1997 Chevy Malibu ABS light came on, doesn't appear to work

Tiny
THEPASSIONOFCHAD
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET MALIBU
Brakes problem
1997 Chevy Malibu 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic

One morning my check engine light, ABS light, and Brake light came on and stayed on. After taking it to a Monroe Muffler and brake service they informed me that their computer could not read the ABS, so they recommended I take it to an Advanced Auto store to see if their computer would read it; they also recommended I take it to a dealer. The auto store's scanner couldn't read the ABS either, so they recommended that I take it out on a back road and check to see if the ABS still worked.

I went on a back road and slammed on the brakes going about 25-30mph and the ABS didn't appear to work. No vibration or jerking. Both Monroe and Advanced said it could be low brake fluid or a broken sensor, but this was before I found out the ABS didn't even work. All in all I'm not wanting to take it to a dealer just yet, since the car isn't worth extensive repairs if needed.

What should be my next move in attempting to diagnose the problem? Is the car safe to drive short distances below 45mph?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 AT 9:29 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Any local repair shop with a scanner and not and OBDII reader
can access the ABS code for you
OBDII reader will NOT communicate with the ABS module
most places will charge 40 to 75 $$ to pull the codes
most common is a front wheel bearing
check the wire plug at the sensor by the bearing
good luck
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 AT 9:40 PM
Tiny
THEPASSIONOFCHAD
  • MEMBER
I took the car to a local garage, and they hooked it up to their scanner; unfortunately, their computer didn't get a response. I was told this could be due to bad wiring, or a bad module. They said it could take any where from 1-5 hours or more to locate the problem, costing me $50-$250; even once the communication problem is sorted out there may be even more problems with the ABS, potentially costing me $500 or more in repairs.

My stepdad recommended taking it to a dealer to see if they could tell me whats wrong with it, but I feel that I they could only tell me what I've heard from the other garage.

Is it worth it to check the speed sensors in the wheel hubs for damage before having a garage tear into the ABS system looking for electrical problems? If a speed sensor was broke, world there be visible damage or is relying on the computer the only way to determine if there is something wrong with one of them?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, July 6th, 2009 AT 1:56 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Check wheel bearings for wear or damage causing wheels to wobble.
Check all ABS/TCS wiring harness connectors for proper engagement, loose wires or terminals and/or corrosion. Check harness routing; pay particular attention to wheel speed sensor wiring harness routing
check fuses
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Monday, July 6th, 2009 AT 9:48 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides