While the vast majority of road 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 brake designs that use electronic modules and sensors. Modern electronic brakes have more electronic components and are considerably more complicated than traditional systems; however, they provide the advantage of more precise braking and greater safety.
Electronic braking systems are controlled by the Electronic Brake Control Module, or EBCM for short. The EBCM reads all the sensors in the braking system and activates the ABS or traction control system when it senses it is necessary. When the EBCM fails, it can disable the ABS and sometimes cause problems when braking the vehicle. Usually a bad or failing EBCM will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver to a potential problem.
1. ABS light comes on
The most common symptom of a problem with the EBCM is an illuminated ABS light. The EBCM is often linked, if not to the main control unit of the ABS system. When it fails or has a problem, it will activate the ABS light to alert the driver of a problem.
2. The 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 activate the Check Engine Light if the EBCM has a problem, instead of the ABS light. However, either of the two lights can be caused by a wide variety of symptoms, so it is highly recommended that you scan the computer for fault codes.
3. ABS or traction control system malfunctions
Malfunctioning or non-working ABS or traction control systems are another symptom of a problem with the EBCM. The EBCM is the central control unit for electronic brakes, so if it fails, any electronically controlled braking functions, such as ABS and traction control, will be disabled. In some cases, a failed EBCM can cause the traction control and ABS system to behave erratically, which can interfere with the vehicle’s handling and safety.
The EBCM is an important and critical component for the operation of the vehicle’s ABS and traction control systems. If you suspect that your vehicle’s EBCM may be having a problem, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from Vermin-Club, to determine if the module needs to be replaced.