A Chevy Silverado is one of the most powerful pickup trucks available on the market today. It has an anti-lock and braking system, which, if faulty, is indicated by the ABS and braking lights coming on. What problems do these lights present? How do you diagnose and solve these issues? We consulted with the experts for answers to these questions and more.
It is not safe to drive your Chevy Silverado when the ABS and brake lights come on at the same time. It means your anti-lock system is disabled, and the braking system has a serious problem.
The ABS and brake lights come on to warn you of a problem with your braking or anti-lock system. Continue reading to know what these problems are, how to fix them, and the cost of repairs involved. Included are ways of maintaining your truck's braking system in good condition.
Why Your Chevy Silverado Has The ABS And Brake Lights On
When the ABS light comes on in your Chevy Silverado, the anti-lock braking system becomes disabled. But when the brake lights also appear on your dashboard, it's a sign your braking system has a big problem.
Each light appears due to a specific set of problems. However, both lights can indicate a common problem. The common reasons for the ABS light and the brake light coming on include:
Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor
Each wheel in your Chevy has an anti-lock braking sensor attached to each wheel hub. It measures the speed of each wheel and relays the information to the anti-lock braking system control unit.
A faulty sensor will not send any information to the control unit or may transmit wrong information. When this happens, the ABS and brake lights appear on your dashboard.
How To Examine The ABS Sensor
It's quite difficult to physically check the ABS sensor. The best way to diagnose if the sensor has a problem is by using an OBD2 scanner. The scanner provides codes indicating what the problem is.
Other than diagnosing if the sensors are faulty, it further identifies which sensor is faulty. From the information received, you can go ahead and replace the defective sensor. Examine the sensor wire or connector as well. They might be damaged or corroded.
Check out the video below on how to replace a sensor:
Low Brake Fluid Levels
Low brake fluid levels can cause the ABS and brake light to illuminate. You can top up the brake fluid when the levels are low, and checking for leaks under your vehicle is essential.
Other reasons for low fluid levels are worn rotors or worn brake pads. When these two components wear out, the piston seals can break, causing fluid to leak. You should have them checked and possibly replaced by a mechanic.
Malfunctioning ABS Control Module Or Pump
The ABS control module or pump is also known as the hydraulic control unit (HCU). The control module collects information from the wheel sensor and the hydraulic brake system of your vehicle.
It then uses this information to determine when to release breaking pressure on a wheel that is almost locking up. This happens to prevent your vehicle from skidding while braking. When this component is faulty, the best thing to do is to replace it.
Engaged Emergency Brake
When your truck is on, and the emergency brake is engaged, the brake light warning will appear. Disengage the brake to turn off the light.
Problem With Your ABS System
The brake warning light will appear when the ABS system has a problem.
What Other Reasons Cause The ABS And Brake Lights To Come On?
The ABS and brake lights can illuminate even when there is no problem with the anti-lock or braking system. Some reasons this can happen include:
Tire Has Low Pressure
The ABS maintains contact with the road when you are braking. That is why the ABS light will turn on when one of the wheels does not have enough pressure.
Low pressure causes the diameter of the wheel to be reduced. As a result, the wheel rotates faster than the other wheels. When the control module senses this speed difference, an ABS fault code is triggered for the wheel with a tire with low pressure.
When a fuse in the ABS blows, the ABS warning light will appear. Check the fuse box, find the blown fuse, and replace it with a new one. Also, check the relay, which may need to be replaced if it is faulty.
How To Maintain The Braking System
The braking system of your truck is an essential safety feature. It's crucial to keep it in good condition throughout the life of your truck. Some tips for this include:
Check Your Brake Pads Often
When brake pads start to wear out, it is time to replace them. When they wear out the metal tabs rub against the rotors when you apply the brakes.
You'll hear a chirping or whistling sound. Ideally, have them checked once a year to identify issues before they escalate.
Check Brake Fluid Regularly
When the brake fluid is near the minimum line at the bottom, it's time to replace the fluid. When the brake fluid is black or dark brown, you should change it. Brake fluid is usually clear with a yellow tint.
Listen For Warning Sounds
A common reason for your Chevy producing a grinding noise is when the brake pads are excessively worn. This is because the caliper rubs against the rotor.
Maintain An Adequate Distance
Maintain a safe distance between your car and the one in front. This gives you time to slow down without braking hard, in case the car in front suddenly brakes. Applying too much brake can cause immediate wear and tear, so avoid it.
Avoid transporting loads that are beyond the capacity recommended by the manufacturer. A heavy vehicle takes longer to brake, causing the wear and tear on the brakes.
How To Reset Your ABS And Brake System
When the ABS and brake lights illuminate, you can try resetting them. Turn the key in the ignition to the on position, but do not start your truck.
Quickly press your gas pedal three times. Wait a few seconds and start your engine. After this, your ABS and brake lights should go off.
However, the lights will light up if your braking or anti-locking system has a problem. If this happens, check your vehicle to find out what is wrong with the braking system.
Below is a video that shows you how to reset the braking system of a vehicle:
Cost Of Repairing The Anti-Lock And Braking System
Replacing the rotor and brake pads can cost you between $300 to $1000 and possibly even more. If you possess the proper tools and technical know-how, you can replace them yourself to save up money on labor.
Ensure you buy high-quality parts, which are likely to be more expensive. This is for better performance on rough terrain that you may be driving over with your vehicle and the loads you may be carrying.
The cost for replacing a sensor is around $134 for parts and $95 for labor. The location where you have it fitted determines the cost. Thus, the price may vary from one area to another.
Replacing the ABS module costs between $127 to $160 for labor and $383 to $450 for parts. The year and model dictate these prices. To have your anti-lock braking system inspected could cost anywhere from $82 to $103.
The prices mentioned are only rough estimates and could vary from state to state. It is best to consult with your local mechanic or dealership to have an accurate estimate of the total cost of repair.
Your truck's anti-lock and braking system is a crucial safety feature that protects you and other road users. That is why it is important to immediately have the anti-lock warning and braking lights checked out when they turn on. This could save you from a potential accident.
For these systems to continue working optimally, you will need to maintain them in good condition. The costs of repairing the braking system vary by location, model, and year of your car.
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