What is an anti-lock control relay replacement?

Most new vehicles are equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) which allows you to steer clear of obstacles in an emergency by braking hard without locking your brakes. If your car’s ABS control relay fails, your ABS system will likely stop working, leaving you vulnerable to a situation in which your brakes lock and you are unable to steer in an emergency.
If there is a problem with your ABS control relay or any part of your ABS system, take your car to a licensed and qualified mechanic as soon as possible to get it inspected and replaced.

How to replace an anti-lock control relay

Once you bring your vehicle to an auto shop, your mechanic will likely take the following steps to replace your anti-lock control relay:
  • Inspect ABS system and confirm the control relay needs replacing
  • Remove broken control relay and replace with a new one
  • Flush out the entire braking system
  • Add new braking fluid to your vehicle
  • Inspect the entire braking system to ensure no other problems lurk within it

How do I know if my anti-lock control relay should be replaced?

There are a few key signs that something may be wrong with your ABS control relay:

ABS light comes on

If the ABS light on your dashboard comes on when you start your car, something may be wrong with your ABS system, including control relay failure.
Of course, the ABS light coming on could indicate other problems, such as:
  • Low brake fluid
  • A faulty ABS speed sensor
  • Worn down ABS pump
Take your car to the mechanic to get to the root of the problem.

Brake pedal responsiveness

If you notice reduced brake performance, or if you need to press down on the brake pedal several times to get the desired result, this could indicate a faulty control relay.
Sometimes, if an ABS control relay starts to fail, it won’t process information from the ABS speed sensors correctly, and it won’t adjust braking pressure as it should.
In terms of lackluster brake pedal responsiveness, the issue could also be:
  • Air in the brake line
  • Worn out brake pads

Locked brakes

If your brakes lock when you apply significant pressure to the brake pedal, this is a clue that your ABS system is not working correctly, and the ABS control relay could be the culprit. 
Get your brakes checked as soon as possible if they are locking up.
Key Takeaway If your brakes lock on you, this can indicate a problem with the ABS control relay. It’s also very dangerous.

How important is it to replace a failed anti-lock control relay?

It is essential both for your car’s ABS functionality and for your own safety that you replace a failed control relay as soon as possible, as it is the central nervous system of the ABS.
A malfunctioning ABS system can put you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road in grave danger. 

Tips on dealing with your anti-lock control relay

Some things to remember when dealing with an ABS control relay problem:
  • Even if your ABS system goes down, your vehicle’s regular brakes will still work
  • Without ABS, your brake system will be prone to locking if you slam on the brakes, and you can lose control of the vehicle
  • A faulty ABS control relay can cause your ABS pump to run continuously, which can drain your car’s battery

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