It’s difficult and stressful when you’re driving on the road, and then suddenly you see your ABS as well as Traction Control light come on. What are these lights indicating and is your car likely to crash?
ABS and Traction Control ABS as well as Traction Control are safety systems which allow drivers to have more control over the vehicle. Since 2012 Federal law has mandated all light trucks and cars to be equipped with them. Although they aren’t an issue such as the BAS light of the ESP however, they shouldn’t be overlooked – they’re to ensure your and your passengers’ security.
So, in this post we’ll explain why you’re ABS or Traction Control warning lights may be flashing! We’ll also the meaning of these lights and what to do in the event that they appear.
What is ABS or Traction Control?
Before I get into what will cause the abs or Traction Control light to come on and what it signifies I’d like to briefly define what ABS and Traction Control are.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
ABS or Anti-lock Braking System, is a safety system that was first developed in the 1950s, and developed to avoid crashes and skidding caused by abrupt stopping. It allows the wheels of your vehicle to stay in their contact with the roadway even when braking , and stops that the brakes lock.
If you press the brake pedal at full force, normally your wheels would become locked and you’d easily lose control, however this is not the case using ABS.
ABS functions by measuring the speed of each wheel, and then compare it with the car’s speed. Therefore, when wheels are about to become locked it will trigger the ABS system will automatically apply and removes the brake pressure multiple times every second. This stops wheels from locking and lets you maintain control of your car in emergencies involving braking.
With ABS the vehicles that have this safety feature today are safer to drive , which frequently results in shorter stopping distances. It’s a crucial invention that will help you remain secure on the road in the event that you or someone else, needs to stop.
Traction Control System (TCS)
Similar to similar to ABS like the ABS, like the ABS, Traction Control System can be described as a security feature created to protect against losing traction and assist the driver keep control of their vehicle by stopping the car’s wheels from sliding. The traction control system helps by keeping track of how fast the wheel is moving however instead of braking, it decreases the power of those wheels which are in a slip.
Traction control was a traditional security feature that was used in the most expensive and high-performance vehicles. Some manufacturers considered this feature as not important in lower-end or mid-priced cars. However the traction control system has been widely adopted in non-performance vehicles, and as of 2012, it’s a requirement for all passenger cars as well as lighter trucks across the U.S.
If properly used If used properly, it can stop the vehicle from losing control, and help make driving in slippery roads such as icy, wet or snowy conditions much more secure.
What does ABS or Traction Control Light on mean?
After we’ve established the meaning of what ABS as well as Traction Control are and what they do, let’s look at what they mean when these lights come on.
If you see the lights flash on your dashboard in a row it’s easy for you to believe they’re related. But, they’re actually two distinct systems that have two distinct meanings but they have the same goal that is to assist the driver keep control of their steering.
An issue in one of these systems is likely to result in a warning light on the dashboard that signifies that both you’re in the ABS or TCS are off. The reason that both lights might be present is because some triggers are shared by both.
In addition, they utilize the same wheel speed sensor to monitor wheel lock-up and tire slip in braking or acceleration. Additionally, both ABS and TCS typically utilize the identical control module to monitor and manage these systems.
In terms of the system’s being removed, traction control won’t actually play a role in the event of slippery roads. However it is true that the ABS is an vital security feature. In the event that the TCS is turned off you will be able to avoid the majority of the slippage simply by making it easier on the gas.
Are you able to drive safely with the Traction Control and ABS Lights on?
When your ABS and Traction Control light is on while driving but there are any other lights that indicate a warning do not panic. Try turning off your vehicle , and then start it up again. If a glitch within the TCS system has triggered an alert light it will disappear when you start the engine.
It’s probably time to contact a trusted mechanic and obtain an evaluation of the system in case the light is back.
In the meantime and fixed, you must drive and be aware of aggressive braking and acceleration, which could cause skidding or wheels shifting. As mentioned it is possible to control the slippage of your tires by removing the accelerator.
But, when we talk about things to stay clear of. If both TCS or ABS warning lights are on as well as an indicator for the brake light you must not drive your vehicle until the issue is resolved.
When these three lights are illuminated your braking system in general, it may be affected and you might not be able to stop your car at the time you need to. Driving around in your car can place you and your passengers at risk, and it is recommended that you take your vehicle to a repair facility to determine the root of the issue.
This causes Abs as well as Traction Control Lights to On
There are a variety of reasons that the ABS as well as Traction Control light would come on. We’ve listed the 9 most frequently occurring reasons below:
1. Control Module Faulty
The ABS control module acts as the brain of the system. It runs diagnostic tests and processes data from the sensors for wheel speed as well as other parts.
There are many causes of an error in the ABS Control module. There may be an issue in the supply of power to the unit. There is also the possibility that the software isn’t functioning correctly, it could cause the system’s malfunction.
When both ABS or Traction Control lights are on this could be due to a failed control module.
2. Problem with the Wheel Speed Sensor
The sensors for wheel speed are situated on each wheel. They are accountable to monitor and inform the control module the speed at which that the wheel is turning. If any sensor isn’t functioning properly, it will transmit a fault signal for the module controlling it, which will turn the ABS and Traction control lights off and turning off the system.
In the event that one of the speed sensors on wheels fail, it may result in it to trigger the ABS system to activate even though it’s not needed.
3. Blown Fuse
A blown fuse could cause the ABS light as well as Traction Control lighting to turn on. Fuses help safeguard against over-currents in a circuit.
If the current of the circuit is higher than the rating for the fuse it is likely to “blow,” and the circuit will be cut off and send an alert that is sent to PCM. This could trigger the ABS light or it will also activate the TCS Light, or, sometimes, The check Engine Light.
4. Low Brake Fluid
Another reason that can trigger an red warning light together with an ABS warning light is the presence of low brake fluid. The ABS module monitors the quantity of brake fluid and will alert you when it is low enough.
Because that the brakes are hydraulic systems, they depends on the hydraulic pressure to function. If the brake fluids are too low, the vehicle isn’t able to produce enough pressure.
The low level of brake fluid may result from leakage like an malfunctioning brake master cylinder or worn brake pads may also be the cause for the low level of brake fluid. Examine the brake master cylinder , and refill it if required.
Also, read the following article: What Color is Brake Fluid? (Differences and When to Change)
5. Dust and dirt
The most common reason for the illumination of ABS or traction control lights is mud and dirt. They both ABS and TCS have wheel speed sensors as well as wires and connectors situated in a dangerous environment at each wheel.
They could be blocked or dirty due to road grime, brake dust or even snow and ice. They can be could also become damaged. This can cause the sensors to malfunction , sending an incorrect warning signal to the module controlling the vehicle that will then turn off the lights warning.
If you believe it could be caused by dirt or debris, you can try washing it off using the help of a pressure washer. But, it won’t solve the issue if the sensor wire, connector, or even a sensor is damaged.
6. Low Tire Pressure
Certain vehicles monitor tire pressure by using ABS systems that “calculate” the changes in tire pressure by calculating an estimate of the wheel’s speed. A low tire pressure can cause the speed sensors on wheels to detect a variation in the speed of rotation between wheels and transmit inaccurate data in ABS or Traction control. ABS and Traction Control.
The positive side is you are able to correct the issue by inflating the tires and then resetting the pressure of the tire. But, you might require clearing trouble codes by using an instrument for diagnosing.
7. The steering angle sensor is not working correctly.
The sensor that detects the angle of the steering is responsible for transmitting important data to the car’s computers system concerning the angle of the steering wheel as well as the speed at which the wheels are turning. This permits the car to carry out various safety functions.
One of the signs of a defective control angle sensor for steering is Traction Control lights that come on. There are many reasons it could fail, such as dirt and debris, wiring problems, or even damage. In the majority of cases it’s going to need replacement.
A steering angle gauge typically costs between $120 and $250 and the labor cost is estimated of $80-$250.
8. A Bad Wheel Alignment
If your car’s wheels are not aligned this can trigger to trigger the Traction Control System to come on. If one of the sensors that monitor the wheel’s speed or its angle, notices something is not right, the lights could flash. However, this issue is not common.
A wheel alignment is a procedure that can be performed in most auto shops and is fairly inexpensive typically about $30 per wheel.
8. Low Voltage of the Battery
If you’re having issues with the battery or lower voltages, your initial indicator is when the auto battery light goes on.
But, many parts and systems, like the ECU depend on the power and voltage of batteries to function. If the voltage is not sufficient it could cause issues and, in the process, trigger warning lights to turn on.
This issue is usually caused by a malfunctioning alternator, or a damaged or depleted battery that is not producing enough power. If, however, you have a low battery voltage issue, more warning lights will be illuminated.
If you’re looking to purchase an entirely new alternator be prepared to pay between $160 and $300 and about $150 to cover labor. The cost of a new battery is between $50 and $120.
9. Traction Control is Off
If it was you, or someone else who has done it intentionally or through mistake it’s you’ll notice that the Traction Control indicator will be illuminated your dashboard when it’s turned off by hand.
One reason to turn off the Traction Control device off when you’re driving and is stuck in snow, ice dirt, or this sort of thing. If it’s turned off you’ll be able move your car back and forward, and hopefully out of the mess.
Find your Traction Control Turned Off button and switch it on again. The light should disappear from your dashboard.
Other causes of common occurrence
Other possible causes for the ABS lights or TCS light may be problems with computer’s programming, weak mode, defective steering rack , or a defective ABS pump. As we can tell, lots of causes can lead to these lights to flash, so to find out what’s causing it you need to be able to identify the root of the issue.
Problems with ABS or Traction Control light
You are now aware of the typical causes of why the ABS and TCS light could indicate that there is something wrong. How can you tell which one is the case?
The diagnosing ABS and TCS issues typically calls for the use of an OBD reader (also known as scan or diagnostic scanner tool) to locate the specific trouble code or error that caused an alert light. The trouble code that you are looking for is stored in the car’s error memory, and it can be used to identify the cause of the issue.
The good thing is that you can purchase an OBD2 reader for a low cost if you decide to buy one for yourself and never be able to count on the mechanic in your car to carry out the diagnosis.
How do I reset ABS and Traction Control? Light
The issue is not being addressed and simply resetting to reset the ABS or TCS light will not fix this issue. In fact, it could cause costly repairs or even accidents. So, it is recommended to not ever change the warning light prior to finding and fixing the issue.
Without a scanner tool
This is how you restore the ABS light by disconnection of the battery. In doing this the whole electrical system is reset.
Take these actions to remove your ABS light.
- Lift your hood and attach it. Find the battery, and then remove the battery’s negative cable.
- At least five seconds.
- Connect the negative cable of the battery to the terminal of the battery.
- Make sure the battery cable is tightened using the socket wrench.
If the ABS light is not working the light should be restart if you follow the steps previously. However, the light could come back on in the event of issues with the brake system.
With an OBD2 scanner
Note Note: If your vehicle was manufactured prior to 1996, you’ll need to purchase an authentic OBD1 scanner. The OBD2 scanner works on the majority of vehicles manufactured after 1996.
Take these actions to remove ABS/TCS by using the help of an OBD2 scanner.
- Find the diagnostic link connector (DLC) port of you OBD2 scanner. It’s typically located beneath and just to the left of the steering wheel.
- Connect OBD2 codes to your DLC port.
- Enter the information you require and click “systems” as well as “control device.”
- Locate TCS/ABS, and then select “erase code” as well as “reset codes.”
This should clear the warning lights. If the warning lights come back, that means the issue isn’t resolved.
If you now know the reason behind why the ABS or Traction Control light is on and you know what you need to do to determine the cause.
Whatever you do, don’t forget about it. The warning lights are a sign that there’s something not right with your safety system which are designed to stop accidents and to help you keep control of your vehicle.
Thank you for taking the time to read!