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Guest Message by DevFuse

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General ABS question

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6 replies to this topic

#1 jcniest5


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Posted 10 September 2004 - 06:36 PM

Generally, how does the whole ABS system work? If one sensor goes bad, will the whole system be disabled/inoperative? My situation is that my ABS went bad (Light came on) about 8 months ago. It's a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 3.3L with ABS w/o Traction Control. (I know this is off topic but hey, I own a '91 Leggie so don't kill me!) I had it diagnosed at a dealer and they said it was the ABS Computer. I bought a used one to replace the 'said' bad one yet the light remains ON all this time. They then went on to say that it's now a bad wire somewhere and it requires extensive diagnose, which I can't afford. I'm trying to do this on my own but running against a dead wall. Can someone please help?

To make matter worse, since this mini-van has a couple other problems besides the one above, my Wify wants to get rid of it but since I don't have good credit, I'm relying on my older brother to sign to finane a new mini-van for me and since we still owe more than the vehicle's worth, my payment goes way to $605.00 a month so I backed out from the deal and then my Wify and I had a big fight yesterday and we tossed basically any thinkable things at each other. Went as far as even mentioning divorce and etc...etc... Sorry to bring my personal problem here but I'm really looking for some help to stabilize my situation now and fixing the van may not necessary mean the end of it but at least it's a start.

My Wify is one of those women that when nice, she's nicer than an angel but when bad, she is worse than the devil. But since we have five children together, I'm pretty stuck here as I don't want my children to suffer. If you know what I mean here.

Thanks in advance and hopefully nobody else has to go through what I/we go through.


#2 SevenSisters


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Posted 10 September 2004 - 08:25 PM

I don't know anything about German cars, but a bad sensor will shut down the Subaru ABS system, at least on the 1st. gens, and default to the standard brake operation. 1st gen. Legacys have a diagnostic indicator under the passenger sear. Check the internet to see if the Caravan has a similar system.
Good luck.

#3 cookie


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Posted 10 September 2004 - 09:45 PM

but on a BMW most of the time the ABS light comes on it's a wheel sensor which is farly cheap. The are fragile little plastic things that are easy to break while doing a brake job. I don't think my Forester has ABS as I don't recall seeing sensors while doing the brakes, but hey, you guys know I'm senile.
A couple of internet friends have had trouble with thier BMW sensors so I was very careful with mine.

#4 Setright


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Posted 12 September 2004 - 04:19 AM

Wires rarely break spontaneously. Sometimes bad routing makes them rub on stuff and that causes shorts or breakages.

I would suggest removing each wheel individually and examing the "Pulse rings" that associated with each hub, and the corresponding sensor. Pulse ring looks like a big castle nut, about 4-5 inches in diameter. These can crack and cause a wierd signal which causes the ABS computer to shut down and leave braking to your right foot.
If the ring is intact, then maybe the sensor is blocked by rust, mud, metal bits, whatever. There should be a small gap between ring and sensor.
Examine the sensor wire and follow it as far as possible to see if it's broken.

Pulse ring and sensor are easily visible in this photo of a motorbike:


#5 99obw


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Posted 12 September 2004 - 06:05 AM


#6 jcniest5


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Posted 12 September 2004 - 10:59 PM

Is there a connector that I can disconnect the sensor from the wire? It looks to be one long wire/calbe without any connector unless it's hidden somewhere that I can't see. I want to test each sensor individually. I tried to trace where the wires go but was unable to due to tight/restricted space.

#7 Setright


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Posted 13 September 2004 - 12:42 AM

Well, yes, but I don't know where :-(

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