ABS and brake light on (+Meaning and solution)

ABS and brake light on


The anti-lock brake system is a complex configuration of computers and sensors. When all components work in perfect harmony, a fast and responsive system is guaranteed that can improve braking control in all surface conditions. Faults in this system are often first indicated by illuminated lights on the car dashboard parts. On most vehicles, only the ABS light will illuminate when a fault is detected. What if your car or truck has illuminated ABS and brake lights?

Two different lights, two different meanings

The brake light which means brake in English, has always meant one simple thing: that there is a fault in the brake system. Usually this light is activated when the brake fluid is low or when the parking brake is activated. However, on some vehicles it may simply indicate a problem elsewhere in the system and may come on immediately if there is a fault with the ABS.

The abs light it differs from the BRAKE light in that it is usually controlled by a computer module. When this light is on, there are often trouble codes stored to help the owner or a technician diagnose the source of the failure in the anti-lock brake system.

The Brake light in most vehicles it is activated by a simple circuit involving only one or two components. As usual, the brake fluid level sensor and the parking brake are the only two items that can activate the brake light. But not all vehicles are created equal, and some early ABS systems would activate both lights simultaneously for any ABS failure.

Common triggers

It’s important to know what to look for when diagnosing the cause of one or both of these lights coming on on your vehicle. Each light has its own set of triggers. Some are shared between the two and some are not.

abs light

  • Low battery voltage (the computer is not getting enough voltage)
  • Broken wheel speed sensor cable
  • Defective wheel bearing
  • dirty gear ring
  • Faulty ABS module

brake light

  • low brake fluid
  • Low brake pads
  • parking brake kit
  • Any ABS fault (illuminates along with the ABS light on certain vehicles)

Depending on the year of the vehicle, most ABS codes can be read with diagnostic tools based on OBD II on ’96+ vehicles. On older vehicles or special cases, a brand specific tool should be used, often owned by dealers or independent workshops.

No matter what light is on, don’t ignore it for too long. An illuminated ABS or BRAKE light is not only a minor annoyance, it can affect resale and trade-in value, as well as draw attention when it comes time to inspect the vehicle. With a keen eye and a DIY approach, most ABS and brake system repairs could be done at home.


You can see more in how to turn off the brake light on the dashboard


Editorial Gossipvehicle

About Alicia Peters

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