2005 Buick Rendezvous - ABS Issues

My mother in law’s Buick is having an issue that seems to reach beyond my limited knowledge. As she drives, seemingly at random intervals, her ABS light and “service traction control” message will appear, and does not seem to correspond to when the brakes are actually being used. Additionally, there will often be a foul odor coming from the front of the car (she is unsure where exactly) after these lights have appeared. Finally, every now and then, her brakes will not apply properly. She says “right before it happens I will hear a grinding noise of sorts, and then the brakes will start acting funny”. These events are always joined by activation of the lights, but are rare. The lights and smell occur more frequently without direct wonkiness from the brakes.

So I have no idea what could be going on. I jacked the car up today and pumped the brakes to see if a cylinder was leaking fluid (fluid on hot brakes = smell maybe?) but didn’t see anything leaking.

This is a clue that the vehicle needs a good shop to look at it before she crashes into someone.


There are a number of things that could be going on and none of them are good. You need to get it into a shop that read the abs error codes, test the wheel speed sensors and the brake system itself. Do it soon!


Sticking caliper slides, bound caliper or bad brake hose are also some possibilities. Should not be ignored.

The grinding noise she is hearing along with the traction control lights are the Antilock braking system deploying when it shouldn’t, most likely a wheel speed sensor that needs replacing. GM cars are notorious for that here in the salt belt.

1 Like

i just picked up an 05 equinox with an abs/tcs issue also. i clear codes which are C0110 abs pump circuit and lights go off. shut off car. restart later. lights are still off. hit 5mph and they come back on as system is doing test i have been told. so the system does not see an issue until vehicle moves? i shut off car. and the next time i drive lights are off again. till i move.
is your rendezvous lights coming on and than going off during 1 drive cycle?
my lights do not go off while i am driving