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