ABS Light can not be diagnosed by my local mechanic

Asked by Feb 23, 2012 at 02:23 PM about the 1998 Volkswagen Passat 4 Dr GLS 1.8T Turbo Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My brakes lines and pads have recently been replaced. The ABS light has been
flickering and is now on constantly.  Any ideas?  My local garage cant find the
problem. Any common causes/solutions that I might be able to use?

5 Answers

215

I was recently researching this issue (as it pertains to Audi A6 models) and came across many postings online regarding the ABS system. The majority of the replies I read pointed to an electrical connection issue with the plug that is on the ABS module itself. One DIY'er posted that on his cars' system, the connecting pins within the union plug and the ABS module had corroded, and some pins had corroded away completely. This is an easy thing to check, and many mechanics, if not all, do not address ABS issues with this in mind. I would recommend unplugging the connector on the ABS module in the engine compartment, inspect the pins on the plug and the module for corrosion. If you find corrosion, you may have discovered your issue. It is also possible that the surface contact of these metal pins has become 'resistant' to contacting as designed. So unplugging and reconnecting may also benefit your cause. After reconnecting the plug to module you will need to run your car for a 'cycle' of the diagnostic computer before you will know if this has fixed the issue. Good luck.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
385

It can't be diagnosed because it's a VW. Which isn't a bad thing at all (they make excellent cars). It means that a VW technician has to use their exclusive diagnostic computer. VW rakes in revenue by making their vehicles (with a complicated problem) serviceable through VW dealers only. But bobs_ur_uncle is more than likely right.

Connectivity could be just the answer...I will check it out and let you know how it turned out. I appreciate the help in this as it is starting to bother my "better half"

30

I just fixed my car which had not only the orange abs light on, but also the red break light right next to it. I took it to the vw dealer because no other place could figure out what was wrong. the dealer wanted $2000 to fix the abs module which was roughly broken into $1500 parts, $500 labor. I declined and had my abs module rebuilt instead. I sent it to cheapabs.com instead, they rebuilt it for $100 and I did all the labor (which was pretty easy on my passat 1999). l

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
750

ABS units are very expensive to replace and many people just disconnect the wiring harness when they start acting-up, reverting the vehicle to older vehicle style braking. Too bad dealerships are always trying to cheat people like this, but great move on your part there Rick0000. You did exactly what I'd do if I had to replace it, otherwise I'd just disconnect it completely as I've done in the past.

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