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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2000 LHS and a recent ABS issue. I had the front brake lines replaced in the summer. The mechanic said he struggled to bleed the ABS module, but got it done.

Fast foward to now. I accelerated hard on a snowy road and the traction control engaged. Shortly after the ABS and traction control lights came on. When I turn the car off the lights reset and everything works again.

Couple things, first I tested the ABS, when I engage it on a snowy road the pedal becomes very mushy and there isn't much pulsating. As soon as I let go of the pedal it firms up and then the ABS and Trac. Control lights come on.

I noticed that when restarting the car, as I move forward, at one point the headlights will dim, usually when the door locks go and then the ABS light and traction control lights come in. This does not always happen.

Does this sound like there is air in the ABS system? Or is this just a sign the ABS pump and module have failed? Could it be a weak battery?
 

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I would do and verify these things before assuming ABS hardware issues:
• Brake fluid reservoir full of fluid?
• No electrical system issues?:
a. Battery not weak or experiencing intermittent internal shorts (they can fail that way) - if not sure, have it tested (testing doesn't generally catch the intermittent shorting problem), and if battery has some age on it or has been abused (fully drained more than a couple of times and/or left fully drained over a period of time), it may be worth it to replace it to rule it out (have a known-good battery handy to temporarily try?). (Of course non-abused and younger batteries can fail "for no reason".)
b. Disassemble, clean (with baking soda/water paste if needed, plus wire brush), apply light-to-moderate coating of grease to, and re-assemble all mating surfaces of battery posts and cable clamps.
c. Disassemble the positive jump post (3 cable terminals clamped together) and negative jump post (2 cable terminals) - sand, clean, and grease all mating surfaces, and reassemble (tight, not just snug). (Use two wrenches - one on each nut - when disassembling/assembling pos. jump post - otherwise the stud will just rotate rather than nuts loosening/tightening. Disconnect neg. jump post before putting wrench to pos. jump post nuts so you don't get huge emission of sparks when/if wrench touches nearby grounded metal.)
d. Inspect (and clean up with baking soda/water paste if needed) green fusible link near battery in alternator branch of positive battery cable to determine that it is not eaten up (thinned down and near breaking), repair/replace if necessary, thoroughly dry if cleaned with baking soda paste, and apply grease and re-cover.
e. Verify alternator is properly charging: Measure voltage at battery or jump posts with engine at or above 2000 rpm with moderate load (cabin blower on high speed) - should read between 13.5 and 14.5 - towards the higher end of that range at lower ambient temperature, towards lower end of that range at higher ambient.​
• Have the base brake system and ABS circuits bled - ABS to be bled using a DRB scan tool according to the procedure in the FSM page 5-68 (take it to a dealer if necessary).
• Doesn't sound like any fuse problems, but verify using ohmmeter rather than visual check (visual checks not reliable).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The battery is what I was thinking too. Mainly because my trunk was left ajar over a couple of days and it was like -10 to -15 degrees celsius. The battery was dead. I charged it up and the car started again, but its only since then that I noticed this new issue.

The only part that doesn't add up to me is the fact that the pedal goes to the floor when the ABS is trying to engage not sure what that would have to do with the battery.
 

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Low system voltage due to a bad battery can cause strange symptoms. Or - perhaps they are two unrelated problems. 🤷‍♂️

Let us know how it goes.

👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I had the battery tested, charged it up fully and the battery is good to go, as is the alternator. It saw some pretty tough tests this past week with temperatures over night in the -18 F and started without hesitation each time.

So I guess my next step is to get the system bled, which in the current weather isn't really in the cards for me. No idea what a garage or dealer would charge to do that with the scan tool.

I am tempted to get a BlueDriver scan tool and read the codes that are being thrown to at least get an idea. Or do you think that is a waste of money?
 
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