Automobile

Understanding ABS control module 

Making sure you can steer your vehicle in the event of emergency braking is a crucial responsibility of the ABS control module. Since electronic stability control has been required since 2012, antilock brakes, which have been available since the 1980s, are a requirement on all vehicles with model years 2012 and later.

ABS control module 

Stability control intervenes to stop skids even when the brakes are not applied, and antilock systems prevent skids when using the brakes. In order to keep you from losing control of the vehicle while braking hard, the ABS control module limits the amount of brake pressure applied to the caliper.

You have the safety and reliability you need when driving with an ABS control module that is functioning properly. If this component starts to malfunction, you become more likely to get into an accident, especially if you need to stop quickly.

Well, in this article, we will get to discuss the answers to the following questions:

  • What is an ABS control module?
  • How does the ABS control module work?
  • What is the function of the ABS control module?
  • Where is the ABS control module located?
  • What are the symptoms of a bad or failing ABS control module?
  • Can one drive a car with a bad or failing ABS control module?
  • Is the ABS control module repairable?
  • How much does it cost to replace the ABS control module?
  • How can you reset an ABS module?

Read more: Understanding the working of anti-lock braking system (ABS)

Ok, let’s get to it.

What is an ABS control module?

An ABS (anti-lock braking system) control module is a computer-like electronic device. This control module processes data coming from the ABS sensors. The ECU uses the processed data to create electronic information, ensuring that the system functions as it should.

In other words, a vehicle’s antilock braking system’s control module, or ABS, is a microprocessor that performs diagnostic tests and analyzes data from wheel-speed sensors and the hydraulic braking system to determine when to release braking pressure at a wheel that is ready to lock up and start skidding.

Read more: Understanding automotive braking system

ABS control module diagram

ABS control module diagram 

How does the ABS control module work?

While the vehicle is moving, the ABS control module monitors the speed of the wheels using sensors at each one. The ABS control module receives signals from these sensors and uses them to determine each wheel’s rotational speed. When the driver applies the brakes and the ABS control module detects that one or more wheels are about to lock up, it rapidly pulses the brake caliper at that wheel or those wheels.

In doing so, the risk of the wheel locking up is reduced, enabling the driver to brake while still maintaining steering control. However, to do this, the ABS control module utilizes a process called “pulsing.” A wheel that is about to lock up can be pulsed by quickly applying and releasing the brake pressure.

When a wheel is about to lock up, the ABS control module will pulse the brake, releasing the pressure temporarily to slow the wheel down and prevent locking. Until the car comes to a stop, the pulsating process is repeated numerous times per second.

The traction control system and stability control system are two other systems with which the ABS control module works to enhance overall vehicle performance and safety. For instance, if the ABS control module detects that the car is understeering or oversteering, it will apply brake pressure to certain wheels to assist in stabilizing the vehicle.

In general, the ABS control module operates by monitoring of the wheel speed and using this data to determine when a wheel is about to lock up when braking. Then, in conjunction with other systems, it utilizes the “pulsing” technique to prevent the wheel from locking up, enabling the driver to maintain steering control while braking. This enhances the overall vehicle performance and safety.

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What is the function of the ABS control module?

The ABS control module is responsible for determining what has to be done to maintain safety when the vehicle loses stability or traction. Additionally, it can assist in figuring out how much force should be supplied to each wheel to stop it.

Both the needed braking pressure and frequency are being effectively monitored by the control module. To prevent any slippage, it makes use of the sensor information indicating how quickly the tires are spinning.

Read more: Understanding TRAC OFF light

Where is the ABS control module located?

Generally, the engine compartment is where the ABS control module is located. Some vehicles, however, also have it on the frame rail on the driver’s side. To locate the ABS control module, you might have to raise the car.

Where is the ABS control module located?

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It might also be hidden by plastic covers or panels. To find the ABS control module location for your vehicle’s make and model, consult the vehicle service manual, if you’re uncertain.

What are the symptoms of a bad or failing ABS control module?

Below are the most common signs and symptoms of a bad or failing ABS control module:

The ABS warning light comes on

All modern vehicles come equipped with an ABS dashboard light to alert you of any issues. One reason for the light to come on is a failing ABS control module. ABS is indicated by an amber light on more recent models. However, older models lack this specific light and could instead use the Check Engine Light.

When the ABS light comes on, the system could completely stop working. You should not drive without the ABS even though you are able to do so because it is an essential safety feature that is there to keep you safe.

Read more: Everything you need to know about a car SRS light

Locking Wheels

When traction is lost, the ABS control module prevents the wheels from locking up. The information required to prevent the wheels from locking, nonetheless, is inaccurate because this component fails.

The ABS control module may be to blame if your wheels start to lock up when traction is lost. Usually, it takes slamming on the brakes to alert you to the issue. In any other case, a stuck brake caliper may be the cause of the wheel’s repeated locking up.

Increased effort when braking

The brake pedal should still stop you when you press it. But it’s possible that the effort required to stop will become more obvious. As time passes, you may realize that applying the brakes to your car requires more effort. Fix the issue as soon as possible in order to prevent a more serious problem from happening.

Read more: Reasons why your car is shaking when braking (what to do)

Misreadings on the speedometer

When the ABS control module fails, the speedometer may occasionally stop functioning properly. While it is uncommon, it is possible that this will occur. The speedometer will either display 0 mph or the incorrect speed. This symptom usually occurs along with the check engine or ABS light coming on.

Unresponsive brake pedal

Knowing that the car will stop when you press the brake pedal is important. But stopping can be even harder if your ABS control module is malfunctioning. You could first notice an increase in braking effort. This effort will intensify over time and may potentially result in the complete loss of brake pedal function.

Make sure to do a thorough system inspection since low brake fluid levels can possibly be the root of this problem. If you want to be sure there is no air in the lines, you can think about having the brake fluid system flushed.

Read more: What causes a spongy or soft brake pedal (and how to fix it)

Can one drive a car with a bad or failing ABS control module?

The symptoms of an ineffective ABS control module should never be disregarded because they are crucial for safe driving. Driving with a defective ABS module will reduce engine efficiency and have a number of negative effects on the vehicle’s performance.

Read more: Is it safe to drive a car with the SRS airbag light on?

Is the ABS control module repairable?

Yes, the ABS control module can usually be repaired, but it is not an easy job. Furthermore, replacing them could sometimes be much more expensive than simply repairing them. If you want to know if your ABS module can be fixed or if it needs to be changed, you should speak to a mechanic or a car dealer.

Read more: Cheapest places to get brakes done

How much does it cost to replace the ABS control module?

The replacement of an ABS control module typically costs between $940 and $990. The cost of labor is expected to be between $100 and $130, and the cost of parts is anywhere between $830 and $900. Taxes and other costs are not included in this range, nor are your particular vehicle or geographic area taken into account. There might be more repairs required.

Read more: Brake pad and rotor replacement cost

How can you reset an ABS warning light?

Before you think of resetting the ABS system, make sure all the ABS issues have been fixed. However, you will ideally need an OBD code reader, a new ABS sensor, and a screwdriver to reset the ABS warning light.

Here’s how to reset an ABS warning light:

  • Disconnect the positive cable from your car battery.
  • Replace ABS sensor.
  • Utilize an OBD code reader.

Disconnect the positive cable from your car battery

Your automobile battery’s positive cable should be disconnected. Next, keep your foot firmly planted on the brake pedal to shut off the car’s electrical system. The central computer of the vehicle will reset as a result of this. Reconnect the cable to restore power. This ought to reset the light if the system has no issues.

Replace ABS sensor

You might need to replace the ABS sensor if the light remains after the reset. In order to do this, you should unplug the sensor’s cable and unscrew the sensor’s housing, which should be mounted to the wheel hub. Next, mount and attach a new sensor. The above-mentioned method may be required to reset the computer after you’ve successfully installed the sensor.

Utilize an OBD code reader

If the light continues to illuminate, you should utilize an OBD-II gadget to figure out what’s wrong because the car still believes there is a problem that warrants the light. Take your car to a shop to have the issue identified and fixed if you don’t have an OBD code reader.

Read more: How to reset airbag light in six simple steps

FAQs

How much does it cost to replace the ABS module?

ABS control module replacement costs $493 on average nationally.

Can you drive with a broken ABS module?

As long as your standard brake system is working properly, you can continue to drive without an ABS control module. However, exercise extra caution, especially in slick or wet conditions, as the brakes’ anti-lock component won’t function, and if your tires lock up, you’ll probably lose steering control.

What causes an ABS control module to fail?

The majority of ABS issues arise when metal shavings or other particles contaminate sensors. Inconsistent or no continuity caused by broken sensor wiring also leads to malfunctions.

What are the symptoms of a failing ABS module?

  • The ABS warning light comes on
  • Locking Wheels
  • increased effort when braking
  • Misreadings on the speedometer
  • unresponsive brake pedal

How do I reset my ABS module?

  • Disconnect the positive cable from your car battery
  • Replace ABS sensor
  • Utilize an OBD code reader

Is it OK to drive with the ABS light on?

With the ABS light on, it is safe to drive cautiously. However, act quickly to have it examined. As regular braking is unaffected by the ABS light, you can continue to operate the vehicle while it is illuminated. However, we wouldn’t advise you to do this because driving without your ABS system might be risky and it helps control stops.

How long does it take to reprogram the ABS module?

The ABS control module will be reprogrammed by your dealer to do this. The job will be completed in about half an hour.

Can an ABS module stop a car from starting?

It won’t stop your car from starting if you are certain that the ABS relay is gone. The brake system is the only system that uses that circuit. If the engine does not quickly turn over when you turn it on, your battery is probably weak or there is another connection problem.

How long should an ABS module last?

A new ABS module is usually needed after 10 to 15 years, but your vehicle could also require one after 100,000 to 200,000 miles.

That is all for this article, where the answers to the following questions have been discussed:

  • What is an ABS control module?
  • How does the ABS control module work?
  • What is the function of the ABS control module?
  • Where is the ABS control module located?
  • What are the symptoms of a bad or failing ABS control module?
  • Can one drive a car with a bad or failing ABS control module?
  • Is the ABS control module repairable?
  • How much does it cost to replace the ABS control module?
  • How can you reset an ABS module?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!