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2002 Chevy Malibu: ABS light on and brake troubleshooting?

When I have to push on the brakes for a hard stop, I can feel the brake pedal and the steering wheel shake a whole lot. Also, he ABS light is on. Correlation between the 2 obviously?

The ABS cycles pressure to your brake calipers. It’s basically like pumping the brakes to keep your tires from locking up during hard braking. This allows you to steer while staying hard on the brakes. Of course you will feel it in your steering wheel as the whole front end is vibrating from the front brakes are being applied and released…

If it’s a dry road, you’d have to be almost standing in the brakes to activate the ABS. If you feel it at less than panic braking, it’s probably a warped front disc rotor.

They said the ABS light came on during hard braking. That’s why I said it was normal ABS operation.

Actually I could not tell you if the ABS light turned on because of one of those times braking hard. At first it was turning on for a while and then turn off. Now is on all the time.

If a wheel speed sensor fails, I think this can be the result sometimes. The ABS thinks one of the wheels has locked up, when in fact it hasn’t. There’s a service procedure to check the wheel speed sensors. The shop probably needs the GM-specific scan tool to do it.

If the ABS light is on you have a failure. You need to have it scanned. Autozone or Advance may be able to scan it and I would try them first, but you may have to take it to a good shop to get the ABS scanned correctly.

The handheld scanners that the Autozone and Advance near me have will not read ABS codes. My son borrowed one from an auto shop teacher and it made fixing the ABS a snap. It told him which sensors were giving a bad reading and the two new sensors only cost him about $50.

@oldtimer 11 your schools still has auto shop? They got rid of shop classes in Ga a long time ago and they wonder why were at the bottom of the country as far as education.

Actually, my son has retired to Florida where he borrowed the scanner. Yes, NY still has auto shop under their BOCES program. I have no idea what the acronym BOCES stands for.

Board Of Cooperative Educational Services