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Brake Problem

I have a '09 Dodge caravan. The ABS, ESP, TCS, and Brake lights are on. As we drive along the brakes apply, probably on only wheel. After we stop, we can drive on for a short way and it happens again. A mechanic told us that the steering sensor was telling the computer that the steering wheel was turned all the way to the left. I wonder if I pulled the fuse for the ABS pump and ABS valve if it would be safe to drive, at least until we can get it to the dealer for repair. I am cheap and like to get by as cheaply as I can/. I am not fond of ABS, or TCS anyway/ Anyone know about this?

I believe you can. I’m not fond of ABS or TCS and a host of others that I won’t list here. Just locate those fuses and remove them. I’m not 100% sure this will work but you can give it a try. Stay close to home and take the fuses with you just in case the procedure does not work. ABS is supposed to be benign but others have told me they can lock up wheels if the system is malfunctioning. I’ve also heard unkind things about the TCS system when it malfunctions.

In addition to what missileman suggested, here is another possible solution:

Check the flexible brake line running to that wheel, as it may be collapsing internally and trapping fluid, thereby applying the brake to that one wheel.

While 5 years is certainly very early for that type of problem, I suppose that it could happen–especially if the brake fluid has not been changed at least once already.

Thanks both of you.

I can’t believe we’re actually advocating disabling a safety feature . . .

For what it’s worth, I am a 100% fan of ABS, traction control, stability control, etc.

I have driven and worked on plenty of different vehicles. And more often than not, the systems work like they’re supposed to. More than that, they do kick in and save your bacon, when you’re doing something idiotic

If you don’t want all those features, you should be driving a car from the 1970s

If you can turn off the traction control that might help; I imagine you have tire pressure monitor, but make sure the front tires are at equal pressure the old fashioned way, with a pressure gauge.

Steering angle sensor calibration faults are common on Chrysler products when a battery is disconnected (or dead) then connected with the wheel not pointed straight ahead.

Are you sure about the brakes dragging? You’ll get smoke from the affected wheel after a few miles.

So @nevada_545 one fix might be disconnecting,then reconnecting the battery when the wheels are pointed straight ahead?

I have never tried that, with the scan tool connected and reading the code it is easy to push a button to perform the steering angle sensor calibration.

When replacing a battery in the shop this problem never occurs because after pulling into a stall the wheels are typically straight. The body shop often sent vehicles over with this fault because the batteries in wrecked cars go dead or are disconnected with the steering in random positions. Individuals that replaced the battery themselves also experienced this.

This is just a shot in the dark if by chance the battery was replaced.

“I can’t believe we’re actually advocating disabling a safety feature .” Well, from my experience, and others including an over-the-road truck driver and a bus driver I do not believe ABS is a safety feature, especially when my wife is driving on a highway and one of the brakes lockup. I can’t imagine what might happen if she was doing 70 MPH!

Nevada, the brakes aren’t dragging, at least one wheel just locks up while driving.

The battery hasn’t been down or disconnected for at least a year, when it was replaced.

I might try disconnecting and reconnecting the battery with the wheels straight ahead.

Thanks for your ideas. (except for db4690)


Do you truly believe that ABS is “merely” a nuisance that was forced down our throats?

No thanks to you also

If you you are giving me a “no thanks” . . . you get the same

“Thanks for your ideas. (except for db4690)” . . . seems pretty rude to me

“I can’t believe we’re actually advocating disabling a safety feature”.

@db4690 …what I find rude is your “holier than thou” attitude toward supposed safety features that don’t function properly. I’m not advocating the removal of any safety feature which actually works…only the ones that don’t and create problems all their own. If you are putting your reputation on the line and saying these “babysitting” type safety features always work 100% of the time…then go right ahead. If you do then you need to get out of the vehicle repair business as fast as you can. I hope I wasn’t being rude in saying this.


I’m not holier than anybody

Because I’m not religious at all

Not a member of any organized religion

I never said safety features always work 100% of the time

Please do NOT attempt to put words in my mouth

I said the safety systems work more often than not. Go back and read EXACTLY what I wrote

“I hope I wasn’t being rude in saying this.”

No . . . you’re just acting rude PERIOD

Notice I didn’t say you were a rude person

Because I’m actually giving you the benefit of the doubt

I believe you’re probably a nice guy that occasionally acts rude

I’m treating you much nicer than you’re treating me

the brakes aren’t dragging, at least one wheel just locks up while driving.

That doesn’t sound so bad. ???

Perhaps in your situation you could pull into the local dealer at a slow time like tuesday at 10 AM and charm the service adviser to have a tech bring a scan tool to the service drive and read the fault codes. If you can’t copy down all the details from the screen ask if you can snap a picture of the fault data on the scan tool. There is a chance they may be able to correct the problem with the scan tool.

@db4690, if the ABS, TCS, and ESP lights are on, these systems are already not functioning. If one of these systems is actually malfunctioning, causing a wheel to lock-up, that is far and above more dangerous than TEMPORARILY disabling these systems.

I support the comments made above. It is a rare event to have one of these ‘fail-safe’ systems to malfunction, but can be extremely dangerous when they do.

@db4690 … you are right. I’m a nice guy until someone puts words in my mouth like you did. I also have the ability to be very rude to someone who is being rude to me or someone else. We have sparred before and will spar again in the future. When I first started reading your comments…I determined that you were a very arrogant person. That’s not a bad thing in my book because I like arrogance to some degree. It just shows that you are very self confident and know what you are doing when it comes to vehicles.

I just don’t agree with you about some useless safety features that are “mandated” by individuals who have no idea about vehicles or how they operate. I can stop safely after running down a drag strip at over 100 miles an hour with no problem since I did it for years. I don’t need ABS to help do that for me. People who have limited driving experience and talent may need those devices but I don’t. That’s my point. BTW…according to the NHTSA…On very soft surfaces, such as gravel or unpacked snow, ABS may actually lengthen stopping distances. I’ve lived in those climates where ABS was a detriment and some how, some where, a bunch of bureaucratic idiots got together and decided I needed ABS.

Those type “safety” devices should be optional because that’s the right thing to do. I don’t need traction control help or help with determining the air pressure in my tires. Like I said…those things may help someone who shouldn’t even be driving on my roads in the first place…but I have no control over that. I don’t need idiots telling me what I need since I know far more than they do when it comes to motorized vehicles. Far more.

db4960-" more often than not the systems work like they are supposed to" That is true, but it is not good enough. I have experienced many problems with GM vehicles I drove at work, They bought mostly Suburban, van or pickup based small vehicles. Many instances of wheel lockup at light brake applications, some instances of almost no braking at low speed on dry roads with the ABS buzzing like mad. Most instances resulted with the shop experiencing the problem but being unable to find the cause and “fixing” the problem by making several hard applications fron 45 to a full stop. This usually cured it for a week or two.

db4690 I like some of the modern additions that we have now but ABS isn’t one of them. I got stuck in the snow last winter and the TCS didn’t seem to help, I still had to be pulled out. I thot you were rude when you said what you did about the cars from the 70s.


Every time you don’t like something I wrote, misinterpret what I wrote, as you did in this case, if you’ve gone to the trouble to read EXACTLY what I wrote, or disagree with me . . . you want to wage full on war and take out all the stops.

I don’t have a problem with disagreeing, and I don’t have a problem when somebody lists a specific instance in which something didn’t work for them

What I do have a problem with is when somebody stoops so low as to say somebody is incompetent and needs to get out the business

Here’s an idea . . . if you’re convinced we can’t get along, why don’t we just ignore each other

And I stand by what I said earlier . . . I’ve treated you FAR better than you’ve treated me

@db4690 …OK, I’ll ignore you for now but be warned…you do not want a war with me. Not even a little one.