The ABS, ESP, and BAS lights go on when something is wrong with your Jeep Wrangler. Read on to learn the source of the problem.By Bassem Girgis – November 25, 2015
This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).
The warning lights on your instrumental panel are designed to tell you when there is something wrong with your Jeep Wrangler. The ABS light goes on when your car wants to tell you that there is something wrong in your ABS system. The ESP comes on when something changes in your steering and suspension system. The BAS is the braking assist, and it could mean something went wrong with your braking system. If you have an OBD-II scanner, this will be the quickest way to get answers because the scanner gives you a code that you then compare to a list of codes in your owner’s manual, and you got your answer. However, if you don’t have access to a scanner, here are some potential issues that can cause some of these lights to go on.
- Jack and jack stands
- Tire iron
- Allen key
Step 1 – Check alignment
It could be off.
Misalignment has been known to activate the ESP light, and sometimes the rest of them as well. Misalignment can cause uneven wear to your tires and cost you new tires much quicker than you’re supposed to replace them. To check for alignment, drive at a consistent speed and watch how the steering wheel reacts when you let go of it slightly. Does your car pull in one direction? If you need an alignment, go to a tire shop as soon as you can and get your car aligned.
Figure 1. Wheel alignment.
If your Jeep is aligned, proceed to Step 2.
Step 2 – Check ABS sensor
It could be damaged.
The ABS sensor can cause all of these warning lights to go on if it’s damaged. It is located behind the rotor. To get to it, you will need to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel, raise the Jeep and secure it on jack stands, remove the two bolts holding the brake caliper in place, then use an Allen key to remove the sensor behind the rotor. An OBD-II scanner could tell you right away if your ABS sensor is damaged. Be sure to inspect the wire going to the sensor; sometimes, the wire gets damaged and can cause the warning lights to go on.
If the sensor is in good condition, proceed to Step 3.
Step 3 – Replace clockspring
It could be damaged.
The clockspring is a common part to fail in the Wrangler JK. The clockspring goes between the steering wheel and the steering column. It is designed to give power to the airbags. Unfortunately for the Jeep wrangler, this part needs to be replaced more than normal cars. To replace it, you will need to remove the steering wheel with all its trim and glory. Replacing it will automatically shut off the warning lights. This job is not recommended for owners with little mechanical skills, as it is a rather complicated procedure.
Figure 4. The clockspring.