What does ABS stand for?
ABS is the short form for the ‘Anti-lock Brake Skid’ safety control system. It is also commonly referred to as the anti-lock braking system. The ABS light gets turned on whenever there is a problem with the system to let the driver know that the system has been disabled. This can be a sort of warning for the driver. Well, let’s get into it in more detail.
How does ABS work?
The ABS maintains the directional stability of the vehicle in case of extreme braking circumstances. It also helps controls the vehicle in such a situation. We often see it in racing that a driver loses control of the car due to late braking and their brakes get locked up which helps maintain the car travel in the right direction and avoid an accident even though it loses some speed.
Not a racing fan? Let me explain it in a different way. When tires begin to skid, they end up losing traction which results in the car losing the sense of direction (literally). It begins to go in any direction it wants (more technically, the direction in which basic physics dictates) and often ends up turning by 90 degrees.
A car with ABS will have an 18 percent less chance of an accident. By metering the brake line pressure, we can control the rotational speed of each wheel. The rotational speed of the wheels is monitored by wheel speed sensors. These sensors are located near the wheel itself. The computer signals the valve to drop the brake line pressure if it seems that the rotational speed of one or more wheels is lesser than the others. The computer then helps the pump maintain the pressure to allow the wheel or the wheels to start rolling once more.
The warning light is generated when the ABS system is experiencing a problem. A fault code is generated which is stored in the memory of the system. This fault takes visual form through the warning light. Once the fault is repaired the light will turn off.
Dodge Grand Caravan ABS Light; Problems and Solutions:
When the ABS light in your caravan is on, it simply means that there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system. This means that the vehicle’s system and the safety features along with it have been turned off.
As we had discussed earlier in general terms, the ABS system in the Caravan uses a system of sensors that calculate wheel speed during braking. Once a wheel locks up, the ABS will allow maximum braking on that wheel and keep it from sliding. ABS has been around for as long as I can remember and is truly a boon to the car.
How to reset the ABS light?
- Start the vehicle and put the foot on the brake.
- Do not remove the foot.
- Back the van up turning the steering wheel all the way to the right.
- Put the vehicle in drive while keeping the foot on the brake.
- Pull forward while straightening the wheel. (Easing up on the brake is a mandatory step to pull forward).
- Take your foot off the brake once the car is straight.
- Turn and brake once again.
- You can repeat the steps in the parking area of your car. It might look silly but it has worked in some cases.
- This will work if no codes are set.
The question which arises is whether it is safe to drive the Caravan with the ABS light on?
The ABS light is different from the brake warning light. This means that the braking system itself has no problems but the fault just remains in the ABS system so it is safe to drive the Caravan if the ABS light is on. You will have to make sure to not push the car to its limits.
I will also bring this to your notice that it is not really a safe option when it is raining or snowing because the chances of your tire skidding are higher. Here is where ABS is brought into play, hence it is always safer to drive with no fault in the system.
Most common causes for the light to come up:
- We have discussed earlier that the wheel speed sensor is responsible for sending the signal to the computer for ABS to be activated. If there is a problem with the sensor, no signals will be sent to the ABS system. This means that the ABS is not functioning properly and the ABS light will be activated.
- The ABS system runs through the ABS module. This module is physically responsible for controlling the system. Damage to this module will bring on the ABS light. A common cause of damage to the ABS module is corrosion.
- If the pressure of the ABS lines is low, the ABS lines will come on. The ABS will not be able to activate without pressure.
If you have been working with and around cars or simply own one, you will be able to notice one common thing. Almost anything can be bypassed but you will notice something else, there are consequences to everything.
An 18 percent more chance of saving yourself is not a joke. The ABS system is a groundbreaking innovation and it is there in your Caravan because it needs one. As you have seen there are ways to bypass the system and reset it, but it is always recommended that you get it repaired.
A small repair now will go a long way and there is no doubt about it. There are not many things that you need to check to find out the fault in your ABS. Get it checked as soon as possible. If that is already done, you can always follow the steps mentioned in the article to reset it.