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Service Vehicle Soon/Trac Off/ABS lights all on

06-07-2004, 10:19 PM
On Friday I was moving my car into my driveway when all of a sudden the ABS, Trac Off, and Service Vehicle Soon lights came on. I called Oldsmobile roadside assistance (eventhough I was in my driveway) and they towed it to the dealership. I was told the next day that the only code logged into the PCM was "excessive wheel spin at right front wheel". The invoice said that "there are many things that could cause issue; don't want to guess at this time; cleared codes; lights off". The service advisor told me that he's seen this before and that usually after clearing the codes, many Alero owners don't experience this again. He also told me they check they checked the resistance in the wheel speed sensor and everything checked out okay. So I drove off hoping it was over with. Well it happened again last night. The lights came and went, but there is obviously something going on that keeps setting these lights off. I contacted the dealer and set up a day that I could bring my car in. He told me they would check it out again, and somewhat rudely I told them I wouldn't take my car out of the service drive unless they actually did something this time instead of just clearing the pending trouble codes. I have an appointment Wednesday morning so we'll see what they do. Does anyone have any ideas on what could be causing this? Has this ever happened to anyone else?

Thanks and sorry the post was so long.


06-07-2004, 10:35 PM
Its your wheel bearing. You may have noticed a hum while driving over 35 that changes when you rock the steering back and forth. A while after this the lights come on as the sensor is part of the hub assm.

I just got back from my dealer today they knew right off what it was though they chose to say it was bad wiring instead of bad bearing. And they only changed the one that threw the code though both were noisy. I have to go to the brake guy to look at the rotors and Ill have him double check the other bearing.

In your situation I would call gm and then have them refer you to another dealer and report the one you went to.

Someone had posted somewhere else about getting customer survey cards and sending them in and how hard it is to get them from the dealer...the one I go to staples them directly to the ticket and will follow up if you dont send them in. I still hate dealers and only go in for warranty work I have a real mech for the rest.

As far as driving your car its ok to drive till you can get it in. The light may go away but will come back by rocking steering while driving at 35mpi.

And if you look around a bit the bearing thing is a common issue join the club :banghead:

06-08-2004, 10:47 PM
Thanks for your help. I appreciate it. As I stated, I am taking her in tomorrow so I will definately tell them to look into the hub assembly.


06-09-2004, 12:17 PM
Yep same problems here Wheel bearing caused all my lights and my abs to drop out completly and losing almost all my brakes for about 2 seconds wasnt real fun to drive but the new bearing fixed all my problems. Id say theres a 95% chance thats the problem!

06-10-2004, 12:15 AM
Yep that's what it turned out to be. I am waiting for the wire harness to come in or some crap then GM will replace it on their tab.


07-24-2004, 09:19 AM
Hello there I have the same problem. I took my ALERO to the dealer they told me my left front wheel speed sensor & harness needs to be replaced. sensor costs $391.15 and the harness costs $174.86 .

07-25-2004, 01:24 AM
Holy crap! I am so glad that I got mine done under the 3/36K warranty. That's crazy....

I would defintately try to find a good independent mechanic.


11-06-2004, 12:25 PM
I had the same problem today-Service Engine Soon light has been on a while now, ABS and then brake lights came on. Then dash lights dimmed, I lost headlights, and power steering. Then car stalled completely. Car started right up later, then same cycle accompanied by temp gauge going through he roof. Any thoughts on this unique mixture of probs?


11-08-2004, 10:04 AM
I am having the same problem with trac and ABS lights. I took some time looking around my wheels and found that the wires going into the front left wheel sensor have been ripped out from the wheel sensor.

My question is do you have to replace the whole wheel sensor unit or is there some way just to replace the wiring? The wheel sensor isn't bad its just the wires.

12-03-2004, 11:58 AM
I drove through a puddle and it cost me $600 CAD at the dealer. The right wheel speed sensor failed causing the 3 lights (ABS,Service Soon, track off) came on. This sounds like it should be a recall on the sensor as I see this problem is everywhere on the net. Does anyone know GM's response? Has anyone heard of a recall? There should be.

12-03-2004, 02:17 PM
Anyone know what can happen if these go unrepaired?


12-06-2004, 08:59 AM
I just bought my 2001 Alero a month ago and now these lights popped on as well. It happened the first day we had snow fall. The snow went away, it dried up and the lights went off. Now a week later its snowing again and on came the lights. It seems to me that its moisture related.

I can't afford to drop the $400-$600 that some of you are saying that it will cost to fix. Not this month any way. Any thought to prolonged driving without fixing the sensor if it has to be replaced any way?

I hate driving with those damn lights on tho!!!

03-22-2005, 02:34 PM
The same thing happened with my 2000 alero a few months after I replaced the front brake pads. I jiggled the wire harness connectors at the wheel and solved the problem.
Another time it was caused by new tires that bounced too much when going over a curb.
Recently I had these lights come on and the cause was the wheel sensor.

03-30-2005, 07:57 PM
I replaced both wheel speed sensors/hub and bearing assemblies, last spring. I replaced the left front and the lights stayed on. I replaced the right front and they went off; for about 3000 miles. This spring my daughter turned 16 and I plan to let her use this car, and she needs to take her driver's test with it. They will not let you take the test wiht any warning lights on, so I had to try and fix it again. I took it to a dealer to diagnose it and they said left side wheel speed sensor. (They wanted $380 to fix it, I said no thanks. (The part is $100 at NAPA and I can change it in an hour.) I changed it and the lights were gone... Until I took it down the road. I hit the brakes at the first stop sign and the car acted like I was on ice, the trac control came on, but went off. At my next turn I hit the brakes and the anti-lock/trac control kicked in and the car dive to the left. The lights came on again and it is just like it was when I started. I can't believe that I would have a bed sensor out of the box? any Ideas? I hate to take it to the dealer again, but I am stumped.

05-13-2005, 12:25 PM
Hello evry1. Ok I have read the whole thing and each and evry1's complaint bout the abs/track off & service vehicle soon light being on or c'min on & off. I have '02 alero & I have 48200 miles on my car.
My lights have been actin the same way as jeremy and others. I took it to the dealer knowin my warranty was expired but hoping to get those 3 lights of my dashboad. But as all of u guyz agree, dealers r of no help. He wanted to charge me 100$ to just see it. I m a student and I really cant afford it. But wat I have noticed is that we all almost the same problem. we have the same make and model just few yrs here and there. Dont u guyz think this thing should be a recall ?? I mean without a doubt i can say there r many out there with the same problem but either they r 2 impatient or 2 rich or 2 poor to have a computer and visit sites like these or may be dunno how to use a computer or dunno bout web sites like these. I m going to get my car fixed sometime soon but I deff want your reply regarding considering this issue as "RECALL".

05-15-2005, 01:29 PM
This is just something that is restricted to the Alero. Luckily my Alero just hit the 80000 mile mark and have not had to replace the wheel bearing on it, however I had a grand am that the exact same thing happened to at around 47000 miles. GM needs to do something about this problem for future models.

02-21-2006, 12:01 AM
Hello All:
I have the same problem. It started a couple of days back after driving on snow. The light doesnt come on the first thing in the morning, but as I drive out of my driveway, it turns on. It remains on throughout the day. Does anyone know why? I have a 2002 Alero GLS coupe. It has 101050 miles on it.

02-21-2006, 08:02 AM
You may have moisture in the electrical connectors that go to each wheel sensor. The wiring runs along the lower control arm to the hub. Try cleaning with electrical contact cleaner and let dry. Also, inspect the wiring for damage such as cuts and frays, etc. from the sensors at each wheel to the ABS motor/modulator. The ABS modulator has a big electrical connector that may be susceptible to moisture. If that doesn't work you may have a hub assembly going bad.

02-25-2006, 01:37 PM
The problem was with the Right wheel hub bearing. The resistance on the sensor was checked and it did not read anything. After the bearings were changed, all the lights went off. One could only wish that GM did this as a recall. But unfortunately, due to Alero and GrandAM being out of the market, they probably dont care anymore. Anyways... this time it worked!

02-26-2006, 05:02 PM
It seems to me that its moisture related.

Same problem. Today I took both front wheels off to check the wiring harnesses and connections. Sure enough, when I unplugged the front passenger connector, water trickled out.

I used compressed air to try and force all the moisture out and then let it dry for 15 minutes. Put everything back together, and I still have the lights on.

Since my hubs aren't making any noise, and I have no other problems, I'm guessing my harness is done.

1) Are there any diagnostics I should perform? I did not measure resistance at the connector.

2) Has anybody attempted changing the harness?

Thanks in advance.

02-26-2006, 07:09 PM
well, someone needs to do a nationwide class action lawsuit for this problem as well as the fan speed resistor problem.

ok, on my 2001 that i purchased new:

34k miles, left-front wheel bearing hub assemply replaced under warranty

46k miles, right-front replaced under warranty

76k miles, right-front replaced at $565 by dealer.

26k, resistor for fan speeds replaced under warranty
32k, (6000 miles later) resistor replaced again under warranty
66k, resistor again for $157 because they had to run a diagnostic even though I told them it was the resistor (a $28 part)
next time this part goes out, i am just going to buy the part and change it myself when i change the radio out.

on my 2000 alero that i traded in for the 2001
at 18k, i had the left-front wheel bearing hub crap replaced under warranty
at 35k, the right-front replaced under warranty
and at 46k, the resistor for the fan blower went out when i traded it in.

needless to say, i am through with GM. my 2001 Alero and my wife's 2000 Buick are paid off in 2 months and we are done with GM.

02-26-2006, 07:50 PM
Same problem. Today I took both front wheels off to check the wiring harnesses and connections. Sure enough, when I unplugged the front passenger connector, water trickled out.

I used compressed air to try and force all the moisture out and then let it dry for 15 minutes. Put everything back together, and I still have the lights on.

Since my hubs aren't making any noise, and I have no other problems, I'm guessing my harness is done.

1) Are there any diagnostics I should perform? I did not measure resistance at the connector.

2) Has anybody attempted changing the harness?

Thanks in advance.

It wouldn't hurt to measure the resistance of the wheel sensor. The moisture may have damaged the sensor. The electrical connector can be replaced if suspected bad. The complete harness will be a little more difficult because it runs from each wheel sensor to the ABS modulator which is located at the left hand side (driver's) of the front part of the subframe.

02-26-2006, 08:16 PM
well, someone needs to do a nationwide class action lawsuit for this problem as well as the fan speed resistor problem.

Heck, might as well add the lower intake gasket while you're at it.

Also, bnaylor, thanks for the help. I'll probably start by checking the resistance. The more I think about it, the more I believe the water probably killed the sesnor. That is all tied in with the hub/bearing assembly, correct?

02-26-2006, 08:27 PM
Hi there I have a similar problem too. I have a 99 alero and the TRAC OFF light came on after i was driving for half an hour. While the TRAC OFF light came on my RPM's increased than usual, and every time it passes 3000 RPM's the car jerks. Maybe every time it changes gears it jerks i have no clue. But after i turn off the car and turn it back on the light goes off and the car is fine for couple of min. Then the Service Engine Soon and TRAC OFF lights come on and it repeats the same thing again. It's driving me nuts please someone help me.

02-26-2006, 10:59 PM
Heck, might as well add the lower intake gasket while you're at it.

Also, bnaylor, thanks for the help. I'll probably start by checking the resistance. The more I think about it, the more I believe the water probably killed the sesnor. That is all tied in with the hub/bearing assembly, correct?

Not a problem and you're welcome. Yeah, on the lower intake gasket probably a good idea. Just about all of have. The hub/bearing is a complete unit with the sensor integrated in needless to say. It is a DIY job. The axle nut is 36mm. You'll need a torque wrench because axle nut preload will range from 150 - 180 ft-lbs depending on what hub maker specifies. Also, you'll need a standard hub puller to remove the hub from spindle so the CV joints are not damaged. Good luck!

Hub/Bearing front & back:

03-09-2006, 09:42 PM
I have a 2004 Grand AM GT with 43K miles on it, and it too decided to display these lights. I needed to change the brakes anyway, so I changed them out. After taking the car to get these lights checked out, however, it turned out to need a wheel hub (assembly) due to bad bearings. I actually had two bad assemblies, but only fixed one of them (worse of the two) and the total cost of the part itself was an inflated $170. It's a 20 minute job and should NEVER cost more than about $60-70 for labor at a reputable shop. Granted, the lights come on now after 20' of driving, but that's because I still one to fix. [But yes, I agree, a recall from GM would be the polite thing to do for us all!]

09-15-2009, 09:48 PM
I have had My 1999 Alero since 2002. I have noticed that the Trac Light Comes and Goes. I Have a cold air intake duct close to the ground. I removed the baffle from the stock intake and dropped a hose down to the floor of the engine. This may be or may not be the cause but it seems to be a issue i have caused for myself. When the "TRAC OFF" Light turns on, giving that HARD ASS KICK from gear to gear. You can try to accel super slow every time you stop giving the tranny time to slip smoothly into gear and it will turn the light off for a little while.
I replace the AIT sensor. I have noticed when the computer is reading a REALLY HIGH TEMP form the AIT the "TRAC OFF" Light comes on. I replace the sensor about 2wice a year. Also recently this Last "Trac Off" light did not set a MIL. I replaced the sensor and added a quart of Fluid. The light is now dormant.

Once I had the ABS light as well as the "TRAC OFF" light turn on. In winter with bald tires. Sucked without ABS. I bought a Wheel Hub from ebay for $60. I had a local mechanic" MAIN MUFFLER" install it for $45 Problem solved. hub went out cuz of a warped rim and Tire I was driving on for 2k+ miles

I always use Lucas for both Engind and Transmission. Ive put over 76K miles on this car since 2002 and Its ........better not say...knock on wood just for thinking it LOL

01-31-2010, 01:08 PM
Had tires rotated and balanced and took an 1100 mile trip now the service engine light, anti-lock brakes light and the trap off light all came on. Car seems to be fine. Do you think it is wire harnessing, wheel bearings, or hubs that could be causing this to happen. I am not hearing the traditional whine or hum like when a bearing goes out

03-08-2010, 02:17 PM
I am having the ABS and Low trac lights come on, however I do NOT get the Service Engine Soon light. I have not checked my harnesses, but did check the two front bearings, at least shoot and moved the tires, which seemed fine. I need to check the rear bearings, the harnesses, and the sensors yet.

03-10-2010, 09:45 AM
End of December all 3 lights came on. Took it in for service in early Jan. Shop said it was a wheel bearing/wiring problem. Worked OK for about a month after repair, then all 3 lights on again. Took it back to the same shop, they said this time it was the wheel bearing on the other side. Worked for about a week after the second repair, now it is happening again. My husband talked to the shop, they said the only thing they can do now is disconnect the sensor. We live in Canada, we need the ABS & trac control! Today he took it to another shop, they said one of the wheel bearings was giving intermittant readings. They are going to repair it, we'll see how long it lasts.

03-15-2010, 09:48 AM
I have an 01 alero with 170k miles on it. I have the same problem and it started last december as I was driving on the highway in a snow storm. All 3 lights (trac off, service engine soon and abs) came on.

At first I thought it would go away but i started hearing a hummng sound. I brought it to a mechanic and had both front hub assemblies changed. The ptoblem ent away for about 2 weeks then came back again. I do hear a sound but this time it seems like the rotor. The rotor's and brakes were replaced 2 months ago. I have no clue what could be causing this and It sure wont pass inspection if I dont get those light to turn off.

The lights come on about 20 seconds after I turn the car on but on some rare occasions, they come on after about 10-15 minutes.

Is it possible to dirve with the ABS unplugged? I just want to pull the connector thingy from both wheels. I ahvent checked if the wires to the connector were damaged and water is getting in the wires.

Any solution? :banghead:

04-26-2010, 01:22 PM
I have a 2000 Alero I purchased with only 130,000. Well the car ran excellent for the first 6 months or so. I had to have the water pump replaced and after doing so it went out of time. (thanks to the idiot who fixed it) Had that fixed and now my Damn Service Engine soon light and Trac Off light is on. Took it to my mechanic and he told me that it is the timing again! The person who fixed it last time did not change the gears and some other things, but I was too damn upset at the time and don't recall what else I need. I have had all berrings replaced, brakes, rotors, tie rod, and I keep up with the oil changes, fluid changes, ect. I like the car a lot and have been told that I should get rid of it because of the motor I have: quad 4 2.4. Anyone have any suggestions??

07-08-2010, 02:03 PM
I've also had the S.E.S./ABS/TC lights all come on at the same time on my 2002 Old Intrigue. After some testing I determined that by turning the steering wheel left - the lights would all come on. Even while the vehicle was stationary. Took it to the dealership - they said that the left front wheel speed sensor (or ABS) harness was bad. They changed the harness and the lights haven't come on. I will update if it re-appears. Parts $96.60 CDN + labor $130.90 CDN.
As an FYI - I purchased the vehicle used (it was 1 year old). I also purchased the extended warranty (6yrs/120,000kms) for $2,000. In the 5 years of warranty (the first year is written off) - the dealership has put in about $5,000 worth of parts and labor into it. The paint is also peeling, plus the buttons on the radio are also loosing their paint(?). Nice car, but this will probably be my last domestic vehicle.

06-23-2011, 02:20 PM
We have a 2003 Alero. Having the same problem as most. The "service vehicle soon" and "trac off" lights came on in January of this year. The mechanic said it was the speed sensor. Had it fixed. Now, this morning I went to move the car out of the driveway and the lights came on again. I signed into this website and was reading the problems that other Alero owners are having. Someone asked if GM knows about this problem and are there any recalls. I phoned GM and the woman told me if no one else is calling them with the problem, then they can't do a recall. I think everyone needs to call them and report it. The number is 1-800-263-3777
We are thinking of getting rid of our car later this summer and don't know if we want to put out the money to fix it now, unless GM is willing to do something about. I also saw that someone went through a puddle and this happened, we had a big thunderstorm last night and i'm wondering if that is what caused our problem today.

08-28-2011, 06:18 PM
I've had to replace the hub assemblies on both fronts of my kid's 2001.

I used a 1000 ohm resistor to see which side was bad. You can them really cheap at radioshack. Disconnect the sensor and stick the resistor in the end that goes to the computer. If the lights are off when you start the car you have the correct side.

First time for me was passenger side. Put on a cheap "enkido" assembly that lasted only 6000 miles. Replaced it with a timken. Lesson learned.

Just did the driver's side last weekend.

You can do this job if you're reasonably handy. The worst part is getting the assembly out from the steering knuckle. But I read about a trick. Put 2 of the 3 bolts (the 2 lower ones) that hold the assembly to the knuckle back in, but just a bit. Turn the steering wheel to the left. Put a socket on the front (now the outer) bolt and a couple of extensions. Prop the other end of the extensions against the frame. Get in the started car and crank the wheel to the right. You're using the power steering to push the hub out of the knuckle. Then do the bolt on the other side, in the opposite direction of course. Do this a couple of times and you may find that you've got it loose enough to pull out. You might ruin a socket and or extensions though...

And, you probably want to do this only if you're going to replace the assembly. Mine came out without the cover that was still stuck inside the knuckle. But that cover was easily bent and came out easily with a screwdriver/chisle and a hammer.

Anti-seize was used when putting it all back together.:smokin:

09-12-2011, 06:40 PM
My cars trac off light would come on and when changing gear say from park to reverse it would make a terrible noise.
when speed ing up passing gears would clunk also. Was going to get it put on a scanner. Before i could do that i had a slow leak on my tire and when fixed iwas told i had a bend rim. I replaced rim and for two weeks now my light has not come on. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it was the problem.

12-12-2011, 08:26 PM
my 01 alero has similar problem, when I wheer wheel turn left or right to its end the S.V.S /Trac Off/ABS lights all on. It's a big bug for this model.

12-06-2012, 08:59 AM
The SVS/TRAC/ABS lights were going off everytime my Alero started to roll.
I replaced both front ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Wire Harness Assemblies and the problem has been gone for a couple months now. The car feels like it's handling better as well. I am hoping it continues. My step-father owns an autbody shop and informed me that it's very common for these wires to get "gunked" up or for rust to form in the area and cause this problem. It is also common for this issue to have this problem more than once in the lifetime of the car.

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