The sight of unfamiliar warning lights, especially the ABS light, suddenly popping up on your Infiniti dashboard can be a frightening experience. But do not worry, a worrying sight can sometimes be fixed easily! This article will tackle the common cause and symptoms of why your ABS light is on and how to reset it.
What does the ABS light mean on an Infiniti?
If the ABS, traction control, and stability control light stay on in your Infiniti, the vehicle may skid when braking, and if the tires lose road traction, the traction control system will not intervene to keep you safe.
The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) in an Infiniti Q50, Q60, QX50, QX60, and QX80 regulates the brake pressure during sudden or hard braking to decrease the stopping distance and prevent accidents. If parts of the system malfunction, the ABS control module illuminates the ABS light to warn the driver. Determining and fixing the problem immediately is important to ensure your safety, especially during emergencies and bad weather conditions.
- ABS Light Stays On – ABS light is always on
- ABS, AWD, VDC, SLIP, and BRAKE Lights are ON – lights are simultaneously on
- VSD Malfunction Message – This malfunction message appears in the dashboard
- AWD ERROR Message – This malfunction message appears in the dashboard
- ABS Malfunction Message – This malfunction message appears in the dashboard
Several issues can trigger the ABS light on an Infiniti, ranging from low brake fluid to a faulty steering angle sensor. Still, the most common cause that triggers the ABS light and traction control light on Infiniti vehicles is the failure of one of the ABS wheel speed sensors, which luckily is easy to fix and takes about 30 minutes, and costs less than $30 if you do it yourself.
Faulty ABS Wheel Speed Sensor
The ABS wheel speed sensor monitors the speed of each wheel. The ABS module uses this information to regulate the necessary braking force during sudden or emergency braking to prevent the brakes from locking up.
When one or more wheel speed sensors are defective, they may not send the right signals to the ABS module. This could result in the ABS system getting disabled and the ABS light turning on. One common cause is the build-up of dirt around the sensor. It prevents the sensor from reading the wheel speed and, thus, sends inaccurate data to the ABS module and triggers the ABS light.
Defective ABS Module
The ABS control module controls the entire anti-lock brake system (ABS). It is responsible for monitoring each wheel’s wheel speed and regulating the hydraulic pressure to provide the needed braking force to prevent the brakes from locking up in case of sudden braking.
If the ABS control module fails, it cannot properly receive and process the signals from the wheel speed sensors and other sensors. This can result in the ABS braking or pulsating randomly during driving or even failing to activate during hard braking and turning the ABS light on.
There have been reports of issues with the ABS module in certain Infiniti models. These include:
- 2004-2005 Infiniti QX56
- 2004-2005 Infiniti FX35 and FX45
- 2003-2004 Infiniti I35
- 2003-2005 Infiniti G35 Coupe
- 2003-2004 Infiniti M45
Faulty Steering Angle Sensor
The steering angle sensor is responsible for monitoring the direction of turn of the vehicle. The ABS module must know the vehicle’s direction to accurately regulate the braking pressure to prevent brake lockup.
The Electronic Stability Control and the ABS use the steering angle sensor input. When the ABS and ESP warning lights turn on simultaneously, inspect the SAS to prevent a decrease in vehicle stability and the risk of accidents.
The entire ABS relies on the battery to provide a steady power supply to operate properly. If the battery voltage drops below 9.5 Volts, the ABS might malfunction and can turn the ABS light on. The problem can be a faulty voltage regulator if you get under 12 volts when the engine is running. Sensors can also send inaccurate signals to the ABS module. It is important to check your charging system’s health to prevent problems.
Broken Wires and Loose Connectors
Wires and connectors in the Anti-lock Braking System are prone to damage and dirt buildup due to their location under the vehicle. These could cause a poor connection between the sensors and the ABS control module and turn on the ABS light.
The wheel speed sensor wires are the most common wires in the anti-lock braking system to be damaged because it sits closer to the wheels. The wheels might carry debris that can sever the connection making it impossible for the wheel speed sensor to send data to the ABS module.
Connectors can loosen over time due to wear and tear. Corrosion can also prevent a good connection from the ABS module to the sensors. Cleaning the connector pins and terminals can resolve the ABS light.
The ABS fuse protects the Anti-lock Braking System from the sudden power surge that can damage the ABS control module. When the ABS fuse blows, it disrupts the connection from the battery to the entire ABS, turning the ABS light on. It is important to know the cause of the blown fuse before replacing it to avoid blowing the new fuse.
Low Brake Fluid Level
The ABS in a vehicle uses hydraulic pressure to function properly. A low brake fluid level can prevent the ABS from engaging during sudden braking and will turn on the ABS light. This can also lead to air bubbles entering the brake system resulting in a spongy brake pedal.
Brake fluid decreases because brake pads wear out and a leak within the system. It is important to determine the cause of the problem to resolve the issue properly. Topping up the brake fluid level can resolve the ABS light.
Troubleshooting & Reset Procedure
As seen in the previous section, the ABS light on an Infiniti can be triggered by several issues ranging from faulty ABS wheel speed sensor, defective steering angle sensor, and even low voltage. To find out why the ABS light stays on your Infiniti, use the YOUCANIC scanner to read the fault codes or run a full vehicle scan. The fault codes on the scanner will help you narrow down the issue and resolve the problem. If the issue is a faulty ABS wheel speed sensor, you will know which one exactly is the issue instead of guessing. In addition, you can use the YOUCANIC scanner to bleed the ABS pump or reset the steering angle sensor.
- Locate the OBD II port under the dash of your vehicle. It is usually located near the driver’s side and is a 16-pin connector.
- Plug in the scanner and turn on the ignition, but do not start the engine.
- Select the make of your vehicle from the list of available makes. You can select “Auto Detect VIN” to automatically detect your vehicle’s make and model.
- Select “Control Units,” then “ABS/Traction Control Module.” Remember that the name of this module may vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
- Once the scanner is on, select “Diagnostics” from the main menu.
- Once you have selected the ABS/Traction Control Module, you can select “Read Codes” to see any stored trouble codes related to the ABS. The scanner will display the current codes, which will help you determine what may be causing the ABS and traction control warnings to turn on.
- Based on the codes, the scanner may suggest performing further tests or inspecting certain components of the ABS, such as the wheel speed sensors, brake lines, and hydraulic control unit.
- Once the underlying issue has been fixed, then select Clear Codes to clear fault codes stored in the ABS control unit and reset ABS and traction control warning lights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to drive with my Infiniti Q50 ABS light on?
It is possible to drive with the ABS light on. Still, it is important to address the issue promptly, as a malfunctioning ABS can impact the car’s overall safety and performance, especially in slippery road conditions. Diagnosing and resolving the issues immediately is recommended to avoid accidents.
What are some common causes of the ABS light turning on in an Infiniti?
Some common causes include a failed ABS wheel speed sensor, a malfunctioning ABS module, or a wiring issue.
Can I still brake if the ABS light is on?
Yes, you can still brake if the ABS light is on, but the car’s braking performance may be reduced, and the wheels may lock up during hard braking. If the BRAKE light stays on do not drive the vehicle.
What should I do if the ABS warning light comes on while driving?
If the ABS warning light comes on while driving, staying calm and avoiding panicking is important. The first thing to do is to check the brakes by applying them gently and feeling for any unusual vibrations or noises. If the brakes do not feel normal or you hear any strange noises, it is recommended to avoid driving the car.
- C1142: Pressure Sensor Circuit
- C1143: Steering Angle Sensor Circuit
- C1144: Inlet Valve Right Circuit
- C1145: Inlet Valve Left Circuit
- C1146: Outlet Valve Right Circuit
- C1147: Outlet Valve Left Circuit
- C1155: ABS Speed Sensor Circuit
- C1163: Brake Fluid Level Switch Circuit
- C1164: ABS Control Module Power Supply Circuit
- C1179: Vacuum Sensor Circuit
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