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ABS light is always on...

08-06-2003, 11:51 AM
Greetings all. New to Forum and looking for some help.

I've got a '00 Xterra SE, about 38k miles.

Not too long ago we brought the X in to a Dealership for a long overdue full maintenance workover (come to find out later that the particular dealership we went to only did about 20% of the work they were SUPPOSED to do, but that's another story). At that time the ABS light used to come on only every so often.

We had asked them to check on that, but they said it's nothing and ignore it...Not really the answer I wanted, but it came from a Nissan Dealership so I accepted it.

As time went by that ABS light would come on more and more often and at this point it's more on than off.

We're going to bring the X to a local shop this time, once bitten twice shy with a Dealership. Can anyone provide more insight than 'bring you vehicle in for servicing' (that's about the only thing we could find for info in the User Manual about ABS).

Thank you.

08-06-2003, 05:23 PM
My dealer checked things in the order of...

1. ABS recall
2. ABS Actuator under the hood
3. G-Sensor

Since the dealer replaced the g-sensor, the ABS light has not come on...It's been about 6 months now.

08-06-2003, 08:30 PM
i had the same problem with my abs light, so i took my x to the dealership and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. So i took it again to the same dealership the did all these tests on it and found that the abs sensor had gone bad force the light to come on but there was nothing wrong with the brakes (just the sensor for the lights). So they replaced it and told me that if i put a new headset (radio) in recently it could have caused it to go bad, hope this helps. Jason

08-06-2003, 09:15 PM
The ABS sensor can rust, or the brake drum get crap in it which will make the sensor fail. 2000's weren't in the recall but there was one for later models that had the rust I mentioned.

The rear sensors are pretty easy to check out. They only have one bolt holding them into the cylinder. But since you're under warranty I wouldn't mess with it, just keep an eye on what they say and do.

08-09-2003, 04:03 PM
Thanks for the replies folks.

I took my X to a Meineke today, the guy looked it over and said it was because the front pads were so worn and needed to be replaced. I know what a worn pad looks like, and though these were on their way out, they weren't THAT bad either. I had the brakes done anyway.

...Light still comes on.

I'll have to bring in to a Dealership at this point, but at least I KNOW there's nothing actually wrong with my brakes.

Is the ABS system under warranty and is my 2000 model still covered?

Thanks all.

08-09-2003, 05:28 PM
That sucks! 9 times out of 10 an ABS problem stems from a bad or improperly installed sensor. In addition to what has already mentioned, the sensor wires are prone to shorting out due to suspension movement. Everytime your wheel goes up and down it pulls on the wire and relaxes it and that eventually causes the wires to come apart. That's what has happened to me twice...once in my Audi and once in the Xterra.

I'm not sure without looking at my manual (it's outside), but I believe the sensors only fall under the bumper to bumper 3 year/36K warranty. If it's not covered it will run you about $250-$300 to have it diagnosed and replaced. The dealer should be able to easily identify the problem.

BTW, I assume you already know this, but any malfunction in any part of the ABS shuts down the whole system, so whenever your light is on the ABS won't function. I also affects the brake balance front to rear. Keep that in mind while driving and be careful!

Gavin Curtis
09-14-2004, 12:03 AM
There is a slight issue with the Continental Ate ABS systems used in the Nissan Frontier and Xterra. A portion of the analog control block and serial data port fails internally, causing intermittent ABS codes to appear even though sensors etc are okay. Usually LF wheel sensor or pump motor codes appear at first. Eventually all communication with ABS controller to drivetrain computer will be lost.

The Continental ABS controller can be repaired for much less than the $1100.00 part cost.

Installing a stereo, even jumpstarting vehicle with two batteries in series (24V) WILL NOT cause damage to the ABS controller as all electronic systems in the vehicle are designed to withstand 50 volt power surges sustained for minutes if not indefinitely.

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