Car manufacturers are striving to improve modern cars with new technologies for better performance, good driving experience, and safety. For instance, the anti-braking system (ABS) is now a standard safety system in almost all cars. As a result, you’ll notice many lights on the dashboard whereby; some are warning lights.
VSA and ABS lights are among the common lights that might come on your dashboard occasionally. Why do they light on anyway? Let’s explore more down here.
What is ABS Light in a Car?
ABS stands for the antilock braking system. This kind of system prevents your car from locking up when braking hard, thus helping a driver maintain control. The ABS light warning on your dashboard on the gauge cluster shows that this system has been activated because of a malfunction. Generally, it’s an early warning that your ABS system or some components have a problem and need to be checked.
What Causes ABS Lights to Come on and Stay on?
Below are five reasons why your ABS indicator lights on the dashboard:
Low level of brake fluid in the reservoir
Your ABS uses a hydraulic to close the brake pads and stop the car. Therefore, when you have low brake fluid levels in the reservoir, you’re more likely to get a warning on the dashboard, whereby the ABS light stays on.
Usually, low levels of brake fluid are caused by cracks or split into the reservoir or brake lines. Additionally, the dirty brake fluid could also cause the ABS light to come on.
Damaged or faulty wheel speed sensors
The wheel speed sensors, often located inside the transmission or the center of the wheel (near the braking system), tell your computer how fast each wheel turns independently. Therefore, if the computer detects an inconsistency in the wheel’s speed, it makes the necessary adjustments or shifts power to other wheels to compensate. If this sensor is damaged or faulty, it could bring your ABS light to the dashboard.
Malfunctioning ABS module
A malfunctioning ABS module is another cause of your ABS light coming and staying on. Your ABS system shares a control module with your traction control system.
Often, when you have corrosion on the wires, there is increased resistance that causes delayed communication between the ABS and the wheel speed sensor. An issue with the traction control system light may also cause your ABS light to turn on.
An ABS system has some fuses that are prone to blowing or burning. A blown fuse may cause the light to come on and stay on. However, a mechanic can help you check such an issue before attempting to replace or troubleshoot the ABS system.
The ABS system is turned off
Since the ABS system is an important safety feature in your car, turning it off will cause its light to display on the dashboard as a warning. Additionally, you may check whether you accidentally turned the ABS system before even diagnosing all of the above problems.
What is VSA Light in a Car?
VSA stands for vehicle stability assist. VSA is a system often used in Honda and Acura cars that helps keep the vehicle handling at its best by preventing situations that create oversteer or understeer while driving. Usually, this system can activate when you drive on slippery surfaces or take corners too fast. As a result, you get a smooth drive and less chance of slipping.
When this system is faulty or its components, it illuminates a warning on the dashboard.
What Would Cause the VSA light to come on?
Below are four reasons why your VSA light comes on:
You’re using the wrong tire size
If you’re using the wrong size, your VSA system will detect that the wheels aren’t rotating at the correct speed (an imbalance in rotation). As a result, it triggers the VSA lights until the issue has been solved.
Low tire pressure
Driving with low tire pressure could also cause the VSA light to appear on your dashboard. Similar to the issue of wrong tire size, low-pressure tires cause the wheels to spin at different speeds, which could also trigger the VSA light to come on.
Malfunction of the VSA system
If your VSA indicator light appears (the second VSA light), it indicates a potential problem with the VSA system’s components. This is because the system isn’t sending signals anymore. An ideal way to determine the particular component that has caused the issue is by having your vehicle inspected and diagnosed with a scanner. A common cause of such an issue is a failed steering angle sensor and faulty sensor wiring. Also, a problem with the ABS module could cause the VSA light to come on.
You accidentally switched off the VSA button
If you accidentally switch off the VSA system, its light will appear and stay on until you switch it on. The light comes on to warn you that the VSA system has been turned off.
ABS and VSA systems are essential in helping reduce the risk of accidents and enabling a driver to control a car more swiftly. However, if you notice VSA and ABS lights on the dashboard, it means there is a problem, and you’re not likely to enjoy the benefits of the features. Therefore, a quick diagnosis from a professional would help you address the issue early enough.
If you have the skills, you may try resetting or troubleshooting the ABS or the VSA systems.