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Brian, Service Engineer
Category: Car
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Experience:  Master Tech, Bachelor's of Science in Automotive Technology, Ford Factory Trained
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My ABS light came on. Its in the dashboard of my car What ...

Resolved Question:

My ABS light came on. Its in the dashboard of my car? What does this mean and what do I have to do next?

Optional Information:
1999 Pontiac sunfire

Already Tried:
nothing, but it is 20 below zero here today.





Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Brian replied 8 years ago.
The ABS light is an indication that the ABS control module has
detected a fault somewhere in the Anti Lock Brake system. The ABS
module will store trouble codes that identify the type of fault
detected. So the next step is to have the codes retrieved by a dealer
or independent shop that has scantool equipment capable of
communicating with the ABS module. Check with the shop before you
visit, and they should be able to tell you if they can work on it.



As for what might be wrong, there might be a bad wheel speed sensor or
a wiring problem, or it could be something wrong with the hydraulic
control unit. The trouble code will direct the diagnosis. The
technician will follow a diagnostic procedure for the codes that are
retrieved, and then repair the root cause of the problem after testing
is complete.



A car with an ABS fault will still have working brakes, but the
anti-lock may not work, so be careful on slippery surfaces. The wheels
will lock up during braking and this makes it difficult to steer. If
you are extra careful, you should be fine until you can get the problem
fixed.


















Brian, Service Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1227
Experience: Master Tech, Bachelor's of Science in Automotive Technology, Ford Factory Trained
Brian and 17 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

So, if the ABS isn't working I need to go back to pumping my brakes in slippery conditions? I would LOVE this as I hate ABS.


Thanks for the answer! This helped! When I went back out, the light was off, so I will watch it for now.


Kerry

Expert:  Brian replied 8 years ago.
Yes, pumping the brakes is the only anti-lock you have if the ABS
disables itself. Not all ABS faults will cause the system to be
disabled though. You should test for yourself on a safe slippery area
before driving much in traffic. Try to lock up the brakes and see if
the ABS is really working. If not, then you should be prepared to pump
the brakes.


Brian, Service Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1227
Experience: Master Tech, Bachelor's of Science in Automotive Technology, Ford Factory Trained
Brian and 17 other Car Specialists are ready to help you

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