Technology has come a long way where cars are concerned, and the braking system is one area that has really benefitted from advances. There are now all kinds of safety features that are built into the braking system that are meant to monitor and sense all kinds of variables. The end result is a myriad of modules, sensors, and valves that are electronic. These components make traction control and anti-lock brakes possible, both of which can be extremely helpful in poor road conditions.

Arguably the most important component is the electronic brake control module (EBCM) because it is in charge of all the braking systems. If this part stops working, you’ve got some serious problems because all the braking systems are affected. Sensors are feeding information to it at all time so it can make adjustments in real-time. As soon as this part acts up, it needs to be replaced. Unfortunately it isn't unheard of for this part to act up since it is an electrical component. Manufacturers will state it is meant to last the lifetime of your vehicle, but unfortunately this isn't always the case.

Here are some signs you can watch for that may signal that your EBCM has stopped working prematurely and will need to be replaced:

  • There is a good chance your Check Engine light will come on. Unfortunately this isn't enough of a sign because this light can come on for all kinds of problems. You will need the help of a mechanic to read the computer codes to properly diagnose the problem.

  • The general ABS warning light can illuminate. This is because the traction control and ABS brakes may no longer work properly. They may not be able to engage, or they may engage on their own suddenly, which is equally as dangerous.

  • You may get ABS failure codes that aren't accurate. This can make the problem a bit confusing to diagnose, again all the more reason to count on a professional mechanic.

The EBCM helps to ensure that your traction control and anti-lock brakes are working properly. Once this part fails, you’ll no longer be able to count on these braking systems to work properly. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your electronic brake control module is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book an EBCM replacement service with a certified mechanic.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does an Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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