ABS brakes activate momentarily all by themselves?

chrysler

#1

I was driving my 2002 Chrysler T&C Minivan when a kinda scary thing happened: on three occasions during a very short trip, the ABS and Brake lights came on and the car gave a lurch as though someone – not me – had suddenly slammed on the brakes. The lights went off and we continued as though nothing had happened. I thought maybe going over a bump had caused it to happen, so I went over a few more bumps, but nothing went wrong. Then, on level, straight, dry blacktop, it happened again, only this time the lights stayed on for maybe two seconds after the lurch, and when I pressed the accelerator, it was as though the car was in neutral – the tachometer increased by about 1500 rpm but no acceleration occurred. I rather assumed we would be coasting to the side of the road for our next trick. Then the lights went off, tach went back down to about 1900 and the car again responded to the accelerator. At the point that I gunned it and the tachometer responded but the accelerator didn’t, it also looked like another light, something over to the upper left of the speedometer, flashed on and off for just an instant, but I couldn’t tell what it was. I called to make a service appointment and the guy seemed skeptical – they’ll want me to ride with a technician to recreate it. I guess I’m hoping it never happens again, personally, but what the heck was it? dh is out of town for two weeks, so, of course, this happens… THANKS for any advice and counsel!


#2

I don’t think that your brakes are applying. I think that your transmission is dropping out. It could be due to a problem with the vehicle speed signal, which may be supplied by the ABS controller on this car, but I am not certain about that. Anyway, when you go to the garage, tell them that you lost propulsion, not that the brakes applied. The guy will be less skeptical then.


#3

Is it possible that all the lights (also the battery light etc.) came on? Maybe the car stalled for 2 seconds?


#4

Speed signal problems can definitely cause the ABS light to come on on this car, from what I have read. What you say makes sense. Thank you!


#5

I see what you’re saying, but they really didn’t… it was just the ABS and Brake and whatever single light flickered for a tenth of a second.


#6

Did you get any CEL?


#7

By the way: CEL = Check Engine Light


#8

So let’s say that you go and take the tech on a drive and you can’t make it happen again. And lets say they put it on a scanner and can’t find any indication of a problem. (All of that is perfectly plausible, if not likely).

Ask them, no matter what they find, to pull, check, and clean (at least) the ground strap for the transmission. In fact, you might just suggest that they check & clean all of the grounding points that have anything to do with engine & transmission management. You’ll obviously be in for some labor charges, but that’s where I’d start if a scanner can’t give any clues.


#9

No, and no :slight_smile:


#10

Quote: “At the point that I gunned it and the tachometer responded but the accelerator didn’t, it also looked like another light, something over to the upper left of the speedometer, flashed on and off for just an instant, but I couldn’t tell what it was.”

If you put your key in the auxiliary position (just before turning it over all the way) this light should light up for test purposes like all other lights and you shoudl be able to report what it is.

Could it be the stability control?


#11

Or I could have looked in the manual (doh!) Thanks for pointing that out. There are only three lights over there: doors open, hatch open and low gas. I had just filled up on gas, and that one is amber, and I think the flash was red (the door lights are both red). Nonetheless, neither of those make any sense as actual alerts. However, the sensor has been bad on the airbag for a long time, so that light comes and goes depending on the humidity. So maybe the lights don’t really mean anything?

I’m afraid I don’t know anything about stability control (especially tonight).


#12

My wife came home recently telling me there was a little blinking red light right above the odometer. I was certainly puzzled b/c there is no such dash light on my car.

I went to check it out the next day and got the “light” to turn off by removing her mobile phone from the little shelf in front of the instrument cluster. (A little red light from her phone reflecting off of the plastic cover). I’m just saying…maybe…


#13

LOL. That’s fair. I know it wasn’t cell phone… sunset off a chunky necklace maybe?