Why is my ABS light on?

My brakes feel normal. Am I in danger?

The “ABS”(anti-lock brake) system offers added excellence to brake performance (above normal demands under average driving conditions). It is infrequent that we may experience need for its advantages in every day driving. Only in adverse weather conditions or sudden defensive and/or evasive maneuvering will we experience its advantage. During engagement, it is unrecognizable in operation, less a vibrating sensation in the brake pedal. This is often unnoticed due to our concentration on the driving skills in the moment required to maneuver during its operation.

The “ABS” light will illuminate when a fault is detected in the system. In most cases, when the light has illuminated, the system cancels and reverts into default mode. Generally, it is not an indication of total brake failure. You may continue to have a normal brake pedal and brake performance, with no discernable effect in normal driving conditions.

From 1984 to the present date, “ABS” brake systems are found on most European automobiles. The system incorporates a myriad of components. It starts with sensors, located on the wheels to detect changes in the rate of rotation of each wheel, as compared to the other wheels. Signal is then routed into a controller that will send signals to the “ABS” pump, and route the appropriate amount of brake pressure to each wheel to prevent wheel lock up, or skidding. If the wheel skids in adverse braking conditions, traction is lost and control is sacrificed. The “ABS” pump will apply braking pressure to each wheel, in metered intervals, up to a rate of 3,000 pumping cycles per minute. It is a system, which was first developed for use in military aviation, to prevent wheel skid and ultimate tire blowouts from the extreme demands of slowing an airplane during landings.

If you observe the “ABS” light, pay close and serious attention. It may simply be the result of a poor power supply. At the earliest convenience, pull to the side of the road and inspect all gauges, particularly, temperature and battery. It could be you have an accessory belt failure, causing power loss, resulting in the system-detecting fault due to low voltage. Also, observe the operation of the brake pedal. If the pedal seems to travel lower than normal, your problem could be a hazard to driving and you may be placing yourself and your occupants, or those who share the road with you, in peril. If you find no obvious underlying problems, or a diminished normal brake performance, continue driving with alerted caution and call EuroWerks, or your local service center for advice, and instructions.