Q: what can cause a anti brake system light to come on? I haven't had a wheel alignment in a year.

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The brakes are not automatically catching they are locking before I can stop. I heard a noise when the light came on. The anti-lock brake system light came on along with the trend light. I haven't had a alignment on the car in year because I wasn't driving the car. I am not driving the car currently because after a yards or mile the brakes are not catching.

My car has 160000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The ABS light can be on for a number of reasons. The abs system is an electronic system that piggybacks along with the standard hydraulic brake system. Using a number of sensors for input - wheel speed sensors, speed sensor, brake light switch, etc - the abs system keeps the wheels from locking under hard braking and braking on slippery surfaces. If any of those sensors are bad, then the anti-lock function will not operate. The abs pump can pump the brakes as much as 15 times per second, something humans are not capable of. Without input from all sensors, the system will not work and your brakes will function like brakes without anti-lock control. That means the wheels can lock up any time when braking.

Since anything brake related is certainly a safety issue, have a certified technician inspect the anti-lock brake system as soon as possible.

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