My 03 Jetta TDI wagon, with 210,000 miles, had a grinding sound about 10% of the time when I braked, BUT ONLY AT UNDER 5 mph…that is the last couple of seconds before completely stopping. The car braked fine, but the periodic grinding worried me. Two weeks ago, my mechanic couldn’t reproduce it; today, however, we did and he identified it as the ABS (and I remembered that sound from the couple of times the ABS has kicked in during winter driving. But my question was safety, and my mechanic says the car brakes fine…he has checked them all around and driven with me…and the fault is the ABS system and not the brakes themselves. Can anyone verify this? The car runs fine (I am the original owner, and for the first 7 or 8 years had it solely dealer maintained) and I plan a road trip this summer, but I need a little more comfort that the ABS acting up won’t result in a more serious problem. Thans for any help, Mike in Maryland.
Something is tripping the ABS. Perhaps a wheel speed sensor.
Did the mechanic check the ECU for stored codes? Note that a wheel speed sensor can malfunction without storing a code, but there are a number of codes under the “C-codes” or “chassis codes” that address ABS problems. It isn’t totally unmonitored.
Barring the presence of a fault code, I’d spend the small amount of time to check and clean the sensors and the toner rings.