1996 Honda Accord



December, 18, 2008 AT 12:52 AM

Brakes problem
1996 Honda Accord 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 109000 miles

Normally the antilock system brake light when car starts lights for a short time and turns off. This, I know is normal. Recently, after about a minute or so with the light off, even when the car is parked and running, the light turns on again and stays on. I noticed that I heard one single click sounding when the light first popped on and stayed on. After some searching, I located the single click coming from the ABS Pump Motor Relay located in the ABS " black box" along side with several fuses. I am 100% sure the click is coming from the relay when the light pops on.

Two questions: 1) Could the click indicate that the ABS pump motor relay is dead and needs replacing. Perhaps this is why the light comes on? Or, is the relay doing something that it is intended to do if another part is failing? Sorry. My ignorance about what a relay is meant to do. Should I replace the relay?
2) Can we use the car if the ABS light is on, until I find the cause? The brakes are still working normally. Correct?

Thanks for any info you can give.


2 Answers



December, 18, 2008 AT 1:07 AM

Sounds like the relay is failing. You can test it by swapping it out with another relay of same size. If it still clicks then there is something else in the ABS wrong. If the ABS warning light is on then you can have the vehicle scanned with a diagnostic scanner. This will help pinpoint if it is a switch, relay, leak, and other issues that can be tricky to find.

Yes, you can still drive the vehicle and the brake system will still work fine. The anti-lock/traction control is the only thing that may or may not work, so please keep this in mind while driving. Without the ABS, your vehicle will skid much further during extreme quick braking if needed to prevent accident.


Bruce Hunt

December, 18, 2008 AT 11:39 AM

ABS was an optional feature on the car of that vintage and there are an awful lot of the them running around without ABS. Not a big issue.

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