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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4818
Experience:  30+ Yrs of auto experience, Award Winning Svc. Manager; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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I have a 1999 V6 Toyota Camry LE with 102K miles.

Customer Question

Hello - I have a 1999 V6 Toyota Camry LE with 102K miles. It has Traction Lock and an ABS problem. When the car starts, the ABS and TRACK lights extinguish, but will return after driving the car for a bit. Sometimes, it takes only 300 yards, but other times the car will go for 5 miles or more.
I pulled the failure codes from the ABS computer and got a 21, 22 and 33. After I replaced the right rear wheel sensor and cleared the other codes, the system still fails with just the 21 and 22 codes. I don't know if this makes any difference, but the TRACK light is flashing a 43 code.
This car appears to have the Nippo-denso ABS system.
Could you please give me some pointers on what's likely to be wrong? Could it be a fuse or a bad relay? It seems odd that the solenoids on the front of the car are failing. Where the frig are these solenoids located?? The car was just inspected and passed.
Joe Burch
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 2 years ago.
Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you.
This sounds very much like the device that the wheel speed sensor 'reads' has a problem. There are several common terms for this unit, we cal it the tone ring in this area.
As the wheel spins, the tone rings spins at the same speed. The ABS wheel speed sensor measures the spinning of the tone ring (thru the 'hall effect'; the sensor is basically a magnet that reads the fluctuations between the teeth of the tone ring)...
I would recommned that the wheel be reomoved and the right rear wheel tone ring be closely inspected. You will probably find it to be cracked, rusted, or otherwise compromised form proper operation.
Interestingly enough, I had this exact same issue on my personal Camry after the techs replaced my rear brake rotors. It seems that when they beat the old rotors off, they broke the tone ring form its holder. I had the exact same issue...the light went out, then came on at different intervals.
Again, I would have the tone rings inspected very closely. Replace if anything is found to be incorrect.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reply
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I had just replaced the right wheel sensor and this failure code went away. This was very fast and easy. However, I still have the 21 and 22 failures. This is the Nippondenso ABS unit. Where do I find the solenoids for the front right and left?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Could this be a blown fuse? If so, where might it be?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 2 years ago.
There are no "solenoids" for the right and left. All 4 wheels have the same sensor design.
If the fuse was blown, the ABS lights would not illuminate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
All I can tell you is what I read in the Haynes service manual under codes. Code 21 - problem is in the right front wheel solenoid circuit - check the actuator circuit.Since this is the older Nippondenso unit (car has track lock), the solenoid circuits are supposed to be located in a different place, and not integral to the actuator as is done in the Bosch unit. My question is (and has been) - - where in the bloody blue blazes are the solenoids located in the Nippondenso system so that I can examine them. I know about he wheel sensors. I've replaced one and checked the others out.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 2 years ago.
The actuators for the ABS system are located in the engine compartment. Passenger side. Behind the passenger side headlamp
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks - I've seen the box with the 2 connectors on the front and the brake lines. My question is where are the SOLENOIDS to which the service manual refers? It says that I have to check them for either opens or shorts.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 2 years ago.
Inside the box. There are 8 solenoids in this box. They are not serviceable separately. If if an actuator sub-unit is indeed bad (which is rare, by the way, we have never changed an actuator assembly in the shop), you replace the entire unit. I would be more interested in looking at the wire connections.
The right and left front actuator wire colours are:
Power into the motor unit is another White/Red
Ground is White/Black
Actuator power is from the ABS relay into the White/Blue wire.
The ABS computer applies a ground to activate the actuator
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello - here's some more data that might be of interest to you. First of all, I disconnected the battery cable and cleaned the 2 connectors on the Nippon-denso distribution box behind the passenger headlamp, and then I took the car for a morning 30 mile ride - no failures whatsoever. So, I thought I had it. The same day - but in the afternoon when I had the A/C on because it was hotter, the ABS failed fairly often, sometimes when just going straight. Huh?

Today, I measured the car's voltage (via the aux power plug) to see if I could relate a dip in the voltage with the ABS failure - Nope!

This afternoon, I took the car for another long ride with the A/C off - Perfect! Shortly after I switched the A/C on - another failure!

Taking it one step further, I tried driving the car with the A/C off and just the blower on and this produced another series of random, intermittent failures, almost immediately.

So - here's what I think might be happening: The car has 102K on it and during that time either the A/C or the heater was on which means that the blower motor was running, right? While the motor is producing no audible signs of mechanical duress, I noticed that it does drop the system voltage about a volt when it's running, so it does suck up some current.

The blower motor is a DC unit that has - I would assume - brushes within it, and after 102K miles these brushes may be quite worn.. It's within the realm of possibility that this motor is producing pulse interference (i.e. sparking) on the 12 volt like that feeds it which is also in close proximity to the ABS controller, causing the ABS controller to produce a false diagnostic code.. That's my hypothesis anyway.

So, I'll be ordering a new motor to see if this makes things better, and will keep you posted. I don't have the enthusiasm to run the car with my scope hooked to the running motor. If this works, it's just an academic solution which I'll share with the local dealerships. If not, I'll just keep looking.

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 2 years ago.
Well thought out.
I would also recommend you check the actual voltage output of the alternator when you have the AC off, and then on. Look for strange low voltages. Nominal alternator output is 14.4 volts DC. If you have a drop in voltage with the AC on (the voltage regulator inside the alternator is not responding fast enough), you will get bizarre problems, ABS included.
If you see a pretty noticeable drop in VDC, I would replace the alternator (not uncommon at 102K miles)
Thanks for the update.