The anti-lock braking system or ABS is a safety mechanism that prevents a car's brakes from locking up and stops the car from skidding when the brake pedal is pressed.
If the ABS light remains on when the car has been started it may mean that the ABS system is deactivated due to a possible malfunction.
It is not safe to drive when the ABS light is on because it means the vehicle would not operate the way it is supposed to when you brake suddenly. The car could skid across the road in an emergency situation and cause a serious accident.
The four most common scenarios where the ABS light may go on is when the ABS module malfunctions if there are low levels in the fluid reservoir, broken wheel speed sensors, or the system has deliberately been turned off.
The ABS, an anti-lock braking system, shares some very important components with the traction control system in the vehicle and it is imperative that when the ABS light comes on you should pull your car off the road into a safe place and stop the vehicle immediately. Often one can shut off the vehicle and restart it, and the vehicle's computer will automatically 'recheck' all of the sensors for any abnormal workings. Resetting it like this might fix the issue, but if it comes on again, a visit to the mechanic would be advised.
A vehicle can actually be driven when the ABS light is on but if there are any other braking warning lights flashing or shining, along with the ABS light, this could indicate something seriously wrong. It is still possible to drive if no other lights on the console are on as a warning to you. However, the car can skid if you had to apply brakes in a hurry for some reason.
It is best to simply heed the rules when the ABS light comes on, and if there is a loss of braking power have the vehicle towed to our shop where professional technicians can ascertain the damage and help to get the car roadworthy again.