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ABS killing battery


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21 replies to this topic

#1 bgambino

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:20 PM

96 legacy 4 dr awd

My nieces car...ABS light on last few days and this morning she tells me the battery is totally dead and that yesterday, after turning car off she could hear a buzzing kind of sound (key totally off)

I jumped it...abs light on...I could hear this buzzing sound coming from the abs unit located in engine compartment on pass side behind headlite
Turn engine off...key out..buzzing sound continues

Any one know what's up and what needs fixing?

thanks

#2 ericem

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 02:21 PM

96 legacy 4 dr awd

My nieces car...ABS light on last few days and this morning she tells me the battery is totally dead and that yesterday, after turning car off she could hear a buzzing kind of sound (key totally off)

I jumped it...abs light on...I could hear this buzzing sound coming from the abs unit located in engine compartment on pass side behind headlite
Turn engine off...key out..buzzing sound continues

Any one know what's up and what needs fixing?

thanks


sounds to me like the relay is stuck, had the same problem, just directly go up to the abs and unplug it then replug it in, that usually fixes it, worked for me, that also explains why the abs light is on, because ur niece may have pulsed the brakes.

#3 nipper

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 03:36 PM

Replace the relay, and all would be well.

nipper

#4 ericem

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 05:53 PM

Replace the relay, and all would be well.

nipper


actually i forgot to mension i took out the relay and soaked it with contact cleaner, and cleaned all the connectors, and so far this winter, the abs relay did not get stuck, and the abs was well used trust me .

#5 bgambino

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 06:45 PM

Replace the relay, and all would be well.

nipper


thanks nip and eric

I did not look toocarefully but I am guessing that the relay is the black thing next to the aluminum looking manifold?

Is cleaning it easy...safe to do?

Anyone know an aprox price..local stealership vs mail order (first subaru pr other?

#6 ericem

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 06:52 PM

thanks nip and eric

I did not look toocarefully but I am guessing that the relay is the black thing next to the aluminum looking manifold?

Is cleaning it easy...safe to do?

Anyone know an aprox price..local stealership vs mail order (first subaru pr other?


from what i remember it had a cover, i poped it off ,then pulled out the relay, sprayed it down, sprayed everything in that box, and sprayed all the connectors for the plugs. And it is a fairly easy job, the plugs are sometime difficult to get out,but they will come out, and very safe, the contact cleaner will not damage anything.

#7 bgambino

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 07:34 PM

from what i remember it had a cover, i poped it off ,then pulled out the relay, sprayed it down, sprayed everything in that box, and sprayed all the connectors for the plugs. And it is a fairly easy job, the plugs are sometime difficult to get out,but they will come out, and very safe, the contact cleaner will not damage anything.



Assuming I try the cleaning method....will I need to reset anything to make the ABS light go out?

Also...should I need to buy a part...Genuine subaru parts lists under "relay" in abs section...a relay valve and a relay motor...what are we talking about needing?
thanks

#8 bgambino

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 09:19 PM

sounds to me like the relay is stuck, had the same problem, just directly go up to the abs and unplug it then replug it in, that usually fixes it, worked for me, that also explains why the abs light is on, because ur niece may have pulsed the brakes.


eric...what did you mean by her "pulsing the brakes" (also explains why the abs light is on, because ur niece may have pulsed the brakes.)

#9 ericem

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 09:48 PM

eric...what did you mean by her "pulsing the brakes" (also explains why the abs light is on, because ur niece may have pulsed the brakes.)


well she may be driving, the way my mom does, she goes on and off the brakes on slipperery conditions, even though the abs does that job for you, and it then shuts off the abs, then u need to shut off the vehicle and turn it back on. But if it stuck in the on posistion it will not reset. However it can also be indicating ur battery is low when the abs light is on. So your alternator might be dieing or shot. After u fix the relay issue, if the light is still on. Go to ur local mechanic that you know well, or preferably go to subaru and get the code read. There are still possibilities of other failures. Good luck.

#10 zyewdall

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 09:56 PM

Is pumping the brakes on an ABS car bad for the ABS system? Because I do that too -- I'm so used to driving on ice without ABS, that I get completely flustered if I hear this wierd buzzing noise and feel the pedal fighting back against me. So I try to avoid hitting it hard enough to activate the ABS.

I think the best solution for this, is for me to not drive new cars. But in the rare occasions that I do, I don't really want to damage someone's ABS.

#11 nipper

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 11:15 PM

Pumping the braakes on an ABS system wont hurt it, but instead of doubling your breaking distance you may triple it. Let the silly machine do the work, and you really need to give yourself lots of room in icy/snow conditions. Give yourself as much distance as you would if the car didnt have abs.




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#12 dj3stripes

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 12:53 AM

back to the topic at hand, when i had this symptom (weird buzzing noise after car is turned off) i popped the hood, and gave the relay (at least i think it was, it was behind the passenger headlamp with 4 pipes coming out of it) just a quick *thump* and it went away. One time it did the same thing and i just let it go, 2 hours later when i went back to the car it was still making the same noise. *thump* it worked again, hasn't done it since this summer

#13 1995SubaruImpreza

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 06:00 PM

back to the topic at hand, when i had this symptom (weird buzzing noise after car is turned off) i popped the hood, and gave the relay (at least i think it was, it was behind the passenger headlamp with 4 pipes coming out of it) just a quick *thump* and it went away. One time it did the same thing and i just let it go, 2 hours later when i went back to the car it was still making the same noise. *thump* it worked again, hasn't done it since this summer


I had the same problem with my 95 impreza, for the couple time it happened in it's life I just truned the car on and off a couple times and al was well

#14 ccrinc

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 12:02 PM

We've replaced several of these relays for friends/customers in the past few weeks.
It's not an expensive part: roughly $20+ from the dealer. And it wasn't dirty contacts either.
Until you can get one, take the relay out. You won't have ABS temporarily, but at least the battery won't die and leave you stranded.

Emily
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#15 Cougar

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 11:30 PM

It would be interesting to know what is causing this problem with the relays.

#16 nipper

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 11:35 PM

It would be interesting to know what is causing this problem with the relays.


age. We are talking a 96 and a 95.

things break, nothing lasts for ever. Its not wide spread. Under the hood is a very hostile place.

nipper

#17 OB99W

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 08:07 AM

It would be interesting to know what is causing this problem with the relays.

Assuming the relay itself is at fault, some things I can think of that can cause a relay to "stick" are weakening of the return spring, residual magnetism in the pole piece and/or armature, and roughening of the contacts due to arcing during make/break. If a relay isn't well sealed, oil vapor could find its way to pole piece and armature surfaces; it sometimes doesn't take much of an oil film if one or more of the other causes are also present.

#18 Cougar

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 05:29 PM

As usual you both have good points about this problem. When I hear of this kind of thing happening I usually look for a supply voltage problem as the cause of the buzzing. The relay closes for some reason and the load is connected to the supply which can't handle the current load for some reason. The supply voltage drops and the relay coil opens the circuit. The supply voltage then goes back up and the process starts again. You both know what I'm talking about. I know you have "been there, done that!". If that was the problem then it would seem that changing the relay wouldn't fix the problem as Emily stated it did so I must be off the track here and something is just bad inside the relay as both of you and Emily stated.

#19 bgambino

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 08:30 PM

Guys and girls....
I posted this previously...."Also...should I need to buy a part...Genuine subaru parts lists under "relay" in abs section...a relay valve and a relay motor...what are we talking about needing?"
These parts are listed at $58.00 ea...not the $20 dealer part per Emily

What am I missing....the humming sound is coming from the black part right next to what looks like a brake fluid minifold of sorts (aluminum) behind pass. headlight

#20 nipper

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 08:45 PM

Guys and girls....
I posted this previously...."Also...should I need to buy a part...Genuine subaru parts lists under "relay" in abs section...a relay valve and a relay motor...what are we talking about needing?"
These parts are listed at $58.00 ea...not the $20 dealer part per Emily

What am I missing....the humming sound is coming from the black part right next to what looks like a brake fluid minifold of sorts (aluminum) behind pass. headlight


You need an electrical relay (49.00 on subarugenuineparts). Look on the relay and see if there are any markings on it. Sometimes if its marked you can get it from another source. Also a relay is a safe itenm that does not have come from subaru.

#21 OB99W

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:10 PM

As usual you both have good points about this problem. When I hear of this kind of thing happening I usually look for a supply voltage problem as the cause of the buzzing.[...]

Cougar, you've also made some valid points. Note that I began my post with "Assuming the relay itself is at fault", because the problem isn't always due to the relay. Here's a short article that addresses the issue:
http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/ABSInsiderEWFall05.pdf

#22 Cougar

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 12:36 AM

Cougar, you've also made some valid points. Note that I began my post with "Assuming the relay itself is at fault", because the problem isn't always due to the relay. Here's a short article that addresses the issue:
http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/ABSInsiderEWFall05.pdf


That is a very interesting tech note. I wonder what the modified relay is. Thanks for the notice OB99W.




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