Cause and Solution of C0161 Chevy Silverado

A C0161 code could cause the ABS warning light or check engine light to illuminate.

A C0161 code might appear on your Chevy Silverado if you check it with an OBD II scanner.

Code C0161 indicates a malfunction with the ABS/TCS brake switch.

Don’t worry; it is easy to repair.

I have briefly discussed the possible causes and their solutions in this article.

You may also be interested to learn:

C0161 Chevy Silverado [Cause and Solution]

04 factors can contribute to a Chevrolet Silverado C0161 code, including a faulty ABS/TCS brake switch and damaged connection circuits, in addition to other reasons.

1. Faulty ABS Brake Switch

Faulty ABS Brake Switch

During an emergency, the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) restores traction to your tires so you can steer.

The main job of ABS is to make sure wheels don’t lock up, so a driver can steer to safety.

When ABS malfunctions, it causes the following symptoms:

  • Pumping brake when driving in normal condition
  • Unusual clicking noise even without engaging the brake
  • Behaves erratically
  • The brakes lose traction during heavy braking

Whenever the ABS brake switch malfunctions, you’ll get a C0161 code.


Follow these steps to fix the faulty ABS:

  1. Pull the release lever under the steering wheel and remove the fuse box panel
  2. Pull out the ABS fuse
  3. Check the fuse
  4. Replace the fuse if it’s blown
  5. Ensure that every wheel of your Silverado has cable connections; if not, fix it.
  6. Move the ignition key to position II and check the ABS light
  7. After a few seconds, the instrument panel light should turn off automatically.
  8. Replace the ABS if the light does not turn off after a few seconds.

Unless you’re an expert, you should hire a mechanic.

Depending on the brake system, ABS brakes may cost $310 to $1000 with labor costs.

2. Faulty TCS Brake Switch

Faulty TCS Brake Switch

Traction control (TCS) detects when wheels lose their grip on the road.

The car automatically corrects the problem once it’s found.

A defective ABS affects the TCS brakes.

When the TCS fails, the following symptoms occur:

  • Vehicle braking inconsistently
  • Check engine light turns on
  • Traction control switch doesn’t work.


You should take the vehicle to the dealership or repair shop for a proper diagnosis.

After diagnosing it, it can often be repaired easily.

In another situation, you have to replace the TCS brake switch, which costs around $100 to $120.

3. Bad ABS/TCS Electrical Connection

Bad TCS Electrical Connection

The C0161 code is caused by damaged ABS/TCS electrical connection circuits.

Circuit connections enable ABS/TCS sensors to function properly.

ABS/TCS lights turn on when there’s a problem in the circuit and show codes.


There is a need to replace damaged wires by visually inspecting the circuits that connect the electrical connections.

4. Open or Shorted Brake Switch Harness

Open or Shorted Brake Switch Harness

The brake sensor can sometimes stick open or be shorted due to a problem with the electrical connection, causing the C0161 code to appear on the dashboard.


Here are 5 steps you can take to fix the problem:

  1. Inspect the brake light switch
  2. Remove the faulty brake switch
  3. In the process of removing, use eye safety glasses
  4. Install a working brake switch
  5. Replace the blown fuses.

This video will show you the entire process


What are the Possible Symptoms for the C0161 Code?

The C0161 code indicates a problem with the ABS braking system.

The problem needs to be treated as soon as possible.

To avoid damage to the vehicle, it is necessary to address the cause of this code.

The possible symptoms of C0161 are ABS lights and Engine lights on.

What Does the C0161 Code Mean?

The C0161 code generally means a problem with the ABS/TCS brake switch circuit.

Generally, the ABS light switch is on.

However, when there’s a problem, the ECBM (Electronic Brake Control Module) can figure it out.

As a result, EBCM can break lamps and inform users.

What is the Cost to Diagnose the Code C0161?

The cost of removing the C0161 ranges from $80 to $155, depending on the labor charge.

A professional mechanic can do the job in an hour.

Is It Safe to Drive With the ABS Light On?

It is not advisable to drive with the ABS light on.

This is because if your ABS light is on, you may be unable to handle the vehicle on a slippery surface, as it needs heavy braking.

In this case, I recommend driving carefully to your garage or repair shop.

Final Verdict

A car’s ABS/TCS braking system is crucial to its control, so its malfunction is unacceptable.

You should take your vehicle to a repair shop for proper treatment and get rid of the C0161 code.

You can drive carefully if the repair shop is far from your location.

The right driving style will prevent the problem in the long term.

Leave a Comment