What do the ABS and Brake System Light Mean?

engine speed sensor

At Earnhardt Lexus, we like to keep you,  our customer,  up to speed on what keeps your beautiful new lease or purchase in top condition. It is important to pay attention to how your car works and be ready if you notice something is wrong. 

Two of those systems to observe are the ABS and the brake system. Regardless of the make or model, you can schedule certified auto repair with us.  Our mechanics have the tools and equipment needed to make exacting repairs on any type of car or SUV.

What are the ABS and Brake System Lights?

The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is now a standard safety system in all cars. Its purpose is to keep the driver safe by preventing the wheels from locking when you use the brakes. You are able to keep control over the steering and your vehicle won’t skid as a result of the wheels locking up.

There is a warning light on the dashboard which will come on if there is any problem with the ABS. This is a light that needs to be taken seriously because it is an early warning sign that your ABS needs to be inspected.

There is also a brake system light that will come on if there is an issue with the braking system. It lets you know that it is time to take your vehicle to our specialists to check over your car’s brakes and make any adjustments needed. 

Two Things to know about ABS Safety

  • On most vehicles the ABS system does a self-test every time you turn on the car. Once you start your vehicle, the light will briefly come on, and if the computer finds a problem, the light will stay on. If you notice the light flash immediately after starting the vehicle, then it's just a self-check.
  • As you brake heavily and your ABS does its job, you will notice that the brake pedal is moving. This is normal and it means the ABS system is working. The ABS works with your braking system to create the movement so the wheels do not lock up. Once you feel this pulsating, keep your foot on the brake pedal and let the ABS system do its work. 

Paying Attention to the ABS and Brake System Lights

  • If the warning light comes on while you are driving, it means the ABS may not be working properly.  Your brakes will still work, but the ABS may not engage if you need to make a quick stop. If the light remains on, you need have our service department check it out immediately. Since the ABS helps with vehicle control and stopping distances, it is an important safety feature to maintain.
  • If both the ABS and the brake system light come on at the same time, your vehicle is no longer safe to drive. This means there is a serious problem with the car’s braking system and continuing to drive puts yourself and others at risk.

Lexus vehicles get good safety ratings, but if they aren’t functioning properly, travel may become dangerous.  It is important to your car safety that you don’t ignore check engine lights.  By the time these lights are on, the problem has become significant and may be harming other components of your vehicle.

If you have any questions regarding the ABS or brake system lights in your Lexus, please contact Earnhardt Lexus or our service department to learn more. We have experts on hand to help with all of your auto needs! 



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