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The service ABS light on while driving means that the ABS wheel speed sensor is defective or a broken wire that goes to the sensor. You now only have regular braking. This means that you can now lock up one or more wheels with hard braking. Then the car can swerve either left or right while braking hard. The traction control must also rely on the ABS wheel speed sensor to keep both front wheels spinning at the same speed for safety reasons. This prevents loss of control of your car while getting better traction with the tires.
It's usually the sensor inside the wheel hub or the wiring harness to the brake controller. The service traction light will set a trouble code. If your mechanic is stumped, authorize him to call a GM tech support line. The call is $50, but the GM tech support can help him figure out what's wrong.
If the brake light is on, check the fluid level immediately and add fluid if necessary.
After that, have the car's OBD-II computer scanned with a 'Brake Scan' tool for OBD-II. This will help to narrow down which wheel speed sensor is giving you trouble. It might be a broken wire, or a bad wheel speed sensor.
The wheel speed sensor sends information to the ABS side and the Traction Control side of the computer module for ABS and Traction Control.
The car will revert to standard braking and regular non braking transmission power distribution to the drive wheels when the ABS and Traction Control lights are both on.
You'll need to have the codes read from the computer. You will have a code that indicates one of the front wheel sensors is bad. This could be the case, but they are very expensive as they are built into the wheel bearing assemblies. It is more likely that the wiring harness between the frame and the part of the front spindle that holds the harness, has broken internally. It is a very common problem and can be repaired with a new wiring harness section or by tracking down the fault and repairing it.
You have a partially broken wiring harness to one of the front wheel speed sensors. As the wheels turn back and forth they tend to fatigue the harness and cause an intermittent brake in the wire , this makes the computer think that you have lost traction and triggers the ABS/Traction control system. You'll need to have the computer scanned for abs codes and figure out which sensor is showing as bad. If the problem is not bad enough yet, the code may not have stored. Either way, you will have to get an ohmmeter and carefully test the resistance of the speed sensor harnesses to find out where it is broken. An alternative is to just replace the wiring between the sensor and where it fastens to the frame. Any place that the wire has to move when the wheels are being steered is suspect.
i have a 2002 chevrolet impala and the same thing happened to me. abs light came on as well as my traction controll light. when i would step on the gas or brakes my car sounded like the brake pads were skiping against my rotors. i had my hub sensor replaced 5 times. the machanic kept telling me it was the part that need to be replaced.they hooked it up to have a dianostic done and the computer keep telling them to replace the hub sensor. so finally we brought my car to an electric auto shop. they found it was a loose wire that was turning my brakes on and off.(haywire)they fix my car in 30mins.
that is what it is desgined to do - reduce acceleration and apply the brakes intermittently when the wheels spin. You have a switch you cn push to disable it. You need to disable each time you start car. See owner manual.
06-10: Traction Control
1996 Contour, Mystique Workshop Manual
DESCRIPTION AND OPERATION
Traction Control System
The optional traction control system is designed to control wheel spin when accelerating on slippery or loose surfaces. Traction control system is available only with anti-lock brakes.
The traction control system includes the following components:
Hydraulic control unit.
Throttle control actuator (9N825).
Traction control switch.
Traction control warning indicator.
Front brake anti-lock sensor (2C204).
Rear brake anti-lock sensor (2C190).
The traction control system operates as follows:
System functions by transferring torque from the spinning wheel to the wheel with the most traction.
This is achieved by applying the brake at the spinning wheel through the hydraulic control unit or reducing the throttle opening.
Traction control braking and throttle control occur at vehicle speeds up to 50 km/h (30 mph).
At vehicle speeds above 50 km/h (30 mph), only throttle limiting control is used.
If speed control is operating when traction control system engages the traction control system will disengage speed control through the use of a speed control relay. This action is the same as applying the brake pedal with speed control engaged.
Traction Control Switch
The traction control switch is located on the instrument panel, left of the steering column.
An ABS sensor DOES affect the traction control system. Traction control uses these sensors to determine if a wheel is losing traction. A bad sensor will cause both the ABS and TRACTION lights to come on.
The CHECK ENGINE light however is going to be a seperate problem.