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Old 08-29-2011, 02:42 PM   #1
BM59_Fan
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Question 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

Hi all,

Helping my non mechanical son. He has an 04 Vue with a dragging and overheating front brakes issue when the TCS is on. The brakes appear to "pulse" as it is definitely not a constant felt drag when accelerating or maintaining a constant speed. No warning lights or other indicators are on.

Any knowledge here of a similar problem or where we should begin?

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Old 08-29-2011, 04:07 PM   #2
Leonard1818
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Default Re: 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

Sorry, I'm not sure I follow... Does he have a siezed caliper (perminantly clamping the pad to the rotor)?

How do you know the brakes are overheating?

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Old 08-29-2011, 04:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

The dragging brake issue appears to go away when the TCS is turned OFF. It is almost as if the brakes are being pulsed via the ABS. The overheating is apparent from the smell, smoke, and for the last week a melted plastic hubcap when he left the TCS on and drove in excess of 5 miles or so.

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Old 08-29-2011, 04:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

This is a very odd problem as any time the ABS/TC fails its own self test during every engine start up and driven above 5mph, the ABS indicator will be turned ON to indicate the vehicle does not have ABS or traction control. You seem to describe this as everything seems normal with no ABS indicator while driving(?), the TC indicator is ON and certain that braking is in effect until the TC button is manually turned off?

Here's the service manual description;

Traction Control System (TCS)

The Traction Control System (TCS) compares front wheel speeds to rear wheel speeds to determine if drive wheels lose traction. The TCS activates when drive wheel speed exceeds speed of non-drive wheels by a calibrated value. This allows the driver to maintain acceleration and directional stability while accelerating on low traction surfaces.

The TCS limits wheel slip during acceleration when one or more of the drive wheels lose traction. The brake switch must be off for TCS to operate.

The ABS control module monitors wheel speed output and compares drive wheel to non-drive wheel values to detect wheel slip. During a TCS event, the ABS control module sends a requested torque value to the ECM/TCM (L81) or PCM (L61). The ECM/TCM or PCM initiates an engine torque reduction routine to slow down the drive wheels. This routine consists of ignition timing reduction, fuel injector cut-off and transmission shift control. The ECM/PCM also sends a torque delivered value to the ABS control module. If the engine management routine is insufficient to achieve the desired wheel speed, the ABS control module will then use the TCS isolation valves and prime valves to slow down the drive wheels. The isolation valves close to isolate the wheel circuit from the master cylinder and the prime valves open to allow the motor-driven pump to access master cylinder fluid so it can build pressure to apply the desired brake.

If the ABS control module detects a malfunction, it will disable TCS and will command the BCM to turn the TRAC LED Off. The driver can also disable TCS, if desired, by depressing the TRAC switch. When the driver depresses the TRAC switch, the ABS control module will disable TCS and will command the BCM to turn the TRAC LED Off.


Verify this as there must be specific circumstances outside programmed parameters that have never been posted about traction control being enabled while driving at normal speed.

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Old 08-29-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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Idea Re: 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

Quote:
You seem to describe this as everything seems normal with no ABS indicator while driving(?),
Correct, he has never has the ABS indicator on except during POST.

Quote:
the TC indicator is ON and certain that braking is in effect until the TC button is manually turned off?
Correct, the car can be felt to lurch forward and relax, lurch forward and relax a couple of times a second (almost like a warped rotor but it is NOT the rotors) rapidly until the TC button is pushed and toggled to off. It appears to be only the passenger side front that is being affected.

Based on the system description it sounds like the ABS pump/valve combo is commanding only the right front to brake.

Curious. Possibly a Brake Valve malf? A wheel speed sensor? Hard to TS with no fail codes and no supply of good parts to swap in.

Hope someone has available a history of fail symptoms or parts failures like this.

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Old 08-29-2011, 06:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

Well, unless someone can step up and relate their issues similar to yours, this one's an odd problem. More questions.

Can you ensure that the brake switch works by either having someone monitor the rear brake lights or backing up so you can see the brake lights reflecting off anything? A wall, painted fence, etc.? Having the brake switch work correctly is part of ABS operation while TC requires the brake switch/lights to be off. Correct brake switch operation then narrows the problem down.

Whether this is a wheel speed sensor, reluctor, wiring, or ABS/TC unit remains to be determined. In the mean time, pulling the ABS 10A, 20A, and 40A fuses should disable the entire ABS/TC unit. This may turn on the SES or wrench indicator but allow normal driving without ABS or traction control. If this suits you, do so until either you feel turning to GM is the only solution to quickly finding out and repairing this issue.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ABS TC.jpg (85.5 KB, 8 views)

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Old 01-06-2013, 03:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

Well I now have the car. Towed it on a dolly over thanksgiving and I will be getting into the car when it warms up a bit here in cold Las Vegas New Mexico.

I had to jump the car in Col Springs to put it on the tow dolly as the 3 month old battery was dead and he had two batteries go dead on him. Verified that the brake lights were coming on with the pedal depression.

I know that I have the right fwd wheel speed sensor to replace as the wiring insulation to it is melted from the over heated brake.

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Old 01-06-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM59_Fan View Post
Well I now have the car. Towed it on a dolly over thanksgiving and I will be getting into the car when it warms up a bit here in cold Las Vegas New Mexico.

I had to jump the car in Col Springs to put it on the tow dolly as the 3 month old battery was dead and he had two batteries go dead on him. Verified that the brake lights were coming on with the pedal depression.

I know that I have the right fwd wheel speed sensor to replace as the wiring insulation to it is melted from the over heated brake.
There have been a few posts recently regarding overheated brakes. Prime culprit appears to be lack of lubrication on caliper slide pins. Higher temps cause parts to expand and pads fall in love with rotors.

I'm sure you'll also check the hoses carefully - apparently the boiling - or nearly so - brake fluid cakes and clogs the hoses to create varied and complex symptoms.

Good luck and repost if you'd like service manual extracts for any part of the brake work.

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I try to visit forum often but suggest you use private messages if in a rush (comes to cell) and include email address for extracts. I seldom check visitor messages so please don't use.

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

Excuse my A.D.D. if I miss something from not reading the entirety of the responses. Any brakes that stick will likely pulse as if being controlled by the ABS. I would look for a simple explanation first such as a collapsed brake line or stuck caliper (but probably from a collapsed brake line). Try jacking up and rotating the offending wheel. If it sticks, open the bleeder valve or the flexible brake line. If that alone allows freer turning of the wheel, then that may be all there is to it. I wrote about this here a few months ago after it happened to my '03 Vue, similar age. The bracket holding the flexible brake line at the caliper rusts and crimps the hose causing pulsing and extreme heat. Replacement hosed is pretty cheap and available at Autozone. Not a bad thing to try considering it is probably close to failing by now anyways.

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Old 01-18-2013, 04:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: 04 Vue TCS on - Dragging Brakes

A worn bearing in the wheel hub has similar symptoms.
A roaring or whirring sound while the wheel is rolling. Also, the hub gets hot.

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