When you are winter driving through the Front Range communities where Alpine Towing and Recovery provide roadside service, one of the last things you want to see on our mountainside roads is your anti-lock brake system (ABS) indicator light coming on to warn you of a problem.
Should you drive on with this light alerting you to some sort of developing brake issue? The ABS indicator light is not going to tell the engine control unit to shut down your vehicle, but no warning light increases your comfort level about driving with it on.
The ABS light coming on means that a safety feature may have been compromised, not necessarily that your brakes are in danger of immediate failure. As a driver, you know that your ABS system is an emergency feature for extreme stopping as the system cycles the brakes on/off about twenty times per second to prevent wheel lock, which leads to fishtailing, spins, and other undesirable control problems.
The ABS Light is On, Do I Need Roadside Service?
When the ABS light comes on and remains on, many drivers become preoccupied with it because it seems to imply a brake failure is imminent, especially with how wired and interconnected so many vehicle functions are today.
The good news is that unless you are feeling or hearing some sort of mechanical problem stemming from your brakes, the light coming on is most likely the result of a fault somewhere in the system that requires attention, and is usually not a problem of the mechanicals of the braking system itself.
However, most indicator lights are not very helpful in telling you what is really going on. If your vehicle doesn’t provide detailed diagnostic information through its main display, you are left to guess. On some older cars, the brake light that comes in when you leave your parking brake on is the same telltale for a fault in the ABS system.
The typical ABS installation consists of wheel speed sensors, and a pump, all connected to a circuit board that ties into the vehicle’ overall onboard computer. Most of the time, a faulty wheel sensor is the problem lighting up on your dashboard. Get it checked out immediately so you know your ABS will work as it was designed to do.
Your vehicle’s braking system is a crucial part of being able to stop or slow down, especially on some of our steep Colorado roads. If you have pushed your luck too far with your braking system, or any other mechanical failure occurs, it is best not to try to push it any further. Call for roadside assistance in Salida, Buena Vista, or Woodland Park, and Alpine Towing and Recovery will be there, 24/7/365.