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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
B5.5 Passat 4Mo 2.8L - Help ABS Light - UPDATED

So I have done a lot to this adopted car in the last three weeks and she is running very well.

Done so far:
VCGs
Plugs
Purge Valve
PVC Check Valve
Fixed broken vacuum hoses
Camshaft position sensor
ECT sensor
2x1 O2 sensor
Cleaned PCV hoses
Heater core reverse flush (now it has HEAT!!!!)


All the I/M readiness tests are good to go. No OBD/DTC codes that my knockoff reader can pull.

I need to replace the rusted out horns and broken liftgate actuator.

BUT she was activating the ABS every time you hit the brakes. So I figure, lets clean all the ABS sensors and solve that problem.....That took a long time because given the age of the car (2002, 125k) and where its lived (CO and VT), the senors were pretty much welded in. It took a lot (5 hours) of wiggling, breakfree, silikroil, cursing, etc to get them out and cleaned. Anti-seize applied to sides before they were put back.

This was done with the battery still connected (no reason other than I just hadn't disconnected it).
There were no lights or codes when I decided to tackle the annoying brake issue.

Fired her up and ABS light is on. No codes. Cruise works. ABS still kicks on as soon as you brake.

only thing I found was that maybe her brake fluid reservoir was low, which it was.
I topped it off and made sure that little float thingie is floating.....Still ABS light is on (I had pulled the fuse for it while i messed with fluid) on restart.
ABS still kicks on immediately.
Pads look good (it does have the pad sensors, I assume its the pad senors) on the front.

Would love some help as I am outta thoughts on how to trace down the issue without having to replace EVERY sensor and/or ring or the ABS module.

Thanks again all.
 

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a possibilty with all the said detritus you have described, (same here in N.E. OH.) the tone ring which is (from memory) mounted on the drive axle,cv shaft , could have a bunch of crap wedged/floating in and around it. pull your sensors out and look down in hole and visually examine tone ring, (car off/transmission in neutral) while turning axle, also with a 4 mo. (not familiar with rear set-up) but probably has sensors back there.,others can help you there, pleading ignorance....
 

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What scanner are you using? Not all will scan the whole ABS system. Does the ABS activate at all speeds when braking or just when coming to a stop? If it's just while coming to a stop, the sensors may be too far away from the tone ring on the axle. Too close will also cause ABS activation, but you can usually hear the rubbing sensors.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So the scanner is some POS Bluetooth elm Chinese clone.

Using torque on Android.

Yeah there are 4 abs/speed sensors. 2 pad sensors in the front (didn't touch them). Don't recall seeing a second sensor on the back for pads.

99% sure it's all speeds, not just stopping, but I barely use my brakes to control my speed, only when needed for turns / stopping or some idiot who doesn't know how to drive is in front of me (who the eff brakes going uphill?).

I don't recall hearing anything other than the rotor shield (must have bent it a bit while trying to get the rear right sensor out) and that was bent back immediately and didn't hear it again.

Maybe one night this week I will go over there and pull the sensors again and shoot cleaner into the hole while spinning the rotor. Should I shoot some air in there to blow anything out?

The two front sensors showed some tiny sign of "contact", but I have no frame of reference. I will take pictures when I pull them out again.

Edit: so not sure if this could be any factor or not but I feel I should mention it, I used some permatex(?) 81343 anti seize lube on the sides of the sensors putting them back in. Could that be an issue? I can get that off and use some 22058 dielectric grease instead. I don't have anything else.

Is there a spec of how far the gap the oring on the front covers should be?

So not to thread jack myself, and I haven't been able to test it yet, but it seems to have a no start/no crank when cold.

I'm going to clean engine to chassis ground when I get the nose up to check the rings, because it shows a lot of oxidation.

I have cleaned the battery to chassis ground. I checked the ground behind the coolant reservoir, checked the pair grounds on the a pillar, and the ground coming from the ccm. All looked perfect. The wire from the ccm was bent funny so I took the nut off and moved the wire so the ground didn't have such a hard kink right at the connection of the wire and o terminal (I don't know the technical term).

Do I need to find and check the ground of the starter?

Also I have read here and there but haven't found (yet) a 100% answer, but it could also be the ignition switch (the thing that actually makes the contact when you turn the key in the lock cylinder). I don't understand how cold weather would effect this. Thoughts?

/thread jack
 

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look in there with light first ,should be able to see it ,no need to spray , then just use air hose to blow it out as you rotate,no need to put anything on to hold them in,(silicone or permatex) the stainless "shield" has intrinsic bends in the "cage" to keep them in, push them as far in as they go then twist back out ever so slightly ,the thickness of anindex card and you are ready to go.
 

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the starter body itself is the ground ,there is a little braided woven shunt wire (1/2" long)that goes from the starter solenoid (mounted to starter) to the actual starter motor itself) they notoriouly deteriate in crappy climates giving intermittent service.......does anything sound like it is "clicking" around where the starter is when you try it in cold weather... what year, and mileage? thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter #7
the starter body itself is the ground ,there is a little braided woven shunt wire (1/2" long)that goes from the starter solenoid (mounted to starter) to the actual starter motor itself) they notoriouly deteriate in crappy climates giving intermittent service.......does anything sound like it is "clicking" around where the starter is when you try it in cold weather... what year, and mileage? thanks in advance
2002 125k B5.5 4motion wagon (born on 05/2001).

So it used to have tons of issues starting because of the blown VCGs (So much oil in the wells and the the plugs/plug threads) as well as the shot ECT sensor, but it would always crank. Now when it's cold (I think the issue only happens when she has been off for a while, like overnight, in really cold weather), she doesn't even crank and there is one click only (hunt for red october, one ping only).

My thoughts of why it happens when the engine is really cold, is that some moisture freezes up and reduces the amount of ground with either the starter or the chassis ground. I attempted to heat the chassis connection with a hair dryer for a while but it didn't work when i tried it. so i tried to heat the ignition switch, i tried it, and nothing. Then my friend came over to bring me back to her house where my truck was at (I had taken the VW home), and I was like "why don't you give it a shot since its your car" and boomed it turned over and started no problem.

So I don't know now if the issue is that ground or the ignition switch....doh. I am having her try to start it at her house tomorrow morning after its sat for 36 hours in 10 degree weather and see what happens. I may take the starter switch out and try to directly connect the contacts and see if it starts like it should, and the should help me figure out if its that switch or not. But I don't have a garage, the car isn't at my house anyways and it has effin sucked a lot doing work on the car in -7 to 15 degree weather. Only one of the 6 days was it above 30 that I was working on it after fixing the slew of issues it came with (see list above) and it had no problems starting that day.

This not starting when cold is new and different than the issues it was first having because of the shot ECT sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
no need to put anything on to hold them in
Permatex anti-seize lube is what I put on the sides, not to keep them in but to get them in and be able to get them back out again.

I also was going to try to hook up my multimeter to the sensors and spin the rotors (or tires depending on how i'm feeling) and see if it registers any voltage.

I wish I had the cash to buy a high(er) end scanner
 

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get ross tech lite (free) for dianostic software,as to permatex, (was thinking of gasket maker), yes never sieze is a good idea,just not enough to collect crap, you will not see any voltage when you spin, best bet is to look inside , one thing you can do with multimeter is check the ohms relative to each other (fronts) and obviously should be the same, from what you describe in my opinion the tone ring is comprimised. Pita but you can slide both sensors out (beyond sensing distance, like 1/4") and drive , you will get a fault obviously , however when you brake should be even and consistent,with no pulsation.
 

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ignition switches do go bad on these cars, relatively easy fix there are two relays I think????? aux. relay panel #11 and #12 that can be temperamental with cold and moisture, can be removed (do not mix them up) disassembled and cleaned
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ignition switches do go bad on these cars, relatively easy fix there are two relays I think????? aux. relay panel #11 and #12 that can be temperamental with cold and moisture, can be removed (do not mix them up) disassembled and cleaned
oh I was more thinking of pulling the left end of the key cylinder on the column and replacing this. not going into the relays.
I had a video from the humble mechanic linked here but it seems I can only link one video per post.

A reason I think this might be an issue is that is because for a year and change this car was used with the ECT sensor problem (as well as everything else) so in cold weather it was cranked like 20+ times and held until it warmed up enough for the ECT to send the right signal and the car to get the right fuel and turn over. So I'm thinking its worn the f&*k out, maybe?

I have no problem going and pulling a couple relays or a switch (or two) from the scrap yard ( I have a slew of other things I want to get - Liftgate actuator, horns, some interior parts, the list is decent). I was thinking of ordering the ignition switch anyways since its just ten bucks, but I would hate to order it and then not need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
get ross tech lite (free) for dianostic software
Does that work with the chinese knock off ELM327 bluetooth readers?

as to permatex, (was thinking of gasket maker), yes never sieze is a good idea,just not enough to collect crap,
yeah no worries. I barely put any on and most was pushed off as the sensors went back in.

you will not see any voltage when you spin, best bet is to look inside , one thing you can do with multimeter is check the ohms relative to each other (fronts) and obviously should be the same, from what you describe in my opinion the tone ring is comprimised.
Copy, I will try that.

Pita but you can slide both sensors out (beyond sensing distance, like 1/4") and drive , you will get a fault obviously , however when you brake should be even and consistent,with no pulsation.
Would unplugging (but securing and covering the ends of the connections) the sensors do the same thing in terms of testing for pulsation?
Then plug them back in one by one and test? at least I could then come up with which sensor or ring is the shot one?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
you can slide both sensors out (beyond sensing distance, like 1/4") and drive , you will get a fault obviously , however when you brake should be even and consistent,with no pulsation.
I got a pair in back too (and also what I assume are brake pad wear sensors on the front)
 

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unplugging is a good idea also, the connections for the sensors are in the wheel well,you have to remove a grommet and pull them out to disconnect and to electrically the first test for front ones is look inside, as to switch in column, personally I would pull valence panel (couple "hidden" screws, one in sunglasses pocket)to relay chassis first one you will see is what the call the 13 position auxilliary relay panel, last two bottom relays are the starter circuit , what I have done in past is pull one out with caution remove its cover, check with 12 volt source that it works and plug back in, do the other one same way,this way you do not get them mixed up........then turn key that will reveal where problem is if they do not actuate ,could be P/D/N switch or ignition switch and go from there, as to ignition switch use OEM , rest do not last ,as to Ross Tech, laptop windows 10 is what I use
 

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Discussion Starter #16
personally I would pull valence panel (couple "hidden" screws, one in sunglasses pocket)to relay chassis first one you will see is what the call the 13 position auxilliary relay panel, last two bottom relays are the starter circuit , what I have done in past is pull one out with caution remove its cover, check with 12 volt source that it works and plug back in, do the other one same way,this way you do not get them mixed up........then turn key that will reveal where problem is if they do not actuate ,could be P/D/N switch or ignition switch and go from there, as to ignition switch use OEM , rest do not last ,as to Ross Tech, laptop windows 10 is what I use
Yeah I've pulled the knee bolster (four Philips head screws) trying to figure out why the seat motors and horns werent working:
- seat motors were fine, they were just rusted in place, some brake free and sili-kroil and they are much better (not perfect). To confirm it wasn't electrical, I had to get not to the 13 position panel, but to the 8 position panel BEHIND it!
- horns, well they were fine electrically, just that over 50% of each one has rusted away

using the car's battery and a multimeter work for testing?

Do not think its the P/D/N because I tried shifting in and out multiple times, starting in N or P, etc and nothing changed.

I will see what I might be able to figure out over the next chance I get to visit the patient, but unlikely until sunday or monday.

I will plan on grabbing relays and an ignition switch or two from the scrap yard on Monday.
 

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Could I also just pull the ABS fuse for testing to see if she brakes smoothly?
do not know, makes sense though, as to P/N/D ,will look at Bentley tngt. do you have a Bentley? Have a 2001.5 ,B5.5, and had same intermittant starting issue ,summer time , replaced starter switch, good for about 6 monthes, then OEM one and the OEM relays, if you ever had one of these relays apart there is a lot going on inside.
 

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do not know, makes sense though, as to P/N/D ,will look at Bentley tngt. do you have a Bentley?
Negative, I've found some stuff via google and links here and there. Nothing like the full 3700 page service manual I found for my Titan. All the Nissan books seem to be pretty easy to find.

Have a 2001.5 ,B5.5, and had same intermittant starting issue ,summer time , replaced starter switch, good for about 6 monthes, then OEM one and the OEM relays
Since fixing the slew of issues and it being down to this starting issue (and the ABS light) it did not start for me twice. It started for the owner fine each time (first was about a day and change later when she got a chance to try it, second was maybe 30 minutes after I had tried it), but each time I tried, it was bitter effin cold (minus single digits) outside. Her first attempt after my first fail was a sunny day above 30 degrees. Her attempt after my second fail, I had heated the steering column with a hair dryer....)

My second fail and hair dryer was on Tuesday night.
When we got it back to her house we put it next door in her grandmothers (unheated) garage.
Inside the garage on Wednesday afternoon she tried it (engine temp 24F, left side of steering column 25F, using a fluke non-contact thermometer), instant start.
I asked her to take it outside, this morning she tried it (engine temp 6F, left side of steering column 23F, same thermometer), instant start.
I asked her to leave the windows open a bit today, and to try it again tomorrow morning where hopefully the steering column will be about 10 degrees and see what happens.

if you ever had one of these relays apart there is a lot going on inside.
Nope, if I grab some spares via the scrap yard I will poke my head into one.
 
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