What does it mean when the Chevy ABS light stays on?
When your Chevrolet ABS light stays on while driving, it could mean that the anti-lock brake system (ABS) is malfunctioning. A fault code gets stored in the ABS module.
Your vehicle may require a longer distance to stop.
If your vehicle is equipped with traction control, that system will be disabled since it depends on the ABS to function.
One of the most common problems that trigger Chevy ABS light is a bad ABS wheel speed sensor at one of the wheels.
Common symptoms that you notice when there is a problem with the ABS on a Chevrolet.
- ABS light stays on
- Brake light on
- The vehicle requires a longer distance to stop.
- Service traction control message.
- Traction and stability get disabled.
If your Chevrolet ABS light stays on, it may take longer to bring the car to a complete stop, especially on slippery roads.
With no ABS, Chevrolet wheels can potentially lock up during braking.
Why is my Chevy ABS light on?
The most common problems that trigger the ABS light on a Chevy vehicle are:
- Bad ABS wheel speed sensor,
- Defective steering angle sensor,
- Damaged wire harness
- Faulty brake light switch
- Defective ABS module or pump
- Poor ground connection
- Low brake fluid level
Any of these problems can trigger the Chevrolet ABS light to stay on. To further troubleshoot this problem, use a diagnostic scanner to read the ABS module's fault codes.
How to Diagnose and Reset Chevy ABS Light
When a Chevy ABS light stays ON, a fault code will be stored in your Chevrolet ABS module. To find out why your Chevrolet ABS light is on, read the ABS module's fault codes.
To diagnose Chevrolet ABS light(s), you will need an ABS OBD-II scanner for Chevy.
- Park your Chevrolet in a safe area where you can work.
- Locate the Chevrolet OBD-2 port under the dashboard. Plug the OBD-2 scanner into the OBD2 port of your Chevrolet
- Turn on the ignition. All Chevrolet dashboard lights should turn on but do not start the engine. If your Chevrolet has START/STOP button, press it twice without pressing on the brake pedal.
Allow your Chevrolet OBD-2 scanner to connect to the Engine Control Unit (ECU). This may take a few seconds.
Select Chevrolet from the menu. Manually select the Anti-lock Brake System menu. Chevrolet > Model > ABS module.
- Read codes from the ABS module.
This is a procedure that can be performed by your Chevrolet dealer, the local auto mechanic. You can also read Chevrolet ABS codes yourself if you have the right OBD-II scanner.
Clear Chevrolet ABS Codes
- Once you fix your Chevrolet ABS problem, you can come back and clear the ABS Fault Codes.
- If your scanner cannot communicate with the ABS module, it is possible that the ABS module is defective and it needs to either be replaced, which can be an expensive repair, or use a third party that can rebuild your ABS unit.
Keep in mind that you can't reset the ABS light on your Chevrolet until you fix the problem that triggered the ABS light.
Rember to check the brake fluid level. If the level is below the MIN mark, add ONLY the brake fluid type noted on the brake fluid cap. Typically it will be DOT 4 Brake Fluid but check the cap in your Chevrolet to verify.
Use these steps to read ABS codes from Chevy vehicles such as Spark, Sonic, Bolt, Volt, Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Camaro, Corvette, City Express, Trax, Equinox, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado, Sonic, Blazer, Astro, HHR, Uplander, Avalanche, etc.
Chevy ABS light on but no codes?
If you use a basic scanner that can not access the ABS module, you will retrieve no fault codes even though the ABS light is on. That's because the fault codes are stored in the ABS module, and therefore, you need an OBD-II ABS scanner. Your scanner is most likely only reading codes from the ENGINE module and not the ABS module.
If you have the right scanner but get an error when trying to communicate with the ABS module, in most cases, the module itself is bad, or there is a bad fuse.