During ordinary driving today, my ABS light came on. At the same time (I
think), a new noise emerged from under the hood. I stopped and looked:
it's some kind of pump near the right-front wheel, with "ABS" on a
nameplate, running continuously. The car runs and brakes OK, but I'm
worried about wearing something out and/or sudden brake failure. Only
way I could get it to stop was by pulling a battery cable.
Will it be safe to use for a few more miles, including to the service
station on Monday? Anything a fairly mechanical but ABS-ignorant person
The car will brake fine, you just dont have ABS functional. Remember, cars
worked fine for years before ABS.
I've heard a quick fix for this is to tap the pump with a hammer (not hard,
just a tap or two) to stop the pump from staying on. Chances are it will
come back in a week or two.
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Also there is several electrical connections associated with the abs
and you may just have a loose or corroded connection. You might also
pull the abs fuse till you get it checked. You still will have
We really need a FAQ that deals with this and the 95 outback fuel gauge
There is a relay in the ABS control box that sometimes sticks. It has high
enough current ratings, the contacts don't get welded together, it just
sticks for some reason. I have posted here in the past the part number for a
couple of standard relays you can get from electronic parts places like
Mouser and DigiKey that will replace it. But if you just shake it "unstuck"
it will probably go for several more years before sticking again. First
step: Find the ABS controls, in the front corner of the engine compartment
just behind the right front headlamp. There are metallic hydraulic lines
going into part of it, but the electrical parts are under a black plastic
(at least it is black on my car) cover. Second step: Tap fairly hard
somewhere on the box with a pair of pliers, a middle-sized rock, whatever is
handy. That will quite likely fix the problem. Third step, if that did not
fix it, take off the cover, unplug the relay that is buzzing, tap on it and
shake it around, plug it back in.
As others have posted, it is a nuisance, could run down the battery, leaves
you without ABS, but does not interfere with braking other than ABS.
Thanks to John, Edward and Bob for helpful and anxiety-relieving advice.
Oddly enough, pulling the ABS fuses from the fusebox didn't stop the
noise, which continued even with the key out. Who gave the ABS
permission to access power with a fuse out? So I yanked the upper
connector block, which stopped the buzzing. Tapping with a wrench hadn't
helped, but now that I know it's a relay buzzing, I'll find and whack
the offending relay.
Thanks so much for your collective help. Great to have experts on hand!
BTW, I'd like a new car, but no-one's making anything I like as much as
this compact wagon. Perhaps, with ownership changes, the next round of
Subarus will return to their previous design ideals?
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