ABS Control Module Buyer’s Guide
- The ABS control module is the central unit in your vehicle’s anti-locking braking system.
- It is typically found inside the engine compartment or in the frame rail on the driver’s side.
- Once the ABS control module fails, the failsafe that is designed to keep your wheels from locking up when you brake won’t work.
- Common signs of a faulty ABS control module include unresponsive brake pedal, locked up brakes, and a lit ABS warning light.
- The price range of a replacement ABS control module is between $100 and $1,000.
- When looking for an aftermarket ABS control module, you have to consider important factors like quality and compatibility with your vehicle.
What is the ABS control module?
The ABS control module is the unit that oversees the anti-lock braking system. Aside from performing diagnostic checks to your vehicle’s ABS, it also analyzes the information coming from the wheel sensors and hydraulic system to determine if a wheel is close to locking up. Once it confirms that, the ABS control module pulses the brakes to prevent the lock-up and keep the tires from skidding.
Where is the ABS control module located?
Most of the time, the ABS control module can be found under the hood or inside the engine compartment. In other vehicles, it can be located in the frame rail on the left side of the car or the driver’s side. When replacing the ABS control module, the removal and installation of the unit can differ based on its location—whether it’s in the engine compartment or frame rail. If it’s the latter, you may need to use a hydraulic jack to lift the vehicle in order to access the ABS control module.
What happens when the ABS control module fails?
In most cases, your vehicle can still be driven even when the ABS control module fails. The braking system will function as normal so there won’t be any problems in slowing down or stopping your car when you have to. However, the anti-locking braking system is not an ordinary car safety feature. It is a failsafe that is designed to activate in a very specific condition.
If you suddenly slam your brakes because of an unexpected situation while you are on the road, the brake pads might prevent the wheels from spinning. Once the ABS control module fails to recognize this, it won’t be able to rapidly remove and apply the brakes to prevent the wheels from locking up. This can lead to the tires skidding, which can make it difficult to steer the vehicle to safety.
Symptoms of a failing ABS control module
Unexpected things can happen on the road. That’s why you need your ABS control module to be in good working condition all the time. If it is faulty, replacing it should be a priority. Look out for these telltale signs to know if you are having ABS control module problems.
Unresponsive brake pedal
The braking system in some vehicles is connected to the ABS control module. In such cases, the failure of the control unit can affect the responsiveness of your brakes. Your vehicle’s brakes might become slow to react when you press the brake pedal, or worse, they may not work at all.
Braking requires more force
A faulty ABS control module will send inaccurate information to the braking system. Once this happens, the performance of the other braking components like the calipers might be affected. This can cause you to apply more force than usual when you are pressing the brakes.
ABS warning light is on
When the ABS control module malfunctions, the ABS warning light on your dashboard will illuminate. It can also turn on when you have problems in your ABS sensors. To identify the exact problem if it is the module or the sensors, you can use a fault code scanner.
Locked up brakes
There are also instances where a faulty ABS control module causes the brakes to lock up. If this happens to your car, you won’t be able to drive it. You must make the necessary replacement first before you can get your vehicle back on the road.
How much does an ABS control module repair cost?
If you take your vehicle to a car repair shop or a professional mechanic, the ABS module repair can cost you somewhere between $300 and $1,200. The total charge depends on the replacement part and the labor cost, which is usually around $80 to $120.
The lowest-priced aftermarket ABS control module that you can get is less than $100 while the most expensive one can go beyond $1,000. The price changes based on several factors such as the brand as well as your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
Things to consider when looking for a replacement ABS control module
If you want to get value for your hard-earned cash, you might as well choose the aftermarket part that ticks all the right boxes. Consider the following when looking for a replacement ABS control module for your vehicle:
Rebuilt versus brand new
Basically, you have two options for your replacement ABS control module. You can have one that is rebuilt or repaired or a brand-new unit that you can purchase in any car parts store. If you want to save money, go with the rebuilt option. But if you want to have that peace of mind that comes with having a brand-new part installed in your vehicle, be ready to spend a little more.
The ABS system is often connected to the other systems in your vehicle including the electronic stability control, traction control system, and indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Once a part of the ABS system like the ABS control module fails, all the other systems will be affected. To avoid this, you need to make sure that you're swapping out your stock ABS control unit with a quality replacement that can last a long time.
You also need to make sure that the replacement part that you are going to buy is compatible with your vehicle’s specifications. In some vehicles, for example, the ABS control unit is also a part of the traction control system. You have to look for a device that is compatible with it to ensure that it will work properly once installed in your vehicle.
How to look for the right replacement ABS control module for your vehicle?
At CarParts.com, finding the right replacement parts and accessories for your ride can be done with ease. All you have to do is provide your car’s year, make, and model before searching for a part. This way, you will be able to browse the full list of products in our inventory that are applicable to your vehicle’s specifications. Your search results can also be filtered using different categories like price range, brand name, location, color or finish, quantity sold, and more.
How to Install a New ABS Control Module
Note: These are general instructions for all kinds of automobiles.
The ABS control module is a crucial component of your vehicle, for it is in charge of the anti-lock braking system of your ride. It comes together with the power pump assembly and you can find it on the firewall of your automobile. ABS control modules can sometimes short out and eventually stop working. If that has happened and you already have a new replacement, you'll be able to save money by installing it yourself.
Here is a guide to help in the process of taking out your old ABS control module and putting your new one.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- New ABS control module
Safety Reminder: Always wear protective gear, such as safety glasses and latex gloves, while working on your automobile.
- Find your automobile's On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) connection, which may be in the upper right portion from where your brake pedal is.
- Attach your scan tool into the OBD connection while the key is in the ON position.
- Collect all trouble codes and check your vehicle's service manual and look for a trouble code index that guides you to the specific part.
- Unplug the negative cable of your automobile.
- Open the hood and find your ABS control module, which is usually on the driver's side of the engine compartment's front corner.
- Remove the wiring from your vehicle's ABS control module.
- Get a wrench to take out the mounting bolts that secure the ABS control module.
- Take your busted ABS control module out and put in your new one.
- Connect the wiring terminal to your vehicle's new ABS control module.
- Get the negative cable reconnected to the battery of your automobile.
- Take your vehicle for a road test. Make sure you perform different driving styles, like idle, deceleration, and full throttle, so that the brake ABS module will be able to re-acquire the right commands.
- Clear all the codes that are present.
- Turn your automobile off.
- Turn your automobile on.
- See the scanner connection if there are codes that still appear.