Grand Am ABS issue

abs
brakes
pontiac

#1

I have a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am GT V6 with 122,000 miles on it. It has a strange problem with the brakes that my mechanic cannot pinpoint. Firstly, my ABS and ETS lights are on. When I’m travelling at low speeds (less than 15 mph) and turning (usually left as opposed to right), my brakes will fail for a second or 2, sometimes longer, and then return to normal. During failure, the pedal loses pressure and feels like it’s rattling around. It makes a sound like the dice inside of a Yahtzee cup. This is most likely to occur in the first minute after ignition, but has also occurred after that. This has freaked me out on serveral occasions, like this morning, and I need to do something about it. My mechanic says it might be the ABS pump, which would cost quite a bit to replace. Any ideas? Thanks, Matt


#2

Yes, it certainly sounds like a problem with ABS. That effect that you describe is the ABS kicking in, which is not necessarily a bad thing except that it is not needed under those conditions.

It is common for ABS problems to show up only within within a minute or so of startup. The controller needs a little time to run its self-diagnostics. It may actually have to repeat its self-tests before reaching a conclusion.

Your mechanic may be right about the pump. Or maybe not. He seems to be guessing. It could be merely a bad wheel sensor. I would recommend you get a second opinion, this time from a shop that specializes in ABS work.