Author Topic: Defeated the ABS warning light on an old car  (Read 2093 times)

acepedro45

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Defeated the ABS warning light on an old car
« on: January 14, 2020, 02:25:51 PM »
Small victory, but I feel like celebrating. My mom's 2003 Chevy Cavalier (180ish thousand miles) had a intermittent ABS warning light on the dashboard warning her that something was wrong with the anti-lock brakes. She brought it to her mechanic and had the codes read. He told her it he could replace the ABS control board and the wheel hub. For $1,200.

He's an ok guy and told her the repair was probably not worth doing since the car is so old and would sell for $800 on a good day. She resolved to keep driving it on the theory that all cars prior to the mid-90s had no ABS anyways.

Now this car has rather high sentimental value for me, given that it was my first real car for 7 years before I gave it away to my mom. So I am always protective of it (and my mom) and I didn't like the thought of either one being without ABS.

After doing some online forum research on the troubleshooting codes he read, I suspected there was a bad electrical connection between the ABS control unit and the various sensors and the car battery. A suprising amount of people online had had success just pulling apart their their electrical connection and reassembling it. With nothing to lose, I figurted I would try it. After an hour of poking and prying out that electrical pigtail, that was the case for me, too!

It's been a few weeks and there's been no sign of the warning light. Frugality and Badassity win!


moneypitfeeder

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Re: Defeated the ABS warning light on an old car
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 03:48:04 PM »
Great job! Love an easy(ish) fix that doesn't require 3 trips to the store!

Just Joe

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Re: Defeated the ABS warning light on an old car
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2020, 05:06:20 PM »
That's great! Those forums (like this one) are so valuable!

smconline

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Re: Defeated the ABS warning light on an old car
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 06:10:42 PM »
awesome. it pays to be stubborn haha

JAYSLOL

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Re: Defeated the ABS warning light on an old car
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 07:55:13 PM »
This is exactly the kind of thing I read the Badassity section of the forums for.  Awesome job!  There’s nothing quite like paying yourself $1200/hour and saving a perfectly good car from the scrapyard. 

rothwem

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Re: Defeated the ABS warning light on an old car
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2020, 02:31:27 PM »
Wow, you really lucked out!  Maybe put some dielectric grease on that connection to make sure it doesn't get all gritty and corroded again. 

Most readers on here won't have that kind of luck.  However, the ABS light is pretty common on newer cars, and the cause is usually related to the vehicle speed sensors on the individual wheels, not the actual ABS module.  The speed sensors are usually ~$20-50, while the module can be $1000+

Just something to keep in mind. 

JAYSLOL

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Re: Defeated the ABS warning light on an old car
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2020, 05:38:32 PM »
I wasn’t so lucky when the ABS light came on in my car a few years ago.  The ring of teeth on the CV shafts that the sensor reads actually rusted right off the CV shaft and I had to replace both which was a bit of a pain to do. 

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Defeated the ABS warning light on an old car
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2020, 07:17:20 PM »
Good for you!

I have to admit, I read the title and was fully prepared to enter the thread and call you an idiot. The word "defeat" sprung into my mind as bypass/jury-rig/or otherwise eliminate via questionable means as opposed to actually correcting an issue (in this case a faulty connection).

I've had an ABS issue which meant when the ABS was supposed to "turn on" the brakes cut out (basically the first pulse of the brakes never reapplied pressure).