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Tonight my ABS idiot light suddenly came on.....the first I've ever seen it! I turned the car off, sat for a minute and restarted. The Light came back on. Drove approx. 2 miles and stopped the car again, turned it off and got out. ABS "brain" contined to make a strange metallic whirring sound, as if a pump had not turned off. Got back in, drove another 2-3 miles(<40 mph), turned it off, got out, popped the hood, and the whirring/purring sound continued.

 

I was pretty freaked as I figured anything involving a failing ABS unit has GOT to be spendy, so I drove home (approx. 10 miles @ 40-50mph) parked the car in the garage, turned it off......SILENCE! No more whirring sound.

 

Also: No perceptible difference in braking at any time during the trip.

 

Any ideas? I haven't tried turning it on again, since it's late and I'll investigate further tomorrow AM.

 

Thanks!

 

Mark

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ABS relay is sticking on , You may end up with a dead battery if you don't rectify the problem

The relay is located on the ABS assembly ,by the right front fender. There is a black box #2 (see atached) then pull relay #3

You will need to replace it

 

SEA#3

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Any snow on the ground? My ABS light comes on all the time when driving in deeper snow. It goes off after the snow melts or gets flung out.

 

Good luck.

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First :

Mattocs may have a missing/bent shield for one of the ABS tone rings.

I only say this as the tone ring and ABS sensor are located

in a position where heat from the rotor and the shield are meant to prevent this.

 

Plus the Hall effect signal would need be interrupted - meaning something

ferromagnetic would need to "short" the signal.

Maybe salt laden ice?

 

Remember Subaru knows their cars are used in conditions such as these

and would take steps to prevent this.

 

Second:

You sir have a classic case of relay failure that is about to rear it's ugly head.

During the recent cold snap we have seen this on this message board several times.

 

This leads me to believe it is a cold weather related event.

Couple this with the Subaru revision to this relay.

 

e.g. -from the End Wrench insider info art.

"replace it

with the modified relay, part number

26735AA012 (there will be a white line under

the word “Japan” on the case)."

 

Sea#3 gives you the location (under a black cover on the unit)

and the warning that this will get worse not better should be headed.

 

Dead batteries are no phun.

Hope this helps and good luck to you sir.

 

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Thanks, friends! I went to Carter and bought the two relays(they suggested that I buy both for $132) and will put them in. Is there anything I should know about the replacement of the relays that might upset the "master computer"?

 

Thanks!

 

Mark

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once my abs light came on on my 97 outback and then about 20 miles latercar died andfound my alternator died ???????????
The ABS system requires a certain minimum voltage level to operate correctly. A failing alternator can lower the voltage enough for the ABS light to be triggered on. Any time the ABS light comes on without an obvious ABS failure, and especially if any other electrical "oddities" are noticed, the battery and charging system should be checked before the ABS itself is assumed defective.

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once my abs light came on on my 97 outback and then about 20 miles latercar died andfound my alternator died ???????????

 

 

Thats a typical oddity. Electricity does odd things. Every car i had with an alt always showed that it was failing by illuminating the break lamp on the dash (with and without ABS). Its just depends upon how the Alt is dying.

My alt i just replaced lit up the abs lamp and the battery lamp.

 

nipper

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My ABS light comes on after a few minutes of driving. I know the ABS works as it has kicked in a few times as I am leaving work and need to stop on the icy road before taking a left out of the parking lot. Once my ABS light comes on, it no longer works. I am changing one of my halfshafts tomorrow, so I was planning on removing the tires one at a time and checking if there were any ABS sensors that may be shorting or just look like there is a physical problem. I'll check the relay as well, thanks for the info.

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I have the same problem as described by others with regards to the ABS light. It has gotten worse though it seems. Initially it began when I drove in the snow and the ABS engaged. It would work once or twice before the ABS light came on and disabled the ABS. I could turn the car off, then restart it and usually would be fine.

 

Now, the past month or so I have started to experience another, possibly related problem. I would hear a high pitched metallic ringing coming from the engine compartment (alternator?). It comes on, then it goes away, then sometimes it comes back. That parts a mystery, and I will probably need to take it to the shop to diagnose, but its hard because it doesn't happen all the time so the mechanic can't hear it.

 

Then just today, the ABS light came on when I started it up. I drove it 10 miles, and it was still on. When I drove home, the ABS light was still on and when I got out of the car I heard a spinning sound coming from the ABS unit. I figured it wouold turn itself off like a fan motor or something, but 3 hours later it was still going so I unplugged the battery.

 

Thoughts? Is this the relay problem or something worse?

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I just went out to the car, removed the relay, then popped it back in and the ABS light is off and the ABS unit is quiet when the battery is connected. More evidence of the relay, no?

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