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ABS and Break light - 1998 Buick Century

I start the car and everything looks good. I drive 10 feet and the ABS and Break light come on at the same time. I replaced the “ABS CONTROL MODULE UNIT COMPUTER” that was under the dash by the steering column but that didn’t help. Breaks feel fim and strong. Breaks well. What next?

It’s telling you there is a problem. It could be a sensor or wiring or the ring in the hub. A squirrel ate the wires to the sensor on my FIL Buick and that turned on his lights.

Did you break the brakes? Sorry I could not resist. What caused you to suspect that the computer was bad? I doubt the computer is/was the problem. I would first check the sensors on each wheel. It could be as simple as dirt in a sensor tripping the ABS/brake light. It could be a wheel sensor wire that is corroded. Start by checking each wheel first before replacing any more parts.

Could the master cylinder be low on fluid? Or possibly the low fluid level sensor has failed.

So from what I read online… if it is a ABS sensor in the hub then just the ABS light will come on. When the two (ABS and Break) work together it is a sign of something more major. After a week of reading online posts I replaced what several other people have replaced - the control module but it didn’t do anything. Not low on fluid… low fluid level sensor I never thought of… is that replaceable without the entire master cylinder?

I guess I better check the sensors though… Already threw more $ at a used ABS Pump And Motor Assembly… Grasping at straws…

Unplug the low fluid sensor and see if the lights go out. Also check the brake light switch.

Shade tree DIY auto repairs are best done starting with the simplest/cheapest likely solutions and working up to the difficult/expensive… Just sayin.

I had something similar happen about 3 months ago (2010 Kia Forte SX). I switched ignition ON and quickly scanned the warning lights which were normal. When I started the car the traction/stability, ABS, and Brake light stayed on. I checked the brake fluid level which was full. The parking brake was still set so the brake light was supposed to be on. When I released the parking brake the light stayed on. I tested the brakes on my street and they worked fine. I drove a few blocks to the grocery store at speeds of 30mph or less. When I started the car for my trip home the lights went off normally. About 1 month later I was due for a dealership service and told them about it. They had only one other customer with the same experience which turned out to be a failing battery. They checked for codes (none) and tested the battery which was producing 390 cold cranking amps out of 600. The car and battery were 6 years old so I had the battery replaced.

Rod - I thought I was doing the cheap/easy things… I’m excited to try that sensor, would not have thought of that. Fingers crossed

Sgtrock21 - Battery is less than a month old so it isn’t that. Thanks though!

There’s nothing wrong with the ABS.

The problem is with the primary brake system.

If for any reason the primary brake warning light comes on, the ABS warning light will automatically come on.

The ABS is warning you that it’s not going to function as long as there’s a problem with the primary brake system.


No luck with the low fluid sensor or e-break sensor… I’ll take it in for a brake check I guess. I’ve checked the fronts and they are like new. Maybe the shop will see something I didn’t. Any more ideas?

Does your cruise control work?

I will check when I get home. What are you thinking?

You might have better luck if you take it in for a BRAKE check.

Don’t be too surprised if–in a few years–dictionaries define “break” in the same way as “brake”.
As I was told in a different thread, that is how the language…evolves.

So, apparently our future is going to contain a lot of very confused communication once “break” and “brake” are listed with the same definition.
Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!


If I want to know what is broken, a break check should figure it out… What else would I do?

Rod Knox - Cruise control works great.

Didn’t want to drive it but went ahead and took it to Advance Auto for a code reading this morning.

C1236 – Low system voltage
C1246 – Rear channel will not move
C1278 – Right front solenoid circuit open
C1276 – Left front solenoid circuit open / short to ground
C1287 - Red brake warning lamp circuit open / short to battery
C1286 - Electronic brake control module turned on the red brake warning lamp

I think there is a rattling sound connected with the Antilock and Brake lights turning on…

I recently had a similar problem with my 2005 Century. My mechanic replaced the right front wheel hub which contains a speed sensor. So far, so good.

Did your brake light come on or just Anti-lock and Trac off? I don’t think speed sensors trip the red brake light and a speed sensor should log a code in ABS.

Suggest to focus on what’s causing the low system voltage, as the other problems may be related to that. You may have wiring shorts or fusing problems.