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
264 reviews
Johnny
33 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 L4-2.4L - Brake System Inspection - Sacramento, California
Johnny arrived early which was great, he performed the inspection in less than half an hour, and gave us a complete quote for all items needing attention, including the brakes as our main concern. Johnny is fast and efficient so I scheduled the work done by him.
Ford Escape - 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.

Jay

37 years of experience
947 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.

Christopher

10 years of experience
114 reviews
Christopher
10 years of experience
Ford Explorer V6-3.5L - Brake System Inspection - Katy, Texas
Christopher was very knowledgeable and was able to address our concerns. We would trust him with future service needs.

Jesse

16 years of experience
61 reviews
Jesse
16 years of experience
Nissan Frontier V6-3.3L - Brake System Inspection - Flagler Beach, Florida
Jesse took the time to explain everything that was going to be done and why and then proceeded to repair my truck not only professionally but quickly. As a disabled Veteran and no longer able to perform work that was needed to be done it is nice to know a mechanic such as Jesse will take the time to explain all the various issues and what needs to be done before a blanket you need everything. After Jesse went thru everything I felt comfortable that all work was required and needed. 8 can safely say I will use yourmechanoc .com again and hope I can request Jess

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