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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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ABS problem

I own a 1999 Toyota Rav4 4 doors AWD manual transmission.
I have a problem with the ABS system. When I brake under 50 km/h on dry pavement the ABS make my brake pedal pulsate. It is worse just before I came to a slow complete stop. The ABS work so much, at night the headlight dim when to ABS kick in.
The ABS light is not on. No check engine light.
I replaced the brake 15 months ago and all was OK after.
The disc are not warped.

A couple of days ago I removed the front wheel and saw that there was a lot of dirt and dust on the front abs sensor. I cleaned them with compressed air, but the problem is still the same.

What is the best way to clean the wheel sensor?
And how can I reach the rear one, will I see them if I remove the drum brake?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 07:28 AM
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Have a read of this http://www.autoshop101.com/forms/brake10.pdf

I had a similar problem which turned out to be a broken reluctor ring, that's the toothed ring on the driveshaft.
You will have to pull the front hub clear of the driveshaft just enough to expose the ring, if it is broken it will be split, you need to clean it thoroughly and then use a 2 part epoxy adhesive to re-attach it to the driveshaft, use a strong cable tie to clamp it tightly to the driveshaft and leave it to set overnight.
On the rear you have to remove the driveshaft, undo the hub nut then the 4 bolts to the diff, mark the position of the driveshaft to the diff flange for re-fitting. Repair the same as the front.
I did this to mine about 3 years ago and it is still holding up well.
To clean the ABS sensors I just wiped mine with some WD40.
However whilst the front just pulled out of their holes, the rears are seemingly stuck in the hub holes, I cleaned them when I had the driveshaft's out with cotton buds. You cannot see them with the brake drum removed, they are behind the back plate in the hub assy.
My abs ECU told me which wheel was at fault, yours should too.
Good luck.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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First thank you for your help.
But can the ABS ECU tell me where is the problem if the ABS light is not on?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 01:26 PM
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In my case the light did not come on because the previous owner had removed the bulb!!!
Once replaced the light came on as soon as I went over 30mph
I decoded a wheel sensor fault but I did not know if it was the sensor or the reluctor ring until I removed the driveshaft.
Check your ABS ECU, what's to loose, its very easy to do, just follow that link I gave you.
From memory I think all of the functions in the ABS system are monitored by the ABS ECU so you ought to have a code unless it is a reluctor ring which in itself cannot be monitored.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I have a little update. I read the code from the ABS warning light. I removed the short pin and jumped E1 and Tc: the computer has not detected a malfunction. The light blink 2 times per second after a 2 second pause.
The sensor are probably ok, maybe i'll have to check all 4 reluctor rings...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 05:22 PM
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Excellent repost Kev'...i have exactly the same symptoms!..the pedal very occasionally kicks back under low speed braking....it is very random and i would say it only does it 10% of the time and never does it under medium to heavy braking!...
...it has never got any worse since owning it and i dare say i will leave it alone unless it develops into something more serious (seems like reluctor ring to me?)

Interesting there is no abs light showing...no abs light for me either!!!.Buti will check that the buld illuminates when i turn ignition on!

Excellent post, very useful, thanks.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fildigger View Post
Excellent repost Kev'...i have exactly the same symptoms!..the pedal very occasionally kicks back under low speed braking....it is very random and i would say it only does it 10% of the time and never does it under medium to heavy braking!...
...it has never got any worse since owning it and i dare say i will leave it alone unless it develops into something more serious (seems like reluctor ring to me?)

Interesting there is no abs light showing...no abs light for me either!!!.Buti will check that the buld illuminates when i turn ignition on!

Excellent post, very useful, thanks.

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I have this problem for maybe 6 months now. At first the problem would occur 5% of the time, but now the brake pedal fluctuted everytime I apply brake below 50 km/h.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 02:06 PM
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Fildigger,
Every now and then my pedal kicks back just as you describe, at very low speeds under light pedal pressure, probably no more than once every 2 months if that. It last no more than a couple of seconds.
I had all of my driveshafts out and all the reluctor rings are good, I don't have any codes either. I 'guess' it could be a glitch in the software.
When my rings were split, I would reset the ECU (from memory I think you have to jump up and down on the pedal a number of times) all would be well until I exceeded 30mph and then the abs light came on and you are back to non abs braking. If I had hit the pedal before 30mph then the abs cut in and went crazy for a second or two and then the abs light came on so non abs braking. (when the light is on it defaults to non abs)
It sounds like your car has the same fault as mine and I would say it is not the reluctor rings. After the repair mine was seemingly perfect for a long time, cannot say exactly how long but maybe a year or more, it happens so occasionally I live with it - just be ready to snatch the hand brake!

About 20 years ago I had an XR 4x4 Sierra, the abs cut in for no reason at about 15 mph and I was helpless as the car went up the back of another, my foot was still planted to the floor with the pedal pulsating as I hit, never found out why and I still hate abs!

Back to the RAV, I also tested my deceleration sensor (under the centre consol behind the gearlever) and that was good.
I wonder how many others have the same symptoms.
FYI, the reluctor rings split because although they are made of stainless steel, the hubs they are 'stretched' onto are steel and as they rust they expand and eventually the rings split. When they split it looks like they split at a pre-determined place as the 'breaks' on mine looked identical.

Yamada
I don't know what country you are in, but here we have to have our abs functioning for our annual 'MOT' (safety test) but if I was you I would disable the abs for safety sake until you find out what is wrong. Just unplug the wiring harness from the abs actuator.
Now you have checked the abs ECU, I am not so sure it is your reluctor rings since when mine were split the abs light came on and I could read a code and you say you don't have either, check the deceleration sensor before you disconnect the actuator.
Good luck.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 04:45 PM
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Thanks for that Ken......i am fairly well versed (in laymans terms) with the workings of ABS systems, mainly due to having issues with a few other vehicles over the years!
If your analogy of the reluctor rings is correct and they are fine, then i would assume it could be a software glitch as you say and likely to be the ABS module/ecu?.....
..I did remove the two multi-connectors to the ABS module under the hood and sprayed the connectors with liberal amounts of contact cleaner, for a period of time (about a week) i never had the occurrence of the pedal 'kicking back' and naturally thought i may of cured it, alas, it did not

Without a fault code it is pointless changing parts for the sake of it!...i would like to go down the route of changing all the wheel sensors, if i could source some good/cheap 2nd hand ones i would do that as it is relatively easy to do and would eradicate them as being the culprit....any other part replacement in the ABS system would be costly!!

Guess i will just keep my fingers crossed and hope it gets no worse, tis a little worrying though !
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2016, 01:11 AM
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Old thread but seems other people have been facing the same issue! I recently bought a 1997 with 250,000kms. Runs great has had some good maintenance and no lights on. But while going over everything under the hood I noticed one of the two multi connectors on the ABS module was unplugged.

So obviously I plugged it in and took it for a drive. And experience the exact same symptoms you have described. Brake Pedal pulsing under 40kms! Pulled over unplugged the multi connector and no more problems. Done more driving since then and the brakes work perfect so I am content for now leaving as is. Since it sounds like a difficult problem to figure out. Just thought I would post in case you guys were still struggling with this issue and want a quick "Cheap" fix.
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