Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

ABS light

My ABS light came on and about the same time my odeometor went our

Does the speedometer still work?

You should be aware that, as long as the ABS light is on, the anti-lock function is disabled. Your brakes will continue to work normally, but the anti-lock system will not work.

My guess is that one or more wheel sensors is disconnected or defective, or–more likely–that the vehicle speed sensor (VSS) on your mystery vehicle is bad.

the Speedometer and odometer went out about the same time. I just happened to glance at my speedometer and saw it going to 0

Thanks, I’m totally in the dark about these things!

Most likely, just replacing the VSS will restore everything to “normal”. Just be sure to NOT go to any chain operation (Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, etc.) unless you want to be told that this mystery vehicle needs a huge number of parts replaced, rather than just the VSS.

In case you’re wondering why they keep mentioning “your mystery vehicle” is because that is a requisite on all automotive forums (to identify your vehicle, with the yr/make/model/engine size/standard or automatic transmission and mileage) and will definitely pave the way to providing you with a correct or (at least) a possible proper solution.

If this is a model year 1996 or newer car, the check engine light (engine symbol) will be lit, steady or flashing. If it is, many of the chain auto parts stores (Advance, Auto Zone) will read (scan) the light for you (free).
You need to get the trouble code (by getting the scan) before deciding what to do next. Proper checking and testing is necessary; otherwise, you may change a part when the problem is a wire, or wire connection, fault.

You are assuming that the OP has a car that has a separate speed sensor. It might be more reasonable to assume that it is one of the cars that don’t. Some, like mine, only use data from the ABS controller to determine car speed. It averages all four wheel sensors together. Since the OP lost ABS and the VSS at the same time, maybe it is due to a fault with the ABS controller?

Sounds like a bad Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) or perhaps a wheel speed sensor. Neither of these should be too expensive to replace.

A scan of the ABS computer should give you, or your mechanic, the information needed to determine which one is bad.