: ABS Question/New Engine

11-10-05, 06:30 PM
Ok, my worst nightmare has come true.

I drove my car down to my shop with the engine overheating. Every other system was working 100%, just overheating engine.

After diagnosing a small crack in the head as well as head gasket failure I decided since the engine had the oil leak to go ahead and have the engine rebuilt, as the cost of the heads being fixed were nearing that very same expense in labor.

Now, after the engine is back, rebuilt, running (well!), every system on the car is lit up like a christmas tree. The ABS (orange) light is on the dash, Traction Control Off and Service Ride Control messages scrolling along the bottom. These were all 100% before dropping off.

It is now at the Caddy dealership after the mechanic has checked things for grounded wires, missing parts, etc.

The Caddy dealership wants to sell an $1100 ABS unit upon initial inspection. My gut and experience tell me that I dropped this car off with everything working and the chances of the ABS failing while the engine was out are slim/none. I do know that all the systems that are lit up are intertwined so whatever is causing the problem will probably remedy the rest of the issues.

Should I just let the dealership put the ABS unit on? I was given the option for them to "look into it further" as if they weren't 100% sure of their analysis.

Before all of this, I was in the green money wise, easily able to handle the engine R&R but I'm quickly run to redline here. I have a good relationship with the owner of the shop but this problem that has "suddenly come on" apparently is going to be left at my feet.

His idea on why it might be my fault that the ABS unit failed AFTER I dropped it off was engine heat under the hood from the engine overheating destroying it.

HELP. I do not think this is my fault, but I am also not the type to shrik responsibility when it is squarely mine.


11-10-05, 07:37 PM
Unless the mechanic did something to damage the ABS it doesn't make any sense. He didn't need to open the brake circuit (hydraulic) up.

I think they are missing a ground. I had a loose ground that drove me nuts. It took awhile with the wiring diagrams to figure out where it was. Has your mechanic taken the Alldata or factory manual wiring diags and checked for every ground? I don't mean looking at grounds...I mean taking the book and checking where every one was ( or should be).

It really is his responsibility to fix this and I'd bet a bunch of money he has the wiring messed up.

11-10-05, 09:50 PM
Now, after the engine is back, rebuilt, running (well!), every system on the car is lit up like a christmas tree. The ABS (orange) light is on the dash, Traction Control Off and Service Ride Control messages scrolling along the bottom. These were all 100% before dropping off.

It certainly doesn't sound like it would be your fault, but what are the codes? Check here if you have never checked codes before:


11-11-05, 09:45 AM
My problem was a loose ground. It was a pain but I found several circuits traced back to one ground. I did not find it by inspecting grounds. Once I knew which ground and checked it, I found it was loose.

The other possibility is a pinched wiring harness. That could be even harder to find if it's not pinched now.

11-11-05, 09:47 AM
While there are some mechanics that are good with electrical problems they are the exception. Do you have any friends with electrical diagnostic skills?

11-12-05, 05:01 PM
hell no! Not on this level.

11-13-05, 01:14 AM
Do you have a voltmeter? You can get a cheap one at Harbor Freight. On the fuse panel you can check the voltages very easily. Run down all the circuits (you can touch the metal connector next to each fuse) and see if some give you strange voltages. 5 or 6 for example. That's usually a sign of a bad ground.

12-08-05, 03:38 PM
Well, they finally took it to a Cadillac dealer after checking every damn wire (I trust them) - and they said I needed a new EBTCS (ABS/Trac Control) computer. Found one for $600 or so at GM Parts Direct and put it in.

Still the same problem.

The Saga of the Worst Purchase of My Life goes on..... I"m going to have to keep this car the rest of my life to get my moneys worth.....


12-08-05, 04:43 PM
Why did you get the EBTCS is your gut said it wasnt going to fix anything? That old unit was probably running perfectly fine. I hate to say it, but it cmay even be the PCM. The problem is theres just too many electronics in the northstar. And especially in 94 when they were practically "beta" tested with the purchasers as guinea pigs. I really hesitated before buying my 95.

I drive without ABS/TC anyway (both mine are out). They come on intermittant, say maybe once in every 2 or 3 warm starts. I dont care though. Im buying $1000 wheels before an ABS unit.

12-08-05, 04:46 PM
No, the Cadillac dealership used their who knows how many thousand dollar scanner that said it was out....

My gut told me otherwise since everything worked fine before the engine swap and the stuff in the trunk wasn't changed.

12-08-05, 06:04 PM
Chevyorange...did you try the check I suggested?

12-08-05, 06:09 PM
Zone, I haven't but my mechanic did - it is being redobuled now.

I am disabled and couldn't pull off that stuff myself - I used to be before my accident but a coked-up semi driver took care most of my physical abilities but good in '98....

I DO appreciate the tip though!!!

12-10-05, 01:11 AM
The fuses are on the fenderwell. Once the plastic cover is off they are very easy to access.

Aaron J Williams
12-10-05, 09:32 PM
From the look of it, the system is powered by 3 fuses. A 50 amp maxifuse #5 in the underhood fuse block,a 10 amp fuse #A1 in the trunk, and a 20 amp fuse #B3 in the underhood fuse block. There are 2 grounds ,one grounds the A/C clutch and right hand cooling fan as well as the brake pressure modulator. Interesting to note that if that ground was bad, the cooling fan might not work leading to overheating? The second ground also grounds the lighting system and if that one was bad you would have no lights or very dim ones. I have seen bad connections at the underhood fuseblock cause low voltage and low voltage at the brake control module will cause the symptoms you describe. I'd have your mechanic check the connector that the fuse pushes into for corrosion and looseness. If the engine change mechanic took the underhood harness apart at the firewall connector a pin might have gotten bent when it was put back together. It's a long shot but possible.I'm really sorry to hear about your problem because when a caddy is running right,it's a beautiful machine. I hope yours becomes beautiful again!

12-12-05, 09:50 PM
Well, here's the new info:

My mechanic took it back to the Caddy dealership steaming because they told him it was the computer and that was not the case - so he made the Cadillac dealership eat the cost of the computer! (It was non-returnable).

Turns out it is the mechanical pump is the story. And they are $900 at GMPartsdirect.com - but we think we know a company here in Seattle that will rebuild it. Should save me quite a bit of money.

When the car is back, it will be beautiful again. I just can't handle all the major system lights flashing errors while driving... I'm glad I made them fix it.

05-16-06, 08:55 PM

After ALL this time... nothing has worked. The mechanical pump is replaced and STILL the lights are on. So, I got my money back for the EBTCM, have a new ABS pump, all sensors have been checked and still get ABS light, traction control light.

I'm paying him for the labor and taking the car back tonight. He just doesn't know what he is doing. I have an appointment at the stealership on Monday and have offically taken this over. I really wanted him to finish the job but he has lost all respect in my mind.

Quick question: could an old battery that barely has charge cause trouble codes? Secondly, he said early on that my left front wheel hub needed to be replaced - if he put a bad hub in could that be causing my ABS problem?

My gut tells me that this is one little thing causing the ABS system to not work, and when the ABS isn't working then the traction control light doesn't work, right?

Again, I'm a disabled guy and cannot make threats or do too much visual on my car, I can barely walk (use a cane - have a lower back injury).

Tonight, I myself will read the codes and post back as I have until Monday before my appointment at the dealership and maybe I'll get lucky and make something happen myself.

Thanks for letting me vent. I love my car but am so embittered by this.

05-16-06, 09:12 PM
A weak battery can wreak havoc with the electrical system. I would not be surprised to see it set false codes.

The wheel speed sensor is integral to the hub assembly, so yes a bad hub will cause the ABS to be inop and that will disable the T/C.

05-16-06, 09:28 PM
A bad battery will throw random codes in random amounts. If there are codes that don't make sense clear them and start over.

The sensors/computer get confused with low voltage.

05-16-06, 10:50 PM
hey dont feel too bad my 96 sts is doing the same thing after i swapped in a new motor, i just havent had the time to figure it out yet, dam 2nd gear starts suck too!!!

1993 eldorado green1
05-17-06, 12:51 AM
only thing is the abs/tc is NOT releated to the service ride control, they are on completly different circuits.

i dont even have my abs/tc pump plugged and i dont have any rss codes, i fixed them myself. your mechanic screwed up something real good 4 u.

have u checked the fuses yet? and y did u take the car back if it is not correct? i would return the car to the mechanic and if he doesnt fix it right then sue him...

05-17-06, 01:18 AM
The service ride control issue is gone with clearing the codes but the T/C and ABS lights are on.

I have left it with the mechanic to fix for months and he hasn't fixed it. He has replaced everything under the sun, and still the same results.

I'm going to take it to the Cadillac dealership Monday and have them track it down. I just can't afford to leave my car with this guy anymore. He doesn't know what he is doing and I'm afraid he is going to ruin more things than he is gonna fix.

I put a new battery in it tonight and everything is good except for the aformentioned lights. I will pull codes tomorrow. The car has significant power, and needs an alignment but that is easy to deal with.

The saga continues.......

(oh and only after I got home did I notice the power lock switch is now broken also.......)

05-17-06, 11:49 AM
i do know there is a big connector on the abs pump module and also it has a small grond wire that comes off on the drivers side of the unit thats the ground i will check and clean up on mine and see if the same problem i have goes away, i know i put the ground back on but it my be a bad connection! i will also check the connector to the pump, maybe its loose!

05-17-06, 12:54 PM
I'll check my ground too this afternoon when I have a chance to get near the car again. I'm pretty sure the thing is connected, the old mechanic was in and around that thing so much. But I can never be too sure.

I'd be interested in hearing how yours looks, cart69.

Am I correct thinking you are having the same problem (TC Disabled and ABS lights on)?


05-17-06, 11:50 PM
To bring everythig up to date:

Well, had my engine replaced. When I dropped it off, it only had a major oil leak and two bad head gasket leaks so I opted for a rebuild. 7/70k mile warranty and the engine is STRONG.

However the mechanic left me with a headache. Whereas there were no codes before, I now have problems and he could not solve them so I took my car back because he was running up the bill and obviously did not have his heart in the fix. These are all things that never were problems before the engine R&R.

1994 STS Z-rated


T041 RF ABS Valve Solenoid
T055 LR Valve Solenoid fault TCS
T051 RR ABS Valve Solenoid

My EBTCM had been replaced as well as the computer - neither solved this problem.

How much am I screwed? Thanks in advance for any help. The car JUMPS off the line, even starting in 2nd gear with the Traction Disabled and ABS lights on.


05-18-06, 08:24 PM
Hey, I hate to derail your thread but how much was the new engine and how many miles were on the old one? Since its a 94 you have some balls (and money) to do that, lol. Also did the old motor still jump off the line or is significantly better??

05-18-06, 08:31 PM
I have more balls than brains apparently. The engine had developed head gasket leaks on both cylinder heads - and a major oil leak. The labor involved with repairing just the heads was so much, it was only $3500 for the rebuild and labor - 7 year 70,000 mile warranty. Took care of all my nagging problems with the motor. However, after getting the car back - I'm having the problems listed in this thread.

The engine had 90,000 on it and it is SIGNIFICANTLY more powerful, and right now it is starting out in 2nd as far as I know because of the disabled traction control. After it is rolling though, and downshifts, WHOA BOY!

I just need to nail down this ABS/TC problem and I have a keeper. I got the car for a song - it is paid for - and I do love it.

It is a tough position to be in with a car of this year and a wasted Northstar. It is virtually worthless if the engine doesn't work. I just need this last ABS issue fixed and I'm back to a super car Q ship.

It is a rocket now.

STS 310
05-18-06, 08:47 PM
When I had my engine dropped to r/r the Whelsh plugs, I got it back with traction light on. Whoops, they forgot a sensor plug. Took them about ten minutes to find it, but the shop is the proverbial "bomb" and Horacio is the man around here when it comes to North*. He definatley made my Christmas card list.

A good shop is hard to find, and if you find one, make them feel special.

05-19-06, 07:47 AM
yea my has the tc and abs lights on, and starts in second no matter what! and i was the one that dropped the motor and swapped a new one in, sucks cause i did my 94 seville with no problems!!! D"oh

oh yea my code is different, its a tc0061, i believe a abs pump code

05-19-06, 01:44 PM
Well, my three codes are parts of the pump... your light is on for the whole thing... mine are valves for three of my four wheels (solenoids). There is one plug that is not plugged in by the fuse/relay box on the driver's side (orange wire) and I cannot for the life of me find where it is supposed to go.

Not sure if it has anything at all to do with my problem though.

05-19-06, 01:44 PM
Even starting out in 2nd, the car moves out pretty well.

05-19-06, 04:38 PM
All three codes T041, T051, T055 have the same ground to check on the diagnostic tree G110. It's on the bottom of the block where the transaxle bolts up.

05-19-06, 04:38 PM
It's that or a piched/broken wire in the harness.

05-19-06, 04:50 PM
I think I can give that a look - thanks for the pic and the info. Would have never known!

Also, might this be near where the A/C compressor bolts to the exhaust manifold? I took my car to the A/C shop today and they said that that wasn't bolted up (another little thing my mechanic dumped on me).

05-19-06, 06:06 PM
The compressor would be at the front/bottom of the block. G110 is at the rear/bottom of the block, behind the compressor.

05-23-06, 11:32 AM
Excellent. After all this hubbub, I am happy to report that I have found a KILLER Cadillac dealership in Fife, WA. Osborne-McCann Cadillac/Hummer/Saab took my basket case in and within an hour called me back.

Turns out my mechanic simply did not plug in the ABS plug. Other mistakes he made were completely plumming the A/C wrong, almost every wire was not put back in the looms that are so obviously placed in the Northstar. They are just sitting there, waiting for wires to be placed in them for neatness yet wires, hoses and such just lay on the hot engine, etc.

Cadillac is fixing this all for me for an amazingly cheap rate and my car is going to be back on the road, good as new by probably tomorrow.

Now, on the "fight" side. I paid this mechanic thousands of dollars. The engine appears to be 101%, with a 7 year, 70,000 mile warranty. Other than that, he basically half assed everything else. My car came back needing an alignment, there are parts of the interior that are broken, not to mention all the things that were put haphazardly. I'm going to post this question elsewhere too, but to finish off this thread, what would anyone in my position do? I feel that I should be refunded some money by the mechanic that screwed me although on paper he owes me nothing, I have signed for and paid off everything in order to get my car back in my hands. Should I write a report to the BBB to warn others away from this guy/company? What would YOU do? Let it just be water under the bridge?

Thanks for ALL your help.

05-23-06, 10:01 PM
I'd go back to him with the bill from Cadillac and explain that it cost you money to fix his mistakes. Tell him you think he should pay that bill and see what he says. Make sure the dealer clearly explaines on the bill that they are "correcting" improper repairs. Don't go in looking for a :want:. Calmly explain the situation and tell him what you expect from him.

05-24-06, 09:09 PM
Hope you paid with your credit card

05-25-06, 07:48 AM
dont burn bridges,you still have a warranty to think of.
Sounds to me as tho he was burned out on this one.
Wiring could have been a mess from him looking for the "problem".

05-27-06, 01:14 PM
I'm not burning any bridges. The engine rebuid was done by a thrid party - the mechanic only did the R&R (I'd hate to think what he'd do to an engine if this is how he replaces a motor).

I'm enjoying the car so much a lot of this PITA is fading away - the A/C problem will be fixed next week. I have a new set of bolts coming and then I can get back to little tweaks like I meant to when I originally bought the car.

But, in the end, the head gasket monster bit me.