Common Symptoms of a Failing ABS Control Module
The anti-lock braking system is an extra safety feature found on most modern vehicles. The purpose of the ABS system is to help prevent wheels from locking during heavy braking situations, preventing the vehicle from hydroplaning or skidding. The ABS system consists of an ABS module and ABS sensors, placed at every wheel. The sensors detect wheel speed and in turn, send a message to the ABS module to quickly pump the brakes when it’s detected that the vehicle has lost traction or is skidding.
When the ABS system is malfunctioning, the loss of traction, hydroplaning, and skidding are highly likely to happen under heavy braking conditions. Typically, on most vehicles, the ABS system is designed to provide you with many warning signs that indicate a certain problem with the system. Knowing these warning signs and addressing the problem right away will help ensure the proper functioning of your ABS systems for maximum safety.
1.The brake pedal is not responding
In some situations, depending on the vehicle’s model, when the ABS module fails, the brake pedal may become unresponsive. This problem is quite obvious, as a brake pedal that is not responding won’t be able to stop a vehicle, or if it does, won’t be in an adequately safe manner. This will happen slowly, over time, in most cases. Typically, the brake pedal will become progressively hard to press until it’s no longer responsive.
2. Brake pads need more effort to push
Usually, the pedal needs very little effort to push, when all components of the braking system are working properly. Once pressed, the pedal should have an immediate effect in slowing the vehicle down. Over time, if you start to notice that the pedal needs more effort to achieve the same level of braking force, then that may be a sign of a potential issue with the ABS module.
3. The ABS light is on
The most common sign of a problem with the ABS system is when the ABS light is on. This illuminating light will be displayed in an amber color, an equivalent of the check engine light, with the small difference that it diagnoses problems related to the ABS system. Older vehicles that are equipped with earlier ABS systems might not have an ABS light and instead, just use the check engine light. If the ABS light is on then that is a certain sign that there’s a problem with the ABS system.
4. The brakes are locking up
When the ABS system is working properly, it’s designed to prevent the wheels from locking up in case of heavy braking, preventing loss of traction. However, in some situations, a faulty ABS module can act erratically, causing the brakes to lock up even when the driving conditions are normal. If you are experiencing irregular behavior from your brakes, such as random clicking noises or pumping of the brakes, then the ABS module may require replacement.