I bought front rotors to change them for the third time at 85K miles. As I was driving home the red dash brake light came on. As I pulled into my garage the ABS light came on. I checked the fluid level and it was ok. The manual says to go to the repair shop ASAP.
Questions: Any clues as to what the problem might be. Is this something I could repair myself. I do well with mechinical things. Is it safe to drive to the repair shop?
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A front brake pulsing with no ABS light is a rotor that is no longer true i.e warped. Pull off the tire and rotate the rotor. Hold a straight edge (ruler) across the outside of the rotor as your rotating the rotor. You will note that it changes distance on the straight edge / ruler as it rotates. (in out wobble) A good way to test for an out of true rotor is to drive at about 45 miles and hour and really stand on the brakes (do not lock them up) If the steering wheel and or brake pedal pulsate... you most likely have a rotor problem. If your rotor has never been "turned" it is probably time to do so.
The ABS sensor is behind the rotor on the lower control arm pointed outward toward the rotor with a flat button face. You can not see the button face with the rotor installed. If the sensor is bad you will have an ABS light. I think your troubleshooting the wrong problem. i.e rotor vs your current focus of the ABS sensor.
I would like some feed back on the running dynamic on the road brake test.
the abs light on the dash should come on when the abs is working (emergency braking)if it comes on when braking normally(gently)chances are a sensor is gone(replace in pairs,fronts & rears)
abs stops the wheels from locking up in an emergency brake situation,you will feel the grab-release,grab-release on the brake pedal......
These are your brake pads letting you know that you only have %10 left. There are little metal tabs that rub on your rotors when your brakes are low and cause a squeeling noise. Just replace your front brakes.
(1) I would suggest someone scan the ABS system for codes. I Have an '03 silverado 2500HD Crew cab, and it needs an EBCM (Electronic Brake Control Module) "ABS module". "Service Brake System" message on dash, ABS and Brake warning lamps lit as well. May be the R/F ABS wheel speed sensor, but what you described happen, shouldn't have caused damage to it. (2) If the aftermarket rim and tire combo are larger than stock (larger overall diameter), then this may affect the way your PCM functions. You can reprogram the PCM to recognize larger diameter running gear so trans shift points and the speedometer and such can function properly. I hope this helps.
make sure the caplipers are doing their job properly. if the calipers are not functioning properly that will cause uneven wear as well as a dragging, as in the pads are not coming off of the rotor and therefore rubbing while you're driving. also, check to see that you are getting a pad that will wear without so much rotor wear. they make pads that will absorb more wear so that you don't have to replace the rotors every time you have your brakes done. And if that doesn't work... no joke, change your braking habits. unfortunatly, to many people wait till they're at the stop sign or red light to apply the brakes instead of preparing for the known. my brakes have been on my truck (HEAVY) for 50,000 miles (hard use) and have only begun to squeak in the last 100 miles. Changed my brakes completely and my braking habits. good luck