Auto Repair Q&A

Popular

Engine

Cooling System

Brakes

Suspension

Transmission

Exhaust/Emissions

Electrical

Body

Interior

Understand

Directory

Auto Repair Products

ABS Repair

ABS Repair

ABS brakes, which are a modern addition that gives you more stability and control when slowing or stopping, especially on wet or slick surfaces.

The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is an electronic control system that compresses the brakes in rapid sequence to prevent the wheels from locking up and sliding. They allow the driver's instinct to mash down hard on the brake pedal in an emergency to keep the tires from locking and skidding on the surface, causing the driver to lose control.

Be aware that some auto manufacturers recommend that you drain and replace your brake fluid on a regular basis (usually ever y 3-5 years or 100,000 miles) in order to ensure proper function of the ABS.

When the ABS Light Comes On

When your car's ABS light illuminates the dashboard, the problem is likely electrical with something preventing the ABS from communicating with one or more wheels. Sometimes it can indicate a malfunction in the ABS system control unit itself.

A computer diagnostic can usually give better details about the situation and what repair is needed. Often, a fuse will blow or a connection will get wet and cause the error code. Finding the exposed wiring and covering or replacing it can be a tedious task, but it will eliminate this issue.

Malfunction of the ABS Control Module

This can happen for a variety of reasons, many of which are out of the vehicle owner's control. Check to see if it is still under warranty before doing anything yourself. A malfunction or shut off of the CM will likely cause the ABS light to illuminate and will give a computer code indicating a mis-communication with the CM. Replacement of the CM is likely necessary.

Can ABS Repair Be Done At Home?

Unless you have the proper diagnostic equipment for your make and year, it's unlikely that anything beyond the simplest problems can be repaired as a DIY project. The vehicle will operate without ABS, however, so it can be driven to a dealership or shop with the proper equipment to diagnose the problem. From there, you can find out whether it's a repair you can do yourself.

Related Articles