Now I have to defer to my Chrysler experience but even then I didn't work on their systems very often. Pulling a connector, as you found out, is detected as an open electrical circuit during the six-second self-test when you turn on the ignition switch. All you can be sure of when the warning lights do not turn on right after that self test is the electrical circuit has continuity. If the air gap is wrong, the tone ring is cracked or missing, or there's a problem with the sensor's magnetic core, that won't be detected until the van is moving and the computer sees the signals from the other sensors.
Here is where I see a potential problem. On some vehicles the ABS computer can only store one diagnostic fault code. There might be one in your computer now from the first time the warning light turned on. On some of those older systems the codes do not self erase after a certain period of time if the problem doesn't return. They have to be erased with a scanner, and until it is, the computer can't set a new code when necessary. The frustrating part of this system is that when the first problem is corrected and the code is erased, the computer is able to set the next code and turn the warning light on again. Now you have what appears to be a new problem and it's often blamed on the mechanic who performed the first repair. That can go on and on if there are multiple problems. This rarely happens when you take the vehicle in right after the light comes on because that second or third problem hasn't had time to develop yet. It happens more often when people ignore the warning light for months or years.
More advanced computers can store multiple codes. Being a three-channel system, I suspect this pertains to your van. The thing to be aware of is there is always a set of conditions that must be met for a code to set. One of those conditions is that certain other codes are NOT in memory already. As an example, the computer will not set a code for mismatched wheel speeds if there is already a code for loss of signal from one sensor. It knows it has no reliable signal to compare to so it won't set that code. Likewise, you are going to have three codes related to open circuits to the sensors you unplugged. Even though the light is off now, those codes are still in memory. I don't know what will happen with any new problems that are detected. They might be recorded when everything else is working, or they might be ignored because of the existing stored codes.
The place to start, if you have access to a scanner, is to read and record all of the stored codes, then erase them and drive it until the light comes back on, then read them again. If you come up with a list of codes, you should be able to figure out which ones were set from unplugging sensors. Those can be ignored.
Another thing to consider, which I would never recommend for 2002 and newer vehicles, is to disconnect the battery cable for a minute to try to erase the codes. Some vehicles can not have their codes erased that way. Even unplugging the computer will still keep the codes stored. Those must be erased with a scanner. If yours DO erase, there will only be the one current code if you drive it until the light comes back on.
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 AT 2:36 AM