ABS Brake light coming on

I have a Volkswagen Passat with about 107,000 miles on it. Recently, my ABS Brake light has started beeping and flashing on my dashboard. It seems to happen randomly and then after a minute or two will stop flashing. I’ll press on the brakes and they seem to be working (but I don’t try to stop short).

Is this something that I should take to the dealership or can I just go to some brake shop? What should I be asking? I don’t know anything about cars so I am afraid that they’ll get me to spend more money than I need on it.


I’m guessing it’s out of warranty, so if I were you, I’d take it to a trusted independant mechanic. Just describe to them what’s happening with as much detail as possible and let them diagnose it. It could be lots of things at this point, but since it’s brake system related, I’d get it checked out ASAP.

Do you know how to check your brake fluid level?

If it is the “ABS” light then it means that when it is on you have no ABS system but it does not mean anything about the rest of the brake system. Normally when the ABS fails it has no effect or the regular braking system. However it is important to note that some cars have separate lights and I believe some use the same lamp. Then it should be called a brake light. In that case it sounds like you might be low on brake fluid (sometimes due to worn brakes). In any case it is time to see the mechanic and have it checked out. It may not be an immediate safety issue, but I would not put it off either. (What year is that Passat and when was the last time you had the brake fluid changed?

This is not an urgent issue since you still have the full stopping power of your normal braking system. When you are ready for repairs you can consult the mechanic of your choice, not necessarily a VW dealership. Some shops will work on ABS, others will cheerfully refer you to someone else.

I’m guessing your Passat is about seven or eight years old ? ABS failure happens in these cars and it’s very often the ABS control module at fault ! A dealer will charge about $1200 for a repair BUT you can get the module rebuilt at ModuleMaster.com for $200 plush shipping charges both ways ! I had the problem and sent the module - turnaround about ten days from my door back to my door . Removal of the module is a minor pita and takes about an hour . Check their website for instructions . Oh yes they give a five year warranty .

Thank you for all your replies. It is a 1998 and things are braking down all the time!

This is such a common problem with VWs and other cars that there is a cottage industry built around it. I found this place:

Auto & Truck Electronics

Their exceptionally informative website told me (a) this was a common problem, (b) VW could make better ABS modules but decided not to, and © they could rebuild it for me for $139. The hitch was that i had to take it out myself, send it to Tennessee, and then put it back in when I got it back. They provided detailed instructions, and I decided to give it a shot.

To make a long story not so long, it worked like a charm. I got the module out, and the car only fell off the jack once, packed it and shipped it off. I did waste some money paying UPS for two-day shipping (it took five each way), and my car was out of service for twelve days, but in the end I paid about $250 (I am including the shipping costs and the $53 the VW place charged to tell me what was wrong.) And now my car is working fine.

We are having the same problem with the ABS lights on our 2000 Passat Wagon. Our mechanic told us that this could also cause other problems within the car (ie the AC could go out). we are having issues with the blinkers and with the car not starting when it is warm. Could all of these things be related? We have already checked into the module masters idea, and feel confident we can take care of replacing it ourselves, but we want to make sure this is not some other electrical problem and that we are fixing the right problem. Could this just be a coincidence that all these separate things are going out on the car at once?

V-W is worse then the BIG THREE CON ARTISTS.

just an opinon.

unload it.

save the cash.