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DIY- ABS Sensor Cleaning

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by vIjAy_kHaSa, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    From last few thousand kms ABS used to kick in on plain smooth roads even when the wheels were not locking especially on the right front wheel, as my GT3 were getting old I thought they are causing this but the same continued to happen after change to Michelin Primacy LC I again thought tyres might be culprit, exchanged them with Apollo Acelere from a friends new car but the problem still continued.
    Connected the ABS ECU to my laptop no error codes were displayed, that got me thinking what was wrong after some deep thinking, I thought why not try cleaning the ABS Sensors on the wheel. Man I was amazed to see the gunk stuck on them, cleaning with towel didn't helped as the gunk was pretty hard, tried with toothbrush and I succeeded in getting them shining once again. The front sensors had brake dust + mud on them comparatively rear ones were in better condition.
    The whole process took me 1.5 hrs and is pretty easy
    The sensor is placed behind the disc on the front and on the drums back in the rear.
    The process is very simple and here are the steps you have to follow
    1. Loosen the lug nuts of the wheel whose sensor you want to clean first.
    2. Jack up the car.
    3. Put jack stand under the car (Not necessary but recommended to prevent car from slipping from the jack)
    4. Remove the wheel by removing nuts and put it on side
    5. You would see a wire and a allen nut behind the disc/drum.
    6. Follow the wire length and you would see a connector near the shocker disconnect the sensor wire from it OR simply disconnect the negative terminal from battery
    7. Loosen the Allen nut and pull out the sensor carefully and clean it first with a towel or something like this, next step use a waste toothbrush to clean it thoroughly.
    8. Put the sensor back in it's place and tighten the nut.
    9. Connect the Sensor back and install the wheel and get the car down.

    Do this for all the wheels and go for a test drive remember to clean your hand and change your cloths before you enter the car.

    With the wheels removed I even cleaned the front brake system completely and now don't get the irritating kad kad kad sound due to ABS activating
    I advice every one to get the ABS Sensors cleaned every-time the brake pads are replaced.

    NOTE:- Don't do this if you don't know what you are doing.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
    11 people like this.
  2. Thanks for such an informative post. Really Helps
  3. ccprakash

    ccprakash Regolare

    is it possible to post some pics of this exercise..? that would help the ppl like me.
  4. Thanks Vijay, I may need to do it some time down the lane, i used to get this issue in old Wagon R, but i was told that's how the ABS works!!
    I really appreciate detailed procedure you have posted,BTW question will it not damage the sensor when scrubbed with tooth brush?
  5. a small query
    "Connected the ABS ECU to my laptop no error codes were displayed"
    how was this done??
    is it possible for us also to do it
  6. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    @ccprakash buddy didn't clicked any pics of the process, would post the pic showing the sensor and the nut when I remove the wheel next time.
    @Sat-Chit-Ananda AFAIK it shouldn't.
    @sanjeev you need to have OBD2 cable (KKL/ELM327/OBDkey) to connect to ECU, and you have to modify the connections in it to connect to ABS Unit
    Check FiatECUScan - Fiat, Alfa, Lancia ECU Reader / Scanner for more info on it
  7. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Do upload some pics, mate. Looks like a great DIY.

    Also, when cleaning the sensor or other parts of the brake system, a brake cleaner/ carb cleaner in those aerosol cans would come handy. Will make the job much easier. What say?
    1 person likes this.
  8. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    gurjinder yes the brake cleaner would have come in real handy in cleaning all that mess
    Would post some pics when I take of the alloys off the car for cleaning the Tar from them on Sunday
  9. bhai

    bhai Esperto

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @ Vijay - Great DIY . It shows that you went at the root of problem by using step by step logic like me. There was a problem in your car. Still ECU did not showed any ABS error. It means this is bug in ECU firmaware of FIAT. Sorry to see that TATA people are unable to find right solution on these small problems. This is due to they don't think beyond ECU examiner. My old FGT was also problem like this. Poor performane but no ECU error.But upto the end (Upto the date of exchanging of car) no one TATA guy could solve problem.
  10. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    bhai I didn't show my car to TATA people so no need to curse them.
    ASS mechanics could have easily made out that it's the sensor by doing a trial while the ECU Examiner was connected to car by monitoring the values from the wheel sensors.

    For the ECU light not lighting up let me explain it in detail
    Imagine your car is traveling with one tyre on road and one in mud and you brake. The tyre in mud would lock pretty easily and the sensor sends that info to ECU and it acts accordingly and unlocks that wheel.
    According to ECU this is what was happening in my car the sensor sent info to ECU that my tyre was getting locked (while in reality it was not).
    Now the ECU doesn't have any sensor to check the presence of mud/ice/water or any other low traction media under the tyre.

    According to your thinking the ABS light should light up every time the ABS gets activated.

    The ECU is smart but not smarter than human brain.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
    1 person likes this.

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