Virtually every modern car is fitted with the ABS safety feature. While this system can be beneficial in averting fatal accidents, it is vital to note that its lifespan is not infinite.
In other words, it’s time to repair or replace the component if you’re experiencing an unresponsive brake pedal, brake lock up, or illumination of the ABS warning light. Now you may wonder, “How much does it cost to fix ABS?”
Fixing a defective anti-lock braking system doesn’t cost a fortune, in case you’re facing this challenge. Before we delve into how much to fix ABS, let’s find out what ABS is.
What Is An ABS System?
ABS is a safety feature built to help prevent a vehicle’s wheels from locking up or skidding during an emergency braking. This operation enables the wheels to maintain traction with the road so that the driver can focus on maintaining proper control.
The ABS operation is a synergy of the electronic control unit, four (4) wheel speed sensors, and a minimum of two (2) hydraulic valves within the vehicle’s brake hydraulics.
While the electronic control unit monitors the speed of each rotating wheel, if any wheel is found rotating slower than the vehicle’s speed, the system immediately actuates the hydraulic valves to strategically reduce the hydraulic pressure released to the brake of that particular wheel, thereby minimizing the braking force exerted on the wheel, so that it can rotate faster.
On the flip side, if the electronic control unit discovers that a wheel is running faster than its counterparts, the system triggers the valves to boost the hydraulic pressure released to the wheel so that it can slow down.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix ABS?
How much does it cost to fix ABS system? A faulty ABS brake system repair cost is estimated about $320 – $1,000. However, the cost is peculiar to the type of car and the specific parts of its anti-lock braking system.
For example, if you’re asking how much for ABS repair in a Toyota Corolla, the average cost of replacing the ABS module is around $712 – $733. While labor costs are estimated at $79 – $100, parts cost about $633.
You should check the nearest auto parts shop for the exact cost of fixing or replacing your car’s anti-lock braking system. Meanwhile, if your car’s ABS suddenly fails, it is essential to fix the issue ASAP, irrespective of the cost to fix ABS system.
Factors that Affect Anti-lock Braking System Repair Costs
The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is a crucial safety feature in modern vehicles, preventing wheel lock-up during emergency braking and allowing for better control. Repairing or replacing ABS components can be costly, with several factors influencing the final bill. Here are the main factors that can affect ABS repair costs:
The ABS comprises various components like the control module, sensors, and hydraulic units. The cost varies significantly depending on which component has failed.
Vehicle Make and Model:
Luxury or high-end vehicles generally have costlier parts than economy or mid-range vehicles. Similarly, older models might have components that are harder to find, driving up costs.
Depending on the region or city, labor rates at automotive repair shops can vary widely. Dealership service centers often charge more than local garages.
If ABS parts for a particular vehicle aren’t readily available, it might be necessary to order them, increasing both the wait time and the cost.
New vs. Refurbished Parts:
New OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are more expensive than aftermarket or refurbished parts. However, the latter might not offer the same longevity or fit as OEM parts.
Complexity of the Repair:
Some ABS issues can be resolved quickly, while others, especially those that involve the hydraulic control unit, can be labor-intensive.
Sometimes, an ABS problem might uncover other related issues, like brake pad wear or rotor damage. Addressing these issues will increase the repair bill.
Repair costs for parts and labor can vary depending on the region. Urban areas with higher living costs might have higher repair rates than rural areas.
To Sum up, while ABS repair costs can vary based on many factors, it’s essential not to delay repairs. The ABS is a critical safety feature, and any malfunction can compromise the vehicle’s braking efficiency and safety.
What Causes ABS to Fail?
A failed electronic control unit module is a significant cause of ABS failure. However, there are a couple of other causes explained below. Let’s delve into the various causes in detail below.
Low brake fluid
The anti-lock braking system is designed to operate with brake fluid like other braking systems. The insufficient oil in the system due to brake fluid leaking can cause the ABS to malfunction when you least expect.
Defective wheel speed sensor
If any of the sensors in a car’s ABS become covered in grime or get damaged due to the heat generated during braking, it will be difficult for the system to receive the correct data from the sensor. This can further lead to anti-lock braking system failure.
The anti-lock braking system is also designed with its unique fuse. The fuse is responsible for the flow of power within the system. Worn-out wiring and exposed conductors or wires can trigger a short circuit, further blowing the ABS fuse.
The ABS is bound to malfunction when you have a blown fuse due to the unavailability of the flow of power required for its functionality.
ABS module defect
A faulty ABS module can trigger the system to operate erratically, causing the wheels to lock up when you least expect it.
Corrosion on the module’s wires can increase resistance, leading to a delay or complete absence of communication between the wheel speed sensors and the anti-lock braking system.
Unresponsive hydraulic valves or pump
The hydraulic valves in an ABS are subject to wear and tear from constant use. If the hydraulic valves are worn-out, it will be difficult for the ABS to function correctly, resulting in wheel lock-up during an emergency braking.
Symptoms of a Bad ABS Module
A faulty ABS module comes with a couple of symptoms that serve as warning signs, communicating that a bigger problem is imminent due to an ABS issue. The following are some symptoms to take note of.
ABS warning light
The illumination of the ABS dashboard warning light is one of the earliest signs of a bad ABS module.
However, it is normal if your ABS light came on then went off after a while. But if the light constantly remains on, you have a defective ABS module.
Unresponsive brake pedal
If your car’s brake pedal suddenly becomes unresponsive, such that you must press it down multiple times before the brake finally engages, it may be due to a compromised anti-lock braking system module. However, several other faults may be responsible for this occurrence.
Brakes locking up
The ABS is expected to prevent sudden brake lock-up, especially during heavy braking. However, if you suddenly notice that your brakes are locking up under regular braking, it is a sign that you have a faulty ABS module.
Lastly, if you suddenly discover that your car’s speedometer is reading an inaccurate speed level or the needle rests directly on 0 mph, you may have a bad ABS module to fix. However, this symptom is relatively rare compared to the others explained above.
How To Fix ABS Problems On Car
The approach to fixing an ABS problem depends on the exact cause of the fault. However, these recommendations can help you fix your car’s ABS issue.
Reset your car’s computer system
First and foremost, if you’re experiencing an ABS challenge, especially when your ABS light turns on and off while driving, turn off your car and restart it after a few minutes.
If this doesn’t rectify the problem, carefully disconnect and reconnect the car’s battery. Then, start the car and check.
Top off the brake fluid
If you discover that the fluid is low during your diagnosis, add brake fluid immediately. This is especially in cases where the ABS problem is directly impacting your car’s brake pedal, making it spongy.
Clean the wheel speed sensors
Here, you will need to jack up your car and hold it firmly with strong jack stands. Then, take off the tires and thoroughly clean up the four wheel speed sensors to remove grime, dirt, or debris.
Use a neat microfiber cloth to wipe off the dirt on the sensor. Then, spray compressed air into the space in the wheel hub to eliminate any dirt that is stuck within.
Replace blown fuse
If you find out that a blown fuse is responsible for the ABS issue, kindly replace the fuse immediately.
Ensure to take off the blown fuse to an auto parts shop to get the same fuse and replace the component carefully, as you follow the instructions from your owner’s manual.
How much does it cost to fix ABS? By now that question shouldn’t be an issue if you’ve read this article to this point. However, you may need to find out the exact cost of fixing your car’s ABS module if you’re struggling with such a malfunction.
Meanwhile, consult a professional auto technician to fix your anti-lock braking system issue if you’re not very sure of performing the repair yourself. Nevertheless, if you’re a sound DIYer and you know the in and out, you’re good to go.