Sometimes, the ABS and traction control lights switch on, making you wonder what it means. Your Jeep comes with essential safety features, including ABS and traction control.
Read on to learn what ABS and traction control are and what it means when their warning lights turn on.
What are ABS and Traction Control in a Jeep?
While both ABS and traction control are different, they work as safety features in a Jeep. ABS is an anti-lock brake system that stops wheels from locking when you hit the brake. During a short stop, the driver and car are also safe from jolts.
Traction control is a safety feature that prevents the car from slipping on smooth surfaces. This gives your Jeep full control over the road and stops it from spinning.
Why do the Traction Control and ABS Lights Turn on?
The module for traction control and ABS is the same. If any one feature breaks down, the light turns on. The lights alone don’t mean anything serious, but they could indicate trouble in the braking system. So if the light turns on, it means that there is some issue with the braking system.
Here are some reasons why the ABS and traction control light turns on:
Faulty traction control and ABS module
Both ABS and traction control share the same module. The light will turn on if there is a problem within the module. It usually happens when the ABS and traction control stop working or if there is a malfunction in the brake system.
The PCM, also known as the central computer system, keeps the traction control working perfectly. If the light turns on, but there is no physical issue with the traction control, it most likely means issues within the central computer system. It can be a minor error causing trouble or a major problem that requires the computer system to be reprogrammed.
Another common reason for the ABS and traction control light to turn on is a blown fuse. Check the engine light since it also lights up with the ABS light. Using a scanner will highlight this issue quickly.
Low tire pressure
Sensors found in Jeep scan and collect data for the ABS and traction control system. If one of your Jeep’s tires has low pressure, the ECU in the car identifies it as an abnormal speed. The warning light turns on when this data is sent to the control system.
Low fluid level
Low fluid levels in the car can also lead to serious problems causing the ABS and traction control lights to turn on. Check fluid levels regularly and maintain them. If the issue persists, check your vehicle for leakages or broken seals.
Issues with sensors
If the speed sensor malfunctions, the ABS light turns on. Low brake fluid is a major cause of a troubling sensor. Any issues with the steering angle sensor will also cause the light to pop up since this sensor detects the steering wheel’s position, rate, and angle. Any trouble in the wiring will lead to wrong data being sent to the computer system, leading to the traction light switching on.
Steering rack issue
Any issue with the steering rack will cause problems in controlling your Jeep in rough terrains since the steering rack is responsible for controlling the steering wheel easily. With a switched-on traction light, you need to check your car’s components and parts immediately.
Poor wheel alignment
The wheel alignment of your Jeep may need to be checked if your car has driven over sudden bumps, potholes, and curbs. The wheels will get low pressure which will signal the computer system to turn the light on.
Dirt and debris
At times, dirt and debris get stuck in the traction control system, causing issues in the car. It also doesn’t allow the traction control to perform properly. The warning light will turn on and stay on if this is the reason behind it. You can easily clean the system to get it running properly once more. However, you should consider taking it to a mechanic as well.
Battery voltage issue
Even though the battery is irrelevant for the ABS and traction control systems, it can hinder their performance due to a low voltage. Both safety features rely on the ECU; hence, any issues with the battery will send faulty signals to the central system causing the warning signal to illuminate.
Turned off ABS and traction control
You may find it hard to believe, but switching the system off or having an accident causing it to turn off will also light up the warning signal. You should check whether the ABS and traction control system are turned off.
How Much Does it Cost to Fix the ABS and Traction Control?
Since there isn’t one single reason for the light to pop up, fixing costs vary depending on the issue causing it. Changing an ABS speed sensor in a Jeep Wrangler will cost about $131. In this case, the parts will only cost $36, and the remaining $95 will be charged as labor costs. These prices also vary on the model of your vehicle and your location.
How to Reset the ABS and Traction Control Lights in a Jeep
Disconnect the positive cable from the car battery and press the brake to kill the Jeep’s electrical system. This resets the central computer. Plug in the cable again, and if no problems are found in the system, the ABS light will be reset.
If the light turns on again, you will have to replace the ABS sensor. To do so, unscrew the housing and take the wire out. After removing the old sensor, replace it with a new one. Follow step 1 to reset it again.
Use an OBD to diagnose the issue if the light turns on again. Go to a local auto part store to get your car checked and fixed.
Even though the Jeep has various safety features, ABS and traction control are among the most prominent. An issue with the warning light is a very common problem that arises.
There could be many reasons causing the light to turn on, so you should get a thorough checkup done to ensure that no serious problems arise while driving the car.
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Does the ABS sensor affect traction control?
Since both features use the same module, if one system malfunctions, it will affect the other. Also, with trouble in one system, it can be difficult to tell the main cause.
Can I drive with the ABS and traction light on?
It is safe to drive if the ABS and traction light are on, but you need to be careful since both are related to the braking system. It’s better to resolve the issue before driving; otherwise, you could pay a hefty price to fix your vehicle.
Can I ignore the warning light?
Even though the warning light means no serious trouble, it could signal that the brake system needs servicing. You shouldn’t ignore the warning light ever. If you’re driving, make sure you drive slowly and don’t use the brake that often.
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