Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM)

While the vast majority of road going vehicles still employ traditional hydraulic braking systems, electronic brakes are a feature that is becoming increasingly common. Over time manufacturers have developed safety features and advancements in braking designs which use electronic sensors and modules. Modern electronic brakes have more electronic components and are considerably more complicated than traditional systems, however they give the advantage of more precise braking and increased safety.

Electronic braking systems are controlled by the electronic brake control module, or EBCM for short. The EBCM reads all of the braking system’s sensors and activates the ABS or traction control system when it detects it is necessary. When the EBCM fails it can disable the ABS and sometimes cause issues with braking the vehicle. Usually a bad or failing EBCM will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

1. ABS Light comes on

The most common symptom of a problem with the EBCM is an illuminated ABS Light. The EBCM is often tied into, if not the main control unit for the ABS system. When it fails or has any issues, it will set off the ABS Light to alert the driver of an issue.

2. Check Engine Light comes on

Another symptom of a bad or failing electronic brake control module is an illuminated Check Engine Light. Some vehicles will set off the Check Engine Light if the EBCM has an issue, instead of the ABS Light. Either light can be caused by a wide variety of symptoms, however, so having the computer scanned for trouble codes is highly recommended.

3. ABS or traction control system failures

Malfunctioning, or nonfunctional ABS or traction control systems are another symptom of a problem with the EBCM. The EBCM is the central control unit for the electronic brakes, so if it fails, any electronically controlled braking features, such as the ABS and traction control, will be disabled. In some instances a failed EBCM may cause the traction control and ABS system to behave erratically, which can interfere with the handling and safety of the vehicle.

The EBCM is an important component and critical to the operation of the vehicle’s ABS and traction control systems. If you suspect that your vehicle’s EBCM may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic to determine if the module should be replaced.


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I have schedule a brake pad replacement on my 2016 jeep wrangler because a year ago the dealer recommended that I need rear brakes.. Mitchel arrive on time and was very professional .after Mitchel inspected the jeep he show me that my brakes were still at 60%on the front and 50%on the rear so it was no need for replacement .I will never use any other service for my car repairs than this one . This is an excellent service if you don't want to get ripped off by mechanic shops and dealers

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