Latest Reader Question (October 28, 2017)

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Here’s the latest reader Question, along with my reply:

Marys asks: I have a 2005 Nissan Maxima, few days ago my slip light ABS and brake light came on and wont go off, woke up this morning now its making a light buzzing sound under the hood even when the car is off. Two weeks ago Nissan just replaced my amplifier what could the buzzing noise be?

My reply: The buzzing sound could be a cycling ABS pump; the fact that the ABS warning light comes on tends in that direction, too. The good news is your brakes will still stop the car. The bad news is that the brakes may lock up if you apply the brakes hard – as you might in an emergency – because the ABS pump isn’t working. This can be dangerous if you’re not used to driving a car without ABS.

Since ABS became common – back in the ’90s – people have been taught to simply slam on the brakes in an emergency, for maximum stopping power. The ABS system will prevent the brakes from locking up and you will still have steering control.

In cars without ABS, however – and in cars with non-working ABS – slamming on the brakes will cause the wheels to lock up and unless you release some pressure on the brake pedal, the car will simply skid in the direction it was traveling; you will not have steering control.

Therefore, I advise driving the car very carefully – leaving plenty of room to stop – until you can get the car to a shop and have the problem with the ABS system diagnosed and fixed.

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Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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