what does the "abs" light mean?

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I've got a 1996 buick regal for my sister, and after having it for a month or so, the "ABS" light on the dash has lit up, cab anyone tell me what this means, and maybe how to fix it?

posted by  GABRIEL421

ABS stands for Anti-lock Braking System. Have the brakes been acting up at all?

posted by  SlipKnoT

As SlipKnot said, its for the break system used to help you stop during rain. If the light is off I suggest taking it to your Buick dealer or a break shop to check your brakes. The ABS system is pretty important because it detects which wheels actually have contact during a rainstorm in order for the car to stop, so you certainly need to get it fixed.

posted by  StiMan

the brakes haven't been acting up at all, but the ABS light is on at all times...is there anything I can do to fix it without taking it to a dealer, or is this a more complex issue?

posted by  GABRIEL421

It could mean your ABS computer is dying, or the ABS motor itself is failing.
In either case, the smartest thing to do would be to let a mechanic look at it.

posted by  hondaman

gotcha....thanks for the info!

posted by  GABRIEL421

its most likily a wheel speed sensor,(they have problems with WSS's goin out on those) hopefully a wire just broke or somthing along those lines :2cents:

posted by  Mx3Kid

I thought it was just part of the computer and made the brakes pump instead of locking up if you depressed the brake pedal enough...

posted by  jedimario

It is...he's thinking of traction control.

posted by  hondaman

yea I'm not stupid! :mrgreen:

posted by  jedimario

could just be a glitch in the comp
i had a pontiac 6000LE and my dad bought it with 90k miles
drove it for 8 years with the "Service Engine Soon" light, and put the car up to 150k miles, and we just had regular maintenance. Some cars just have problems with the computer going weird. :2cents:

posted by  6000LE

Everytime I go drifting in the snow and I use my ABS system with my brakes alot the ABS light will come on and my ABS system shuts off temporarily. It comes back the next time I use the car.

posted by  VG30DE

You sure they go off? Because on some cars when the light comes on for a short period it means the ABS is in use.

posted by  hondaman

Are you talking to me? Yea I am sure the system goes off and the light comes on. I know how my car feels with and without it. It isn't a long term problem.

posted by  VG30DE

well to help remove the confusion here, if you ABS light goes on it means the abs system WILL NOT WORK, and why.... most common cause is a wheel speed sensor(either a broken wire, bad sensor, bad ringtone, or even a bad wheel bearing that causes enough play in the axle so that the sensor only picks up the waveform intermittently) other causes are bad modules(usually the driver motor) many things can cause the light to come on and having the code checked will tell you the general direction of diagnostics :mrgreen:

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

My Camry's brake light was constantly on also, turns out just to have been a faulty sensor. :banghead:

posted by  StiMan

Same thing happens to me, i figured out that snow and/or ice gets up by the wheel speed sensor and shorts the connection so it doesnt read correctly... i just fabricated up some aluminum gaurds to cover them up and protect them. Problem went awayfor good, from now on i can drift all night long without a problem.

posted by  Mx3Kid

Sweet. :thumbs:

posted by  VG30DE

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