ABS light on and loud pump noise when starting the car



I have a '95 Acura Integra LS with a five-speed transmission. When I start the car, there is loud noise from something that sounds like a pump and the ABS light stays on. I took it to the dealer and they recommended that I replace the ABS Accumulator/modulator to fix the problem, which costs around $1200. Is there an easy way out of this expensive repair?


The noise you hear when you start the car is the ABS system going thru a self test. If the light is staying on it’s because it found a fault in the system. It may need the ABS modulator but I would at least get another opinion/estimate.


Did the dealer give you the error codes that they found? It is always a good idea to get the actual codes (like P0123). What the dealer told you was their interpretation of the codes and their observations. For example a code may really mean pressure too high on line three. The dealer then may conclude it needs a new fluxcapactor when in reality it may have been nothing more than a loose gigaflop which is part of the fluxcapacto and cost far less.


Acura dealer informed me that the actual code is CODE #01. Does this help? Thank you!


Modulator failure is very common on this generation of Hondas/Acuras. Have you checked the brake fluid level in the ABS unit? It is a different unit than the master cylinder. If it is low, refill it and use the bleeder valve on top of the modulator to get the air out of the unit. You may be able to keep refilling the unit for a while until the leak worsens. I have seen salvage abs units for around $100-$200 if you want to go the replacement route. You can keep driving without ABS as well, which is what most people do when the unit fails.


The 01 code does indeed refer to the hydraulic pump motor. You would do well to take the advice of TXdealer above, including the recommendation to abandon the ABS if there is no cheap fix. That’s what many owners do when the ABS goes out.


I will check into the fluid level of the ABS unit & if all else fails, just drive without the ABS unit. Thank you all for your input.