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Prior to modern designs, vehicle braking systems were controlled hydraulically without monitoring by electrical systems. Over the past three decades, vehicle manufacturers have developed safety features and advancements in vehicle design that have brake systems which use sensors and modules. Now, each wheel usually has a speed sensor, the transmission is equipped with a vehicle speed sensor, and proportioning valves have gone from hydraulic to electronic. All of these features work together for the operation of both antilock brakes and traction control.
One central module performs all the control functions for these systems and is known as the electronic brake control module. It is mounted in the engine bay, typically alongside the brake fluid reservoir. It receives signals from the several sensor inputs, and compares the current status of the sensors to all the logical maps and associated reactions in its onboard memory. The EBCM performs these functions in real-time, or dozens of times per second. If the EBCM malfunctions, you can experience ABS or traction control activation when it is not necessary, or even when the brakes aren’t applied. The ABS or traction control may not function when it is necessary, such as in slippery conditions. A faulty EBCM may or may not turn on the ABS warning light, depending on the issue.
The electronic brake control module will last the life of your vehicle in many cases, although as an electrical component it can be prone to unexpected failure. There is no preventative measure or maintenance you can perform for the EBCM. If you suspect the electronic brake control module is faulty, have one of our expert technicians diagnose and replace it if necessary.
It is very important for safety reasons that your brakes work properly. Improper or unnecessary ABS brake application can cause accidents if you are unable to slow down to avoid a collision. Electronic brake control is a safety feature that should be functioning at all times.