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ABS warning and VCDS Lite...

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by mal79, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. mal79
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    mal79 Member

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    Wayhey! My ABS light is on along with the red warning in DIS and the obligatory loud beeps. So, I plug in my ebay special cable, and try to read the fault code with VCDS lite...

    ...and nothing. Nothing as in cannot see any modules. I seem to recall about this time last year (well before the ABS fault), I was having issues with the cheap cable after just a couple of weeks. So I suppose the first question is how long do these cheapo cables tend to last?

    Secondly, and far more importantly in the absence of a fault code, any suggestions on the ABS? It seems like the control module seems to be a common failure, and I have had the warning come on before I have even moved the car, whilst defrosting it. This would suggest to me a module failure becoming apparent whilst being warmed by engine heatsoak, rather than a wheel sensor warming up from brake use. But is the fault stored in the diagnostic memory, and then displayed at a random point after start up, making my assumption wrong?

    If it is the module, should I, a) go for a recon (BBA Reman) at £100 or more; b) take my chances on ebay second hand part at £40 ish; or c) get out the soldering iron and try not to banjax the whole module (like I did trying to fix the washing machine a couple of years back :( )?

    Thanks

    Mal
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  2. Ian2012
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    Ian2012 Member

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    I would get the car diagnosed first, however if it is the module on the side of the abs pump then you can forget about soldering it yourself, the wires inside sit in a jelly like substance and they look gold in colour and thinner than the hair on your head. I had one apart a few years ago thinking the same thing, i got mine done by ecu testing, they just unbolt from the side of the pump itself, you may need to remove the washer bottle to get it out.

    I would wrap the pump up carefully with cling film to stop dirt and water getting in, park the car for a couple of days and wait for the repaired unit to come back in the post.

    Ian
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  3. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    I've had the same cheap cable for over 3 years and its been perfectly fine.

    What usually happens is you connect it to a different USB port and windows gives it a different com port number, which means vagcom then cant find the interface.

    The other thing that can sometimes happen is the ABS module can fail in a way which jams the K Line. To check for this you can unplug the electrical connector on the abs module and see if you get comms with the engine ecu etc.

    Also if the ABS module fails they will often not respond to vcds, so if you can talk to everything bar the abs then its likely just a dead ABS module.
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  4. mal79
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    mal79 Member

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    I think I read about your attempts to DIY on the thread with the guide. That's what made me ask the question... The only thing holding me back of the remanufactured module is I am probably going to be selling the car shortly after i've MOT'ed it in the next few weeks. I may also have some balljoints on the way out, so the prospect of arms + module etc is a little tough to bear on a sub £500 car. The way I see it is why spend loads on keeping a NA 1.8 going when I could instead put the cash towards a TQS (which is what I should have bought back in '06...)

    I have seen various posts about the ABS module interfering with diagnostics. Is this something that I should worry about before requesting a code read from a VCDS equipped member?

    Mal
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  5. mal79
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    mal79 Member

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    Went through the COM port thing already - my laptop from last year is dead, so VCDS lite on the Mrs laptop instead. :laugh: Adjusted the baud rate settings to get a good connection aswell.

    Ah, I was wondering about the k line, whether it was the abs or head unit (though worked-ish last year with same HU, but HU has gone on a hiatus too). Will have a bash at unplugging the ABS connector (and HU) to see if I can connect to the other modules. Would a fault be stored anywhere else, or would it be in the ABS ecu that I may not be able to connect to? I presume if a wheel sensor, then I should be able to connect and get a code?
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  6. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've had similar issues recently with mine, the ABS lamp sort of flickers a bit, if I bash the dash sometimes it comes on solid, other times it goes away. If it comes on the 3 beeps of death come on. NO CODES SHOWN

    I think mine is dash related, or maybe water/temp. Deffo worst when it's minus temps
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  7. PAULF
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    PAULF Member

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    I had an issue with this last year.
    It turned out to be the module. I opened it up, and managed to bugger it up, although if you follow the guide and have semi-decent tools you should be ok.

    I fitted a second-hand module I bought from somebody here.
    When looking for a module, only get the exact same part number as the one you have fitted (I know there may be a choice of two, depending, but it is complex!). There is also a Bosch number that I think is just for the module.
    A lot of the e-bay stuff is module only, so make sure you know what you are buying.

    The module is held on with 6 small screws. It is possible to undo them without taking the bottle out if you use a 1/4" drive and extensions, wobblies and u/j joints with a screwdriver bit. It's fiddly though.

    Like Ian, I wrapped my pump in cling-film but I also drove it quite happily - just be warned there is no ABS.
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  8. Ian2012
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    Ian2012 Member

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    ABS warning light on is an mot fail i think??
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