2004 Ford Taurus SES
160,000 miles

ABS indicator light, parking brake light and trip computer error "Check Brake System" all illuminated.

(Two days after having O2 sensors and spark plugs replaced at dealer).

Took it back and they diagnosed it as "bad ABS module" code B1342. Needs to be replaced, quote - $1,600 vs. this. (they stated it has nothing to do with the work just performed).

Being mechanically handy (replaced spark plugs, fuel filters - basic stuff) I'm interested in doing this one myself because the quote seems ridiculous.

  • How complex is it to replace the ABS module ?
  • How safety critical is this replacement?
  • What is the risk level of a bad installment - meaning installation success is binary (either it works or doesn't) or many different things to get installed correctly, could leading to failure of the brake system ?
  • or is this under the category "don't mess with the brakes unless your a professional mechanic"?
  • Separate mechanic said no option for part, only the $1,100 Ford part?
  • Is there something that can be physically fixed on the existing module?

1 Answer 1


The ABS control module isn't really difficult to replace and sounds like it's within your skill level. Remove the old one and disconnect everything, put the new one in, reconnect everything and bolt it back into place. It may be in an awkward place to access though.

As far as safety, 2 things:

  • it won't disable the entire braking system, just the anti-locking feature. It's not as critical as the brake calipers, for example.
  • there's a dashlight for the ABS system, so if something went wrong with your installation, the ABS dashlight should remain lit.

As far as original Ford part, well 2 things:

  • go to a parts store near you and ask them. Some parts have aftermarket availability, some parts the manufacturers keep for themselves.
  • go to a junkyard. ABS controllers aren't a part that wears out from usage. They do break down, but it's not an age or a mileage thing. A used one from the junkyard would be a good option.
  • thanks that is helpful... As far as the junkyard option: what is a good way to check comparability of the ABS module ? If I get a new one, I read they need to be re-programmed, is that something I could take to the service dept to do after I install or does that really need to be done?
    – P.S.
    Nov 9, 2016 at 17:42

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