Driving around your BMW can be a great feeling, no matter what make or model it is. From time to time, though, you may notice a light illuminate on the dashboard. A check engine light is relatively easy to spot, and in many BMWs there is a row of blocks highlighted in green, yellow, and red that indicate when it’s time for an oil change.
Another light that can show up on the dashboard is an ABS light.
ABS stands for Anti-lock Braking System and it is the brake system that prevents you from sliding on the road under slick conditions. You may not notice those antilock brakes engaging unless you are under duress. It would basically feel like chattering of the brake pedal when you apply it in potentially slick conditions, such as ice, snow, or even rain.
When the ABS light illuminates on the dashboard, it means there is some problem within the system itself. It’s absolutely essential that you bring it to an authorized BMW service center as soon as possible to have those brakes inspected.
Can you safely use your BMW without the ABS working?
Yes, under dry and safe conditions. However, if it rains, if it snows, if the roads turn icy, or other slick conditions arise, and if that ABS is not working properly, it can cause your wheels to lock up, leading to a complete loss of control.
Unfortunately, most people driving on the roads today don’t have any real training in managing winter driving conditions. The initial reaction when sliding is to pump the brakes, turn the wheel side to side, and do other flailing actions as an attempt to regain control. All of those things essentially lead to an even greater loss of control.
That antilock braking system is designed to allow brakes to disengage in a rotating pattern around the vehicle in order to avoid slipping and sliding. If you notice that ABS light has illuminated on the dashboard and remains on while you’re driving, the car’s on board diagnostic system has detected a problem that needs to be resolved now.