How to Gather Anti Lock Brake ABS System Codes

 Hello and welcome, we are a team of ASE certified mechanics who have created this guide to help you gather ABS (anti lock brake system) trouble codes while helping you save money by doing simple system repairs yourself, or at least see what you are paying for when taking your car into a shop for repairs. You will need a simple ABS code scanner which is very inexpensive and can be purchased on Amazon or an auto parts store starting at $21.00 (US).

Getting Started

 Once you have a scanner, make sure it is in good condition with no broken lead wires and a corrosion free connector. Also, check the operational usage of the control buttons, if one or more buttons is stuck down or missing do not use the scanner. These units are powered by the vehicles' power source so there are no batteries inside the scanner, a scanner and code reader are the same thing. Although a scanner can provide possible feedback data when available, in most cases a code reader is all you will need.

What's The Cost?

Most repair facilities will charge up to one hour of shop time labor ranging between $80.00 and $140.00 (US) to perform an ABS brake system scan.

Do It Yourself!

1. Open your vehicle's door on the driver's side to locate the ALDL diagnostic "D" port connector which is at the lower part of the dash on the drivers side. This connector can be stored under a small red or black cover that can be easily opened to expose the connector, this is what it looks like.

data port conenctor aldl

2. Firmly insert the coder's plug into the connector while making sure it is fully seated, then turn the key to the on position without starting the car.

plug in scanner abs scanner

3. The code reader will then light up bringing you to the first instructional prompt, each reader design is a little different but easy to follow nonetheless, in this case you will choose the make of your vehicle.

select vehicle

4. Follow the prompt until you get to the "read codes" or "diagnose" screen and press enter. The code reader will soon display the ABS trouble code or codes and their definitions. Nine times out of ten, it will be for a simple wheel speed sensor repair which you can replace with everyday tools. If exact procedures are needed you can ask our experts to supply you with the information (free), or consult an online resource such as AllData DIY (pay). Here is a guide that shows how to do the most popular ABS repairs.

read abs codes

Watch the Video!

Please watch this video of the job being done, then continue down the guide to glean additional helpful information.

Here is a guide that shows how to do the most popular ABS repairs.


Our certified technicians are ready to answer ABS code gathering questions for free. We hope you saved money and learned from this guide. We are creating a full set of car repair guides. Please subscribe to our 2CarPros YouTube channel and check back often for new videos which are uploaded regularly.

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