ABS brakes on Jeep

Got Jeep Cherokee 1991. Hit a humungous pothole- about 10 blocks later abs brake warning light and brake light both came on. As long as ignition is on, the lights will not go out. Also I have seemed to have lost power braking- in order to stop i have to practically put my foot thru the floorboard.

Any idea of what could have caused this- could the pothole and the brake problem be related?

If the primary brake warning light comes on, the ABS light will automatically come on. But if the ABS light comes on, it will not cause the primary warning light to come on. So you have to find out what happened to the primary brake system when the pot hole was hit that caused the primary brake warning light to come on.


was told that on my car the abs brakes and the power brakes are one and the same. i know they’re bendix brakes.

They “are one” in that ABS is a system that “pulses” your regular power brakes faster than you could in the event of braking on a slippery surface. And, since most drivers don’t know how to perform “cadence braking”, an ABS system is preferable in most instances of braking on a slippery surface.

That being said, you need to take Tester’s advice seriously. Your situation seems to indicate a problem in the brake system itself, and this is not good. I strongly suggest that you get the vehicle to an independent mechanic (NOT a chain operation like Midas or Meineke or Sears or Monro, or…) in order to see what happened as a result of hitting that pothole.

A very strong possibility is that a brake hydraulic line was damaged when you hit that pothole, and hydraulic fluid (the lifeblood of your brake system) has leaked out. First, check the level of brake fluid in your master cylinder. If it is normal, then drive very slowly and carefully to the mechanic’s shop. If it is very low or dry, I would suggest having the vehicle towed or flatbedded, rather than trying to refill the master cylinder and driving it.

The system is unitized. Which means the primary brake system and the ABS are assembled as one unit. But this doesn’t change that there’s still the primary brake circuit and the ABS brake circuit. I have a 91 Cherokee and know this brake system. So don’t pay attention to the ABS light. The problem is in the primary brake system from hitting the pot hole. And until you figure out what happened to the primary brake system from that incident, both those lights will remain on.


had husband drive it very slowly and carefylly to mechanic. (brake fluid was full, but). mechanic said that he thinks problem is with master brake cylinder. we’ll see when he gets to it.
thanks for help

Tester, is this the infamous Bendix 10 ABS that had the flaky accumulator? There is a replacement program for the accumulator in Chrysler minivans with this system; I wonder if it applies to the Cherokee.

No. The 91 Jeep uses the Bendix 9 ABS unit. And yes, this ABS has the flaky accumulator. The ABS on this year Jeep is warranted for as long as the vehicle is on the road. The 91 Jeep the wife drives has had the ABS replaced once by the original owner. And we had it replaced once since we bought the vehicle. Both times the system was replaced free of charge. Otherwise, it would have been $1300.00 out of our pocket.


Have you guys figured out what the pot hole had to do with the situation if the answer is a flaky part? Just a thought

I have a 91 Cherokee with just 81k miles and the bendix 9 system went…Twice I have a hard brake pedal. I was unable to stop the car the last time and went thru a red light. I am no longer driving the car and am looking for a solution. My mechanic discovered that here was a recall on this system for 10 years or 100000 miles which time wise expired a long time ago. If you can point me to the information that shows where the ABS is warranteed as long as the car is on the road it would be very helpful.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/results.cfm Click on Get Summary

Hmm? The hyperlink isn’t working for some reason. Try copying the link and insert it into your search engine.


The hyperlink isn’t working and appears to be incorrect (http://www…esults.cfm) Is the address correct or is there another way to get the information.


Look under the ABS catagory of these recalls.