ABS light comes on after ~ 30 minutes of driving - AcuraZine Community

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Old 07-20-2007, 4:13 PM   #1
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ABS light comes on after ~ 30 minutes of driving

Hi:

I own a 1996 Acura 3.5RL that has 115,000 miles on it. It has been a good car and it still drives very well but its mechanical reliability has been average at best (I maintain it pretty well and timing belt, waterpump etc. were all done at 100,000 miles.) The cars ABS system was replaced once under warranty and once again at ~80,000 miles (i complained to Acura and they split the cost with me but I was still out about $700.) At about 110,000 ABS light would not go out and as I started to drive traction control light would come on as soon as the car reached about 5-10 mph. The dealer diagnosed it as left rear wheel sensor. They wanted about $500 to replace it but my trusted mechanic replaced it for $300. Immediately after this the ABS light and traction control lights behaved as normal. But I started to notice that after ~30 minutes of driving the ABS light comes on. It does not matter if I am stopped at a traffic light or moving, but 30 minutes is not an exact number since I have failed (i admit) to get exact measurement. If the trip is less than 30 minutes everything seems to be OK.

I took it back to my mechanic but light was off and no codes came up for him. Before I go back to dealer for this interminable ABS issues does anyone have any comments/recommendations?

Still like the quiet and comfort of this car overall.

George.
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Old 07-20-2007, 4:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthaker
Hi:

I own a 1996 Acura 3.5RL that has 115,000 miles on it. It has been a good car and it still drives very well but its mechanical reliability has been average at best (I maintain it pretty well and timing belt, waterpump etc. were all done at 100,000 miles.) The cars ABS system was replaced once under warranty and once again at ~80,000 miles (i complained to Acura and they split the cost with me but I was still out about $700.) At about 110,000 ABS light would not go out and as I started to drive traction control light would come on as soon as the car reached about 5-10 mph. The dealer diagnosed it as left rear wheel sensor. They wanted about $500 to replace it but my trusted mechanic replaced it for $300. Immediately after this the ABS light and traction control lights behaved as normal. But I started to notice that after ~30 minutes of driving the ABS light comes on. It does not matter if I am stopped at a traffic light or moving, but 30 minutes is not an exact number since I have failed (i admit) to get exact measurement. If the trip is less than 30 minutes everything seems to be OK.

I took it back to my mechanic but light was off and no codes came up for him. Before I go back to dealer for this interminable ABS issues does anyone have any comments/recommendations?

Still like the quiet and comfort of this car overall.

George.

I too have a 96 RL and the ABS light came on for me at about 120K miles. If I restarted the car, the light would stay off for a while and after about 20-30 minutes of driving, it would come on again. It was a leaky ABS modulator/accumulator. The problem with the early generation ABS systems (like ours) is that it uses a separate reservoir of brake fluid and when your car is on, it pressurized the fluid in the acculumator to 2000+ psi and maintains that on standby to modulate your brakes if needed. As you can imagine, anything pumped up to 2000+ psi over and over is bound to leak and that's what happens. The dealer wanted close to $2K to replace both parts... it looked fairly simple to me, so I just bought the parts online for $700 and did it myself. My car is now at 175K miles and I haven't had the issue since. I just never trust those guys to do anything right!

Just FYI... the 1999 and up RLs (after the mid-model change) use the newer low pressure ABS system without a separate reservoir. Those are MUCH more reliable.
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Old 07-20-2007, 4:53 PM   #3
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If possible can you tell me the exact parts you replaced if if this requires any specialized tools? Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2007, 5:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthaker
If possible can you tell me the exact parts you replaced if if this requires any specialized tools? Thanks.
The two parts I replaced are the ABS Modulator and Accumulator. The modulator is the unit responsibile for "pumping" the brakes for you. Attached to it is the Accumulator, which is a metal cylinder which holds the high pressure fluid on standby when your car is on.

You don't need any special tools. The only thing you need to know is that you have to open up the brake lines to replace the modulator, so it helps to have Flare Nut wrenches and then afterwards, you need to refill your brake fluid and bleed your brakes.

Also please realize that you are working on the braking system of your car. Since this is probably the MOST IMPORTANT system of your vehicle (since your life could depend on it), make sure you feel comfortable working on your vehicle before attempting this. A few bucks saved is not worth it if it puts your life in jeopardy.
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Old 07-20-2007, 5:51 PM
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1996, 30, 30mins, abs, acura, anti, car, driving, fter, light, lock, minutes, modulator, replaced, tl

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