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Urgent! Failed Abs? Terrible Noise In 97 Es300


odessit
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Hello!

Need help rather urgently. My wife's 97 ES 300... even when you break at the parking lot makes quite a bit of a noise in the front end -- very similar to the usual noise made when ABS is engaged, but... quite a bit louder (abour 2-3 times louder). It was bad enough that she called and I had to pick her up. Left the car at her work.

It sounds to me like ABS problem (either sensor or the whole module). Did anybody have anything similar happening? Is there a way to disable ABS so I could drive the car to the dealership vs. towing it. Could this be something else?

Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Alex

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Did the ABS warning light come on, and also was the brakes making noise prior to this incident? What you can do to see if it is indeed the ABS causing the problem is to pull the ABS fuse. Pulling the fuse disables the ABS. Drive the car and see if it makes the noise with the ABS off. If it's still making noise, I'd look at the brake pads and rotor to see if it's really worn out looking or damaged.

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Haven't had this experience myself, but if the brake system has not been flushed regularly every 3 years with new fluid, that similar problems such as sticking caliper pistons could occur inside the ABS unit. Brake fluid absorbs water from the air and will rust the pistons in their sleeves, if the fluid is not replaced on schedule. The ABS system will be one of the least used systems on any car, and lack of use to free up its internal parts will just add to the problem. Safely activating the ABS once a month on wet roads helps to prevent the unit from seizing up as well. I'd sure try vcv10guy's suggestion, and if the ABS unit is toast, look for a used one (maybe a Camry unit is also a possiblity). Good Luck!

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Andrew,

Thanks for the quick reply.

ABS light does not come on, it just sounds like ABS. No prior noise either according to my wife (except for thunderstorm in January). It is pretty heavy rain in Milwaukee so I did not do much with the car at the moment.

I like the idea of pulling the ABS fuse (my brother had the same suggestion). Will try it tomorrow in the morning. The front brake pads and rotors were replaced a year ago, the rear are near life's end, but the noice is coming from the front.

Anything bad that can happened by pulling the ABS fuse? Besides of loosing ABS, of course...

Thanks for your help,

Alex

Did the ABS warning light come on, and also was the brakes making noise prior to this incident?  What you can do to see if it is indeed the ABS causing the problem is to pull the ABS fuse.  Pulling the fuse disables the ABS.  Drive the car and see if it makes the noise with the ABS off.  If it's still making noise, I'd look at the brake pads and rotor to see if it's really worn out looking or damaged.

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Update as of early am:

Could not pull the ABS fuse -- it is in the same compartment as the relays, right? Pulled the relays though (both motor and actuator, I believe) The ABS light is on and the Trac Off is blinking. Drove the car on the parking lot -- the noise is gone, there is a bit of noise while I am braking though...

The plan is to drive the car home, and have a dealer take a look tomorrow. Does anybody have a strong concern for driving with these relays removed? Personally, I would prefer driving without ABS, but this is the wife's car...

Regards,

Alex

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Seems that it is the ABS causing the problems. It's fine driving with it disabled, but of course avoid making panic stops. Let us know what the dealer says is wrong with it. In regards to what gbhrps said about the brake fluid and parts being stuck/rusted, I would have the fluid check for contamination. It could be very well likely something has been rusted up considering it's been raining a lot and like he said brake fluid absorbs water. There was another thread about another members ES having contaminated brake fluid and that it causing a caliper to seize. They were going to order a kit to have the fluid tested to find out what contaminated it. I'm not sure if the dealer has a kit to find out if the fluid is contaminated or not, but I'd have them check it for obvious contamination. Keep us posted and hopefully the fix won't be expensive.

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Seems that it is the ABS causing the problems.  It's fine driving with it disabled, but of course avoid making panic stops.  Let us know what the dealer says is wrong with it.  In regards to what gbhrps said about the brake fluid and parts being stuck/rusted, I would have the fluid check for contamination.  It could be very well likely something has been rusted up considering it's been raining a lot and like he said brake fluid absorbs water.  There was another thread about another members ES having contaminated brake fluid and that it causing a caliper to seize.  They were going to order a kit to have the fluid tested to find out what contaminated it.  I'm not sure if the dealer has a kit to find out if the fluid is contaminated or not, but I'd have them check it for obvious contamination.  Keep us posted and hopefully the fix won't be expensive.

he can make all the panic stops he wants, he just has to pump the brakes manually.

i personally cannot stand ABS. i hate it with a passion. i like pumping my brakes, i drove a contour for a few years with now ABS on ice (in alaska), and i didnt have a single problem.

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Seems that it is the ABS causing the problems.  It's fine driving with it disabled, but of course avoid making panic stops.  Let us know what the dealer says is wrong with it.  In regards to what gbhrps said about the brake fluid and parts being stuck/rusted, I would have the fluid check for contamination.  It could be very well likely something has been rusted up considering it's been raining a lot and like he said brake fluid absorbs water.  There was another thread about another members ES having contaminated brake fluid and that it causing a caliper to seize.  They were going to order a kit to have the fluid tested to find out what contaminated it.  I'm not sure if the dealer has a kit to find out if the fluid is contaminated or not, but I'd have them check it for obvious contamination.  Keep us posted and hopefully the fix won't be expensive.

he can make all the panic stops he wants, he just has to pump the brakes manually.

i personally cannot stand ABS. i hate it with a passion. i like pumping my brakes, i drove a contour for a few years with now ABS on ice (in alaska), and i didnt have a single problem.

Ya he can make all the panic stops he wants. I should have said take into an account that since you don't have ABS to brake more cautiously to avoid getting into a situation in which you would need to make a panic stop. Sorry my previous wording.

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For many people it is very hard to remember to pump your brakes and maneuver the car at the same time in a panic situation.

ABS eliminated the burden of remembering to pump you brakes accordingly while you try to steer around or by an obstacle.

steviej

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