by Pat Goss
These days, it seems like just about every part of an automobile is somehow connected to a computer. And that means there’s something you shouldn’t do: Old-fashioned booster cables-- throw them away. Don’t use them on a computerized car. If you have something that’s pre-computer, they’re fine. But, what should you use on a computerized car? Well, you should use a lithium ion battery pack that has the protections in it to prevent surges and things like that, when you’re boosting the battery.
Alright, now, of all of the things that we see on cars that get damaged, here’s something we see quite frequently: This is an antilock brake system, or ABS, module that controls the ABS pump over here. You can see these receptacles that control these plungers that direct the flow of the brake fluid to the various wheels and makes sure that it keeps the wheel from locking up. Alright now, if you look at this thing, in here we can see that we have a lot of pins in here, and that means very simply that under this cover on the back side, we’ve got a lot of computing capability in there, and it needs it to keep you safe.
Alright, now, here’s the rub with these things: You take the car in, you’ve got an ABS light on, it’s diagnosed that it needs a module. A lot of places are going to sell you a module and a pump. Now, this can increase the price by hundreds of dollars. Now, keep in mind that you don’t always need the pair of them. Sometimes you need the pump and only the pump. Sometimes you need the module and only the module. Now the reason they sell you the combined pair is, well, liability, or maybe it’s greed, who knows? But, if you’re sold the pair, or you’re estimated the pair, before you do that you might want to get a second opinion, and you may find that you just need one of the units, not both. Now, if you just need the module, make sure that the ABS pump is properly flushed so that it lasts as long as the module.
And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.