The Volvo ABS warning light activates whenever the vehicle has issues with its anti-lock brakes. There are a number of things which can cause this, such as a fuse which is blown, unusual signals sent from the sensors in the wheels or reduced brake fluid.
How ABS Lights Function
Antilock brakes consist of sensors in the wheels which constantly monitor their speed of rotation. The computer will interpret signals sent by the sensors within the wheels and the manner in which the brake pedal is positioned to verify the vehicle is controlled and stable. However, if unusual signals are detected, or no signal at all for a certain period of time, the warning light will come on so that drivers are alerted. Aside from analyzing wheel sensors, the Volvo’s computer can also activate the light under other circumstances, such as when a fuse blows or the levels of brake fluid are too low. Depending on the model, the light may flash a few times or stay on constantly, so it is important to consult your manual. The type or amount of flashes is a code that tells you what issues the vehicle has.
How Drivers Should Respond
When you see the warning light, you will first need to identify a safe location to stop the car. Turn it off, wait a minute, and then turn it back on. The purpose of doing this is to force the car’s computer to reevaluate each of the wheel sensors for irregularities. A simple restart may resolve the issue, making the light turn off. If it does not, this means that something is wrong and you need to find out what it is. The best solution is to have the vehicle towed to a mechanic who is certified and who can identify the problem.
Can The Vehicle Be Safely Driven With The Warning Light Activated?
It depends. The car should be safe to drive while the warning light is activated, as the normal braking capabilities will be present, however it may not protect you if the vehicle starts skidding, so you must exercise caution while driving it, especially if you are on a mountainous road. Do not drive the car if you notice any loss in the ability to brake. At this point the vehicle should be towed to a shop.
Things You Can Do Yourself
ABS systems are extremely advanced, and unless you’re technician who is certified you will be limited in your actions, but there are still things you can do. First, take apart the wheels to review the wires and sensors to see if any damage is present. Inspect the fuse to see if it has blown. If so, it can be replaced, but this should be seen as a fix which is temporary since it will blow again eventually. The most important thing is to find out what led to the fuse blowing, which will require a special scanning tool.