Is it Safe to Drive With the ABS Light On? | YourMechanic Advice

Is it Safe to Drive With the ABS Light On?

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ABS stands for anti-lock braking system (ABS), and helps the tires on your vehicle to maintain contact with the road while you are braking. It functions by preventing the wheels from locking up, which can result in uncontrollable skids. The main purpose of ABS is to improve vehicle control under heavy braking, especially on loose or slick surfaces. It does not necessarily decrease stopping distance, although it can help.

Here are some things to know about ABS safety:

  • The ABS does a self-test every time you turn on the ignition. Once you start your vehicle, the warning light will briefly come on, and if the computer finds a problem, the light will stay on. If you notice the light flash immediately after starting the vehicle, then it's just your vehicle doing a self-check.

  • If the warning light comes on while you are driving, it means the ABS is not working properly. Your brakes will still work, but the ABS might not engage if you need to make an emergency stop. If the light remains on, you need to have a mechanic diagnose the ABS light issue as soon as possible. Since the ABS helps with vehicle control and stopping distances, it is an important safety feature to maintain – you never know when you'll need it.

  • If both the ABS and brake system light come on at the same time, your vehicle is no longer safe to drive. This means there is a serious problem with the braking system, and continuing to drive puts yourself and others at risk of a car crash.

  • As you brake heavily and your ABS engages, you will notice the brake pedal pulsating. This is completely normal and means the ABS is working normally. The ABS works with your braking system to create this pulsating to keep the wheels from locking up. Once you feel this pulsating, keep your foot on the brake pedal and let the system do the work for you. All you need to do is concentrate on steering safely.

Driving with the ABS warning light on is not a good idea because it means your ABS is not working properly. Your vehicle may not handle stopping on slippery surfaces like it is designed to under heavy braking. If both your ABS Light and brake system light come on, this is an emergency and you need to stop driving right away. Have your entire brake system inspected by a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic.


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Recent ABS Light is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic ABS Light is on Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

227

Rating Summary
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Jerome

33 years of experience
199 reviews
Jerome
33 years of experience
Infiniti JX35 - ABS Light is on - Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Jerome put in the time and effort to diagnose the problem with the vehicle, test drove it and gave me an extensive explanation of the problem/non problem and how to move forward, as well as other non-allied recommendations based on my inquiries. An efficient master of his craft.
Chrysler Town & Country - ABS Light is on - Bethesda, Maryland
Jerome is extremely knowledgeable and very professional. I find him to be very trustworthy and efficient. I'm very happy to have found him through this site.

Robert

19 years of experience
765 reviews
Robert
19 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - ABS Light is on - Golden, Colorado
Robert was personable and professional. He did a fantastic job with the car. 10/10 would recommend!
GMC Yukon - ABS Light is on - Denver, Colorado
Robert was prompt, friendly and I felt very confident in his expertise. Being new to Denver, I will definitely use him for my future auto needs. Plus, I loved visiting with his canine companion. 

Diego

20 years of experience
564 reviews
Diego
20 years of experience
Ford Mustang - ABS Light is on - Peoria, Arizona
Diego is awesome. Shows up and does his work. Truthful and down to earth. Third time I have had him service my vehicles. Definitely will call on him again for future repairs.
Chevrolet Astro - ABS Light is on - Tempe, Arizona
Very polite, knowledgeable and efficient. Keeps you informed and asks before doing work that wasn’t quoted so no surprises.

Matthew

32 years of experience
845 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Nissan Xterra - ABS Light is on - Norfolk, Virginia
Matt was very knowledge and friendly. He knew what he was doing when troubleshooting an ABS light on my old Xterra. He had to do a few different things to make sure he was getting the correct information and was very fast at getting it done. Even pointed out something I'd have to look into later and also said that my engine compartment looked pretty good compared to some others. Found this service on accident last night while Googling for local shop... I would definitely recommend and use again!
Honda Accord - ABS Light is on Inspection - Norfolk, Virginia
He arrived right on time, and started and finished in a timely manner. Once he was done working he gave me more information about the problems my car was having than I expected. This was my first time having work done and it went very smoothly.

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