First time tonight after driving for two minutes. When I got home I shut it
down and started again, light still on. I'm in Nova Scotia. Car is
pristine, 111k kms. About 2.5yrs (30k kms) since brake fluid changed.
I assume the light comes on for two seconds when you first turn the
ignition to "II" (on), then goes off. When you turn the key to "III"
(start) and the engine fires, the light comes back on again. Correct?
Then there is an error code stored in the ABS control module.
You need to get the code read from the ABS computer. I don't know if the
engine's ECM also stores these codes or not. You can call PartSource and
see if they can read the ABS error codes for you. If not, you'll have to
get them read at the dealer, who might charge as much as $95 for the
Does the ABS still work, or is it shut down? To check, find a quiet
paved road somewhere that has a gravel shoulder. At about 30mph or so,
run two wheels off onto the gravel, then brake moderately hard, with
progressively more effort. At some point, the ABS should begin to growl.
If it never does, it's shut down. I suspect it is shut down on account
of the error.
You also don't give the year of your car. There are a number of TSBs
regarding the ABS for the TL. Some are online, others are only available
at the dealer. The presence of a TSB doesn't mean you'd get a free
repair, but it may mean diagnosis might be easier.
Thanks, it's a '98. The light does not go off. It comes on when the key is
turned and stays on when started. I have a friend that works at a shop with
a Snap-On OBDII reader - I plan to stop by. In the past I have often done
"arm chair diagnosis" for others and suggested a bad ABS sensor at one of
the wheels. Maybe it's my turn now. Are they hard to change? I seem to
recall that the hub has to be changed?
I wasn't able to get over to the shop today, so I just removed the positive
terminal on the battery and reset the ABS light. Then I went for a drive
and engaged the ABS a couple of times. Then I drove about 50kms. All good
so far. Weird.
Less weird than you might think. Lots of errors are transient and to not
recur. When the MIL ("Check Engine light") comes on with a new code,
standard procedure is to clear the code and see if it comes back. Looks
like the same holds for the ABS light!
By the way, next time remove the NEGATIVE cable, not the positive one. Less
chance of a spark or short that way.
Finally, disconnecting the battery is not an ideal way of clearing error
codes. Now your engine controls all need to reset (can take days), and your
engine and transmission need to do their "relearn" procedures all over
again. Plus you may need to have your radio code handy. It's better to use
the correct code reader to clear the code.
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