Is It Safe to Drive with the ABS Light On?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertIs It Safe to Drive with the ABS Light On?
Emily Anderson asked 7 months ago
Recently, while driving my 2014 Jeep Patriot, the ABS light came on unexpectedly. I haven't driven much since then due to illness and financial constraints. I used an OBDII code reader, but no codes were detected. My concerns are:
  1. How dangerous is it to continue driving with the ABS light on?
  2. What should I expect when I take my car to the mechanic next week?
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 7 months ago
Hello there Emily, The appearance of the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) light can be concerning, but it's important to understand what it means for your driving safety:
  1. Safety with ABS Light On: When the ABS light is on, the ABS function is disabled, but your normal braking system should still work properly. Cars were driven without ABS for many years. It's generally safe to drive, but you should be more cautious, especially in slippery conditions. Without ABS, if you brake hard, the wheels could lock up, leading to a loss of steering control. So, avoid hard braking and remember to pump the brakes in a skid.
  2. Expectations from Mechanic Visit: The most common issue related to the ABS light is a faulty wheel speed sensor, which is a relatively inexpensive and easy fix. However, the actual cause can only be determined after a thorough inspection by your mechanic. Other potential issues could be related to the ABS module or connections.
You mentioned testing the brakes and feeling a pulsing sensation, which indicates that the ABS might still be functioning intermittently. This could be due to a temporary glitch or a dirty sensor. For now, it's okay to drive the car with extra caution, especially on wet roads. Avoid harsh braking and be mindful of your surroundings. However, it's still important to have the issue checked and resolved by a professional to ensure your safety, especially in adverse driving conditions. Hope this helps you get that pesky ABS light sorted out soon! Warm regards, Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team