VR6 ABS Warning Light - Marco Polo
I have had a problem with my ABS light coming on for no apparent reason.
At first it was very sporadic, initially I could turn the engine off and 5 mins later restart it and it would be fine for a couple of months but lately it is coming on every time I use the car.
The first diagnosis by a VW dealer was that a rogue signal had gone outside of it's parameters and had caused the ABS light to activate.
This week I took it to another VW dealer who recommended after having the problem diagnosed by the computer in the workshop that a hydraulic pump was the problem. To replace this would cost £317 plus VAT plus labour.
Are the wheel sensors known for this type of fault?
My car is a 1996 Mk3 and has done 42K

VR6 ABS Warning Light - NitroBurner
Marco Polo..... Avoid main dealers & their ridiculous charges. Find a good independent VW agent or someone who specialises in brakes. Re: wheel sensors, could be - see Gsi info started by outkast.......

Good Luck
VR6 ABS Warning Light - sean
Hello Marco Polo.

The speed sensors lead a hard life, exposed to the heat and dust of the brakes, the wet of the rain and the cold of snow and ice.

All they measure is motion versus braking pressure applied, so as to prevent lock-up. If you have a dirty sensor, not showing slipring movement on the wheel, it sends a speed fault signal back to it's ECU, which lights the beacon for you.

Another factor which triggers this is wheelspin on takeoff. Driving like a bat out of hell and spinning wheels may look good, but it shows the ECU that the car isn't moving via the speedometer speed signal, but that it's racing via the ABS speed signal.


Beacon illuminated.


The hydraulic pump suffers if you don't change the brake fluid every 3 years max. Water ingress corrodes it. An expensive component and all the hassle of brake bleeding afterwards.

Hope this helps you.

If it was me, I'd whip the wheels off and clean your wheel sensors first.
VR6 ABS Warning Light - Marco Polo
Dear All,
Thanks for your input.
I did change the brake fluid last year.
Not so sure about the snow and ice, don't get any in the south west peninsula, besides car is layed up for 3 months Nov-Feb whilst I'm travelling around Africa.
Originally the fault would only seem to happen on a long journey not short ones, but now every time car is used.
I have got to get some tyres soon so when wheels come off I will clean the sensors.
Thanks for your inputs.
Marco Polo

VR6 ABS Warning Light - Greenparrot
When the ABS light goes on does the ABS still work?
VR6 ABS Warning Light - Dynamic Dave
When the ABS light goes on does the ABS still work?

No, the light is indicating a fault with the ABS and therefore will be inoperative.
VR6 ABS Warning Light - Greenparrot
Thanks DD - I'm trying to ascertain whether the ABS system is still operative because a Honda Accord I once owned had the light come up but the ABS was still operative. I knew I should have started that question with 'I know this sounds stupid but..'
VR6 ABS Warning Light - GGH
1996 Mk3 8v GTI Golf 80k. I wrote to this site about a month ago regarding the same ABS problem, except that when my dash ABS light shines the hydraulic pump starts running and the ABS function becomes inoperable.I know that the pump is running because it effects radio reception on MW and LW.
Yesterday with compressed air I cleaned the front wheel sensors, both measured 1.1K ohms and are 25 thou from the sensor ring. Tomorrow I will clean the rear two.
Today's 40 mile trip to work was the first time in 6 months that the ABS light has no come on.
VR6 ABS Warning Light - Marco Polo
Seems like similar symptons, also have bad reception on MW and LW
Is the resistance and gap the same on the rear as the front?
Do you know if the sensors are a common problem with the Mk 3 Golfs?
VR6 ABS Warning Light - GGH
Marco polo
Unfortunatley cleaning the front sensors has not cured the problem. I have now compressed air cleaned the rear sensors, 1.1K ohms each and checked their connections under the rear seat cushion. I am unable to check the air gap because the back plate get's in the way, I have also checked the earth point under the battery holder. So far I have cured nothing.
Next thing for me to try is the fuse mentioned in Peter D thread of 2 Aug 02 below the steering column. To find Peter D thread go to the top of the page and in 'Site Search' type in ABS fault. Please let us know if you make any progress.
VR6 ABS Warning Light - Nortones2
MarcoPolo: This site, to which I have no connection, and have just come across, might be useful: www.bba-reman.com/vwfaults.htm

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