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Some new vehicles, especially hybrids and electric vehicles, now have electronic braking systems instead of purely hydraulic braking systems. This advanced braking system takes its orders from the electronic brake control module. Called EBCM for short, the computer is indispensable to safe and efficient brake operation.

Like any other automotive part, the EBCM undergoes wear and can fail prematurely. If the control module develops an issue, the repercussions can spread throughout the electronic brakes. However, if you look out for electronic brake control module failure symptoms, you can quickly repair or replace the faulty part and continue enjoying safe drives.

Common Electronic Brake Control Module Failure Symptoms

A faulty EBCM usually displays at least one symptom that indicates something has gone wrong. These warning signs might also apply to other parts and automotive systems. You can track down the malfunctioning part by connecting the vehicle to an OBD-II scanner and checking the registered trouble codes.

Listed below are the most common electronic brake control module failure symptoms:

Anti-Lock Braking System Light Illuminates

When something goes wrong with one of your car’s systems, it turns on the associated warning light on the dashboard. The anti-lock braking system (ABS) uses the ABS light.

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The electronic brake control module usually connects to the anti-lock brakes’ control unit. In some vehicles, the EBCM directly operates the ABS. Thus, a problem with the EBCM will affect the ABS as well.

If something goes wrong with your car’s EBCM, the computer will alert you by turning on the ABS warning light.

Check Engine Light Illuminates

Usually, the check engine light warns you that one or more engine parts broke down or failed. In some vehicles, it might warn you about issues with the anti-lock braking system, such as a faulty electronic brake control module.

Older vehicles might not have a dedicated ABS warning light, so they will turn on the check engine light to warn the driver about a worn-out or damaged EBCM.

Anti-Lock Braking System Issues

An erratically behaving anti-lock braking system might indicate a problem with the EBCM. The ABS is a safety feature that reduces the risk of skidding by preventing the brakes from locking up.

If the EBCM wears out or fails, the ABS won’t operate properly. In the worst-case scenario, the faulty EBCM might deactivate the feature. Without an operational ABS, your car becomes more vulnerable to skidding during sharp turns, sudden acceleration, hard braking, or when the tires lose their grip on the road.

Traction Control System Issues

The traction control system (TCS) ensures the car’s tires retain their grip on the road surface. When one of the tires starts to lose traction, the TCS will do one of two things. It can engage the wheel’s brake while leaving the others alone or it can reduce the engine power supplied to the slipping wheel.

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Like the ABS, the TCS is part of the overall braking system. In a vehicle with an electronic braking system, the EBCM controls the traction control system with the ABS.

If the electronic braking control module wears out or stops working, it can interfere with the traction control system’s operation. The TCS warning light will turn on to signify an issue.

Without a working traction control system, your car will have trouble keeping tire traction on slippery road surfaces. If you drive on a wet road during or after rains and floods, you will likely experience the unpleasant effect of hydroplaning.

What Is an Electronic Brake Control Module?

The EBCM is a microprocessor that controls the electronic braking system. It operates the primary brakes and related systems, such as the anti-lock braking and traction control systems.

Some people also refer to the EBCM as the ABS control module. However, not all ABS control modules count as EBCMs.

Where Is the Electronic Brake Control Module Located?

You can usually find the electronic brake control module in the engine bay. Many vehicles put their EBCM near the brake fluid reservoir, often on the brake pressure modulator valve (BMPV).

You can locate the EBCM by finding the brake master cylinder and following the brake lines to the BMPV. The control module connects to brake lines and an electrical connector that delivers power.

Consult your owner’s manual to know where your vehicle’s EBCM is.

What Does the Electronic Brake Control Module Do?

The EBCM monitors and operates your vehicle’s electronic braking system. It takes the readings provided by the various sensors in the braking system, including the ABS and TCS sensors. After evaluating the data, the EBCM will engage or disengage the brakes as needed.

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For example, the EBCM receives readings from the ABS or wheel speed sensors that one or more wheels suddenly spin too fast. High wheel rotation speeds usually indicate skidding. The EBCM will engage the ABS for that wheel, applying brakes to slow its spinning.

Electronic brakes deliver improved braking that keeps you safer on the road. They achieve their superior performance through their greater use of electronic components.

However, electronic brakes are much more complex systems when compared to older purely hydraulic brake systems. They also take over systems like the ABS and TCS that rely on computerization.

The electronic brake control module coordinates and runs the brakes’ various parts and subsystems. It often replaces the ABS and TCS control modules.

Electronic Brake Control Module Replacement Cost

While you can sometimes fix whatever went wrong with the EBCM, you might need to replace the faulty computer with a new one. An electronic brake control module replacement part can go for anywhere between $120 and $260. Prices can differ between EBCMs because of factors like your vehicle’s details and the product’s capabilities.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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