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Old 09-27-2005, 10:16 AM   #1
nmsaty
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1993 SL2
Default anti lock brake light just came on

I went on a short road trip and made a stop and suddenly the anti lock light came on the dash. I checked and the brakes worked thank god. It makes that grinding clicking noise when I start the car and then the light stays on. What is the problem here? I have a 93 SL2. Now, the light does not come on right away until I turn or drive and hit the brakes right away after I start the car.

help please

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Old 09-27-2005, 11:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: anti lock brake light just came on

You can see if the ABS computers has any codes in it.

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Old 09-27-2005, 12:16 PM   #3
Bill Murray
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Default Re: anti lock brake light just came on

Brakes work fine with an ABS code but ABS is disabled.
So not as scary as you might think.

You'll need a TECH2 scanner or a dealer visit, most generic OBD systems can't read ABS/body codes.

My car (a 97 - not sure about older ones) had chafed the wiring harness from the ABS computer on the steel brake line causing an electrical code.
Also check your ABS fuse in the fuse block, mine was rather oxidized on the blades.

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Old 09-27-2005, 01:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: anti lock brake light just came on

I had that with my car, sometimes the ABS light would come on after the self test, other times after driving a bit.

Turns out to be the alternator. Check your voltage output at the battery.

Not ruling out it might be the brakes, but, I've seen this twice before with my car and both times it was the alternator

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Old 09-27-2005, 03:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: anti lock brake light just came on

The ABS system requires a lot of juice to activate and to run its self test when you start the car (the grinding noise). A failing alternator will cause it to fail the test and throw the light.

It's very common for alternators to fail in early Saturns, and one of the first warning signs is the ABS light.

Another possible symptom is a harsh shifting auto tranny. There isn't enough electricity to electronically shift the gears.

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Old 09-27-2005, 08:48 PM   #6
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Wrench Re: anti lock brake light just came on

Now that you mention it the shifting did seem a little harsh. So, should I replace the alternator then? Here is the deal as of now, I started the car and the abs did the self check and no light. I back up and drive forward, as soon as I turned the steering wheel a small clicking similar to the self check and there is the light. Can you do the paper clip code check and look in my hayes repair manual or should I take it somewhere? Or hands down is it the alternator. What does a Saturn dealer charge for this $50 my guess to test the code, but also my air bag light has been on for sometime and too lasy to pay to test that also.

thanks please lmk someone

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Old 09-28-2005, 08:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: anti lock brake light just came on

Can anybody help me with this or answer my questions please, before I go and spend $50 and have the mechanic say yep it's the alternator?


thanks

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Old 09-28-2005, 08:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: anti lock brake light just came on

I have yet figured out a way to pull ABS codes out of the computer. My dad's 91 Chevy was able to pull out ABS codes, but not my 94 Saturn.

Go Figure.

Did you try hooking a voltmeter up to the battery and measuring the voltage? If it is less then 14 volts at 2000 RPM, I would recommend a new alternator.

When it failed on me this summer, it never fully died, the alternator just wouldn't put out a lot of juice. Sometimes driving home at night, my dash lights would be bright, other times they would dim. Those times it dimmed, I just knew the ABS light would come on. I would hit the brakes and BOOM, the lil yellow Anti-lock light would pop on. DARN $@&*%@#. Twice, the voltage must of been soooo low that the red BRAKE light came on, even though two mechanics told me the brakes were fine. It got to the point that the car would occasionally leave me stranded with a no-start that I ponied up the money for a new alternator. I chose a Powermaster 140 amp job in powdercoated black. So far, so good (knocks on polymer).

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Old 09-28-2005, 10:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: anti lock brake light just came on

Many auto parts stores will check your battery and charging system for free.

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Old 09-29-2005, 11:53 AM   #10
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1993 SL2
Default Re: anti lock brake light just came on

Well, I took my 93 SL2 Saturn to batteries plus where they tested the alternator and battery (which is new), and he said they were fine. I noticed when he was checking the alternator, the light on the dash was not on yet until I backed out to leave. I went to the Saturn dealership to schedule an appointment and they mentioned a anti lock brake sensor, is there one and can a odb tester read that? I can go to autozone for free and find out. I don't feel like spending $50 to check the codes. How did the lady at the Saturn dealer figure it would take an hour to read the codes that is making the anti lock light come on and the air bag? BS

any ideas?

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Old 09-29-2005, 02:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: anti lock brake light just came on

There is a sensor at each wheel. In the front, they are near the axle shaft, pointing down at a spoked cog. In the rear, I believe it is integrated into the hub so you can only spot the sensor. You can check there to see if the wires are still attached.

I don't know of any way how to read the ABS codes. I think you need a special tool. Maybe AZ has it? As for the hour, that's the minimum charge for labor.

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