abs light on jeep

ABS Light on Jeep Wrangler: Meaning, Causes, and How to Fix?

Fixing the ABS light on your Jeep Wrangler!

Jeep Wranglers are one of the best vehicles that are popular for their ruggedness and reliability, especially off-roading.  As a safety feature, Jeep Wranglers are equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), which is especially made to avoid wheel lock-up when braking, especially in emergency situations. The ABS system uses sensors to identify potential wheel lock-up and releases the brakes on that wheel to prevent skidding.

However, if the ABS light appears on the dashboard, it may be a symptom of a problem, and a prompt fix is required.

Now, if you want to turn off the ABS light on your Jeep Wrangler, just take an OBD-II scanner for diagnosing the issue. Mostly, a bad wheel speed sensor is the cause. However, if your OBD-II scanner is not able to diagnose the cause, you can disconnect the battery to reset the ABS light.

abs light on jeep

In this article, we will discuss the meaning of ABS light on Jeep wranglers, causes and how to fix this issue! So, just read on!

How does the ABS system work in a Jeep Wrangler?

In a Jeep Wrangler, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) automatically detects when a tire has stopped rotating while being subjected to intense braking and adjusts the brake pressure to allow the tire to resume rotating and regain traction, which reduces stopping distance.

Wheel speed sensors are used by the ABS system to monitor the rotational speed of each wheel and identify when a wheel is about to lock up or stop rotating. A hydraulic control unit (HCU) is used to lower the brake pressure on a wheel if the system predicts that it is going to lock up. By reducing the pressure, the wheel can continue to turn, giving the driver more control over the steering and preventing skidding.

To improve vehicle control and safety while driving, the Jeep Wrangler’s ABS system functions in concert with other driving systems like traction control, electronic stability control, and hill descent control. While applying heavy braking, the Jeep Wrangler’s ABS system makes sure that it retains steerability and directional stability, enabling the driver to avoid impediments while still in control of the vehicle.

What is the meaning of the ABS light on in Jeep Wrangler?

If your Jeep’s ABS light is on, it means that there is an issue with your vehicle’s ABS system. The colour of the light will either be yellow, orange, or amber. This light turns on for a few milliseconds whenever you start the car as a system check part, but if it stays on while you are driving your car, then that means that there is something wrong.

The most common cause of this issue is a bad wheel speed sensor or an ABS control module. The purpose of the wheel-speed sensor is to monitor the speed of your wheels, while the ABS control module’s purpose is to manage the system.

Causes of ABS light on in Jeep Wrangler!

Here all the possible reasons why you can see an ABS light on Jeep wrangler:

1. Damaged ABS Module:

The most common cause of an ABS light to turn on in a Jeep is a damaged or faulty ABS module. In a jeep the ABS module is an automatic(microcontroller) program which gets data from ABS sensors and then uses it for controlling the braking system.

The ABS module is the central component of the anti-lock braking system. It is connected to the brake lines and regulates the pressure applied to the brakes when the pedal is pressed. This helps to prevent the wheels from locking up and skidding during sudden stops or on slippery surfaces.

The ABS system can fail in certain situations, that will turn on the ABS light. In that case, you will have to replace the module.

2. Faulty wheel speed sensor

Each wheel hub of a Jeep Wrangler is equipped with an ABS sensor that measures the speed of the wheel and sends this information to the ABS control unit. If a sensor malfunctions and sends incorrect or no speed information, the ABS warning light will turn on in the instrument cluster. 

The second most common cause of an ABS warning light in a Wrangler is a faulty wheel speed sensor, as they are exposed to harsh conditions due to their location near the wheels.

In most cases, it is not possible to find the bad ABS sensor in the Jeep by just physical inspection. You will need to use an OBDII scanner for diagnosing the speed sensor in your car. The error code reading given by the OBDII scanner can help identify which sensor is faulty. After that, you will need to replace it to solve the issue.

Make sure to clean the connector connecting the sensors for any corrosion as it’s possible that the signals are interrupted because of a corroded connector. 

3. Low ABS Fluid:

If the ABS fluid level in your car is too low, the ABS light might turn on as well. The Brake system uses a hydraulic medium for pressing the brake pads which stops the wheel and for that reason the ABS fluid level should be at a right level.

The ABS light will turn on if the ABS fluid level is less than the recommended level. Low fluid levels can be caused because of slow evaporation or leakage. Make sure to check your ABS fluid level if the ABS light illuminates.

You can check the fluid level under the hood in the reservoir of your car. If it’s low, just add the fluid recommended for your vehicle to the right level. 

To check the fluid level in your car, just check the following video:

How to Check Brake Fluid 06-18 Jeep Wrangler

4. Underinflated tire

An underinflated tire on a Jeep Wrangler can trigger the ABS warning light. This is because the wheel’s diameter decreases when the tire pressure is low, causing it to rotate faster than the other wheels. 

The control module detects this speed difference and triggers an ABS fault code for the speed sensor of the wheel with low tire pressure. In vehicles equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), the low tire pressure warning light may also turn on when the ABS light is triggered by an underinflated tire.

5. ABS Module is Turned OFF:

The ABS light on a Jeep Wrangler may turn on if the ABS system has been deactivated. This can happen if the ESP_OFF (PATA) switch is accidentally pressed, causing the ABS light to indicate that the feature is not active. 

In this case, there is no issue with the ABS sensors or module, and the ESP_OFF switch simply needs to be turned off. You can locate the switch by consulting the owner’s manual.

5. Blown Fuse:

If the ABS light on your Jeep Wrangler is on, it could be due to a blown fuse. The fuse supplies power to the ABS system, and if it is blown, the system will not function. Here are the steps you can take to check and replace the fuse:

  • Locate the fuse for the ABS by checking the fuse box cover or consulting the owner’s manual of your Wrangler.
  • If the fuse is blown, replace it with a new one.
  • After replacing the fuse, turn on your Jeep Wrangler and check if the ABS light is still on.
  • If the light remains on, there may be other reasons why the ABS system is not working and further investigation may be necessary. 

How to Turn OFF the ABS Light on Jeep Wrangler?

If the ABS light on your Jeep Wrangler is on, the first thing you need to do is to diagnose the issue and fix it. Here is the step by step guide on fixing the ABS light on Jeep Wrangler: 

  1. Use an OBD-II scanner: Connect an OBD-II scanner to your Jeep Wrangler to diagnose the underlying issue. A code with ‘C102A’ means that the left wheel speed sensor is faulty. The OBD-II scanner can help identify the specific problem.
  2. Reset the ABS light by disconnecting the battery: Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery and wait for 10-15 minutes. Then, reconnect the battery and check if the ABS light has turned off. Note that disconnecting the battery may also reset other vehicle settings, so proceed with caution.
  3. Maintain fluid levels: Check the brake fluid reservoir and ensure it is at the proper level. If the fluid level is low, top it off with the recommended brake fluid. Low brake fluid can trigger the ABS light, so maintaining the proper fluid level is important.
  4. Replace faulty ABS sensors: If the ABS light persists, it may be due to a broken or faulty ABS sensor. Consider replacing the faulty sensor to resolve the issue.
  5. Check and replace blown fuses: Faulty ABS fuses can also cause the ABS light to come on. Check the ABS fuses in the fuse box and replace any blown fuses with new ones.       

Can You Drive the Jeep with the ABS Light ON?

While it is possible to drive a Jeep with the ABS light on, it is not recommended to do so for an extended period without addressing the underlying issue. The ABS light indicates a problem with the ABS system, which can affect the vehicle’s braking performance. Driving with the ABS light on can result in reduced braking effectiveness, particularly in situations where the ABS system is needed. 

If the brake system light is also on, it is considered unsafe to drive the vehicle. It is important to consult a professional mechanic or bring your Jeep to a service centre for diagnosis and repair to ensure your vehicle’s safety and optimal performance. Ignoring the ABS light can be dangerous, as it indicates a potential issue with your vehicle’s essential safety feature – the braking system.

What Is The Cost Of The Jeep Wrangler ABS Repair?

The cost to repair the ABS control module of Jeep Wrangler would be around $600-$1500. Labour costs would be around $110-$150 and the parts would cost $430. 

ABS wheel speed sensor replacement can cost anywhere from $185-$500, depending upon the make and model of your car and labour charges will vary according to your area. 

ABS control module replacement: $600-$1200.

Wheel Speed Sensor Replacement: $180-$550

ABS fluid replacement: $90-$200.

However, you shouldn’t attempt to work on this on your own if you don’t have proper experience. You will need a professional mechanic to get back your Jeep Wrangler on the road safely after fixing the problem. 

The first thing you have to do is understand what;s causing the ABS light to turn on in your Jeep Wrangler. If you have an OBDII scanner, it would be really easy for you to identify the actual cause and then it would be very easy to fix it.  

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