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Discussion Starter #1
Afternoon Folks:

My 1997 Plymouth Grand Caravan 3.8L got a stuck caliper and ruined the pad :oops: ..so I changed both front axel's brake pads, calipers, and roters. In the process, I (obviously) had to add new brake fluid and bleed the front two brake lines.


Following the repairs my ABS or Brake Light now stays ON when the engine is running. I made sure that the brake fluid was up to the full mark and performed multiple "turn on, turn off" key sequences in an attempt to have the light go off. When that did not furn off the ABS light, I went to my local car parts shop and used their generic "Code Reader" to "Clear All Codes."

Still the light remains on. :angry2:

So now I have a couple of questions:

Is it possible the generic "Code Reader" did not read and/or reset my ABS light due to the fact that the "Code Reader" is such a low end device? NOTE: When I asked the "Code Reader" to pull all codes, it did not show any entries for the ABS system at all.

If I can get my hands on a higher end "Code Reader" which will allow me to read the ABS codes, will it tell me with any specifity why the light is on?

Lastly, having never dealt with a modern ABS equipped vehicle, I have no idea if: the ABS code stays on until it is cleared by a "Code Reader;" or turns itself of once the error/problem condition corrects itself.

Any ideas on what and/or how to repair the vehicle so that ABS light goes off?

Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated!

Poor Paul
 

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The generic code reader will only deal with engine codes. It may not even deal with transaxle codes.
It certainly won't deal with ABS, Airbag, Body or other vehicle module codes.
You can try disconnecting the battery for a moment, reconnect it and see if the ABS/BRAKE light is still on. If it is, then the ABS code may be an 'active' fault code and have to be read with an advanced scan tool to determine the next step.
If it goes off, then it may have been from the brake service and I wouldn't be too concerned with what the code was.
Does the brake pedal feel OK and does the vehicle stop OK?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick feedback.

The car brakes work fine. They are not spongy or anything..no squeal or other problems. I will try disconnecting the battery and see if the ABS comes back on.

I will let you know.l

I really appreciate your help with this!

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay, I briefly disconnected the battery...then reconnected it. ABS light is still on. Given that the run of the mill scan tools will not read the ABS codes...do I have to go to a dealer...or will one of the higher end (say snap on, etc.) tools that a regular auto repair shops read the codes?

Do you know if there is any special way that I needed to bleed the brakes on this year and model of van? Pretty much what I did is what I have always done with my old cars...I just used speed bleeders...opened the valve on one side...pumped the brakes a few more times after no air came out...closed the valve and then moved to the other axel. The brake reservoir has plenty of fluid..so I don't think that is it.

Regards,

Paul
 

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Recheck the m/cyl level and wiggle the m/cyl reservoir in case the fluid level float is stuck?
Any visible damage to the front axle ABS speed sensors, wiring or tone wheel teeth?
After a battery disconnect, the vehicle may have to be driven a short distance to extinguish the light.
Reset your clock.
 

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The Snap On MT2500 scanner I have reads the ABS codes so some shops other than the dealer can read the ABS codes.
 

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Did you have to remove the ABS wheel sensor when you were changing the axle and/or caliper? You might inspect the wiring and the sensors at each of the wheel wells to see if there is a damaged wire or dislocated sensor. Also take a look at the tone sensors on the replacement axles to insure that they are properly in-place (not cracked) and that the sensor face has just a little space to the tone wheel teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Luckily, on this vehicle you don't have to get near the speed sensors when you change out the brakes.

I pulled some info from another site and it indicates that there is a code that must be changed when the ABS brakes are bled. It is unclear if the code will auto reset if it is not changes using a "code reader." The other, somewhat confusing info from the other site was that it indicated that all 4 wheels must be bled even when you only remove one caliper.

Does anyone know specific info on how my vehicles brakes must be bled? When changing out the front two axels, I was very carful to make sure that there was plenty of brake fluid remaining in the reservoir while I worked. Maybe I don't understand modern ABS systems well enough...but I can't see how air could get into the rear two brake lines...as long as they werre filled with brake fluid througout the repair and brake bleed operation.

Suggestions?

P.S. Seeing as I will probably be doing a similiar brake job on my 2001 Chrysler T&C, is there any easy way to keep the ABS system from throwing a fault when I have to bleed the new calipers on this vehicle as well? I was thinking maybe I could keep the code from being set by simply pumping the brakes without turning on the engine. Do you think this strategy migh work?
 

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I think the info you read is misleading on the Chrysler system at least.
I've never had to bleed more than the offending wheel when changing components on ABS vehicles. The problem comes when air must be cycled through the ABS pump (such as a master cylinder replacement). This may require a scan tool to run the ABS pump enough to force all the air through it.

If the ABS light came right on as soon as you reconnected the battery I would suspect a hard fault, possibly wiring or the like. A hydraulic issue might not be evident to the ABS system until it runs the ABS check which is usually 10-15 seconds after start up. I know you're probably trying to avoid the cost of scanning the system for codes but it's probbaly worth it to have done.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, while waiting to go to the shop to have them take a look at the vehicle and turn off the ABS light, I simply drove it as usual for a couple of days. Lo and behold, after about 4 days the ABS light went off by itself...so, as of now, everything is fine.

Apparently, after a certain number of starts/stops and/or key turns or braking sequences, my model of ABS removes the fault as long as it has run a certain period of time without the fault returning. Interesting.

Thanks everyone!
 

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If the ABS doesn't see the fault reoccur after a good trip, it will become a stored fault instead of an active fault which will then extinguish the ABS/BRAKE warning lights.
The fault code will stay in memory for about 40 key cycles, if you are interested in finding out what happened during this time or for diagnostics if it returns.
 
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