Strange ABS light behavior

I have a 2005 Toyota Camry with about 114k miles. The car has been great, but while restarting the car after a short trip, the ABS light began flashing. The car handled safely and we drove it home. While driving home, the light would sometimes flash, sometimes stay constant, and at one point was out for over a minute. The condition of the light seemed to have no connection to whether or not the brake was being pressed or the speed of the vehicle.

On my other car, a Ford Ranger with rear-only ABS, the light flashes when the ABS system is active, and is constant if the ABS system is disabled. The Toyota owner’s manual gives no guidance concerning the specific meaning of the flashing, only that when the light is constantly lit the system will not function.

What does this mean, and is it more dangerous than simply not having functional ABS?

First check your brake fluid reservoir. Your owner’s manual will tell you where it is if you don’t know. Slightly low fluid sloshing around in the reservoir can give you an intermittent light. When the ABS light is on, you still have brakes, just not ABS brakes.

ABS systems have high-pressure brake fluid pumps and an accumulator to hold and store that high-pressure fluid. Then a complex electronically controlled brake modulating system that uses the pressurized fluid to work against your foot pressure to release a locking wheel…

Troubleshooting these systems requires special diagnostic tools and factory troubleshooting guides that eventually isolate the failed component…Trying to repair these systems using DIY guesswork and throwing very expensive parts at it is a waste of time and money…This is a job for a pro…

Thanks guys, I’ll check the fluids today, don’t know why that didn’t occur to me outright. I totally understand how the ABS work, and that fixing it is a job I’m not really prepared to do. Does anyone feel like taking a stab at my question? What does it mean when the light behavior is changing like this? (especially the flashing part.) If the light was just constantly on I would know it means the system has detected a fault in the ABS and has deactivated it. It is very important for me to know whether this is more serious/dangerous than simply not having ABS.

I would guess a wheel sensor.