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Can worn brake pads cause ABS light to come on

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glazed brake pad

Protective equipment for cars The use of anti-lock braking systems (ABS) is crucial for safe driving. By preventing wheel lockup when braking, ABS keeps a vehicle from skidding.

The dashboard ABS indicator light will illuminate if the system detects a problem. It’s possible for the ABS warning light to turn on if something else in the system is broken.

The article investigates whether or not worn brake pads could trigger the ABS warning. It also explains what can cause the ABS warning light to activate. Read on for more information.

Can worn brake pads cause the ABS light to come on

The answer is both yes and no; nonetheless, worn brake pads will not activate the ABS warning system. Inability to drive with the ABS light illuminated.

In contrast, the ABS warning light may appear if the brake pads are worn and the fluid level drops as a result of the brake pads having to travel longer to deliver braking pressure due to the reduced pad thickness.

One of the many reasons is that. Keep in mind that the ABS light is different from the brake pad warning light.

If your car’s ABS light is on, it’s important to take it in for inspection as soon as possible; problems can be hard to pinpoint without the proper equipment. If you’re behind the wheel and the ABS warning light is on, stopping suddenly could be risky.

glazed brake pads

How do you fix brake pads that are worn out put on the ABS light

If your brake pads are worn and activating the ABS warning light, all you have to do is get a new set of pads. You can either hire someone to do it for you, or you can do it yourself by following the instructions below.

  • Jack stands are used in the first step to raise the car.
  • Second, I took the wheel off.
  • Third, get rid of the worn-out pads.
  • Prep the wall for mounting by wiping it down.
  • Fifth, put the new pads in place.
  • Step 6: Lower the car after the wheel has been installed.
  • Seventh, if necessary, fill up the fluid tank.
  • Slowly pump the brakes to distribute the brake fluid.
  • Step 9: Do the same thing with the other wheels.

Prior to fitting the new pads, the calipers and mounting brackets should be serviced.

According to research on brake pad failure modes conducted by the Global Brake Safety Council, nearly 70% of the pads surveyed still had at least 50% of their friction material. Uneven inner and outer pad wear is a common result of this type of usage. One source of uneven pad wear is the neglect of caliper and bracket maintenance.

Understanding what the ABS system is

The ABS comprises of the ABS pulsar ring, magnetic pickup, and modulator, among other parts.

When you hit the brakes hard and the car starts to skid, the anti-lock brakes will sense it and intervene. The anti-lock braking system instantly releases and reapplies brake pressure to ensure the driver maintains full control of the vehicle at all times.

The ABS modulator uses brake fluid to apply force to the braking system of the vehicle. By quickly letting up the brakes and then applying them again, you can avoid danger and bring the skid under control.

What causes the ABS light to come on?

However, many other parts of the ABS system can cause the warning light to illuminate, even though worn brake pads would not.

  • Brake fluid low – ABS uses brake fluid to control the amount of braking power applied, hence a low fluid level can cause problems. The indicator lights up if the fluid level drops to a critical level, rendering the ABS useless due to, say, a leak.
  • Abs failure: The sensor is a magnetic pickup that can malfunction for a variety of reasons, including being hit by a stone.
  • The ABS sensor and the wire connecting it are both vulnerable to damage by road debris, which can lead to a broken ABS wire. The ABS warning light will come on if there are any wire breaks.
  • Failure of the ABS modulator, a pump with several valves that regulate the flow of brake fluid to increase or decrease brake pressure. Valves can get stuck open or closed, or they can simply malfunction. The braking fluid reservoir is a potential entry point for debris.
  • An accumulation of dirt and debris can break the ABS pulsar ring, which is located around the driveshaft and a few millimeters from the ABS sensor. The ABS warning light can also come on if debris damages the ring’s teeth.
  • The anti-lock braking system (ABS) has been disabled. In the case of sports cars, it can actually be counterproductive under hard braking. As soon as you switch it off, the indicator light will come on as a gentle reminder.
  • Since the ABS is managed by the car’s ECU, bad software, analogous to a computer virus, may be to blame for an ABS malfunction.

The causes of the ABS warning light coming on and how to fix them

After replacing the worn brake pads, the ABS warning light will turn off by itself. But that’s only if your worn brake pads were the cause; otherwise, the warning indicator will stay on. More diagnostics of the car are needed to determine the root of the problem.

brake pads maintenance

Your prognosis must consist of:

1, make sure there are no leaks in the brakes.

First, make sure there are no leaks in the braking system. As was previously discussed, the ABS warning light can come on if the brake fluid level drops too low.

One telltale sign of car leaks is the appearance of yellow or brown fluid on the garage floor. Indicators of brake fluid seepage may point to the source of the problem. You should hire a specialist to find the faulty hose and replace it.

2, Inspect the brake fluid level

The next step in the diagnostic process is to verify that the brake fluid level is appropriate. Even if there were no leaks, the braking fluid level in the reservoir could drop as the piston moved forward.

The color of the brake fluid is another good indicator of whether or not it has been tainted.

It could be triggering the ABS warning if it drops below the threshold. To see if the warning light disappears, fill the brake reservoir with premium fluid.

3, Observe the speed ABS sensors for any signs of damage.

The ABS speed sensor is often installed on the axles but can also be found in the wheel hubs. Check the sensors for signs of damage or foreign material, such as mud or dust.

There could possibly be a problem with the ABS speed sensor wires. Inspect the electrical connections for signs of corrosion or breakage.

The ABS warning light could be the result of unclean or broken sensors or wiring. Scrub the sensor free of dirt and rust with a gentle brush and some warm soapy water.

If a wire is broken or frayed, you can solder it back together, but it’s preferable to just replace it. The ABS system can be negatively impacted by voltage variations caused by a soldered wire.

Is it okay to drive with the ABS light on?

You could ignore the ABS warning light and continue driving if you wanted to; previous cars didn’t have ABS, after all. However, ABS is a standard feature in today’s automobiles and is intended to be on at all times.


If you need to quickly apply the brakes to avoid colliding with another vehicle or road debris and the ABS isn’t working, you may not be able to stop in time to avoid a serious collision.

Driving with the ABS light on could be difficult if the modulator has failed, although this would depend on the specific reason for the failure. It is important to know the problem or whether you can drive, as the ABS modulator has many valves that open and close and can apply brake pressure even when the pedal is not touched.

If the ABS sensor fails, it simply means that the ABS system is not active, and you can continue driving as usual. However, keep in mind that A.B.S. is necessary for traction control and electronic stability control to function.

How far can you go while the ABS light is on?

How far you can drive while the ABS light is on depends on the nature of the problem prompting the light to come on. Keep in mind that if the ABS warning light is illuminated, the anti-lock braking system is malfunctioning.

In other words, you shouldn’t assume you can drive forever, especially if you’re in a sticky circumstance that requires you to get out of the car immediately.

Final thoughts

Worn brake pads can cause fluid levels to drop, which can trigger the ABS warning. The ABS warning light should go out once the worn brake pads are replaced. However, there are usually additional problems with the ABS that cause the light to come on.

In the event that the warning light continues to flash, a diagnosis of the braking system is advised. If your vehicle’s brakes are malfunctioning, you should not drive it until the problem has been properly diagnosed and fixed.


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