The ABS system of your Toyota is one of the components of your car that doesn’t come into play until it’s really needed, and if it malfunctions during this time, it’s too late to fix. When your Toyota’s ABS system goes on the fritz, it’s essential that you bring your vehicle into a mechanic as soon as possible to ensure the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road.
Your ABS System
The ABS system of your vehicle is made up of three basic components: the ABS module, ABS sensors on every wheel, and your ABS light. This warning light alerts you when one part of your ABS needs mechanical attention. The sensors are responsible for reading wheel speed, while the module rapidly pumps your brakes in the event of a skid or loss of traction.
If your ABS system malfunctions, there are several dangers you may face if you brake too hard, too fast. For instance, you may skid more easily or lose traction in even ideal conditions. However, one of the biggest dangers is the threat of hydroplaning, where your vehicle’s wheels lose contact with the road during periods of light run or when you drive through puddles.
For your safety, it’s crucial that you know the signs of a failing ABS before you’re put in conditions where your ABS is required on demand to keep you out of danger.
Symptoms of a Failing ABS
There are several symptoms that your Toyota will give off as the ABS system starts to fail. It’s critical for drivers to pay attention to these warning signs as they happen and not wait until it’s too late to address the issue.
Flashing or lit ABS light
The most common sign of an ABS issue is when the ABS light on your dashboard comes to life. However, this light does not necessarily mean there is a problem with your ABS itself, but possibly one of the ancillary components.
Sticking or unresponsive brake pedal
These rarely happen suddenly, but rather over a period of time. If you notice that your brake pedal seems to take more effort to push or does not push in at all, your vehicle is becoming unsafe to drive and should be seen by a mechanic as soon as possible.
Brakes locking up
The purpose of the ABS is to keep your brakes from locking up. If your brakes suddenly lock, especially in normal driving conditions, this is a huge red flag that something is seriously wrong with your ABS system. Your vehicle needs to be towed, not driven, to your trusted mechanic immediately.
Causes of a Failing ABS System
Frequently, a failure of the ABS system is not a failure of the system itself. The most common single cause of ABS issues in Toyota is contamination of the sensors. This occurs when road debris or metal shavings (typically brake dust) build up in the sensors over time, which makes them less effective at their job.
It’s also possible for the wiring of your ABS sensors to be damaged over time, either from rough road conditions or normal wear and tear. When this occurs, your ABS may work most of the time or very rarely, depending on the location and extent of the damage.
In the event of severe neglect or corrosive conditions, it’s possible for your brake fluid to become contaminated with debris, mineral buildup, or other impurities. In these instances, your hydraulic control unit may fail, which is a serious issue that requires immediate attention.
What to Do if Your ABS Fails
If you notice any of the signs of a failing ABS, bring your vehicle to Mechanics Direct. We proudly service car owners in the communities of North Chelmsford, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tyngsborough, Westford, and Lowell, MA. Our trusted mechanics have been the greater Lowell, MA area for over 23 years.
All vehicles and major services come with a complimentary loaner or shuttle ride, a 3-year, 36,000-mile nationwide warranty, and the option for one of our technicians to text you the results of our findings. When you have your Toyota serviced by Mechanics Direct, you can trust that you’ve taken your vehicle to the best for repairs and maintenance.
Four Reasons Your ABS Light is on
What Is an Anti-lock Brake System?
An anti-lock brake system, ABS, is a system which is designed to prevent you from “locking” up your brakes, or applying so much pressure to your brakes that the axle and your wheels themselves stop turning completely. When your wheels stop turning but your car is still moving too fast, you start to skid, and skidding causes you to lose total control over your vehicle, which is a dangerous prospect when traveling at high speeds.
Contrary to popular belief, an anti-lock brake system doesn’t actually stop your car faster than a traditional brake system—in fact, it adds a small amount of distance. However, it does enable you to have control over your car, providing you the ability to possibly steer out of the way of an accident and avoid serious injury. Likewise, it increases the lifespan of your tires, your brake pads, your brake calipers, your wheels, and just about everything else on your car which braking can influence.
Four Reasons Your Anti-lock Brake System Light Can Come On
An ABS indicator light on your dash is a sign that something may have gone wrong with your system and you need to get it checked out. The four common reasons that typically cause this light to turn on include a malfunctioning ABS module, low levels in the fluid reservoir, broken wheel speed sensors, or the system is turned off.
Malfunctioning ABS Module
Your ABS actually shares some important components with another system in your vehicle: your traction control system. Traction control is a system designed to keep all four wheels on the ground rolling smoothly. If it detects that one wheel starts to spin irregularly, it will cut off power from your engine until it establishes stable traction again. This is designed to prevent you from skidding out of control by accidentally applying too much power. However, because both your ABS and traction control share a control module and self-diagnostic system, one can sometimes interfere with another. Sometimes an issue with your traction control light can cause your ABS light to come on as well, but other times the issue is with your ABS system. You’ll need to have your vehicle professionally diagnosed to figure out exactly what’s going on.
Low Levels in the Fluid Reservoir
Your brake system is hydraulic, which means it uses the power of a cylinder pressing against a fluid to close your brake pads and bring your car to a stop. This means you need a consistent, constant level of fluid in your brake system. However, if there’s a slow leak or the fluid is able to evaporate off, then the amount of fluid will drop and your brakes won’t be able to operate properly. Your computer can usually detect this with sensors, and will turn the ABS light on if it finds it.
Broken Wheel Speed Sensors
Wheel speed sensors are a piece of equipment that tells your computer how fast each wheel is turning independently. If the computer detects an anomaly in these speeds, then your traction control system makes adjustments or shifts power to different wheels to compensate. However, if a speed sensor is dirty or stops working, then it can’t relay this information accurately. Rather than make a load of adjustments, it will usually disable your ABS and/or traction control systems until you either restart your vehicle or the problem gets resolved.
Your System is Turned Off
It may come as a surprise, but you actually may have the option to turn your traction control or ABS on and off. When you turn the system off, it will usually turn on the indicator light on your dash to warn you that this important safety feature isn’t working. If just your traction control or ABS light is on, then there’s a strong chance your system may have accidentally turned off. Check to see if you may have accidentally bump the switch, and consult your owner’s manual if you’re not sure where it is.
Got an ABS Problem?
If you have an ABS problem, the experienced auto repair experts at Christian Brothers Automotive can solve it! We service all types of brakes in all different types of vehicles, from standard anti-lock brakes to high-performance models in sports cars to large systems in heavy-duty vehicles. When your ABS light comes on, we’re a team you can trust to accurately diagnose your problem and get it fixed with high-quality parts and labor backed up by certified technicians!
If you need a brake service or repair, call your local Christian Brothers Automotive.
Toyota ABS Light Meaning and Corresponding Issues
Warning lights can be a fairly unsettling business. It’s often hard to know whether they symbolize a minor issue or point to a major problem with your ride. Often, the same light can annoyingly mean both. It doesn’t help that they’re typically cryptic symbols that seemingly would require the Rosetta Stone to decode.
If you’ve been driving along in your Toyota and noticed the ABS light on your dashboard illuminate, you’re probable wondering: what does the ABS light mean, and should I be worried?
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What is the Toyota ABS light?
According to Toyota, the ABS warning light indicates a malfunction in ABS, or the Brake Assist System.
Possible Reasons for Toyota ABS Illumination
Why is my ABS light indicating whenever I’m braking, even if its just a casual smooth brake?
If the ABS light activates when you’re casually braking on a dry, smooth surface, that indicates there’s an issue with the sensor being over-sensitive. To get it fixed, bring it in to a service center.
Why is my ABS light on constantly?
If you’re ABS light is staying on continuously, make sure that you didn’t forget to release your emergency brake. The ABS light also serves as a reminder if you leave the e-brake activated. If you release the e-brake and the ABS light stays on, however, there’s another issue at play.
Other possibilities are that the emergency brake pedal isn’t properly adjusted.
Your Toyota may be covered by a service protection plan.
More Serious Problems Indicated by the Toyota ABS Light
Why does my ABS light come on whenever I apply the brakes?
If the ABS light is activating any time you apply the brakes, try adding brake fluid. If that doesn’t fix it, you likely have a leak. A leak is pretty serious, so you should take it into a service center as soon as possible, avoiding driving until you do so.
Why are my ABS warning light and brake warning light on at the same time?
If both your ABS warning light and your brake warning light are activated simultaneously, there’s a serious problem with your vehicle. Do not drive, as your brakes are probably not functioning. Get it fixed at a service center as soon as possible.
Toyota ABS Light Service
ABS Light Service & Repair At Burlington Toyota
Our technicians at Burlington Toyota are pleased to assist you with any vehicle issue you are having. If your ABS light suddenly appears, do not wait to bring your vehicle in. The problem may be minor, or it could be indicating a major problem.
My Toyota ABS light is staying on, what should I do?
Quite often, the sensor in your ABS is just too sensitive and is activating for no reason at all. For example, if you casually brake on a dry, smooth surface, and the ABS light activates, there is probably just an issue with sensitivity. If this happens, you should bring your vehicle to a trained technician at Burlington Toyota.
If your ABS light is saying on continually, make sure you did not forget to release your emergency brake. When the emergency brake is left on, the ABS light will also stay on as a reminder. But, if you release the emergency break and the ABS light still is on, that is indicating another issue.
Sometimes the problem is that the emergency brake pedal isn’t properly adjusted. Nothing is necessarily wrong, and a simple adjustment to the pedal will remove the ABS light. If in doubt, just bring your vehicle to Burlington Toyota and we will take a look at it for you.
My Toyota ABS light only comes on momentarily. Is there a chance something is wrong?
Most likely, if your ABS light comes on for a short period of time and then goes off, it is being caused by a minor problem. Your ABS system usually will continue to work just fine if this is the case.
My Toyota ABS light comes on whenever I apply my brakes, regardless of conditions. Is there a problem?
There is a chance that on one side of your braking system, the hydraulic pressure has been lost. There is also a chance that the fluid level in your master cylinder is extremely low, which could mean there is a leak in the system. First, try adding fluid. If that does not fix the issue, it is very likely that you have a leak.
Having a brake fluid leak is rather serious. Your brakes could possibly fail while you are driving your vehicle. It is best that you avoid driving until a trained technician can examine the vehicle. There could be a leak in the calipers, brake line, hose, or possibly the master cylinder.
Will a problem with my Toyota ABS brakes lead to problems with conventional braking?
If the ABS light remains on for too long, most vehicles ABS system will disable itself. Your normal braking will not be hindered, but your ABS system will not be activated in the event of an emergency maneuver.
My Toyota brake warning light & my ABS warning light are both on.
If both your ABS warning light and your brake warning light are on at the time, there is a very serious problem with your vehicle. You should not drive it, as there is a good chance you do not even have functioning brakes. Contact a technician at Burlington Toyota as soon as possible to find out what your next steps should be!
Abs light toyota
Your Toyota Camry is equipped with a wide array of dashboard lights. These lights are your vehicle’s way of communicating with you. They can alert you if there is a serious mechanical malfunction, and they’ll also appear when certain features are in use.
Here at Andy Mohr Toyota, we want you to be safe and well-informed while you drive. Understanding the lights on your dashboard is a big part of that. If you’re driving around the Avon, Indianapolis, or Plainfield areas and a strange light appears on your dash, reference our guide below.
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Toyota Camry Warning Lights
First, one important thing to take note of is the color of the light that appears. If the icon is yellow, it indicates that the item is important, but it doesn’t require immediate attention. A red icon, however, suggests a condition that needs immediate attention. If a red icon appears, it’s best to pull over and seek assistance.
- ABS Warning Light: This Toyota Camry dashboard light will appear as the three letters “ABS,” which stands for Anti-lock Braking System. If this light appears, it is to indicate a malfunction in either the Anti-lock Braking System or the Brake Assist System.
- Brake System Warning Light: This light will illuminate when the parking brake is engaged. It appears as the word “BRAKE.” If the light turns off after the brake is fully released, the system is operating correctly.
This light may also illuminate while driving if the brake fluid level is low. If this occurs, pull over and seek assistance.
- Electric Power Steering (EPS) Warning Light: This light looks like a steering wheel with an exclamation point alongside it. It indicates that there is a problem with the EPS system.
- ICS OFF Indicator: This Toyota Camry indicator light looks like a car with a cone and a star behind it. If a buzzer sounds when this light comes on, it indicates that there is a malfunction in the Intelligent Clearance Sonar system.
If the buzzer doesn’t sound, however, it means that the system is temporarily unavailable. This could be caused when the sensor is blocked by dirt or ice.
- Low Fuel Level Warning Light: There’s an easy fix to this warning light. It means you’re low on fuel, so just head to the nearest gas station and fill up your tank. This light looks like a mini gas pump.
- Rear Passenger Seatbelt Reminder Lights: This light looks like three seated passengers wearing seatbelts. They also all have the word “REAR” above their head. This light reminds the backseat passengers to fasten their seatbelts. It may also be accompanied by a buzzer.
- Slip Indicator: This Camry dashboard light will flash if the vehicle is in danger of slipping or if any of the drive wheels spin. This light indicates that the VSC/TRAC systems are operating.
- SRS Warning Light: This dashboard light indicates a malfunction in one or more of the following systems:
- The SRS airbag system
- The front passenger occupant classification system
- The seatbelt pretensioner system
This light looks like a seated passenger in front of a big circle.
- Tire Pressure Warning Light: When this light appears, it’ll look like a horseshoe with tire treads on the bottom, and it’ll have an exclamation point in the middle of it. This light indicates that one or more of your tires is low on pressure. Bring your vehicle in for tire service if this occurs.
Learn More About Your Toyota Camry Dashboard Lights
If you’re cruising the streets of Avon, Indianapolis, and Plainfield and a dashboard light comes on that you’re unsure about, contact us. Our team of experienced technicians here at our Andy Mohr Toyota Service Center will be happy to answer any questions you have and get your vehicle the repairs or service it needs.
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(Updated on May 29, 2020)
Modern vehicles have what is known as an anti-lock braking system. The purpose of this system is to keep the driver safe by preventing the wheels from locking up as you apply the brakes. That way, you can keep control over the steering and your vehicle won’t skid as a result of the wheels locking up.
In addition, there is a warning light on the dashboard which will illuminate if there is any sort of problem with the anti-lock braking system. This is a light that you need to take seriously because it is an early warning sign that your braking system needs to be inspected right away.
5 Common Reasons the ABS Light Comes On
There are many causes which could make an ABS light come on. It doesn’t always mean there is a problem with the anti-lock braking system directly. There could also be a problem with other sensors or components that it communicates with as well.
Below are the top 5 causes of an ABS light coming on.
1) Low Brake Fluid
The brake fluid has a lot to do with controlling the braking pressure within an anti-lock braking system. There is a brake fluid reservoir which holds the fluid of the anti-lock braking system.
Sometimes there could be a leak from this reservoir which will cause the fluid levels to drop. Either that or excessive amounts of air may exist within the system.
Either way, it may certainly cause the ABS warning light to illuminate on the dashboard.
2) Faulty Speed Sensor
There are speed sensors built into every wheel’s hub which calculate the movement rate of that wheel. This information then gets transmitted to the anti-lock braking system.
If it turns out that at least one of the wheels is moving too slowly, the anti-lock braking system will increase the pressure of the brake fluid to allow the wheel to move at a normal speed.
But if there is a problem with the speed sensor, the anti-lock braking system will detect that and cause the warning light to illuminate on the dashboard.
Read also: 5 Symptoms of a Bad Intermediate Steering Shaft and Replacement Cost
3) Bad ABS Module
The module of the anti-lock braking system can form corrosion after a while. This is actually one of the most common reasons for why there ends up being a problem with the anti-lock braking system.
If the module is corroded, then it can’t obtain information from the wheel speed sensor. As a result, the ABS light illuminates on the dashboard. It doesn’t even take a lot of corrosion to cause this to happen either. But you will need to replace the module after this happens.
4) Bulb Check
Some vehicles will perform what is known as a bulb check on the dashboard. This check is for the driver’s convenience, so they know the bulbs of their vehicle’s warning lights are working properly.
These lights will usually turn off by themselves after a certain amount of time. In some instances, there may be a glitch in the bulb check which keeps the ABS warning light illuminated after the bulb check is completed.
5) Worn Hydraulic Pump
If there is one wheel of a vehicle that moves at a different speed than the other wheels, the wheel speed sensor detects this and then notifies the anti-lock braking system.
Once this happens, the system will activate the hydraulic pump to increase the amount of brake fluid pressure. This will allow the wheels to maintain their traction as they’re touching the ground.
Unfortunately, hydraulic pumps tend to get worn out after years of using them. This would certainly cause the ABS light to come on, which means you’d need to replace the pump right away.
What to Do When the Car ABS Light Comes on
When the ABS light activates on your car’s dashboard, it signals that something is wrong with the anti-lock braking system. That means if you need to step on the brake pedal quickly to stop your vehicle, then it might not stop as fast as you want it to. As a result, you could end up in a serious car accident.
Basically, the function of the anti-lock braking system is to keep your vehicle’s tires on the road as you aggressively step on the brake. That way, the wheels don’t lock up or skid uncontrollably on the road during the braking process. This is particularly important if the road is slippery or wet.
There are different reasons for why the car ABS light would come on. The main reason is from simply turning on your vehicle. After you put your key in the ignition and turn it on, the computer does a test on the anti-lock braking system to ensure it is functioning normally.
If the computer doesn’t find a problem, the ABS light will turn off quickly. But if the ABS light stays on, it means there is a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
Sometimes you might be driving, and the ABS light will suddenly come on too. In any case, you need to bring your vehicle to an auto mechanic whenever you experience this issue.
They are the only ones equipped to diagnosing the issue and turning which component of the anti-lock braking system needs repair or replacement.
Can You Drive Your Car With the ABS Light On?
Just because your ABS light is on, that doesn’t mean you can’t drive your vehicle. In fact, you will still be able to step on the brake pedal and slow the vehicle down.
However, your ability to perform a panic stop will be limited as you run the risk of locking the tires under heavy braking. Locking the tires increases stopping distance dramatically and prevents you from steering until the front tires regain traction.
What you need to do is drive carefully to the nearest mechanic after the ABS light comes on. Brake slowly when necessary but avoid braking quickly or aggressively. If you can do that, then everything will be fine.
The only circumstance where you shouldn’t even attempt to drive your vehicle is if the brake system light comes on when the ABS light is on. The brake system light indicates a much bigger issue with your braking system — a problem which may limit your ability to brake the vehicle at all. Therefore, you would need your vehicle towed to the mechanic if you notice both lights on.
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Your Toyota Corolla’s ABS Light comes on when it fails a self diagnostic cycle. When on, it indicates that the Corolla does not have Anti-Lock brakes, and the safety they provide.
Your Corolla’s ABS system uses a system of sensors to determine wheel speed when braking. If one of the wheels is starting to lock up, it’ll apply the maximum amount of brake to that wheel in order to keep it from sliding.
Wheels that are turning will slow a vehicle faster than a locked wheel. Skidding tires also create flat spots in the tire, which can be inconvenient and dangerous in itself. ABS also allows you to be able to steer the vehicle while slowing down, and has been around for so long that many drivers have never driven a vehicle without it.
Is it Safe to Drive Your Corolla?
The ABS light is different than the brake warning light itself. The brake light indicates that there is a problem with the physical braking system and that your Corolla is unsafe to drive.
Yes, you can drive your Corolla with the ABS light on. Is it safe? It’s not as safe, especially when it’s raining, snowing, or the road surface is loose/uneven. That’s why we recommend having the ABS system fixed as soon as possible.
Toyota Corolla ABS Light On Causes
A good code scanner will often tell you which part of the ABS system has gone bad. Not every OBDII scanner will give up this information. A good one will. Most auto parts stores will have a free scanning service that they would be happy to let you utilize.
Here are the three most common causes of the ABS light coming on:
1. Wheel Speed Sensor
The wheel speed sensors are responsible for monitoring the wheel speed and sending it back to the computer system. If one of the wheels is moving slower than the others it on its way to locking up. The ABS then takes activates on that wheel in order to keep it from locking.
When this sensor is no longer sending a signal to your Corolla’s ABS system, it is no longer functioning properly and the ABS light will be activated on the dashboard.
2. ABS Module
The antilock brake system runs through the ABS module. This module physically controls the anti-lock brake system If it becomes damaged, and can no longer control all four brakes, the ABS light will activate. Typically, corrosion is the most common reason why the module fails.
3. ABS Fluid Level
If the fluid level is too low to keep pressure in the ABS lines, the ABS light will come on. Without the pressure the ABS will no longer be able to physically activate.
It is not advisable to ignore your Toyota Corolla’s ABS light. Most of the time, the wheel speed sensors are going to be what triggers it. If there is anything you would like to add, please leave a comment below. Good luck!