If the ABS light on your car’s dashboard suddenly turns on, there could be a problem. You need to check what triggered this light. But you should also know how to turn off the ABS light when necessary.
Locate the Driver Information Center (DIC) panel first to turn off this light. This panel is located on the car’s dashboard, particularly below the speedometer. Push and release the “Set” button several times until the word “ABS” shows up. Then hold this button for around five seconds. This will turn the light off and reset it.
There’s an ABS computer that detects braking system problems. It stores a trouble code in its internal memory when it detects an issue. Then it turns on the ABS light. The safest way to turn off this ABS light is to clear this trouble code first.
Read on to learn how you can turn off the ABS light when it turns on suddenly on your car’s dashboard and what you should consider when this issue shows up on your car.
How to Turn Off the ABS Light
Easy Way to Turn Off ABS Light
You need to consider many things before turning off the ABS light on your car dashboard. However, if you want to turn it off, there’s an easy way. Your car’s dashboard has a DIC control panel located below the speedometer.
You will find a “Set” button on this DIC control panel. Push and release this button and keep doing this until the “ABS” letters show up. Then hold the “Set” button for around five seconds. This will turn off the ABS light and reset its system.
Your car uses an ABS computer that can detect any problem in the system. When it has detected a problem, it will store a code in its internal memory. Then it turns on the ABS light. You can only turn off the ABS light safely and correctly if you clear this trouble code.
You have to use an automotive scan device and fix the issue that triggered the ABS light.
Fix What Triggered the ABS Light to Turn on
If you want to turn off this light, you can do it, but it is not recommended. You can only hard-reset the ABS light if it is essential. The manufacturer of your car installed this light for a reason. So, you should use only hard-reset this light if it is necessary. Fix the cause that triggered the light; that’s the recommendation. Then, the light will go off by itself.
But if you need to turn off this light, remove a wheel speed sensor. This will disable the ABS and sometimes the stability control as well. If your car uses a yaw sensor, unplug it to turn off the ABS light.
By unplugging the ABS module, you can also turn off this light. However, your car’s braking performance will be badly affected if you do this.
Should You Clear Your ABS Light?
Turning off the ABS light on your dashboard is called hard resetting. It begs to repeat that hard resetting is not recommended unless fixing something in your car is essential. The safest way is to fix the cause that triggered the ABS light to go away by itself.
Not Safe To Drive When ABS Light Is on
It is not even safe to drive your car while the ABS light is on. The reason is that this light warns you that there is an issue or something is going on with either your wheels or your brakes. Don’t assume it is a false alarm. You can only be sure of that after checking everything related to it.
Check Your Car for Problems
So, the moment the ABS light turns on, check your car. It doesn’t mean that it is forbidden to turn off the ABS light when it comes on. What I am saying is that it should only be done if it is necessary.
Here is why:
The ABS light is your eyes and ears for your car’s Anti-Lock Brake System. Its function is to pump your brakes so that your car won’t go into an uncontrolled skid if something goes wrong. This light will turn on if there’s anything wrong with the braking system.
Your car’s braking system is essential because your life and your passengers’ lives depend on it every time you are driving your car. The safest way is to reset this light only when you have already fixed the problem that triggered it.
ABS Light Turns On – Is It A Serious Problem?
ABS Light Signals Problems with the Antilock Braking System
This light is an integral part of your car’s Antilock Braking System. Part of the function of this system is to detect the problems involving the following:
- Speed sensors, and
- Brake-related components of the system.
Its main objective is to prevent accidents and the consequent dangers due to critical faults in any of the components of the system. The ABS light comes on if the system detects any problem within the system. These problems should be fixed before you reset the light.
ABS Conducts a Self-check Once the Engine Starts
Every time you start your car’s engine, this ABS conducts a self-check. So, you can expect the ABS light to come on briefly and then go out only moments after. This is normal and tells you that the system is doing its work just fine.
Check Your Car If ABS Light Turns on for More Than Four Seconds
It is also normal for the ABS light to turn on, and then after about two to four seconds, it turns off. But if this light stays on all the time you are driving, you need to check what’s causing it. However, your car is still safe to drive even with the ABS light on.
Your brakes will still work. However, the ABS may not engage if you need to make a sudden stop. The ABS is there to control your emergency stopping. So, it’s best to have it checked by a qualified mechanic as soon as you can. They will use an OBD II reader to diagnose the issue correctly.
Again, how to turn off the ABS light? Locate the Driver Information Center (DIC) panel. You can locate this panel below the car’s speedometer. Then, push and release the “Set” button. Hold the “ABS” display for five seconds to turn the light off. This will also reset the ABS light.
Steps in Turning Off ABS Light
Remember, the best way is to fix the underlying issue before turning off and then resetting the ABS light. However, if you are forced to turn off this light, you need to hard reset it. The following is the hard reset process for an ABS light:
1. Get a Jumper Wire
You need a jumper wire to hard reset the ABS light on your car’s dashboard. You can buy this from your local auto parts supplier. This jumper wire can also serve as a service connector adapter kit. To ensure it’s the right wire, ask the store clerk if it will work for the Data Link Connector.
Inform the clerk about the model and make of your car. They need this information to give you the correct fused jumper wire that you need.
2. Locate the DLC
The DLC is usually located under the glove compartment of your car. There are some cases where you can find it on the dashboard on the driver’s side. In some car brands, the DLC is located near the intake manifold, under the car’s hood.
Whatever your situation is, ensure that the engine is off while searching for the DLC. This will ensure that you will not get into an accident.
3. Connect the Jumper to the DLC
After locating the DLC, you can now connect the fused jumper to it. There are at least two wires in this jumper. These wires have a wide connector that you can directly connect to the DLC. There is only one way to connect it, so do it straight away.
Now, you can turn the car’s engine on. If everything is OK, you will see the ABS light flashing a few times. You can now proceed to the next step.
4. Reset the ABS System
With the fused jumper wire connected to the DLC, you can now hard reset the ABS light. To do this, follow these steps:
- Engage the parking brake, and press down on the brake pedal. Don’t step on the gas. With one press on the brake pedal, you will hear a click that comes from the DLC location;
- When you hear that click, press down on the brake pedal eight times. You should do this within just three seconds if you can;
- You will no longer see the ABS light flashing if you do it right. But if it is still flashing, continue pressing the brake pedal down. Hopefully, this should disengage the ABS light;
- There are times when this light stays on longer than normal. If it does, flash four more times again and turn it off. Once the ABS light turns off, you have hard reset it successfully; and
- Disconnect the jumper wire from the DLC unit. You can now use your car normally.
Please remember that if the light does not turn off or come on again after a couple of hours or in just a few days, the ABS of your car has an underlying issue that needs to be repaired. You need to bring your car to a qualified mechanic who can do the necessary repair.
What Causes ABS light to Come on and Stay on?
There are many components of the ABS that needs to work in sync with one another. If just one component goes awry, the ABS light will be triggered. As you can see, diagnosing the cause can be quite tricky.
Thankfully, the reasons related to ABS light problems have already been identified. If your ABS light suddenly turns on without any warning, it may be caused by any of the following:
1. Warning Light Sensor Is Damaged
If the warning sensor light of the ABS is disconnected, or if it is not working, the ABS sensor will detect it, and the ABS light will turn on.
2. Not Enough Brake Fluid
When you step on the brake pedal, brake fluid is sent to the brake lines to produce the right pressure that will engage the brakes. If there’s not enough brake fluid to build up the pressure necessary to engage the brakes, the ABS will detect this, and the ABS light will turn on.
3. Bad Wheel Speed Sensor
Over time, this sensor will deteriorate. It is located close to the brakes, which are affected by the heat that builds up in the system. It won’t detect if one wheel is running slower than the other wheels when it malfunctions. As it deteriorates, it can flash on and off unnecessarily.
4. ABS Module Already Rusted
The ABS module is exposed to the elements. In due time, it will be covered by rust. When that happens, its wires can activate without any reason and cause the ABS light to come on.
5. Hydraulic Pump and Valve Are Old
If the hydraulic pump and the wheel valve are already old and tired, they won’t build up the required pressure to engage the brake. The ABS light will turn on if the ABS sensor detects this problem.
Conclusion: How to Turn Off ABS Light
If you want to turn off the ABS light, first, you need to find the Driver Information Center (DIC) panel. This DIC panel is located on your car’s dashboard, just under the speedometer. Keep pushing and releasing the “Set” button until the letters “ABS” show up.
Hold the “Set” button for about five seconds when you see these letters on the dashboard. This will turn off the ABS light and reset the system.