ABS Light goes on and off. 1997 Chevy C1500

I have a 1997 Chevy C1500 with about 85k miles on it. I had the breaks checked and replaced over a year ago and this problem is pretty recent. When I got the brakes done I had the pads replaced on the front disks and I had the back drum pads and some brake part replaced that was inside the drum. Looked like a little hydraulic piston of sorts (sorry, not to up on my car lingo here lol)

My issue is my ABS light comes on from time to time for no apparent reason at all (at least that I notice). I can be just sitting at a stop light and I will notice it comes on, stays on, then randomly will go off. The car seems to break fine, especially at higher speeds (30-70mph). On occasion however at low speeds (5-15mph) when coming to a some what sudden stop my brakes seem to skip? Kind of feels like a grinding feeling. No gravel or slick road, just plane ol pavement. I think this is the ABS system but Ive only ever driven one other car with ABS breaks that the I believe the ABS system activated while stopping on ice and it felt the exact same.

I have not noticed if the light comes on during these low speed stops, as I am just now putting all these pieces of a puzzle together to figure out if something is really wrong with my ABS system or if its just a sensor or something.

Any help would be appreciated. I would like to have some knowledge or information in case I have to take it to a mechanic to have it looked at. The last people (Just Breaks) I took it to really tried to screw me over. After they worked on it the Emergency break light was on and his fix was to just “unplug” the sensor. I said Heck no! Fix it! after three bleeds it tripped the sensor off. So I am a bit hesitant to have them looked at after that experience.

Thank you!

Find a reputable owner operated shop and have it looked at. The ECU can be downloaded for stored ABS fault codes, and the wheel speed sensors can be cleaned and/or replaced.

You were smart not to listen to the clowns you took it to before. Their answer is downright spooky. I have to wonder how many unwary people they’ve sent away with malfunctioning systems.


You have the classic symptoms of a bad wheel speed sensor

However, you do need to get the truck diagnosed professionally

There’s only so much I can speculate without knowing what codes you have, and without having the truck at my disposal for testing

The two things to have checked for this problem are the tone rings for the wheel speed sensors and the wheel speed sensors themselves.

Over time the tone rings can accumulate brake dust from the metalic brake pads messing the signals up to the sensors. This is easily fixed by blasting the tone rings clean with brake parts cleaner.

The other is rust forming under the wheel speed sensors. This rust can actually push the wheel speed sensors out of alignment with the tone rings. The fix for this is to remove the wheel speed sensors and remove any rust from the mounting surfaces. Then apply grease to these surfaces to prevent future rusting. Then check how badly the rust bent the mounting tab for the sensor. In some cases the sensors require replacement because the mounting tab is too deformed.


Thank you very much! When I get back from vacation Ill find a good shop and have them look into what you guys said.