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Old 08-26-2008, 02:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ABS Relay gone bad - Help w/ suggestions?

Hey, quick question... my ABS relay went bad, the idiot light went on and this annoying whirring noise up behind the passenger side headlight was going steady in my car... 95' SL.

I'm pulling the relay fuse to kill the noise and to keep my car from getting worse damage, but simple question...

Will simply replacing teh relay / fuse fix the problem, or is this just an indicator of worse things happening that will be expensive to fix? Im not sure what else to do besides pull the fuse, but that's a temporary fix.

Any suggestions on what to do?
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: ABS Relay gone bad - Help w/ suggestions?

No it's simply an electrical contact in the relay that is sticking. Any other ABS failures in the future won't be related- unless perhaps you allow the ABS hydraulic unit to continually pump because of this frozen relay. The same has happened to my 92VR4. I simply replaced the relay and haven't had any problems since.

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Old 08-26-2008, 04:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: ABS Relay gone bad - Help w/ suggestions?

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No it's simply an electrical contact in the relay that is sticking. Any other ABS failures in the future won't be related- unless perhaps you allow the ABS hydraulic unit to continually pump because of this frozen relay. The same has happened to my 92VR4. I simply replaced the relay and haven't had any problems since.

JJ

Whew, that's good news! I was worried after reading other posts here that it was the whole ABS system and was going to cost a couple grand to fix.

So its just replacement of that 60A fuse in the fusebox, or is the relay a separate piece? I can't find my GT Diagostic CD to figure that out yet.

Thank you for your reply!
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: ABS Relay gone bad - Help w/ suggestions?

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Whew, that's good news! I was worried after reading other posts here that it was the whole ABS system and was going to cost a couple grand to fix.

So its just replacement of that 60A fuse in the fusebox, or is the relay a separate piece? I can't find my GT Diagostic CD to figure that out yet.

Thank you for your reply!

Its simple- but not quite that simple. Theres a 40A ABS Motor Relay UNDER the abs unit. It is accessable from the passenger side fenderwell. Remove whatever plastic screw rivets are required to move the inner fender liner splash shield out of your way and you can reach behind there to access it. There are 2 relays back there. 1 is the control relay- the other is the Motor relay. You need to replace the motor relay (which is the more expensive of the 2 by far). I forget which one is which as far as location under the ABS unit- though i believe it is the one closest to the wheel.
Everytime you start your engine and take off, your ABS system does a self check once you hit approx 5 MPH. During this self test, the ABS Hydraulic unit is cycled on and off (you can hear it to this from inside the car) by means of the motor relay. When this relay sticks- the pump motor continues to run even though the command from this self check has stopped. To stop the pump motor from running- you either pull out the failed relay, or remove the ABS fuse from the fuse box.
To determine which relay you need- you can prepare the splash shield so that you can access the relays one at a time. Reinstall the ABS fuse so that the HU starts to pump again, then reach underneath and pull out the relays one at a time. If the 1st one doesn't stop the motor, reinstall it and pull out the second which should stop the pump. That would be the relay you need to replace.

Note: the Motor relay is roughly $180 not including the shipping. I had sourced an aftermarket 40A relay when my OEM relay failed (that ive been using on my VR4 for years) that i will sell you for much less than that. I needed to buy several relays for them to sell it to me since i am not a distributor. I have many of them. If you are intested- contact me via PM.

JJ
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: ABS Relay gone bad - Help w/ suggestions?

I had the same problem. I left the fuse unplugged for about a month and the problem ended up going away on it's own. Then a few days later it happened again, so I took a screw driver and was tapping the ABS unit and it went away again... never to come back.. lol. So that might be worth a try
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: ABS Relay gone bad - Help w/ suggestions?

i am having the same problem with my 1995 subaru legacy. i have to unplug the battery every time to turn my car off because the ABS sensor will wear down the battery if i dont. Where is the relay fuse? can i just unplug it. I know where the box is (under my stearing wheel?) but which one do i unplug?
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: ABS Relay gone bad - Help w/ suggestions?

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Originally Posted by shanleigh4213 View Post
i am having the same problem with my 1995 subaru legacy. i have to unplug the battery every time to turn my car off because the ABS sensor will wear down the battery if i dont. Where is the relay fuse? can i just unplug it. I know where the box is (under my stearing wheel?) but which one do i unplug?
Perhaps you should consider posting this question in an actual Suburu forum? Anything from here would likely be a guess.

JJ
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: ABS Relay gone bad - Help w/ suggestions?

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Originally Posted by Joel_CA View Post
Note: the Motor relay is roughly $180 not including the shipping. I had sourced an aftermarket 40A relay when my OEM relay failed (that ive been using on my VR4 for years) that i will sell you for much less than that. I needed to buy several relays for them to sell it to me since i am not a distributor. I have many of them. If you are intested- contact me via PM.

JJ
Thanks! That helps a lot, and I'll wait till friday's paycheck and then I might contact you about that part.

One quick question... I pulled the main ABS fuse (60A) in the fuse cluster at the front of the passenger side engine... that disables the ABS system, yes? That means I can drive the car w/o ABS until I can replace the defunct fuses?

Also, will the idiot light stay on? I pulled the fuse, started it up, but the idiot light was still on and I didn't want to drive it yet incase I missed something... I think it should be safe for a week or so until I can fix it properly, but I figured I'd ask just in case from those of you who know the answer

Thanks so much! This forum rocks, y'all are great help.

KK
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