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Old 07-28-2014, 08:32 AM   #1
EvanVanVan
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2002 SC2
Default Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

I went from not wanting to bleed my brakes at all, to not wanting to pay the shop to do something I can probably handle.

fdryer had a very good write up here: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...62&postcount=2
and combined with the information here:
http://www.teamscr.com/~teamscr6/mot...it-sounds.html (that's a new link btw, most of the other ones on this forum are dead).

I just had a couple questions (of course)... fdryer in his post says to open the bleeder and push the caliper piston back into the housing to force out the old brake fluid. But a few sentences later he says to pump the brakes to force the pistons out and set the brakes. Without having flushed the line with new fluid yet, isn't that just putting old fluid back into the pistons?

The teamSCR link, mentions to bleed the brakes and then activate the ABS to cycle that fluid with clean fluid using a Saturn service tool. I'm not sure if the Actron CP9580A scan tool I just bought has that ability, but since of my Wheel Speed Sensor is broken , and the ABS activate by themselves at slow speeds I figure this is a great time to get that done? How many times does the ABS system need to activate to completely cycle the fluid?

So I think my routine will be bleed all of the lines until the fluid runs clean (RR, LR, RF, LF - I'm not sure why fdryer says to do it in a different order?). Go drive around an activate the ABS a few times (not hard to do when the activate every time I brake). Then, bleed the old fluid from my front caliper pistons. Finally, rebleeding all the brake lines.

I'm going to get the Genesis bleeder bottle. Can I do this (very, very, slowly) by gravity bleeding? Or should I just make the investment for the Motive Products pressure bleeder?

Thanks

Last edited by EvanVanVan; 07-28-2014 at 08:38 AM..

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Old 07-28-2014, 08:45 AM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Use a pressure bleeder, bleed brakes in the correct order and if there is no flow from the rear brakes you have to home the pistons in the ABS. This is not hard but the info you have is slightly garbled. The copy of the FSM bleeding procedure is in my photo gallery. Follow the FSM and it all works just fine.

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Old 07-28-2014, 08:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Somewhere you missed where the brake system isn't a front/rear system like a normal vehicle. FR/RL is one system, FL/RR is the other. The ABS system isn't a 4 channel system either, it's a 3 channel. FL FR and rear. Makes you wonder why they spent the extra money on dual rear brake lines. Anyway, with the system being FR/RL and FL/RR you have to bleed in that order. Attached FSM brake bleeding procedure, though it doesn't say how to get around needing to "home" the ABS module pistons without a Tech II equivalent.

I made a pressure bleeder for about $30, you can make one for less if the place you buy the pressure sprayer/tank from has it cheaper. The hard part for me with it is getting the dang master cylinder cap to not leak, but if I put a pressure gauge on my tank it'd probably be easier. The guide I used said it was a $20 setup, but my hardware store wanted $20 for the pressure tank alone. Guess if I had seen the Motive products for $50 beforehand I might have gone that route instead, but I liked building my own.

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Old 07-28-2014, 08:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Use a pressure bleeder, bleed brakes in the correct order and if there is no flow from the rear brakes you have to home the pistons in the ABS.

...
Ok, so fdryer says to do it in that order because that's the way the FSM says it should be done. A lot of other posts I read had it in the incorrect order.

Basically the pressure bleeder takes the place of depressing the pedal, correct? I fill the bleeder tank with brake fluid, pump up the pressure? and then can focus on opening up the bleeder screws, while keeping an eye on the pressure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Somewhere you missed where the brake system isn't a front/rear system like a normal vehicle. FR/RL is one system, FL/RR is the other. The ABS system isn't a 4 channel system either, it's a 3 channel.

...
Thanks for the information. As I said my ABS system activates every time I brake between 15->5 mph. Is that enough to "home" them (yeah I've got no idea of what that word means in this context)? or do I need the scan tool to activate each channel individually or something?

Last edited by EvanVanVan; 07-28-2014 at 09:07 AM..

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Old 07-28-2014, 09:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Forgot I had the How-To for ABS bleeding without the scantool bookmarked: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=146855

You want the system to initialize but NOT activate, so your ABS issue won't be helping matters any. Might work around it by hitting 5-6mph to activate the system and then use the parking brake to stop instead of the pedal.

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 07-28-2014, 09:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

+1^^^Definite required step if no flow from rear brakes.

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Old 07-28-2014, 09:21 AM   #7
EvanVanVan
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Forgot I had the How-To for ABS bleeding without the scantool bookmarked: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=146855

You want the system to initialize but NOT activate, so your ABS issue won't be helping matters any. Might work around it by hitting 5-6mph to activate the system and then use the parking brake to stop instead of the pedal.
Ok thanks for new link. Reading the other PDFs you attached, bleeding the brakes is RR, LF, LR, RF. While the ABS bleeding is RR, LR, RF, LF. Which order am I following? Or do I really bleed it 3 times, once with the regular bleeding, once that ABS order, and than again once more with the regular brake bleeding?

About the new link, I actually saw that but the OP mentioned older Saturns and he has a 1996. I though I read some place else they changed the ABS system for 2000-2002s? Does that information still apply?

Thanks

edit: and re-reading your new link I see he mentions that I must bleed the ABS control module from the front/rear screws and outgoing lines before bleeding from the calipers.

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Old 07-28-2014, 09:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Here's new link for the text book: http://books.google.com/books?id=H92...ABS-VI&f=false

Still hoping that the information is valid for my '02, it seems easy enough as long as I hear the clicks.

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Old 07-28-2014, 10:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanVanVan View Post
About the new link, I actually saw that but the OP mentioned older Saturns and he has a 1996. I though I read some place else they changed the ABS system for 2000-2002s? Does that information still apply?
It looks like the info I read was from the link I posted from teamSCR's page:

Quote:
However, others have their own internal reservoirs (Delphi's DBC7 found on 2000+ S-Series Saturns and all Bosch ABS5.3 found on L-Series Saturns) that are not a part of the primary brake circuit and are only opened to the rest of the circuit when the ABS is active. Now, if you just bled your system per the above technique and never again cycled your ABS, you would be fine. However, as soon as the ABS cycled - even for a few tenths of a second - the "old" fluid (which was never bled because it was hidden) would be dumped into the primary circuit. Not the end of the world, but you want fresh fluid everywhere, right?
Now taking that information into account, and since the procedure is different than just driving at 5 mph to home the ABS. Will my ABS activating ("cycling"?) help me in this situation?

Or do I give up and have the shop flush/bleed all my brakes anyway? I still haven't checked out on Amazon so it's not too late to back out.

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Old 07-28-2014, 10:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

When misinformed and trying to find correct info, you're likely to find the wrong info attempting to adapt from posts not pertaining to your specific model year.

1-Your ABS activated and is not 'homing' at all. It's activating because its receiving incorrect wheel speed sensor information. You're being swayed by procedures that are confusing and missing the error - ABS activation. Flushing or bleeding brake lines will not correct a problem with the ABS system.

The normal sequence for ABS system self checks occurs from ignition ON time when the ABS light cycled on and off to inform the driver that initial ABS self tests (electronics) have passed otherwise the ABS light will remain ON. When driving off, ABS initializes itself by monitoring wheel speed sensors and activating its motor to continue self tests and if all goes well all you hear is a momentary 'zinging' sound. Zinging occurs around 5-10 mph. ABS always starts from all its valves closed whether or not failure occurred (ABS light staying ON ) to stay invisible to the main braking system so it can never interfere with braking if it fails. When an emergency or uneven surface presents itself during hard braking requiring ABS operation, the 'foot massage' indicates ABS is operating to prevent any wheel from locking up. ABS relies on a driver to step on the brake pedal HARD.

Only one member had a failed ABS unit that left him without rear brakes and it wasn't an '02. His ABS unit is an older type that failed in the open valve or 'not homed' position. His is the only reported incident of finding ABS in a rare position where one or more valves were left open.

Your ABS is activating from an error; wiring to sensors, faulty wheel speed sensor, broken reluctor.

2-All flushing/bleeding procedures are done with the engine OFF. Never perform fluid replacement with the engine running. The correct flushing/bleeding procedures with dual diagonal brakes life your Saturn is RR/LF, LR/RF.

You are dealing with two (2) separate issues, not one. An ABS and brake bleeding problem. Brake bleeding is the easier of the two to resolve with correct procedures. ABS troubleshooting is not friendly if not familiar with ABS operation.

Last edited by fdryer; 07-28-2014 at 10:53 AM..

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Old 07-28-2014, 11:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Sorry if my posts were confusing. I never thought (or said) that I had one problem and that flushing/bleeding my brake lines would solve my ABS "zinging" issue.

I was mistaken that the "zinging" at 5-10mph was the same thing as the ABS activating (although I did realize it was a different feel than the full pulsating sensation when the ABS activates on wet/slick roads).

I had also put together in my last few posts that my ABS system was not a Delphi ABS-VI that could be "homed" as fetchitfido had suggested, but instead a Delphi DBC7 that uses solenoids and needs a scan tool or ABS activation to cycle the brake fluid.

Thank you for answering my question that the "zinging" is not a full ABS activation that I need.

For the record, I never intended to bleed my brakes with the engine running. I was going to bleed my brakes, [turn the car on], drive it around and activate my ABS a few times, [park and turn the car off] and bleed them again.

Since the "zinging" isn't a full ABS activation, I also plan on taking care of the WSS problem (a separate problem all together) before bleeding the brakes (or more likely at this point, gravity bleed the brakes most of the way, then driving the car to the shop for a full brake/ABS system flush.)

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Old 07-28-2014, 12:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Are you still confused because you're describing ABS events differently. A wheel speed sensor is part of ABS circuitry. The low speed initial drive off after starting is ABS 'zinging' to exercise valves and motor unit into standby mode, ready for the emergency or uneven road braking that activates ABS. This only occurs once at engine start up/drive off. Anytime ABS activate after this initialization routine is now an ABS event. If you experienced the foot massage and understand it as ABS activation, this is good experience for relating to ABS operation.

All four wheels have a reluctor, wheel speed sensor and a pair of wires that send wheel speed info to the ABS unit electronics. Anytime ABS activates, the ABS light turns on then turns off (when operating correctly) when the ABS event passes.

If you want the full details on your '02 ABS system, pm me a separate email address different from here and I'll send you service manual info, including the the correct brake flush/bleed procedures.

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Old 07-28-2014, 12:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Ok, I misunderstood what you meant by "zinging" since it's actually a pretty close description to the sound I hear braking from 10 to 5 mph.

Your point is that I am free to deal with the WSS problem independently of the brake [fluid] system, since it's entirely electrical and can be R&Red without messing with the brake fluid at all? I haven't yet looked into its R&R procedure but thought I may have to disconnect brake lines/steering knuckles/hubs/ something, etc. that could affect my brake lines/fluid. Which was why I was going to do it before bleeding the brakes.

edit: thanks, do you mean the actual '02 manual? I have the '98 tweaked FSM I got off these forums.

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Old 07-28-2014, 12:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

It doesn't pay to use a different manual except for general information. ABS comes in many versions, no two are alike and using presumed correct info when its incorrect may mislead anyone. A '98 ABS system is not in your '02 car, period.

You are having an incorrect ABS activation when braking at low speed, especially if the road surface is perfectly smooth and dry with tires not bald/slipping on wet surfaces. Separating a real ABS event from an unusual ABS event can be confusing as you are finding out here. The zinging occurs only once at every drive off and doesn't occur during regular driving. Be absolutely sure of understanding the difference between ABS initialization at initial drive off and regular ABS activation (whether correct or incorrect). If I'm not mistaken, you are describing an unusual ABS event while braking, not the initialization of ABS when driving after start up. ABS initialization always occurs without using the brake pedal.

And you are correct about separating and repairing a possible ABS problem from brake fluid replacement. Brake hydraulics are separate from ABS; one is pure hydraulics while the other starts by sensing wheel speeds at each wheel before the ABS unit uses its valves, motor and electronics to operate the brake hydraulics while the panicked driver stands on the brake pedal.

Anyone serious about car maintenance will pay for service manuals or acquire a set whether used, on dvd/cd, pirated, found online or subscribing to online services like alldata/Mitchell for a nominal fee. Some found their local library having free access to alldata. Service manuals pay for themselves the first time money is saved from not visiting a GM dealer dealer for repairs.

Last edited by fdryer; 07-28-2014 at 01:03 PM..

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Old 10-18-2018, 12:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

KEY ON STARTUP 3SEC LIGHTS LIGHTS GO AWAY PASSES STARTUP TEST OK.
so then I can surely say my sensors are fine then . If from what your telling me and others here say the first test is the 4 wheel sensors. So also my abs module is ok then right?

I have tested the 5mph and light is on at 5mph only.

So what can i do to fix the 5mph issue? Replace whole unit from donor car ?
Bleed my existing unit? Do any of these fixes work??



Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
When misinformed and trying to find correct info, you're likely to find the wrong info attempting to adapt from posts not pertaining to your specific model year.

1-Your ABS activated and is not 'homing' at all. It's activating because its receiving incorrect wheel speed sensor information. You're being swayed by procedures that are confusing and missing the error - ABS activation. Flushing or bleeding brake lines will not correct a problem with the ABS system.

The normal sequence for ABS system self checks occurs from ignition ON time when the ABS light cycled on and off to inform the driver that initial ABS self tests (electronics) have passed otherwise the ABS light will remain ON. When driving off, ABS initializes itself by monitoring wheel speed sensors and activating its motor to continue self tests and if all goes well all you hear is a momentary 'zinging' sound. Zinging occurs around 5-10 mph. ABS always starts from all its valves closed whether or not failure occurred (ABS light staying ON ) to stay invisible to the main braking system so it can never interfere with braking if it fails. When an emergency or uneven surface presents itself during hard braking requiring ABS operation, the 'foot massage' indicates ABS is operating to prevent any wheel from locking up. ABS relies on a driver to step on the brake pedal HARD.

Only one member had a failed ABS unit that left him without rear brakes and it wasn't an '02. His ABS unit is an older type that failed in the open valve or 'not homed' position. His is the only reported incident of finding ABS in a rare position where one or more valves were left open.

Your ABS is activating from an error; wiring to sensors, faulty wheel speed sensor, broken reluctor.

2-All flushing/bleeding procedures are done with the engine OFF. Never perform fluid replacement with the engine running. The correct flushing/bleeding procedures with dual diagonal brakes life your Saturn is RR/LF, LR/RF.

You are dealing with two (2) separate issues, not one. An ABS and brake bleeding problem. Brake bleeding is the easier of the two to resolve with correct procedures. ABS troubleshooting is not friendly if not familiar with ABS operation.

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Old 10-18-2018, 01:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Bleeding brakes (with ABS) questions

Quote:
The normal sequence for ABS system self checks occurs from ignition ON time when the ABS light cycled on and off to inform the driver that initial ABS self tests (electronics) have passed otherwise the ABS light will remain ON. When driving off, ABS initializes itself by monitoring wheel speed sensors and activating its motor to continue self tests and if all goes well all you hear is a momentary 'zinging' sound. Zinging occurs around 5-10 mph. ABS always starts from all its valves closed whether or not failure occurred (ABS light staying ON ) to stay invisible to the main braking system so it can never interfere with braking if it fails.
Info from '02 SC2 service manual. I presume its backward compatible with previous abs versions. If we can presume this applies to older S-series abs brakes then the initial abs light turning on and off at ignition on time suggests the abs module is fine. When driving off and the abs light turns on, this suggests a faulty wheel speed sensor, reluctor or wiring to each wheel speed sensor.

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