I have a 2001 Malibu LS with 135K miles with ABS problems. I have done some research and have found that the ABS sensors are part of the wheel bearings. The front two wheel bearings and spindles were replaced at about 90K miles.
The ABS problems started around 5K miles ago and would come on randomly while driving and you would hear them rumble for a second. It doesnt affect your driving at all besides the random noise. I put off fixing it and it slowly got worse and eventually got to the point that the light stays on all the time, but you never hear the rumble. Like this it isnt a big deal, so I left it alone because having ABS is not a must for me...just as long as I have brakes. It is now back to going on and off which alllows the rumble to randomly go on while driving. With my wife driving it I am concerned. The car isnt worth much anymore so I'm not going to put a bunch of money into it.
My question is - is there a simple and easy way to eliminate the ABS?
Look for a fuse or relay that serves as the master power source. If you still have the cover for each fuse block (the '08 and up have 3!) then somewhere on the cover or nearby there will be a legend for the fuses in that block. You can also see if Auto Zone or some other parts store can tell you where the relay is located (if it has one for that) and that should get you closer. Short of cutting wires and really screwing up the system that's the easiest way to disable it.
'11 LTZ, born Aug 2010, Fairfax, KS
V6/A6, Red Jewel Tintcoat / Cocoa-Cashmere, Sunroof
Mods: WeatherTech mats, CHMSL Pulser
Do you know a mechanic that has a GM Tech 2 or other high end scan tool that can access the non-powertrain diagnostics? The simple scanners that you can get at Sears, Autoparts Stores or that most non-dealer mechanics have cannot read the codes. If you can get the codes read I can help with some diagnostic procedures. The ABS DTC codes are the following:
The ABS system is not part of the base brake system but basically rides on top of the base brakes. If you have an intermittent I would suspect the problem is electrical and not associated with the wheel speed sensors although they cannot be ruled out. The first thing to do is to check the voltage and grounds at the EBCM and BPMV to make sure there are no corroded/loose connector pins or ground locations. You should also check the connectors and wiring from the wheel speed sensors to the EBCM.
When a DTC code is present the ABS shuts itself off. Since the problem seems to be intermittent probably the rumble you are hearing is the ABS system doing its self check each time the intermittent problem goes away.
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