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Old 02-19-2000, 12:40 AM   #1
barn93sl1a
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Default ABS system check

According to page 193 of my owner's manual, the ABS system has a two part check. When you start the car and drive away, you hear a motor and clicking noise and the brake pedal moves a little. Today I was parked on a steep driveway and as I put it in drive, I had to stop at the end of the driveway before entering the street. At that moment the ABS check came on and I felt the brake pedal sink and it was almost like I lost normal braking function. Kind of scary! Is this normal? Has anyone else had this experience? Shouldn't it only occur when you are driving and not on the brake?

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Old 02-19-2000, 10:07 PM   #2
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I think you are right. I never had that prob. but then again I was never parked at an incline like you were. I think you should take it in and have it checked, hopefully the computer saved an error code when the brake light went on.

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Old 02-19-2000, 11:17 PM   #3
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The ABS light never came on. I was referring to the ABS check which the owner's manual says the car goes through after each start. Maybe someone out there can duplicate the event. Park on an incline, turn the ignition off, start the car, drive down the incline with your foot on the brake, but allowing the car to roll. The ABS check system should go through its check and you should hear the clicking noise. Does the pedal sink & feel like it has lost braking ability? Let me know. Thanks!

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Old 02-21-2000, 01:06 PM   #4
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It's normal. Once the vehicle reaches aprox. 3 mph the ABS does a hydraulic test. This test initializes the motor packs that change the pressure in the system, this will quickly reduce and increase the pressure . That's what you are feeling in the pedal. You can feel it anytime you have the foot on your pedal and you are travel faster than 3 mph after start-up.

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Old 02-22-2000, 03:14 PM   #5
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Barn, I've experienced something similar. ABS checks at 5mph. OK, that's normal. But anytime I have to break really hard (w/o ABS kicking in) or if I hit a really nasty pothole, it will run the check again.

This wasn't quite a unique experience. When I went to an owner's clinic, two other people had that happen too. The Saturn tech said that it is probably caused by some of the ABS components bouncing off each other (for lack of non-scary terminology). As a result of the parts hitting each other, the system does a check to make sure you're ok.

Since you wrote that you were coming off a steep driveway, I'm assuming the check came on right as you hit where driveway meets street.

All this shouldn't be a problem since mine has checked after hitting potholes many times and the ABS system still works when I've needed it to.

Hope this helps,
-Wei

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Old 02-23-2000, 04:16 PM   #6
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Wei,

The explaination that tech gave you shows he really didn't know and thats the best he could come up with. What you are feeling over a pot hole is the the ABS activating. When you drive over a pot hole the tire can sometimes leave the ground. If this happens and your foot is on the brake that tire momentarily locks up and your ABS activates because it thinks the tire is slipping. This situation is unpreventable on a Saturn, but on vehicles such as a Cadillac they have a wheel position sensor that can allows the engineer to compensate. After every ABS event ABS-6 (which is in a 93)runs its check, if your foot is on the brake you will feel it. Your both feeling the check but you are feeling an after event check and Barn is feeling the initialization check.

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Old 03-09-2000, 09:06 PM   #7
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This is normal (at least on a 93 with ABS, I think they changed the design in later models but I do not remember in what year). I don't like it much, especially when backing out of my driveway (my house is on a hill AND a curve) or out of a parking spot in a busy parking lot. Easy does it is a good rule of thumb. Also, I am always careful to let anyone I let drive my car know ahead of time so they don't panic when the pedal momentarily sinks to the floor in the diagnostic mode.

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