I have a 96 S10 4X4. The ABS has been broken for the last 5 years. IT
appears that the ABS warning lamp has finally burnt out. But...now the Brake
warning lamp is on.
My question: IF the ABS warning lamp burns out, is the ECU smart enough to
transfer its function over to the brake warning lamp? In others words is the
brake warning lamp telling me my ABS lamp is burnt out or do I have an
actual brake failure not related to the ABS module? (I should say that the
brakes work as they always have)
You're over complicating the issue. Whenever you have
a brake warning light that's an indication that there
is a potential problem requiring immediate attention.
Did you even check the reservoirs? Or did you just come
here to post about it?
Don't speculate, investigate. If you don't know enough
about the brake system to troubleshoot and fix it
yourself please take it immediately to someone who does.
If it is a daily use vehicle you don't have the luxury
of time to learn about brakes.
Priorities for all motor vehicles:
3 Everything else
Till your brakes are fixed I don't want you on the road with me!
Both the ABS and the Brake warning lights would come on from time to time on
my '01 3500 Duramax . The first time it did we were on a mountain road and
I was very concerned about it. A review of the manual indicated it might or
might not be a real problem and gave a short procedure to go through to test
the system. After going through the procedure the lights went out and we
continued down the mountain. The next day I took it to the local Chevy
dealer and they couldn't find any brake error codes. They did find a code
indicating all the computers hadn't communicated properly for a period of
I inadvertently replicated the condition that caused the problem several
more times while I had the truck, but never had an actual brake problem. I
concluded it was a software error that under certain conditions caused the
ABS and brake warning lights to come on.
My 04 Dodge did the same thing. Took it to the dealer and they told me the
anti-lock brake system gets "confused" on twisty roads because it compares
the individual wheel RPM's, and when you make lots of turns in a short
period of time it thinks there is a problem.
Separate circuits and warnings. The ABS light on says there is a problem
with the ABS unit or one of the ABS sensors.
The Brake Light on says the problem is with the base brake system OR the
Parking brake is on a couple of notches.
You need to discover what the problem is. If you feel the brakes are
still working OK then the problem is likely with the rear brakes. Look
for a rotted brake line or failed wheel cylinder.
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