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The term “anti-lock control relay” is something of a misnomer. The relay doesn’t operate the controller – the controller operates the relay. The relay itself is responsible for operating the pump, which pressurizes brake fluid in the ABS system’s accumulator. If the relay fails, then the pump will not operate and the fluid pressure in the accumulator will not build. The end result is that the ABS system won’t work.
Essentially, the anti-lock control relay is used to energize the electric pump in some types of ABS systems. This will vary from one system to the next, and is dependent not on the automaker so much as on the manufacturer of the ABS system.
Like other electrical components, the anti-lock control relay is subject to wear and tear. Over time, it’s possible that it will fail, although pump failure is more common than relay failure, and fuse failure is more common than both. In all instances, failure means that the ABS system will stop functioning and the ABS warning light will illuminate in the dash.
The anti-lock control relay is responsible for sending electricity to the ABS pump, which pressurizes the accumulator. Without an operational relay, the pump cannot operate and the pressure inside the accumulator cannot be maintained. The brakes will still work, but you will have to exert more effort to apply them. Have any brake system problem diagnosed and repaired immediately by one of our expert mechanics.
Anti-lock brake failure can cause increased stopping distances, and you may not be able to avoid a collision. The anti-lock control relay is responsible for operating the pump at the command of the control unit. Relay failure means that the entire ABS system will be inoperable, although you will still have normal (manual) braking capabilities. Seek immediate professional diagnosis from one of our expert mechanics to determine the actual cause of any ABS problem and have it repaired immediately.