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'99 Legacy Outback ABS trouble


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OB99W

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 04:13 PM

Hi folks. First-time poster here; I hope someone can help me. My '99 OBW has started to intermittently light its ABS lamp :(. What happens is that it will remain on after the engine is started, even before the vehicle is moved. The battery and charging system are fine. I've done some research, and it seems that my OB has Bosch 5.3i ABS. I was able to find info on how to access the ABS trouble codes without a scanner, and retrieved two codes that have been stored. The first is "11" (which apparently indicates "start of sequence", if the info I found is accurate); the other is "23".

I've looked "all over" the internet for lists of ABS trouble codes, but haven't been able to find any for the '99 OBW :-\. Do one of you possibly have a full list for the model I own, or if not, could you at least tell me what the "23" code indicates? I'd really appreciate it, since I don't want to just poke around and disturb things so that the intermittent goes into hiding again before I can pin it down. (Naturally, I'm hoping for something simple like a corroded connection to a wheel sensor, as long as it's not inside the ECU; could I be that lucky?)

Thanks in advance for any help. :)

--OB99W

#2 nipper

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 05:23 PM

Actually you can be that lucky. Physically inspect the whell sensors. i dont remeber anyone ever really diging into the ABS trouble codes as they seem to be relativly trouble free...


try doing a search here and see what comes up.

nipper

#3 OB99W

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 07:40 PM

Thanks for the reply, nipper. I did do a search on this site, but unless I missed something there doesn't seem to be info already posted concerning the '99 ABS codes. I'd like to keep my inspections to a limited area, if possible, so finding out what the "23" code means would really help. Anyone know?

--OB99W

#4 nipper

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 09:36 PM

autozone may know... also try the subaru dealer part department. They would love to sell you a new wheel speed sensor, and my gut is telling me thats what it is. The abs isnt all that complicated as far as trouble codes.


nipper

#5 OB99W

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 02:35 PM

autozone may know... also try the subaru dealer part department. They would love to sell you a new wheel speed sensor, and my gut is telling me thats what it is. The abs isnt all that complicated as far as trouble codes.

The local dealer's parts department doesn't tend to be very helpful; apparently the service manager convinced them to refer diagnostic business to the service department.

Does someone have info on any recent Subaru ABS codes? (It seems that the Bosch 5.3i system has been in use from about 1998 models to present.) Please, one of you with a service manual, I'm trying to avoid this: :banghead:

Thanks! :)

--OB99W

#6 nipper

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 02:46 PM

drop these guys an email..


http://www.cars101.com/


it may not hurt..


nipper

#7 Ranger83

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 05:47 AM

I had a similar problem, wheel sensor.

#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 08:23 AM

drop these guys an email..


http://www.cars101.com/


it may not hurt..


nipper


good luck with that - I've tried a few times, the emails never get through.

meh - maybe my server is blocked but.......

fyi

#9 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 08:25 AM

I have read of metallic road debris causing some kinda problem between the rotor and the sensor. maybe a good wire brushing?

let us know what you find out OK?

#10 ferret

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 09:25 AM

23 = Left Front ABS sensor high (open circuit). Unplug the sensor and check to see that there is a resistance reading of 1K to 1.5K. If incorrect, replace.
Since this is a startup diagnostic failure, I would suspect the sensor, or a connector, or damaged wiring back to the ABS module.

If it were encountered when moving then the following may apply also:

If the resistance was correct, then check the Gap to the tone wheel should be .3mm -.8mm. Also check the tone wheel for damage

Hope you find your problem....

#11 OB99W

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 08:05 AM

23 = Left Front ABS sensor high (open circuit). Unplug the sensor and check to see that there is a resistance reading of 1K to 1.5K. If incorrect, replace.
Since this is a startup diagnostic failure, I would suspect the sensor, or a connector, or damaged wiring back to the ABS module.


Thanks for that, Ferret. I'm going to try to get a look at things today. I'll probably pull the connector at the ABS ECU first, and compare the resistance reading of the L/F wheel sensor measured there with the other three. If it's high, I'll track it back to the sensor; there are two sets of connectors between the ECU and each sensor, according to a schematic I managed to get.

Thanks to all who replied. I'll get back to the forum with the results, since someone else may find that useful.

--OB99W

#12 OB99W

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 07:48 PM

I was finally able to get around to troubleshooting the problem yesterday. I pulled the connector at the ABS ECU, and measured the resistance of each wheel sensor at that point. Info I was able to obtain from two sources indicated that the correct resistance should be 1 kohm +/- 200 ohms. Three of the four sensors measured a bit over 1 k, but the fourth (the left front) one was about 1275 ohms. That's out of spec, and the L/F is the sensor that code 23 indicates as bad (thanks again, Ferret). Lightly tapping on the sensor caused the resistance to change, so it looks like that explains the intermittent ABS light. I guess it's time to get a new wheel-speed sensor. Anyone know the part number?

Thanks to everyone here who replied. Now all I have to do is break free the rusted hardware :) .

--OB99W

#13 ferret

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 08:09 PM

OB99W, you can either email Jamie (Subiegal on this board) for a price, or go to Liberty Subaru (here in Oradell NJ). Russ there is excellent also. Either Call or email them. Both have websites if you do a search. Been dealing with Liberty since my 1982 GL. Either one will give you a great price and service.
As for the rusted bolt........"snap"......douse it with some liquid wrench or PB Blaster to help work it loose. These are small bolts and snap easily. (ask me how I know, been there with drilling and easyouts).
In either case, enjoy your Subie, and the nice area around Ithica. Been there many times.

#14 OB99W

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 10:36 PM

[...] or go to Liberty Subaru (here in Oradell NJ).

As for the rusted bolt........"snap"......douse it with some liquid wrench or PB Blaster to help work it loose.

Thanks ferret; I used to live in Bergenfield (but didn't go to Liberty, since I bought the OB here). Tried PB, didn't help (see below), there was apparently only about 1/3 the original bolt diameter left near its head. Anyway...

After replacing the left front wheel speed sensor on my '99 Legacy OBW, the ABS lamp is no longer lighting and the system is apparently working fine :cool:. I thought it might be useful to explain how I was able to obtain and clear the trouble code(s) without a scanner.

The ABS lamp can flash out the trouble codes. It does it with a sequence of long and short flashes, which after going through all stored codes keeps repeating. Long flashes identify the first digit of a code, short ones the second digit. For example, a single long followed by a single short is code "11" (which, by the way, just signifies that the ABS is "talking" to you); two longs followed by three shorts is code "23", etc. Here's how to get to see those flashes (at least on a '99 OBW - others may vary):

Behind the dash panel, low, above the accelerator pedal (near the green connectors), are a black 6-pin connector and two "probes" taped to the harness. That 6-pin connector is for diagnosis of the air bag and ABS systems, and the pinout looks something like the following (I hope this "code" format works):

[1]------[2]

[3][4][5][6]		 ABS diagnosis connector pins

With the engine off, I untaped the connector and probes from the harness, and further removed tape from one "probe" (metal terminal at the end of a grounded wire). I then inserted the probe into pin 6 (lower right with connector facing you as shown). Next, I turned the ignition key to the "on" position, but did not start the engine.

The dash indicator lamps came on as usual, but the ABS lamp began to flash. I wasn't sure that I got the codes (in my case, 11 and 23) correct the first time around, but they repeated and I verified what I had. With the help of folks here and elsewhere, I was able to determine that the "23" code
indicated a problem with the front left sensor. I turned the ignition to "off" and disconnected the probe from pin 6.

After dealing with the rusty hardware (and yes, ferret, drilling/chipping out the remains of a snapped-off mounting bolt :mad: ), I mounted the new sensor and verified the gap between its pole piece and the tone wheel was within spec. A few trips with no ABS lamp remaining on after starting or coming on thereafter seems to indicate that the repair was successful.

I had read that the ABS trouble codes don't automatically clear after a repair until quite a few ignition on/off cycles, but I also read how to clear them using the diagnosis connector and probe. I again connected the probe to pin 6, and turned the ignition switch to "on" (not starting the engine). Sure enough, the 11 and 23 codes still flashed. I then pulled the probe from pin 6 and quickly reinserted it three times (apparently you have to complete it within 12 seconds or so), leaving it in pin 6 the last time. I could hear the ABS unit go through a mechanical sequence (expected when codes are cleared). After turning the ignition to "off" and then "on" once more (again, not starting the engine), the ABS lamp flashed only "11"; "23" was no longer stored. So, I shut things down once more, disconnected and retaped the probes and connector. Done!

Disclaimer: The above worked for me, but please don't try it unless you have the appropriate technical skills. Sometimes a good mechanic is a lot cheaper than a bad do-it-yourself job. :)

Hmmmm, that was kind of long -- I hope some of you found it useful.

--OB99W




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