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How to Know if Your ABS Actuator Assembly is Failing

Shops charge a lot of money to diagnose a failing ABS actuator, but you can do it at home for free. You just need an ohmmeter, about 30 minutes of free time, and this tutorial.

The Most Common Symptoms of a Failing ABS Actuator Assembly

ABS actuator 2

The biggest symptom is an unresponsive brake pedal (or decreased brake response), but it’s general enough that it could mean a lot of things. If you want a better indicator that something’s wrong with your ABS actuator, keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Increased effort to push the brake pedal
  • ABS light coming on in the dash (usually in an amber color)
  • Brakes locking up frequently

If you experience any of these symptoms, then it’s definitely worth the time to check your ABS actuator.

How to Diagnose a Failing ABS Actuator in 6 Easy Steps

ABS actuator 3

The best way to do this is to measure the resistance across each valve solenoid coil terminal on the actuator. You’ll just need an ohmmeter.

  1. Open the hood and locate the ABS actuator. It’s usually on the left side of the engine bay.
  2. Clean off the terminals on the ABS actuator.
  3. Start the engine.
  4. Connect the ohmmeter ground wire to the top terminal.
  5. Check the reading on the ohmmeter. It should read between 4 and 8 ohms.
  6. Repeat with all the other terminals on the ABS actuator.

If one or more of the terminals give a reading that’s below 4 ohm or above 8 ohm, then the ABS actuator is bad and it needs to be replaced. In such a case, buy a replacement at a reputable OEM Toyota parts seller (like us – here’s our catalog of OEM parts at discounted prices).

Written by Jason Lancaster