ABS/Traction Control Light

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Thread: ABS/Traction Control Light

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8
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    ABS/Traction Control Light

    My ABS light and my Traction Off light are coming on in my Grand Prix. It started yesterday and would stay on at start up and later on would come on a little while after I started driving. Then last night and once today (I only have driven this car twice today) it didn't come on at all and when I did panic stops, the ABS system worked. I have a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix SE with the 3.1L V6 and ABS with Enhanced Traction System.

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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    What swear words have you tried so far?

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    You'll have to get it checked, the traction control is part of the abs system, basically works the same as the abs just at opposite times. If you accelerate hard and lose traction, the abs kicks in and applies the brakes to stop the spinning. Anyway, when the abs has a DTC set, it disables the trac system which is why the trac off light comes on. It could be anything from a wheel speed sensor to the EBCM, the module that controls the ABS and anything in between. I would say the most common would be a wheel speed sensor which unfortunately is part of the wheel hub. $$$$!
    "Contrary to common belief, planning is complicated and is not run by complete idiots, so you'll just have to trust that the decisions were made on good information that's not made available to you."

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    How much do you think this will cost? What I don't get is that the ETS system is engine based and doesn't use the brakes to control spinning so it's weird why both lights are on because it isn't the engine/brake based system that's on the GTP.

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    Quote Originally Posted by IAMCANADIAN
    How much do you think this will cost? What I don't get is that the ETS system is engine based and doesn't use the brakes to control spinning so it's weird why both lights are on because it isn't the engine/brake based system that's on the GTP.
    Both systems rely on each wheel speed sensor reporting back to the pcm. If one sensor experiences an open circuit for even just a tenth of a second, the PCM turns both system off.

    My Grand Am started to do this shortly after I bought it used. It would always be the right front sensor error. Bearing was fine so I filled the connector with dielectric grease. Drove the car for over a year after before getting rid of it and the light never did come back on.

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    I see. If it doesn't seem to get better I'll have to take it in I guess.

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    GMI Staff Member Premium Member shadams's Avatar
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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    Quote Originally Posted by IAMCANADIAN
    How much do you think this will cost? What I don't get is that the ETS system is engine based and doesn't use the brakes to control spinning so it's weird why both lights are on because it isn't the engine/brake based system that's on the GTP.
    It uses both on both actually. Option NW9 is traction control and is the same on both cars. The only difference is that the GTP says TCS OFF instead of TRAC OFF, go figure. Anyway, here is how it works.


    When drive wheel slip is noted while the brake is not applied, the EBCM will enter traction control mode.

    First, the EBCM requests the PCM to reduce the amount of torque to the drive wheels via the requested torque signal circuit. The PCM reduces torque to the drive wheels by retarding spark timing and turning off fuel injectors. The PCM reports the amount torque delivered to the drive wheels via the delivered torque signal circuit.

    If the engine torque reduction does not eliminate drive wheel slip, the EBCM will actively apply the drive wheel brakes. During traction control braking, hydraulic pressure in each drive wheel circuit is controlled to prevent the drive wheels from slipping.
    "Contrary to common belief, planning is complicated and is not run by complete idiots, so you'll just have to trust that the decisions were made on good information that's not made available to you."

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    Hmm interesting. I'm not looking forward to having to take the car in as I'm not loaded with money right now. Hopefully it won't be too bad.

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    Most likely it's just a wheel speed sensor but I have seen a bad wheel bearing cause the same thing because of vibration.

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    Hmm good to know.

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    Before you take it in, try inspecting and cleaning the sensor terminals. My scanner showed bad signal at right front sensor on daughter in law's Alero. I disconnected and cleaned the sensor, ran meter checks back to ABS controller, and cleaner the master plug at controller. Applied very light coat of dielectric grease to sensor terminals. Light out for almost a year now.
    I'm a retired ASE Master/L-1 Technician. I still keep up with all the current technolgy. Visit my blog at: http://www.ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    Quote Originally Posted by RickMN
    Before you take it in, try inspecting and cleaning the sensor terminals. My scanner showed bad signal at right front sensor on daughter in law's Alero. I disconnected and cleaned the sensor, ran meter checks back to ABS controller, and cleaner the master plug at controller. Applied very light coat of dielectric grease to sensor terminals. Light out for almost a year now.
    I have no clue where the sensors would be. If I hadn't just graduated I'd ask my auto mechanics teacher but unfortuately school's out. I think I'm just going to take it in next week if it keeps on coming on.

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    wheel speed sensor.

    all W cars have problems. had 3 grand prixs they have all had wheel speed sensors that fail.

    get a multimeter, check your resistance of each sensor. should be around 1k ohms. if its like 1M ohm, then its junk, or if it reads OL its junk.
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    Great, thanks for the help. I'll take it in and get the sensors looked at.

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    Re: ABS/Traction Control Light

    no problem
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

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