Electronic Brake Control Module – Common Symptoms of a Bad or Failing

The controlling element of the ABS system is a microprocessor based Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM). Most majorities of the vehicles are still utilizing traditional hydraulic braking systems.

Over the time, car designers have developed advancements and safety features for the car drivers and hence today electronic brakes feature becoming increasingly common in most of the cars.

Electronic Brake Control Module use electronic modules and sensors.

These types of brakes have many electronic components and so it is significantly more complicated than traditional brake systems. However, this brake gives the advantages of increased safety and more precise braking.

The main role of EBCM is to read all the sensors of the braking system and then activates the ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) or traction control system when it detects it is essential.

When there are any issues occur in EBCM, it can disable the ABS and many times it causes issues with braking the vehicle that results in a serious accident.​

However, there are some symptoms that alert the driver when EBCM system start failing. Following we have pointed out to the symptoms of a bad or failing Electronic Brake Control Module which you need to consider and address it immediately once you find any of the following.

1) ABS Light Turns ON

The most common and primary symptom of any issue with the EBCM is when ABS light turns ON. In most of the car, if ABS system doesn’t have its main control unit, often it is tied into EBCM.

So when there is any issues occur or it fails, it will set off the ABS lights to alert the driver so that driver can take immediate actions and get it repaired at the earliest.​

ABS light turns ON when the speed sensor of the wheel warns the Anti-lock Braking System that the wheels are not moving at the same speeds.

It’s all because of hydraulic as it is only responsible for increasing or releasing the brake pressure to prevent the wheels from misplacing traction with the road.​

Refer: How To Reset Check Engine Light

2) Traction or ABS Control System Failures

As we have learned in the beginning that the Electronic Brake Control Module is the central unit for the electronic brakes that means if EBCM has any issues or if it got failed, other features which are connected to it such as traction or ABS control system also stop working or they will not work in a proper way.

ABS control system breakdown also happens when sensor electrical system brakes, resulting in irregular or no stability.

In more corrosive situation or important brake system neglect, the brake can become infected and the hydraulic control unit stops to function.

So if you notice any issues in traction or ABS features, it is the sign of failing or bad Electronic Brake Control Module​

Refer: Symptoms Of A Bad ABS Control Module

​3) Locking up the Brakes

ABS system is designed especially to prevent the wheels from lock up when it need to brake heavily while driving. If you notice any ABS control module symptoms of failure that also a sign of a bad or failing electronic brake control module.

There can be several cases where a faulty ABS system can perform erratically and brakes locking up even under standard driving conditions.​

A standard ABS controls all four wheels sensors (in some models three or two), an anti-lock electronic controls hydraulic control unit and a module.

During normal situations, this applies main cylinder hydraulic pressure to all the brakes and beating pressure to all brakes when a slide is noticed.​

If you are encountering patchy behavior from your brakes, eventually, there may be the issues with the car’s Electronic Brake Control Module. You should get it checked ABS control module along with the EBCM system.

4) Engine Light Turns ON

If your vehicle’s engine light turns ON, it is another symptom of bad or failing Electronic Brake Control Module.

In modern car models, it is designed with the feature if your car’s EBCM is failing; it will set off the check engine light instead of the ABS light so you will get the exact idea what is happening in your car system.

You can address to a particular direction in order to repair the system.​

5) Solid Brake Pads

Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) are the important part of your car’s braking system. The integration of both systems helps to reduce the braking distance and increase vehicle’s stability.

When all the components of your car’s braking system are working fine, brake pads require very less effort to push.

It should be very easy to operate and also it should response immediately in the speed of your car, it should come down your car’s speed or it should stop safely on the spot.

But, if you will start to notice that brake pads require more effort to push, it is failing or bad abs control module symptom and somehow there may be an issue with your car’s Electronic Brake Control Module system.​


If you have noticed any of the above symptoms, you should address it at the earliest or it may cause a serious break down during your journey or sometimes it may cause a serious accident so you should not overlook or avoid above any symptoms of a bad or failing Electronic Brake Control Module.

If you can manage a scanner tool, it will be the best option to scan your car’s computer system with the scanner so by referring its error codes and report, you can diagnose the issues.

The Electronic Brake Control Module is a crucial component and critical to the operation of the vehicle’s traction and ABS control systems.

If you notice that your vehicle’s EBCM has any sort of issues, you should immediately inspect it by a professional and experienced technician.​

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