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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JOHNNY

33 years of experience
140 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
869 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
218 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! ☺

Derrick

11 years of experience
127 reviews
Derrick
11 years of experience
Honda Odyssey V6-3.5L - Brake System Inspection - El Cerrito, California
Excellent service and easy to work with; pleasant demeanor and punctual. Took the time to explain the inspection and showed me pictures of all the areas that need attention.

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