Scenic rx4 ABS fault
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Thread: Scenic rx4 ABS fault

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Default Scenic rx4 ABS fault

    Ok, it finally happened.....A fault light on the dash.

    The abs,handbrake, stop and engine lights are all illuminated.
    I dont really care about that, nor does it matter that the ABS is not working..... as in this wet weather its a bit of a hoot for once being able to get the car a little sideways......But the bloody speedo is inoperative and it is double demerit points time, so about the worst time of the year to not have a speedo.

    The idiot lights seem to have a randomness about them, in that they come on and much later go off for no obvious reason.

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    I took the front ABS sensors off and cleaned the filthy buggers, and that worked at restoring normality...... until up at the tip on the fine wet muddy dirt I hit the brakes hard just to test, and whilst the ABS kicked in, it went off and the bloody fault lights returned.

    Any suggestions how to fix this issue and get my speedo back????


    Jo

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    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Checked the fuses?
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Only19 View Post
    Checked the fuses?
    yes.

    jo

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Today the light has gone off and touch wood is staying off. I certainly won't be locking up to 'test' the system.
    No speedo sucks.

    Its amazing how one little PITA hard-to-diagnose-without-special-tools problem can make you instantly switch from thinking your car rocks and is the best shitter in the world, to hating it and wondering how you can get rid of it and replace it with a toyota!!

    Jo

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Today the light has gone off and touch wood is staying off. I certainly won't be locking up to 'test' the system.
    No speedo sucks.

    Its amazing how one little PITA hard-to-diagnose-without-special-tools problem can make you instantly switch from thinking your car rocks and is the best shitter in the world, to hating it and wondering how you can get rid of it and replace it with a toyota!!

    Jo
    Its probably a connection somewhere Jo, maybe in a connector plug/socket.
    Regards Col

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Its probably a connection somewhere Jo, maybe in a connector plug/socket.
    I'm leaning that way too. Light came on randomly today, then went off after a sharp corner.

    jo

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I never had my speedo go off but it does make me wonder what drives it? What provides the input? I'd be looking for a faulty connector too, if not the speedo drive.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    My Laguna did this a while back.. country roads and foliage under the car pulled a cable.
    I recon that's what is going on too.
    Powered by high grade French plutonium.

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    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    Just an attempt at logical thought, if you still have the problem, Jo.

    I think the ABS fault could be a red herring. I believe the ABS collects inputs from each wheel speed sensor and compares them to the input from the vehicle speed sensor. The speedometer gets its input also from the vehicle speed sensor, assuming it is an electrically driven speedo. In other words, if the speedo is not working because of the sensor, then the ABS has nothing to refer to so will have various faults, which may all go away when the speed sensor is working properly. Fix the speedo, and the ABS will be OK, that's my guess.

    And I wouldn't suspect the speedo head in the dash, because if the road speed sensor was still working, then probably the ABS would be OK still. So it all points to the vehicle road speed sensor, or it's wiring, or it's connections. Haynes manual shows the speed sensor to be located above the gearbox housing near the RH driveshaft output.

    NOW ABANDON ALL LOGICAL THOUGHTS. On trying to decipher what Haynes is telling me, some of the later models do not not have a speedometer drive. Also in the ABS wiring diagram - very basic - it does not show connection to vehicle speed sensor. A wild guess could be that the 4 ABS sensors may be used to feed the main ECU and calculate the road speed, but I think it is more logical (there I go again, and it's a Renault) that there is a direct connection from speedo head (or ECU) to a road speed sensor.

    The manual shows how the road speed sensor is driven by a gear running off the RH output shaft in the gearbox housing. It may be that the plastic/nylon (?) gear has failed, so not driving the sensor. Or the sensor is faulty - usually they are a small armature rotating in a magnetic field, giving a pulse every revolution. These can sometimes be tested by hooking a small voltmeter to the sensor wires and spinning (or driving on a stand) the RH driveshaft.

    I am more confused than when I started this, but just give it all a go. Maybe borrow a speed sensor and try it. Make sure the drive to the sensor is turning with the drive shaft - this shouldn't be too hard to check physically.

    There also seems to be a bit of electronic gadgetry on the ABS unit itself, and Haynes says this includes a reference checking system which detects faults like bad ABS sensors, or flat battery, and causes the instrument panel warning light to come on.

    Many possibilities - can you take fault code readings? Our Scenic has a OBD2 connection, but whether the ABS is diagnosed through this I don't know.

    Fully confused? So am I. Good luck, just give it a go.

    Chris M.
    2004 Scenic I 2.0 auto (Hers)
    2016 Ford Territory (His)
    2004 WRX (Sunday car)

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Wow,a lot of thought.

    You say give it a go, but i dont know how to Spin wheels on a 4wd without a 2 post hoist, which I'm fresh out of.

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Find the speedo drive and spin that out of it's hole? That way stripped or faulty gears would also show up.....
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    I'm being thick and don't really understand.
    Have lots of experience with the fuego, which has a cable speedo.....could pull that and spin it blind folded, but what am I looking for here??

    Jo

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Maybe Chris (Fordman) could send you a piccie from the manual?

    "The manual shows how the road speed sensor is driven by a gear running off the RH output shaft in the gearbox housing. It may be that the plastic/nylon (?) gear has failed, so not driving the sensor. Or the sensor is faulty - usually they are a small armature rotating in a magnetic field, giving a pulse every revolution. These can sometimes be tested by hooking a small voltmeter to the sensor wires and spinning..."
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    ok, have done some googling and now know what the speed sensor is and where it is.
    Bugger me if i can see it though. There seems to be lots of car obstructing the veiw.

    might be a daylight job


    Thanks for the help.

    The fault has not returned in over 24 hours. Touch wood it has healed itself.

    One thing I did not mention because I initially did not see the correlation, was the windscreen squirter hose cracked, causing fluid to drain into cal 3 and make the car misfire. I removed the coils and blasted the water out. Maybe some of this washer water got into the speed sensor or associated wiring??
    Might explain why it has healed itself.

    jo

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    OK, hope this link to post #30 in your original thread on RX4 in 2013 works:
    Thinking about a rx4 (Refer to the diagram).

    The Haynes manual does not cover RX4 driveline components so I am guessing a bit here. It seems they have a 3rd diff (which allows the rear axle to turn at slightly different speed than front axle - this is a good thing to prevent tyre wear with worn tyres of differing diameters). It looks like they also have a viscous coupling to the rear axle, this will allow torque to continue to be applied to the rear even if the fronts are spinning on slippery ground, also a good thing.

    Regarding your jacking of the vehicle - beware - that if you jacked the fronts and started the engine, the rear wheels may drive the car off the jacks. However, I don't think it will have LSDs in front and rear axles (may be wrong). This means that if you jacked up both front wheels, put suitable stands under the body for safety, you should be able to spin the RH wheel by hand (don't start the engine!) quite freely, and the LH front will spin in the opposite direction. To be sure to be sure, chock the rear wheels and have it in neutral. Spinning by hand should be enough to check the drive to the speedo sender. Though if everything is now working Ok, then you could probably rule out the internal drive.

    Is the speedo working again? Or is it just the ABS not faulting any more?
    2004 Scenic I 2.0 auto (Hers)
    2016 Ford Territory (His)
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  16. #16
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman View Post
    Is the speedo working again? Or is it just the ABS not faulting any more?
    Everything is not good.
    The fault randomly appears then just as randomly goes.

    When it appears, the engine/stop/abs/handbrake lights and the speedo stops working.

    I reckon I need to get to that speedo sensor and check it out, as well as all electrical connections.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to actually access the speedo sensor? From above or below??
    Pulled the airbox off but that didn't make access much easier.

    Accès to the rear of the engine seems very restricted on these cars.

    jo

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    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    I reckon send it back to French Connection as a warranty job
    KB


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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman View Post
    OK, hope this link to post #30 in your original thread on RX4 in 2013 works:
    Thinking about a rx4 (Refer to the diagram).

    The Haynes manual does not cover RX4 driveline components so I am guessing a bit here. It seems they have a 3rd diff (which allows the rear axle to turn at slightly different speed than front axle - this is a good thing to prevent tyre wear with worn tyres of differing diameters). It looks like they also have a viscous coupling to the rear axle, this will allow torque to continue to be applied to the rear even if the fronts are spinning on slippery ground, also a good thing.

    Regarding your jacking of the vehicle - beware - that if you jacked the fronts and started the engine, the rear wheels may drive the car off the jacks. However, I don't think it will have LSDs in front and rear axles (may be wrong). This means that if you jacked up both front wheels, put suitable stands under the body for safety, you should be able to spin the RH wheel by hand (don't start the engine!) quite freely, and the LH front will spin in the opposite direction. To be sure to be sure, chock the rear wheels and have it in neutral. Spinning by hand should be enough to check the drive to the speedo sender. Though if everything is now working Ok, then you could probably rule out the internal drive.

    Is the speedo working again? Or is it just the ABS not faulting any more?
    It is my belief that there is no third diff and that the viscous coupling takes care of front/rear slippage. This means that the front and rear wheels are constantly connected, so jacking one end up only could easily result in death or injury. I seem to remember a caution re that fact in the owner's handbook.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    It is my belief that there is no third diff and that the viscous coupling takes care of front/rear slippage. This means that the front and rear wheels are constantly connected, so jacking one end up only could easily result in death or injury. I seem to remember a caution re that fact in the owner's handbook.
    Have worked that much out a long time ago.
    Not keen on getting under a flying car so you won't be reading my obituary in that regard.

    Jo

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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Today the light has gone off and touch wood is staying off. I certainly won't be locking up to 'test' the system.
    No speedo sucks.

    Its amazing how one little PITA hard-to-diagnose-without-special-tools problem can make you instantly switch from thinking your car rocks and is the best shitter in the world, to hating it and wondering how you can get rid of it and replace it with a toyota!!

    Jo
    Jo, that is a bit defeatist and unkind! Be fair. How long have you had this car and how many years of wonderful trouble free service have you enjoyed from it. Maybe it's time to put it out to well earned pasture and change to a Koleos Bose - I can highly recommend them and there are some incredibly generous deals to be had at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Today the light has gone off and touch wood is staying off. I certainly won't be locking up to 'test' the system.
    No speedo sucks.

    Its amazing how one little PITA hard-to-diagnose-without-special-tools problem can make you instantly switch from thinking your car rocks and is the best shitter in the world, to hating it and wondering how you can get rid of it and replace it with a toyota!!

    Jo
    Jo it's a sign of getting old and you are losing the inclination to incessantly climb under and work on cars.

    What was once a challenge in now a serial pita if the can't be readily and immediately fixed. Even more so when you need the car for transport.

    Start thinking about new/ newer car. In the former case faults are the responsibility of someone else to sort out for several years. And roadside assist is often thrown in with the warranty.

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Jo it's a sign of getting old and you are losing the inclination to incessantly climb under and work on cars.

    What was once a challenge in now a serial pita if the can't be readily and immediately fixed. Even more so when you need the car for transport.

    Start thinking about new/ newer car. In the former case faults are the responsibility of someone else to sort out for several years. And roadside assist is often thrown in with the warranty.
    Spot on.
    Indeed I m starting to think about a newer car, but not new enough that it will have warrantee.....but new enough not to need road side assist.

    When i was under the rx4 the other day, i noticed all the boots were needing replacement or very close to needing it.
    Ball joints on the lower control arms need doing too

    Care factor --0

    This car has exceeded its purchase cost in value and never let me down and by simply ignoring this stupid speedo problem, it continues to serve me well.

    One issue i struggle with a bit though, is the fact that this car is smash proof at minor speeds and i have become very comfortable with this ...um...advantage, especially in the jungle of sydney traffic.

    The amount of little bingles that have happened in this car with virtually no show of damage is quite remarkable....and I don't have to clean it either, except to rub of other car's paint.
    Sometimes i think another RX4, grandpa spec.....fully garaged and low KM might be the go and other times i think a used lattitude might also be nice.

    Could also do a lucky dip and ask DC to keep an eye out on another random 'too-good-to wreck' car for me, seeing as he has done me well in the past.

    Not in the position to buy just now, but certainly looking.


    Jo, that is a bit defeatist and unkind! Be fair. How long have you had this car and how many years of wonderful trouble free service have you enjoyed from it. Maybe it's time to put it out to well earned pasture and change to a Koleos Bose - I can highly recommend them and there are some incredibly generous deals to be had at the moment.
    I told you i'd give you $2k for yours but you never replied.

    Jo

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