Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Anti-Lock Relay

The ABS system is a mandatory safety feature found on all late model vehicles. It serves to help slow down the vehicle and prevent wheel lock and tire skid during heavy braking situations. As is the case with the systems on most modern vehicles, the ABS system is electronic in nature, and uses an electronic relay to supply it with power. It is the job of the ABS relay to supply power to the ABS module, pump, and the rest of its components so that they can successfully serve their purpose.

Because the ABS relay is what supplies power to the entire system, when it malfunctions or has a problem, that problem can quickly transfer to the rest of the system, so it should be serviced as soon as possible. Usually, when the ABS relay fails, the vehicle will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that there may be a potential problem.

Check Engine Light / ABS Light is on

One of the first symptoms of a defective ABS relay is an illuminated Check Engine or ABS Light. If the computer detects that the relay has failed, or is giving an abnormal reading, then it will activate the Check Engine or ABS Light to alert the driver of a potential problem. The Check Engine and ABS Lights can come on for a variety of reasons, so having the computer scanned for trouble codes can help shed some light on what the exact problem may be.

Unexpected wheel lock from ABS system failing

Another symptom of a problem with the ABS sensor is a non-functioning ABS system. If the ABS sensor fails or malfunctions, then the entire ABS system will be without power and will be unable to function, sometimes without activating the ABS or Check Engine Light. The vehicle may still brake normally, however, the assisted braking provided by the ABS system will be disabled, which may leave the vehicle more susceptible to wheel lock and tire skidding during heavy braking and slippery conditions.

The ABS system is an important safety feature found on virtually all modern vehicles, and as is the case with most automotive systems, it is fed power through a relay. For this reason, if you suspect that your ABS system may be malfunctioning, or needs to have the anti-lock relay replaced, a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, can diagnose the vehicle and verify what repairs are required.


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JOHNNY

33 years of experience
165 reviews
JOHNNY
33 years of experience
Ford Escape L4-2.5L Hybrid - Brake System Inspection - Sacramento, California
The convenience is worth the cost. I was also tired of the dealership not really caring about my old car. Last couple of times I had to wait well over an hour to get my car after the dealership said "It's ready!". They also wouldn't fix the things I asked saying they didn't have time and I need to come back.
Toyota Camry - Brake System Inspection - Carmichael, California
Johnny was early, friendly, and thorough! He explained things to me about my car that I had no idea about before! I booked him for a diagnostic appointment and I’m definitely requesting him for a follow-up!

Jay

37 years of experience
878 reviews
Jay
37 years of experience
Chevrolet C10 Pickup V8-5.4L - Brake System Inspection - Moreno Valley, California
Knowledgeable, Professional, Friendly, and PATIENT! Sickeningly HONEST, as I tried to ply him with cash, alcohol, outside work, and wild dancing girls - although I wouldn't have "ratted him out" if he HAD accepted. A guy like this needs a "bigger cut" than what you are paying him ... because loyalty like his is hard to find these days! THANKS!
Volkswagen Jetta - Brake System Inspection - Moreno Valley, California
As usual, Mr. Jay provides efficient and professional quality of work. I would highly recommend him to any customer searching for a good mechanic.

Benji

22 years of experience
224 reviews
Benji
22 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport V8-4.4L - Brake System Inspection - Phoenix, Arizona
Benji performed a detailed inspection on my 2007 Range Rover and completed the work very quickly. Highly recommend!!
Lincoln MKX - Brake System Inspection - Gilbert, Arizona
Very professional and knowledgeable. Very good business sense and cordial. Thank you for taking care of my car today! ☺

Leo

18 years of experience
95 reviews
Leo
18 years of experience
Subaru Outback H4-2.5L - Brake System Inspection - Greensboro, North Carolina
He was very knowledgeable about my car. I appreciate his professionalism. I would definitely recommend his service.

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