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Brake light and ABS light comes on

07-13-2006, 06:41 PM
The last dozen or more times I started my 1998 Dodge Durango, the brake light and the ABS light would stay on. This happened about 50% of the time. The rest of the times, they go out like they should. The last time I started the vehicle and the lights stayed on, I shut the Durango off, and restarted it. Then the lights went off as they should. The emergency brake is completely off, and the brake fluid is full. Any suggestions, please.
Update--these two lights are staying on now. I did jump start two cars lately, could that have anything to do with the problem ?

07-13-2006, 07:19 PM
Well, this has been discussed frequently.
Do a search on 'abs brake light' and you'll get 4 pages of threads.
Usually, it's the speed sensor(s).
If your speedometer is also acting crazy up to about 30-35 mph, then it's the one in the rear differential.
Easy and inexpensive diy fixes.
If it REALLY is a bad ABS, then that's significant and expensive.
Good luck.
Westminster, MD USA

07-14-2006, 06:38 AM
Thanks for the reply, DurangoDave. The speedometer works just fine. If this does turn out to be an expensive repair, like the ABS controller, is there a fuse I can remove to stop those two lights from coming on ? I know, I should fix the problem etc, but I drove for 30 plus years without ABS, so I can drive again without it.

07-16-2006, 10:57 PM
I let mine just stay lit for a couple you said, you don't need ABS, and your regular braking is not impaired as long as it's just the speed sensor.

But the problem of course, eventually means an instant failure of any emissions or safety inspection your state might have. So with my emissions inspection coming up, I had to break down and replace the rear speed sensor.

I was never able to learn whether there is a way to disconnect the lights...I'm betting it can't be done, since this is a safety warning situation. I have heard of people blacking out the indicators with electrical tape or something (!), but that can't work in the long term, because when the codes are read during inspection it will report a failed ABS, which is instant failure.

I've also been told, although I don't know whether to really believe this or not, that even if you could disable the lights, the inspection generates a "test" signal that reveals whether the lights are disconnected or non-functioning. But again, I don't really know if that's true.

By the way, I read your profile, and you and I are of the same vintage...wasn't it nice when you could actually work on cars yourself! (OK, that's all the by-cracky, young whippersnapper comments I'll make!)

Westminster, MD USA

07-18-2006, 07:19 PM
Hi Dave--Yes it was nice when the average Joe could fix his own vehicle
instead of having to take it to a garage.
The answer is probably "NO", but is there any way to confirm, or rule out that speed sensor you mention ?

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