one second then will flash four times to indicate you have cleared the light.

Turn the car off and remove the wires and connectors.

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