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An Awesome How-to/DIY Business - Replacement Volvo ABS controllers Answered

Around 2000, the anti-lock braking system on my 1996 Volvo starting acting up. Occasionally, the ABS and TRACS (traction control system, which applies the front brakes to correct high relative velocity differences between the front wheels) warnings would illuminate, and neither would work when I tried them in snow. The dealer told me it was a computer error, which could mean any number of things, and would probably cost $600-$1000 to get and install a new ABS computer. For that level of expense, I decided would just pump the brakes if the wheels ever lost traction.

Seven years later, I heard a caller on Car Talk mention that he had found someone on the internet to fix his Volvo's ABS. A quick search yields Fixing Volvo ABS problems, which for $140 will fix what turns out to be a common problem in these cars. The website is complete with ABS computer removal and re-installation instructions.

So, I pulled the ABS computer out (shown in the picture), mailed it off, and got it back in about a week. I re-installed, and all the warning lights were off. I haven't had a chance to try it out in snow, but I'm pretty sure it will work.

From the FAQ:
We estimate that the repaired and improved unit will last for the life of the vehicle. The new components are two to four times larger than the original design. The first unit that was improved was on my own 1998 V70, that was done in October 2001 and over 30,000 miles ago, and counting.

I think this is a great little business that shares many of Instructables' principles, and I wish them success.



11 years ago

Wow thanks, I have a friend with a '96 with this exact problem :)


11 years ago

Yeah; it's nice to find a mechanic that actually FIXES things instead of just replacing them. I think I can recommend "Autoquest" in Redwood City, CA.