The first ABS units have been used in cars since the 1970s. Thanks in part to the European Union making it mandatory to install ABS units in new vehicles in 2004, the number of ABS units has skyrocketed. In fact, more than 300 million ABS systems have already been produced.
System failures are often indicated by an ABS warning light. It lights up on the dashboard or, in some cases, causes the ABS control unit to suddenly trip. This in turn causes the brake pedal to vibrate. But what are the common causes and complaints of faulty units? Read about them in this article!
Symptoms of a faulty ABS control unit
It is no surprise to anyone that an ABS unit sometimes fails. Fortunately, problems with the ABS system are easy to spot, as the ABS indicator light on the dashboard comes on in almost all cases. However, there are other symptoms that may indicate an ABS system failure. Imagine, for example, a brake pedal that constantly jerks when braking, or brakes that constantly apply the brakes. It is also possible that an auxiliary system such as ESP, ASR or PSM is completely deactivated.
Causes of a failed ABS system
Before we get to the complaints, we will first discuss the most common causes of faulty ABS. There are many possible causes of ABS unit failures. One known and common cause is vibration, which causes certain parts to come loose. An example of this is loose bonding wires from the ABS ECU circuit board.
The second cause is a short circuit in the wiring. The wiring harnesses installed in the car are constantly moving, for example due to bad road surfaces. This causes friction between the cables. This friction wears the sheathing of the cables, causing short circuits in the cables leading to the ABS unit, for example. It is also possible for a cable to short circuit due to overheating.
The third cause, which is obviously disastrous for the operation of the ABS control unit, is moisture. If the ABS units are exposed to rain, snow and salt over time, the unit can fail. This is particularly true for vehicles in which the ABS is not fitted in a “protected” way. An example is the Renault Espace IV. On this vehicle the unit is mounted directly behind the front bumper.
Signs of a faulty ABS control unit
Now that the common causes of faults are known, it is time to look at the complaints that cause them. One such complaint is the failure of the ABS pump motor. This is often caused by wear and tear on the moving parts of the pump motor. This causes the ABS to work one time and not the next.
The second common problem is communication problems. The ABS can no longer transmit messages over the CAN network and therefore cannot be read. This problem occurs with many different ABS units, such as the ATE MK70 and Bosch 5.7.
We often experience faults in the pressure and wheel sensors. One ABS control unit that often suffers from these problems is the ATE MK60. The tiny connecting cables mounted on the unit can break due to temperature changes and vibrations.
Finally, the abs hydraulic block, more commonly known as the abs cube, can cause a fault, especially the widely sold Suzuki ABS cube. Fortunately, abs cube repair is now a thing of the past, no need to buy a new part at a high price.
3 symptoms that can indicate a fault in the ABS controller (abs cube, abs block):
Brake pedal drops,
the brake is down,
brake oil leaking
one of the brakes is not holding
In the event of an ABS cube failure, you will first notice that the brake pedal will occasionally drop, especially during emergency braking, then the fault will become more frequent and finally it will constantly “slide” to the lower limit.
Further faulty ABS cubes accompany symptoms that appear over time:
Brake performance is reduced,
crossover when braking.
The reason for these phenomena is that the oil does not flow in the right direction due to a failure of the valves and reservoirs in the ABS control hydraulics. The ABS block often fails to release brake oil to a brake circuit.
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