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How To: Activating ABS Without Scan Tool


Old Mar 21, 2017, 05:25 PM
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How To: Activating ABS Without Scan Tool

This how to is for those who have experience with electronics and/or wiring. It may be possible to damage the ABS electronics if wired incorrectly. I am not responsible for any damages to your car by following the instructions below.

  • small flat head screwdriver
  • SPDT momentary switch
  • 10 awg wire
  • breadboard (optional) - makes it a lot easier for connections
  • alligator clips

To remove air trapped in the ABS after a module replacement or if you have spongy brakes and bleeding doesn't help.
This method does not require any scan tools, but you will need to tap into some wiring.
You will be able to activate the ABS solenoid values for each wheel.

  1. Remove the negative terminal on the battery.
  2. Put the car on jack stands and remove all four tires.
  3. Remove the front driver and passenger calipers, caliper brackets, and rotors.
  4. Find the ABS module in the engine compartment (passenger side, close to firewall).
  5. Remove the big connector by pushing the white latch toward the passenger wheel. The latch will rotate 90 degrees toward the firewall. Make sure that the latch is pushed until it sits flush with the connector. It will require some force, but the connector will pop out toward the front of the engine compartment, only then the connector is removable.
  6. Remove the back black connector cover from the wiring harness you just removed.
  7. While looking at the connector mating face, remove the white connector cover. There are tabs on both side of the cover. Insert a small flat head screw driver into the slot and push the tabs outward, toward the outside of the connector and use something to pry up the white cover from the base.
  8. Remove pins 28(blu/wht), 27(blk/yel), 26(wht), 17(blu), 16(grn/blu), 11(pink), 10(blk), 9 (red). To do this, while looking at the mating face, insert a small flat head screwdriver into the slot just above where the male pin would go and pry the internal tab up and away from the pin/socket. Then pull the socket out of the back.
  9. Make the connections according to the schematic. Make sure to tape up the exposed connections which were removed in the previous step. I used alligator clips to connect to the car's wheel speed sensor (pin 26-wht and pin 16-grn/blu).
    Tip: if working by yourself, make the three leads to the momentary switch long so that it reaches the driver's seat. This way, the abs can be activated while pressing on the brake. Notice in the schematic that the rear-right (pin 11) is connected to the common pin of the SPDT switch. This is the solenoid you want to activate. To activate a different abs solenoid (e.g. front-left), disconnect the rear-right wire from the common pin of the SPDT switch and connect it to the normally-closed pin of the SPDT switch. Then disconnect the front-left wire from the normally-closed pin and connect it to the common pin.
  10. Put a block of wood in the front driver and passenger caliper so that the piston does not come out.
  11. This might not be necessary but support front drive axles so they are parallel to the floor. The drive axles will need to spin when activating the abs and if the axles are at a weird angle, cv axle grease may find their way out of the boots.
  12. Bleed the brakes as usual (pressure or vacuum). Start with the rear-right side. Then, close the bleeder valve.
  13. At this point, you should not be seeing any bubbles when bleeding.
  14. Connect the negative terminal on the battery.
  15. Get in the car and turn the key to ACC (second position) but do not start the car. You should hear the ABS solenoids clicking (system self-diagnostic). I think there are 8 clicks in total. If you do not hear the clicking then your connections are not correct.
  16. Start the car. After a few seconds, the Anti-Lock light should go out. If the light does not go out then your connections are not correct.
  17. Put the car in gear and get it up to 5-10 mph and hold it there. Apply firm pressure to the brake pedal and press on the momentary switch. You will hear the ABS accumulator running and feel the brake pedal firm up and push back, but keep your foot on the pedal. Let go of the momentary switch and the pedal should slowly go back down. With your foot still on the brake pedal and the car running at 5-10 mph, cycle the abs solenoid a few more times by pressing and releasing the momentary switch.
  18. Release the momentary switch, brake, and gas pedals. Then turn off the car.
  19. Bleed the brakes again. This time you should see some more air bubbles. You can activate the abs valve and bleed the brake until there aren't any large air bubbles left.
  20. Repeat this procedure for the other wheels. The service manual suggests the following bleeding order: rear-right, front-left, rear-left, and front-right.
    Tip: the rear-left/front-right brake circuit runs out of fluid faster, so be sure to keep an eye on the fluid level. It is the reservoir portion closer to the firewall.

ABS Connection Diagram

Last edited by GrannyShifting; Mar 22, 2017 at 10:42 AM.
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