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1997 Honda Accord ABS problem

Hi all,

My 1997 Honda Accord has an ABS problem - it’s dead.

Right now, and for most of the last six months, the ABS warning light is on so all I have is normal brakes. Not bad but not ABS either.

Prior to the last six months the ABS light was intermittent, it was usually on but after hitting a big puddle it would go off (not immediately, only after a stop and restart). In this situation, the ABS worked perfectly. However, once things dried out the light came back on and the ABS conked out again.

I had a mechanic friend scan it for me and it said the left rear sensor was at fault. So, I replaced it - but the light stayed on. Seems like I wasted $130 dollars on a new sensor.

Can anyone help me troubleshoot this?

I am 99% sure the computer is fine, because the system did work fine after running through a puddle. I might be wrong though.

I know there is a diagnostic port where I need to short out two pins so as to trigger some blinking light on the dash - but that’s pretty sketchy knowledge.

Also, is there a way to actually look at the signal coming from each wheel sensor? Maybe using an oscilloscope?

And does anyone have a list of the codes that will be displayed by the dash indicator?


I don’t have the procedure to pull the codes but if you want it fixed then bring it in to someone that can pull the codes and diagnose it.

I normally would but this is an intermittent problem so I’m hesitant to do that until I can get a bit closer to a diagnosis.

Can anyone help out with some guidance on how to make the car display the codes and on interpreting the codes?

I’d be grateful.

Check the brake fluid level in the ABS unit. On 4 cyl models, it is located near the front of the car on the left(driver)side. The module is known to develop leaks, it is a fairly common problem on this generation of Accord. If is it low on fluid, be sure and bleed the unit after you refill it. There is a bleed screw on the top.

Fault codes: how to access. Turn ignition off. Bridge diagnostic socket terminals. Turn ignition on. If ecu is ok warning should come on for 2 seconds and then go out for 2 seconds. The lamp should then begin to flash. The first set of short flashes indicate the first number of the fault code. A brief pause separates each flash. A medium pause separates each group of flashes. If there are more than one code stored a long pause separates each trouble code.
Code Fault
1 Hydraulic pump motor over-run (contact BBA)
1-2 Hydraulic pump motor (contact BBA)
1-3 High pressure leak (possibly modulator)
1-4 Pressure switch (contact BBA)
1-8 Pressure accumulator
2-1 Handbrake warning lamp switch circuit faulty
3-1 Right hand front rotor damage
3-2 Left hand front rotor damage
3-4 Right hand rear rotor damage
3-8 Left hand rear rotor damage
3-12 Different tire sizes fitted
4-1 Right hand front wheel sensor
4-2 Left hand front wheel sensor
4-4 Right hand rear wheel sensor
4-8 Left hand rear wheel sensor
5-4 Right hand rear wheel lock
5-8 Left hand rear wheel lock
6-1 Front fail safe relay
6-4 Rear fail safe relay
7-1 Right hand front modulator solenoid valve
7-2 Left hand front modulator solenoid valve
8-1 ABS operation fault
8-2 Electronic control unit (ECU) fault
8-4 Electronic control unit (ECU) - internal circuit fault

~Michael (Dartman69)

Sorry I forgot the connector location.
~Michael (Dartman69)

Wow! You are a fount of information. Tomorrow - diagnostic time!!

Thank you so much

Your welcome. Good luck.
~Michael (Dartman69)

99.9% of all abs wheel problems ESPECIALLY WHEN DRIVEN THROUGH PUDDLES is the wheel harness that goes to the sensor. I have the same code on my 97 accord on the same wheel. Its the harness sometimes you can open it up and see a green wire and if you cut it and solder it it usually solves the prob.