Esp and abs lights


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Mar 30, 2014
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Yet another issue! Think it's trying to tell me something!!

Yesterday, started up the a4, was presented with esp and abs lights.

Drove up the road and stopped at shops.
Firing it back up just had esp light, which then went out after a few hundred meters.

It was fine thenow for the night driving to friends and back.

Today went out and all was well until my return journey where just the esp light came on. I drove to shops, checked brake lights, they were working.

When I started it back up esp light still came on, drove a few meters and light went out.??

Scanned car when home, with a basic handheld scanner which had nothing stored??

Reading up is suggesting brake switch but the brake lights were on.
Other than that, steering sensor? Clock spring?..

Or any other ideas?

I'm a assuming if brake lights are working esp lights shouldn't mean there is a dangerous fault?
It's all coming at the wrong time, I need to do a 600mile round trip followed by a 500mile round trip end of next week!!
I'm beginning to worry now.
Change the brake light switch & go from there it's only about £10 from main dealer or TPS.
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Yeah that's what I was thinking.
Is it an easy swap? I felt along the brake pedal & couldn't feel anything that felt like a switch?.. does it involve removing any lower dash panels?
I've read you need to fold yourself up into the footwell! but having not been able to feel anything I wasn't sure on that.

Was thinking of buying a switch to have to hand if anything should happen whilst away in the car.
thanks for that, good video, no wonder I couldn't feel the switch... I was in the wrong area!

the slight concern I have with this is that when turning the steering wheel you can hear a bit of a rubbing/almost rough sounding noise.
I've had this on my golf for years but it started on the audi a while back.

It sounds like the golf is the clock spring.

Reading up on the audi it sounds like the esp light could be similar, but that you need vcds to set it up after swapping.
So not just a case of just swapping the faulty part!.. nothing is ever simple
I had similar symptoms (ESP & ABS lights). For me it was the G65 steering angle sensor which is integrated into the clock spring. The car doesn't know the steering angle (because the sensor is faulty) and so deactivates ESP and ABS.

Easy enough to swap, though it's steering wheel off which of course means air bag out. There's how-to's which it sounds like you've seen and I would rate it 3/10 difficulty. You don't need VCDS to recalibrate; it does it by itself -I can tell you from experience. Take the car for a drive after the swap and within a few turns your ABS light will go out and stay out (if indeed it's a the steering angle sensor at fault).

In my case it definitely threw a code (identifying the G65). You say you scanned with a basic handheld scanner. They do not pick up anywhere near all the codes which you would find on VCDS (not sure as to why).

If you're hearing noise from the steering wheel then that again is likely the clockspring which has probably dried out (it has specially lubricated moving parts). No matter how tempting don't mob it with WD40. The lubricant is specialised.

I drove the car for hundreds of miles before replacing mine. The fault was intermittent though mainly in fault state. Is it dangerous? Well, only insofar as you don't have working ABS (you should know it will fail its MOT on this fault too). I went for a second hand part and I paid £25 from memory, 4/5 years ago. Good luck!

Oh and the only other thing is to try and get matching parts. If you have cruise control for example you'll need a certain clock spring part number to match it all back up. Since it's easy enough to remove the steering wheel you might want to check the PN on your existing one first then search from there.
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