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How to Reset the ABS Light on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The ABS light on a Vehicles is designed to alert the driver to potential problems with any part of the anti-lock braking system. The ABS computer continuously monitors a number of sensors throughout the Vehicles in order to ensure that the anti-lock braking system is functioning properly Vehicles all times. When the ABS computer detects a problem with the system, it stores a trouble code in its internal memory and turns on the ABS light. An automotive scan tool with ABS capabilities is the only tool that can properly clear the codes from the ABS computer in order to turn off the ABS light.

Under The Hood:

 How to Reset the ABS Light on an Astro Van

Take the vehicle to a mechanic and have the anti-lock brake system checked and any necessary repairs made. Usually this will turn off the ABS light, but not always. If not, proceed to Step 2.

Put the key into the ignition and turn it to the "Run" position (the position right before the one used to engage the engine).

Locate the DIC control panel on the dashboard in front of the driver's seat under the speedometer. Keep pushing and releasing the "Set" button on the DIC control panel until "ABS" is shown.

Hold the "Set" button for about 5 seconds to reset the light and turn it off.

Turn the key in the ignition to the "Off " position and remove the key.

Items you will need

  • Ignition key

 How to Reset the ABS Light on a 2000 Ford Explorer

Turn the ignition to the "on" position (the second position) on the ignition.

Open your Explorer's hood and loosen the retaining nut on the negative battery cable clamp using a socket wrench and a 10 millimeter socket.

Slide the clamp off the negative battery terminal and wait three to five minutes.

Reconnect the cable clamp and tighten the retaining nut.

Check the dash to verify that the ABS light has gone out. This process also resets all trouble codes in the Explorer's computer, so all other warning lights will reset as well.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

 How to Reset the ABS Light on a Ford

Put the key into the ignition and turn it to the second position. This is the position just before the engine starts.

Open the hood of the Ford and loosen the nut on the negative battery cable clamp. You can do this with a 10mm wrench.

Slip the clamp off the negative side of the battery and wait about 5 minutes.

Put the clamp back in place and tighten the nut. Look on the dashboard to make sure the ABS light has turned off. This resets all lights in the car and the clock as well.

Items you will need

  • 10mm open-end wrench

  • Ignition key

 How to Reset the ABS Light on a BMW E36

Drive the vehicle onto a flat surface and shift the transmission into "Park" or first gear (manual transmission). Turn off the engine and apply the parking brake. Turn the ignition back to the “On” position so the dashboard has power.

Locate the vehicle’s diagnostic data port. This port is located underneath the dashboard, just above the pedal area. It is approximately 2 inches wide, a half-inch tall and made from black plastic.

Connect the scan tool’s data cable to the diagnostic data port. Power on the scan tool and choose “ABS” from the scan tool’s main menu.

Choose “Trouble Codes” from the ABS menu. Select “Clear All Current and Stored Trouble Codes” from the Trouble Codes menu. Wait a moment while the scan tool clears the trouble codes.

Turn off the scan tool, unplug it from the vehicle and start the engine. Confirm that the ABS light is no longer on.

Items you will need

  • Automotive scan tool

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.

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