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5 Symptoms of A Bad ABS Module: All You Need to Know

5 Symptoms of A Bad ABS Module: All You Need to Know

The five symptoms of a bad ABS module include:

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  1. ABS warning light illuminating
  2. Brakes locking up
  3. Brake pedal is not responding
  4. Too much effort to engage the brake pedal
  5. Troubles with the speedometer

Have you ever been in a situation where you're driving, and suddenly, you realize that there is a weird warning light on the dashboard saying “ABS”? You might ignore it for a little while but then realize that your brake pedals are not responding as they should, and you have to put too much effort into engaging the brakes. What's going on?! Is this related to the ABS warning light?!

The ABS is a critical module in your vehicle. Whether you are looking at a warning light related to the ABS or something else, the last thing you want to do is ignore it because it could indicate serious internal issues.

This article provides all you need to know about the ABS module. More specifically, it highlights the main symptoms of a bad ABS module to help you detect internal problems before they get complicated and before they impact your vehicle and, therefore, your safety.

ABS Light On


What is the ABS?

The AB system stands for the anti-lock braking system. It is a common control module made specifically to help maintain your safety. It has to do with how you engage the braking system. In other words, if the braking system is engaged every time something is causing heavy braking on the wheels, that could lead to vehicle hydroplaning, which is a difficult safety situation.

In addition to maintaining your vehicle safety, the ABS also provides additional benefits. For example, current and modern vehicles designed after 1980 rely on the ABS system to further control and improve your vehicle's speed.

Finally, this system is responsible for additional rules that help maintain your vehicle's stability and prevents many uncontrolled situations.

The ABS system is made of several components, including:

  • The ABS sensor
  • The ABS module
  • The ABS modulator

Bleed ABS Brakes

Symptoms of a bad ABS module

Now you have a good overview of the importance of having a perfectly working ABS in your vehicle; the next step is to understand how to detect internal problems in your ABS as it fails.

Earlier you detect these problems, the easier it is for your mechanic to resolve issues without needing to install major components and say it is for you to drive your vehicle without problems and a critical system.

Typically, when there is a problem with the ABS, you'll notice the following five symptoms:

1.    ABS warning light illuminating

The first and most common symptom is the ABS warning light on the dashboard. As you might already know, the warning lights on the dashboards are just ways your vehicle communicates with you and brings your attention to internal components problems. That's why you must never ignore a warning light on the dashboard because it could mean thousands of dollars there and also mean difficult safety situations.

That's why you'll see that warning light saying ABS on the dashboard when there is even a minor problem in your ABS. So we notice this warning light; you must consult your mechanic and have him look at the system and see what is going on. Your mechanic should have the required tools to help him scan this warning lightly and understand where the problem is happening.

As we mentioned earlier, there are different components within the ABS, and any of them could be faulty. So that's why narrowing down the list is extremely important to understand and predict expected repair options and repair costs.

2.    Brakes locking up

Once you see the ABS warning light on the dashboard, you must consult the mechanic. However, if you decide to ignore it and keep driving your vehicle, you'll deal with other scary situations that could impact her safety.

For example, you might notice that you're braking system is not engaging, and the brakes are just locking up! This means a complete ABS failure, which you must avoid as much as possible. You can avoid this situation by immediately taking any warning light on the dashboard seriously so you don't deal with these safety issues.

Unfortunately, dealing with brakes locking up is extremely critical. If you're driving on the highway or during traffic, it means other complications you don't want to get involved in, and that's why you have to maintain the system as much as possible and prevent its sudden failure.

Soft Brake Pedal Causes

3.    The brake pedal is not responding

What's worse than brakes locking up is irresponsible brakes! Have you ever tried engaging the brakes and realizing that they're not doing what they're expected to do?! That is another further complication of an ABS failure that could happen if you decide to ignore the warning light and keep driving your car.

Thus, whenever you notice any issues with the braking system, do not wait and talk to your mechanic and describe what you're dealing with. Sometimes the problem could be related to internal issues within the braking system. Still, it could also mean some troubles with the ABS system where you can't simply control the car and can easily get involved in major car crashes!

4.    Too much effort to engage the brake pedal

If you didn't deal with irresponsible brakes, you might get to a point where you have to press too hard on the brake pedal to get it to work. This is another sign of a failing ABS module, and that's not good because it can easily mean that you won't be able to stop your car or slow it down when necessary unless you put this extreme effort.

Sometimes the problem could be related to issues with that braking system itself. For instance, if the brake pad is warning out and there is an issue with the router, you can easily deal with irresponsible brakes, and that's why your mechanic has to look and confirm the root cause of the problem before deciding on any repair plans.

Whether the problem has to do with the ABS or the braking system, you got to take care of it immediately because it has to do with your safety, and it's not something you can delay for a day or two until you have time.

Brakes Squeak When Stopping Slow

5.    Troubles with the speedometer

Finally, when the ABS fails or is dealing with measuring internal complications, you might notice that the speedometer is not operating as it should. For example, you might look at it and realize it's saying 0 mph whereas driving at 20 mph.

Again, this common situation could be related to a long list of potential culprits. Therefore, you could not immediately assume that this problem with the speedometer has to do with the previous system. You must consult the mechanic and have him inspect to confirm what is happening.

Can I drive with a bad ABS module?

According to automotive experts, you should be able to continue driving your vehicle if it hasn't ABS module failure as long as the braking systems are working properly and you are not dealing with locked up or irresponsible brakes.

However, as we mentioned earlier, it's critical that you never delay this problem and do not sacrifice continuing driving your car if it has issues with this module, considering the potential complicated consequences.

Imagine what could happen if suddenly your brakes stop responding?! This could mean getting involved in major car accidents, and that's why you'd better stay on the safe side and fix this car as soon as possible to prevent safety situations and other complications in your vehicle.

How much does it cost to fix ABS module failures?

It depends. The ABS has many different components, and depending on what goes wrong, you would expect a friend to repair costs.

Fixing problems with ABS modules requires somewhere between $320 and $1000. This could be a significant repair cost if your vehicle is not that valuable; it might not be worth your time and effort to get this vehicle to work again.

That's why I need to evaluate the situation and see other problems in your car and clear the total cost. If the total cost to fix your vehicle is getting closer to its value, it's not worth fixing this car, and you should consider selling it instead.

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Can a bad ABS module cause transmission problems?

Many people think the ABS is not as critical compared to some major components like the transmission or the engine. However, there are some occasions where problems with these less complicated components could lead to issues in these major components.

For example, there are lots of sensors connecting the transmission and the ABS. Sometimes if the ABS sends the wrong signal to the transmission, your vehicle might make the wrong decisions and therefore cause issues in your transmission. These situations are not super common, but you should be able to detect these issues with miscommunication by monitoring other symptoms of weird vehicle behavior.

It is always recommended that whenever you feel like your vehicle is acting up and it's not operating the way it should, you should be very curious and check with your mechanic because it could be an indication of minor internal problems that could lead to major ones in no time.

However, before you go ahead and do your repairs, you want to be 100% comfortable that you can do your peers, and you want to be 100% sure that the problem is coming from this specific component. That's why we always recommend that you talk to the mechanic first and at least have the mechanic confirm the faulty components before moving forward with any repairs, even if you have the right mechanical skill set.

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Final thoughts

The braking system is critical in your vehicle, and when there is any problem that has to do with it, you must take it seriously and try to prevent it from happening as much as possible.

The ABS module is very important for maintaining vehicles' stability and is somehow linked to your vehicle's braking system. When the ABS module fails, you'll deal with all sorts of troubles that could immediately impact our safety. Going through the five symptoms of a bad ABS module is extremely important for every driver.

When the ABS fails, you must fix the problem. However, if the problem requires thousands of dollars for repair and it's not worth it, you might start thinking of selling your vehicle instead and using its value to purchase about our car that doesn't have any problem.

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