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Old 11-27-2014, 01:53 AM   #1
Deep6
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
Default No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

Today in this lovely snow storm, I went to stop for a stoplight and the brakes locked right up. Thankfully I was only going 20mph and I was able to stop the car. After reorienting myself, I realized that my ABS light is NOT on, nor was my "Low Traction" light.

Pressing the "Trac" button does not defeat the system (little button light stays lit) and when I start the car and drive away the ABS pump does not cycle like it normally does.

I can't say when the car stopped doing this. I haven't been paying attention and I've been real Harried as of late. So I really haven't been listening/feeling for it.

I do have a SES light on, but it is for an emissions problem (fuel filler neck is probably rotted out). So I don't think that it could be related but then again, who knows?

So - Before I take this into GM (because they have the computers to diagnose my problem) is there anything further that I can do/check? Has anyone encountered a problem like this before?

...
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2000 LS1 AT 283K "Served us well since 2000"
1993 SL2 AT 155K "Also Gone but not forgotten"
2012 Honda CBR 250R 4.7K "She can't take this from me"

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Old 11-27-2014, 08:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

the low traction is only for acceleration and not stopping.....and if you were on a slippery road abs really does not do much anyway....abs is designed to allow you to maintain steering control during hard braking on wet and dry roads.....on snow and ice abs really is worthless.....also make sure you have good tires....also most parts stores will read ses codes for free and give you a printout of the results.....

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Old 11-27-2014, 10:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

Soulsurvives: The problem is that I wasn't feeling the ABS do ANYTHING when I applied the brakes. Simply, all 4 brakes locked up and the car slid. Just like on an old-fashioned non-ABS vehicle. If the ABS was working, I would have felt the brake pedal pulsate and I would have heard the "Clickety-clackety" of the ABS pump cycling the brake system. That was notably absent from my stoplight approach.

Second, when I went to accelerate up a hill in which my front tires were spinning, again, I would have heard the ABS pump cycling the system to slow the front wheels and it would have been accompanied by the "Low Traction" light on the dashboard. This was also, notably absent.

Thirdly, when I am pulling away from a parking spot for the first time, the ABS system is not performing a "test cycle" like it is supposed to.

Lastly, trying the cycle the "Trac" button on/off resulted in nothing.

When I start the engine, all of the diagnostic lights cycle through like they normally do, so I know the ABS light, Low Traction light and Brake(!) light all work.

I'm not sure if anyone else has experienced a problem like this before?

...
2002 LW200 MT 131K "Rare 5-speed"
2000 LS1 AT 283K "Served us well since 2000"
1993 SL2 AT 155K "Also Gone but not forgotten"
2012 Honda CBR 250R 4.7K "She can't take this from me"

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Old 11-27-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

Did you check all three ABS fuses? With well over 250k miles, corrosion on electrical connections may cause unforeseen issues if power and grounds are intermittent. Your descriptions are unusual - either ABS works or when it fails, the ABS light turns ON and stays on while driving to indicate ABS failed and brakes operate as they always do.

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Old 11-27-2014, 11:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

from a minnesota guy just have to say no abs is not useless on snow...

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Old 11-27-2014, 02:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

well your first post did not say anything about you accelerating.....i will say i have not ever noticed the abs system making noises at start up or just rolling out or any noise when pushing the traction button but my gf has one sitting in the driveway so im gonna go out and listen for some noise.....please hold................k im back....i heard no noise at all from the abs or from turning off or on the traction control.....

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Old 11-27-2014, 05:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

FDryer: I just went outside now and I checked the fuses underhood. The 2 - 30amp fuses marked "ABS 1" and "ABS 2" both appeared to be in good condition and corrosion free. The other ABS fuse which was a 10 amp and shared with BCM/ECM also appeared to be good and corrosion free.

I even tried running the engine and removing the fuses to see if the ABS light would come on. It did not.

SoulSurvives: Perhaps your girlfriend's ABS is fried too? You should notice within the first 5mph of starting off after you start the engine that the ABS system will cycle itself. It will sound like a "grumpy old man" under the hood. Something along the lines of "Harrrummpffftt". It's very quick and if you are not listening for it you might miss it altogether.

...
2002 LW200 MT 131K "Rare 5-speed"
2000 LS1 AT 283K "Served us well since 2000"
1993 SL2 AT 155K "Also Gone but not forgotten"
2012 Honda CBR 250R 4.7K "She can't take this from me"

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Old 11-28-2014, 03:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep6 View Post
FI even tried running the engine and removing the fuses to see if the ABS light would come on. It did not.
That doesn't sound right if the fuse were taken out I would surmise the ABS light would come on and since yours didn't that would indicate wiring or electrical problems or low brake fluids? When was the last time you check your brakes and brake fluids? You sure your ABS didn't leak or you running low on brake fluids?

Something else I just noticed as well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep6 View Post
After reorienting myself, I realized that my ABS light is NOT on, nor was my "Low Traction" light.
This is also a telltale sign your traction switch isn't working or malfunctioning as well as ABS and Trac are connected together. Have you tried to listen to your tires on ice to see if they spin or stop spinning this will also tell you if your Trac Switch is working or not. The light if it is dead but the switch works you will but able to gun it the ABS will stop the spin but if this doesn't work and the tires still spin then its possible your Trac switch has failed. So you might need to get another Trac switch and try it and see how what it does.

Last edited by Russet; 11-28-2014 at 03:33 AM.. Reason: revise

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Old 11-28-2014, 07:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

I will take her car for a ride after work and check her ABS and traction control......

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Old 11-28-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

Deep6, check for a blown 15 amp Brake/Park Lock fuse. ABS/TC may not operate if it doesn't see the stop lamp switch signal (brake pedal).

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Old 11-28-2014, 01:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

I just went out now during my lunch break to check the underhood fuse box.

I don't have a fuse marked "Brake/Park Lock" but I have a 10amp "Park LP" fuse that I checked and it was fine and I have a 15amp fuse simply marked "Brake" that was also fine.

Maybe my description of the trac button is a little vague. Normally our Trac button has it's own amber indictor light lit up upon start-up and that the system is on as a default. Normally, if we wish to disable the Traction control we simply push that button, the amber light will extinguish and we can spin the tires to our hearts content (to get out of a snow bank for example).

My symptom: When I press my Trac button, the amber light does NOT extinguish. This tells me that the traction control is also offline. When I pull out of a parking spot after starting the car, the ABS does not cycle itself like it should. If I am on a snowy patch of road, I can spin my tires wonderfully and the system does not intervene nor does the "low traction" light on the dashboard illuminate. I have tried several times in a snow covered parking lot to execute full lock braking at slow speeds, it all results in the same thing; a 4wheel slide with no pulsation of the brake pedal and no "grumpy old man" noises under the hood. With the exception of the startup (for the bulb check) the ABS light on the dashboard does not illuminate.

...
2002 LW200 MT 131K "Rare 5-speed"
2000 LS1 AT 283K "Served us well since 2000"
1993 SL2 AT 155K "Also Gone but not forgotten"
2012 Honda CBR 250R 4.7K "She can't take this from me"

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Old 11-28-2014, 03:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

OK, next check is to the main electrical connections to the abs unit next to the brake master cylinder. This very odd situation with strange descriptions doesn't seem to fit any semblance of diagnosing a logical way of troubleshooting. In a nutshell, the fact that you do not have abs or traction control with brake lockup to confirm this on icy ground should have the abs light stay on after starting the engine and driving.

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Old 11-29-2014, 01:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

Well I tried to check the electrical connector on the ABS Pump/Computer Module next to Master cylinder. Problem is, I cannot access it unless I pull the coolant recovery tank and the fuse block out of the way. Everything is in there so tight. The connector itself appears to be substantial, a L-shaped 24-pin connector of some sort. I shifted the coolant tank out of the way a little bit but I still could not get my hands/tools in there to remove the connector. Of course the cold weather doesn't help one bit either, as it got very cold, very fast around here.

I did pull all of the fuses associated with ABS and brakes. I sprayed them with electrical parts cleaner, let them dry and reinserted them. But they appear to be clean enough to make good contact.

I agree, this problem is odd. If there was a bad wheel sensor the ABS light would come on at startup and stay on. Even that though, I would still have partial ABS function (I know this because I had a wheel sensor malfunction last winter due to snow build up, once I removed the snow, the light went out and full ABS returned). Right now I have ZERO ABS function. With no warning light. It is if the system is "seeing" all the wheel sensors and confirming it's own self test (even though in reality it isn't doing it) AND believing that it is working properly during wheel spinning/lockup conditions.

I guess then that this must mean that the ABS/Traction control computer has gone completely insane and must be replaced? God, what is *that* going to cost me....

I have an appointment on Monday at my Cadillac/Saturn Service center...

...
2002 LW200 MT 131K "Rare 5-speed"
2000 LS1 AT 283K "Served us well since 2000"
1993 SL2 AT 155K "Also Gone but not forgotten"
2012 Honda CBR 250R 4.7K "She can't take this from me"

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Old 12-01-2014, 10:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

I took the car to the Saturn Service center today and they took a good look at the situation. Their determination regarding the ABS/Traction control issue in a nutshell: Replace the ABS unit.

I asked why the unit needs to be replaced. According to the diagnostic, their computer diagnostic was not able to communicate with the ABS unit. They tried connecting the ABS harness directly to the diagnostic computer and the diagnostic computer was able to communicate with the wheel sensors but not with the ABS module itself.

I asked why the "ABS light" was not illuminated on the dashboard. The statement that they gave to me was that if the system isn't even responsive, it won't even diagnose itself. So yeah, the bulb check at startup will illuminate the ABS light but when I actually start the car the ABS module isn't even "powering on".

I asked how much it would cost for them to replace the ABS module and the guy told me that the part alone has to be ordered from a GM warehouse in Tenn. And it runs a little over $2000. Then there is the labor involved with replacing this thing which is only supposed to be about 1.5 hours but the guy told me that there is a good possibility that the brake lines might be seized and therefore replacing 1 or more brake lines should also be expected. So the best ballpark figure he could give me was about $2500-2600.



Of course I marched right home and looked up "ABS module replacement" in my Haynes manual and I was greeted with a nice quote along the following (I am paraphrasing here): "Due to the sensitive nature of the ABS system and associated wiring resistance values, it is NOT recommended for the home mechanic to diagnose, repair or replace the ABS wiring harness or Module. Therefore only a qualified technician should perform that operation."



So now I'm extremely pissed. I've got a new set of tires that I ordered the afternoon, only hours before I discovered this ABS problem. Those will go on the car before the end of the week and that will improve my traction certainly. The car is still drivable. I have regular brakes. Just no ABS/Traction control. While I grew up on cars that didn't even have those systems, once I got used to those systems I realized they have saved my bacon on multiple occasions. The recommendation at the Saturn Service center was simply: Don't bother with this repair and just drive the car till it dies. Of course I'm not happy with that recommendation.

Is this a repair that any of you have attempted yourselves? Think I might have luck with a Junkyard ABS module?

...
2002 LW200 MT 131K "Rare 5-speed"
2000 LS1 AT 283K "Served us well since 2000"
1993 SL2 AT 155K "Also Gone but not forgotten"
2012 Honda CBR 250R 4.7K "She can't take this from me"

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Old 12-02-2014, 04:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

277k+ miles? You're breaking new ground here with ABS failure (as confirmed by GM). Before deciding on breaking more ground, replacing it yourself from a donor car, there are considerations to make. Pm me an email address (or use Saturnfans free webmail service) to allow file attachment. Guidelines state " If the EBTCM was replaced, make sure to program the correct engine and transaxle options in the EBTCM (ABS module). Refer to option bit configuration with Scan tools. You should consult with GM if a diy replacement using a donor (used) ABS module can be programmed with GM's scantool or not before jumping in.

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Old 12-04-2014, 11:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

Thank you for the Heads up on the need to re-flash (if it is possible) the ABS module (possibly) if the engine/transmission combo from the donor car is different than mine.

There is an update to my situation that you may find interesting and is getting me to think that I don't have a ABS module problem...

Yesterday evening it was rainy weather, I was taking my son to his Hockey lesson and I went over a couple of sharp bumps. For a split second only, the "ABS" light and "Low Traction" light came on at the same time. I think to myself..."that's weird". As soon as I think that, they turn back off.

At the next stoplight, just for S's n' G's, I decide to push the "Trac" button. Voila' the tiny LED extinguishes. I push it again, it comes back. Push it again it goes off. So now I know that I have control over the traction control again.
When I had the opportunity to take the car out again later that evening, I checked the "Trac" button again upon startup. It was working. So I took it for a test drive and with no one else around at 3 different stoplights I jammed on the brakes and the ABS was working fully 100%. No warning lights, just full on panic stop right foot massages.

I came home, parked the car and went to bed. This morning I got up, all of the rain is gone and everything dried out. Guess what, the ABS is off line again. As confirmed by pushing the "Trac" button without response.

This is pointing me in the direction that perhaps I simply have a degraded, loose connection. Wet/rainy weather has a habit of exacerbating degraded or loose electrical connections/wires. When I had power to the Module, everything was working perfectly.

Do you then think that it would be worth my while to try and track down a short circuit? Or do you think that the ABS PCM has an internal short?

...
2002 LW200 MT 131K "Rare 5-speed"
2000 LS1 AT 283K "Served us well since 2000"
1993 SL2 AT 155K "Also Gone but not forgotten"
2012 Honda CBR 250R 4.7K "She can't take this from me"

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Old 12-05-2014, 04:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

With your on board test assistant to create real world driving conditions and your seat-of-the-pants diagnostics tool (situational awareness) observing sudden ABS/TC viability in a well worn car way out of warranty, you've proven that real world human observations trumps any diagnostics tools that plugs into a port incapable of non service bay troubleshooting. You found the problem but now have to find the problem; why an intermittent condition exists. Clearly, your abs/tc system is still in operating condition but degraded without having to replace the main module.

A well worn car like yours with a verified intermittent ABS/TC system appears to me as another possible candidate for worn wiring, sensor connections and toothed reluctors to each wheel. Every external wire leading away from the ABS module including sensors and reluctors are always prone to weathering/road rash effects. It will take careful visual examination and continuity tests along with tugging on wiring to reveal any age related issues contributing to intermittent conditions.

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Old 12-05-2014, 11:02 AM   #18
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1995 SL2
Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

^^Strongly agree. My gut feeling also is there is an intermittent break or short somewhere in the ABS wiring harness, the connectors or possibly within the ABS control unit itself. Those can be difficult to find, but an ohm meter or a continuity tester with audio and some jiggling of the harness/connectors can often reveal where the problem is. The attached may assist.

Just a few weeks ago I found a broken wire in the rear chassis harness that leads to the ABS rear wheel sensors. It was setting the ABS light on at each startup. I have been intending to post the details of this in a separate post I guess I will to let folks know what I recently discovered.
Attached Files
File Type: doc ABS Harness Connector Face.doc (41.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: doc ABS Connector Pinouts.doc (101.5 KB, 3 views)

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Old 12-28-2014, 12:15 PM   #19
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

I think I have to agree, that I may have had a wiring connection problem. Here is the final update: I got my new tires put on the car by my trusted independent mechanic. After he was done with that, I mentioned the ABS problem.

He said, "hold on, this will take me 5 minutes". He pulled out what looked like a military grade iPad on Steroids and went under the hood. He was able to connect his tool to the ABS module. He told me that he was able to power the unit on but that when he hooked it back up, it was not powering on. He thought that maybe it was a internal fault and he suggested purchasing a used junkyard ABS module. He said "bring it here, we'll connect the connector to it and see if the junkyard module powers up, if it does I'll put it in for you, if not, chuck it and drive the car without ABS"

So anyway, I left my mechanic and I was enjoying the super smooth ride from my new tires. I drove all the way home and turned off the car. Later that evening I had to go out shopping and without really thinking about it, I started the car and decided to just press the traction control button. This time the little amber LED went off and on. I excitedly pulled away, and the ABS cycled itself like it normally should.

I figured I'd loose it in a couple of days, but every day I check and every day it is working! I don't want to Jinx it but I really do think that I had a corroded connection or something. I think that when my mechanic pulled the connector off the module, he inadvertently cleaned up a connection enough for the ABS to start working again.

My other theory is that my car has feelings and when it heard me thinking of getting rid of it to purchase another car, it decided to fix itself.

Who knows, maybe this problem will manifest itself in another day or week or month? I think that I'll go back in and try checking all the wiring/connectors first. Thank you for all of the assistance.

...
2002 LW200 MT 131K "Rare 5-speed"
2000 LS1 AT 283K "Served us well since 2000"
1993 SL2 AT 155K "Also Gone but not forgotten"
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: No ABS or Traction Control and No lights either....

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Originally Posted by Deep6 View Post
....... I think that when my mechanic pulled the connector off the module, he inadvertently cleaned up a connection enough for the ABS to start working again.

My other theory is that my car has feelings and when it heard me thinking of getting rid of it to purchase another car, it decided to fix itself.
Technically, there are no real answers here so I'm going with your 2nd hunch............

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