The Dreaded ABS INOP light!!! - LS1LT1 Forum : LT1, LS1, Camaro, Firebird, Trans Am, Engine Tech Forums

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation The Dreaded ABS INOP light!!!

DON'T BEAT ME TO DEATH I AM NEW TO THE FBODY AND THE FORUM
I have long battled the ABS INOP light in my 97 firebird formula. Sometimes i would start it and the light would be on, other times it would be off. Sometimes it could be reset by turning the car off and then back on, sometimes not. Sometimes it would be just the ABS INOP light, but sometimes the "brake" and "low trac" lights would be blinking rapidly to a steady burning "abs inop." So what could the problem be considering i had it to three different dealerships for a total of five times and i left disappointed everytime? I was told everything from the rear reluctor ring/sensor, to the $975 ABS pump and module to the front hub sensors. they made these assumptions with the techII not being able to communicate with my ABS module, which was an odd symptom because it could not communicate whether the ABS INOP light was on or off. So with a little pull and play with the fuses and relays i found it to be a relay. The ABS relay (White with ABS IV markings). So after months of heartache the problem was solved by me buying a generic relay (not the $34.99 relay the dealer tried to sell me) that is the same one that you can pick up at any autozone for $4 that is commonly used with your foglight wiring harnesses. If you pay enough attention the wiring schematics and input load and passthrough loads are all the same as the OEM relay thats much more expensive. It was like magic, when i had my buddy hook his techII up he suddenly could communicate with the module. Wow and the dealership was willing to charge me almost a $1000 for an abs pump b/c from what they say "the install is not possible without the techII to bleed the valvebody." $4 vs. $1000...i would take $4. Just thought i would save hopefully a person or two the trouble.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 02:43 AM
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Thanks for the info. Although, if mine ever fails I'll probably just get rid of the ABS since I never seem to use it. If a $4 relay will fix it I'll do that but if the expensive parts go the ABS delete kits are really cheap.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 05:55 AM
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Good info.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citationdoc View Post
Thanks for the info. Although, if mine ever fails I'll probably just get rid of the ABS since I never seem to use it. If a $4 relay will fix it I'll do that but if the expensive parts go the ABS delete kits are really cheap.
How do you not use it?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by =Tac= View Post
How do you not use it?
If the ABS engages it's because you hit the brakes to hard, most likely out of an extreme reflex action in an emergency situation.

Yes, it's the opti.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 01:13 PM
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The only time I ever had it engage in my firebird was when I drove it in the snow. ABS works well in rain, the rear wheels in my truck use it alot in heavy rain if I'm playing. Whenever I had it kick in in the snow it seemed like it took much longer to stop than if I had gone easy on the brakes and kept them for the point of locking up. Since my car only sees dry pavement and occasional wet pavement, it never kicks in. 315 wide tres help, too.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
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If the ABS engages it's because you hit the brakes to hard, most likely out of an extreme reflex action in an emergency situation.

True, but the abs can come in very handy at times. I was really trying to say why would you want to get rid of it. Most of them can pump the brakes around 10 times per second, most people can barely pump it more than twice. And wouldnt you want to have brakes us in emergencies
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:15 AM
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You may have just solved the last of my Dashboard lights. Where is that little sucker up behind the fuse panel?

I was just gonna let it be, as I don't use the abs here.

Good timing. Need to replace the turn signal relay as well.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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the relay is actually located under the hood in the relay/power distribution box that is located on the DS in very close relation to the ABS pump. That is my car though, not sure what you have so i cant tell you.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 09:09 PM
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I've got a 94 V6 Camaro that I'm fixing up for a project. It's had the BRAKE light on since I bought it ( one of the things I knew I was gonna have to fix ). While fixing some other unrelated things, the AIR BAG light came on. Later, I had the third brake light unhooked because I had the spoiler off the car to paint it and started the car with it not hooked up. Now the ABS INOP light is on. One forum suggested the brake light can come on as well as the ABS light if that light is unhooked. Won't explain the BRAKE light though since it's been on a while. Another forum someone suggested the main ground isn't making a good connection. It causes a real 4th of July show on the dash lights. The OP of that thread took it all apart, cleaned the ground, and all the lights went off. I'm leaning towards that solution at the moment. I scrolled through the search results on google until I found the first ls1lt1 search result. This thread. Now at least I know what to check if the grounding isn't the issue.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 01:19 AM
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I think if one of your tail lights goes out (inc 3rd) the ABS lights up.

The brake light is for the handbrake and there is a microswitch under the center console on the handbrake which earths the brake light.
I don't think that connects through anything else.

ABS system might be scanable by Gary Dougs Scan9495 program.
It would list all previous fault codes on ABS.

I wrote something to scan my 95LT1 years ago.
I pulled plugs off the wheel sensors & WD40's them.
It's worked OK for 10 years.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terminal_crazy View Post
I think if one of your tail lights goes out (inc 3rd) the ABS lights up.
Yeah, I figure the unhooked brake light made it come on. I hooked it back up, but the light stayed on. Even after shutting it off and starting again. Maybe I should hit the brake pedal so the system can verify it's working again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by terminal_crazy View Post
The brake light is for the handbrake and there is a microswitch under the center console on the handbrake which earths the brake light.
I don't think that connects through anything else.
That's what I thought too, but in my searching on this subject, I saw a lot of people saying other things ( like uneven brake pressure in the front and rear ) can set it off too. Considering the car had a soft brake pedal and only the front was working when I bought it, I figured that would have something to do with it. I've fixed the brakes though. I replaced the master cylinder which put pressure to the rear wheels for the first time. That's when I found the leaking wheel cylinder. Replaced both of those, and bled the brakes. Pedal was still soft. Ended up flushing the lines which got all the air out and good new fluid. Now the brakes work great, but the light is still on. So what I read seems plausible, but it should have went off. Unless there's an issue with the ground that's causing all the lights to come on, I guess that switch is all that's left. So if fixing that makes it go off, I still won't have confirmation if the other brake issues also caused it.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 08:48 PM
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ABS INOP light went off when I hooked the brake light back up. I'll start a new thread for the "Brake" light.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 12:20 PM
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The ABS is strange [on mine anyway] had the car about 5 years and its been fine, however I took it for its yearly roadworthiness test last year and it passed with flying colours.
On the way home [a few hundred yards] and the ABS light came on, turned out the hard brake test on the rolling road might have been the straw that broke the camels back.
I tried the usual, unhook battery, bled all the brakes, tested the ABS sensors, and everything checked out ok.
I got one shipped over for about $50 secondhand [ a bargain imo] fitted it and all working fine.


Last edited by 94Trans-Am; 06-05-2017 at 12:23 PM.
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