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Old 03-17-2015, 10:33 AM   #1
jhayhoe
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Default Service TC and no brake lights at speed

This may sound like a broken record with these Saturn Relay Vans but I have started to experience the dreaded service Traction Control and Stability Control message. Sometimes I am able to clear this error message after restarting the van and other times it will remain on even after shutting the vehicle off.

One other item I noticed is that when this service light is on my break lights stop working when the vehicle is moving. This is obviously very concerning and dangerous to drive without properly functioning break lights. As soon as the van slows down to nearly a complete stop then the break lights will light up.

I have read through the forums and seen everything from replacing the hub bearings (wheel speed sensor), replacing the EBCM and replacing the ABS Pressure Modulator Valve. Recently my vehicle was in for service to replace the two front hub bearings within the last 6 months.

Should I take my vehicle into a dealership to have it scanned, or with the recent change of the front wheel sensors should I approach looking into replacing the EBCM/ABS pressure modulator. Are the break lights tied into the EBCM, which could possibly be the cause of having no break lights when driving?

I am going to attempt to pull the fuse for the TC/ABS system to hopefully correct the break light issue for the time being. If that does not correct the issue I will be more inclined to fix this before it causes a serious accident.

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Old 03-17-2015, 07:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Service TC and no brake lights at speed

One of the main problems with any post is a member posting and never replying. Some members posting for the first time forget or ignore following up on their posts, disappointing everyone. Whether you follow up on any help is of course your choice but informal forum etiquette would be to reply whether or not a solution is found and corrected the problem.

Here's a perfect example of a member following up on the same problem you're having despite his not being a Relay. Every vehicle with ABS, TC, ESC uses the same basic electronics to enhance braking effectiveness in emergency braking situations; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...10#post2128310. This member didn't need to be new or old. All he did was reply when he found the problem and posted his findings to explain the reason for ABS failure. It should be emphasized that this member also understood that failure of ABS to operate does not endanger anyone to failed braking. His brakes worked as they always did as if ABS were never installed. Knowing this allowed him to find the time to crawl under his car to determine whether the more likely things that make ABS fail was obvious before jumping to conclusions of the ABS module failing. More often than not, too may presume the main ABS module failed when its likely the exterior exposed wiring, sensors, and reluctors failing. Since the ABS module sits comfortably next the the brake master cylinder, both rarely fail.

My understanding of brake systems; the brake lights work independently (electrically) from ABS/TC. The brake lights need the brake switch to operate the rear brake lights.

Last edited by fdryer; 03-17-2015 at 07:24 PM..

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Old 03-18-2015, 08:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Service TC and no brake lights at speed

Hello,

Thank you for the link and information. I plan on going through the wiring this weekend to confirm there are no frayed/worn wires going to the wheel sensors causing this issue.

I was able to get the TC light to turn off after a few cold starts of the vehicle and found that my brake lights were then functioning as normal. This was short lived as the TC light came on again during my driving home and as soon as I noticed the light was lit my brake lights returned to the erratic behavior.

I tested further last night with the TC lit and found that the brake lights would come on once the vehicle speed dropped under 10-15MPH with the brake pedal depressed. Braking performance with the light lit does not appear to be affected at all. During this testing I also noticed the cruise control system would no longer function. Engaging the cruise would flash the cruise light for a brief moment and the vehicle would not remain at the set speed.

During my testing I also noticed some erratic behavior with the speedometer between the 0 and 10MPH ranges. The speedometer would sometimes jump up from 0 to 10MPH during acceleration (once the vehicle reached 10MPH) from a dead stop. Are the sensors in the hubs also tied into the readings used by the speedometer?

I have not yet pulled the fuse for the ABS system to see if that corrects my issues with the brake lights. I plan on addressing that during my lunch break today at work and testing further.

I also have a ELM327 obdii adapter plugged into my vehicle but have been unable to figure out the vehicle PIDs to use (using torque) for the ABS wheel sensors to graph and see if one sensor has a erratic reading to pinpoint a potential wiring or sensor issue. It also appears that the software that I use does not scan the ABS computer or pull chassis error codes. If anyone has any recommendations on software that can collect this information through a ELM327 device please let me know.

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Old 03-18-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Service TC and no brake lights at speed

If you are serious about maintaining your Relay, consider alldata.diy or Mitchell data as the closest thing to having hard copies of service manuals for low cost online access. You'll find less guessing with wiring diagrams and descriptions of whatever you're troubleshooting to stay on track. With possible multiple problems, more info can help clear up any doubts.

Most OBD II scantools cater to the majority wanting to decode general errors related to the check engine light. These error codes are prefixed with a 'P' followed by four numbers. 'P' codes are emissions related with most states requiring emissions inspection so readers follow the demand. Body (B), chassis (C) and network (U) codes are not as important. ABS error codes are 'B' codes. Unless a reader/scantool specifies ability to decode B/C/U codes, you're not likely to have it. A search for readers would include determining whether or not it has capabilities greater than decoding the check engine light.

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Old 03-19-2015, 03:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Service TC and no brake lights at speed

After pulling the ABS fuse the brake lights returned to normal functionality. This also restored the cruise control on the vehicle. Now currently the TC and ABS/Brake lights are lit with the fuse removed. I will leave the vehicle in this state until this weekend when I will be able to crawl under and inspect the wiring.

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