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GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), Pontiac Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 27664
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 11 years experience.
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1998 pontiac transport - ABS & parking brake lights stay on.

Customer Question

1998 pontiac transport - ABS & parking brake lights stay on. checked fuses, no computer codes, checked all fluid levels (power steering, auto transmission, engine oil, brake fluid), brakes seem to work okay, my wife said she ran through some water and she heard a noice like a belt and the lights came on
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

Welcome. What are you using to check for the codes?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Actron OBD II scanner

Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
OK. That scanner is only good for emissions codes. You'll need either an ABS scanner or a full scan tool to get ABS codes. The usual problem is the speed sensor or wiring harness to the speed sensor for the front wheels.
GM Tech (Cam), Pontiac Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 27664
Experience: GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 11 years experience.
GM Tech (Cam) and 7 other Pontiac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Wouldn't the scanner provide some sort of code to the computer that I can read with my scanner?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

NO, the scanner you have is very specific to read only emission codes. This means only codes that would turn the check engine light on.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Not sure what happened? I was still asking questions and it appeared that I had accepted your answer. Don't we have some sort of dialog or all I get is one answer?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

I will continue to answer your follow up questions about this ABS light issue.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Will not the OBD II scanner have some code for an ABS failure?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
No, OBDII is for the engine and emission codes. IT will not read ABS or air bag codes. YOu need to use a scanner specific to ABS or a full scan tool.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What does it mean when both the ABS & the emergency brake light are both lite?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

It simply means there is an ABS fault. Both lights will go out when the issue is corrected.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So what you are teeling me is that someone with ABS testing scanner will have to tell me what the problem is. Are there some common faults that I can check first? Can I check for the continutity of the ABS sensor in the wheel bearing? Maybe where a wire might be loose? etc.?

Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
Yes, that is the case. The common issue us the wiring to the sensor or the sensor itself in the front. You can measure resistance. It should be(NNN) NNN-NNNNohms.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the help. I will check the resistance. Is the ABS module located on top of the master cylinder? Asking so I would know what wires to check for continuity if the snesors check out okay. If not on top of the master cyclinder, where will the wires from the wheel sensors connect. Are the wire colors different from the left and right front sensors? Do you know the colors? Do you have a wiring diagram of the circuit?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

I honestly think the issue is one of the sensors or the harness from the body to the sensor. The module is not common on these for failing.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What do you mean when you say, "the harness from the body to the sensor"?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
There is a pair of wires in conduit that run from the van along the suspension to the harness. THat section of wiring usually around the lower ball joint is the issue.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So the pair of wires from the sensor are routed with conduit and connect to the main harness somewhere. So I simple need to follow the wires from the ABS sensor in the wheel bearing to where they are connected to the main electrical harness. Does the main electrical harness run down the driver or passenger side of the vehicle?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
The harness runs around the front of the vehicle on this one. Also check the rear harness. If you drive gravel, they can become disconnected.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Do the e-mails I keep getting cover all the questions I have been asking & the answers you provided. Once I end this session, I will be able to view our conversation through the link in the body of the e-mail?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

You will be able to read our discussion at any time.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Not sure what you mean by the harness runs around the front of the vehicle? Somehow, the rear electrical devices must get power. Just trying to get a good handle on how to trace the wires from the ABS sensors (front & rear axles) forward to the ABS module as I attack this issue tomorrow. Any additional suggestions and things I may want to consider for this task?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
Ok, simply find the wires that go to each wheel and follow them.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for all your help. Simply following the wires is the only real solution. I am guilty of being an engineer who likes to have answers before starting a project. Hope you had a nice holiday!
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

Follow the wires is the simple part. Another thought just hit me, the wiring to the right rear goes above the muffler and it could have fallen down. A good visual inspection is where to start. I will be around tomorrow so reply if you need.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can I contact you through a link in the e-mails I am getting? This is the first time I have used an internet question & answer session. I does seem like a good way to get answers when you are not sure of the next step when trouble shooting problems.

Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
Sorry for the delay, I had to put my kids to bed. You can simply reply to this post when you need more information on this issue.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No problem I remember those days. My baby is now 15 and they grow up too fast. Enjoy them while you can. I know everyone probably tells you this, but that is because it is so true. My oldest graduates from the university next semester. The Lord blessed me with four great kids.

 

Talk to you tomorrow. I will let you know the problem when I find it so we will complete this circle.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I checked the continuity of all four ABS sensors and were all around 1000 ohms. I checked the continuity from where the rear ABS harnesses go into the plug under the bottom of the floor on the drivers side. Are there two pins that a can short out on the ABD II that can allow me to read the ABS codes form the computer?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
No, the vehicle built after 1995 do not allow for flash codes. I suspect the wires at the pivot point of the front.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Not sure what you mean "wires at the pivot point of the front". Please explain?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
The wires run along the lower control arm to the front wheel speed sensors. At the lower ball joint area is the pivot point of the front suspension and the wires are known for breaking there.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I will check these wires for a break this weekend. It is dark by the time I get home. Thanks
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It finally got warm enough to work on the van. I checked the continuity of the jumper wire from the ABS speed sensor in the front wheels (checked from the pigtail going into the main harness through the speed sensor) and it was good. What would be your next suggestion
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
Next check the rear harnesses. If possible, I suggest getting it scanned so we know which wheel is the issue.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have already checked the rear harnesses. I pulled the connection from under the car, under the drivers seat, and check for continuity. Got about 1000 ohms on both harensses. All front & rear speed sensors check out okay.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.
Ok, then the next logical step is to get the code as you have checked all the visual and even the easier testing.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay. I guess I will have to take it into the shop to read the codes. I have done all I can without the proper testing equipment. Thanks for your help. I guess a backyard mechanic can only do so much these days. Cars use to be so much simplier. The newer the car, the more complex they seem to get.
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

The newer ones have upwards of 30 modules, so the number of codes is insane and they are also making the codes alpha-numeric as well, like Pa12B and the new scan tools are a laptop with interface.

Yes, you can be sure that we did all we could with out a scan tool.

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