156 ABS issue - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 2 Old 23-04-12 Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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156 2.0 TS

156 ABS issue

Hi All,

Wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction.

I have a 1999 156 2.0 TS Sportwagon. Bought it in December 2011 and it has been pretty good, only issue being the immobilisor not deactivating a few times when the key is put in - seems to have solved itself though. Got both key fobs working the alarm and boot by resoldering the old switches, so that was nice. Anyway, I digress.

So, after 6 months of almost perfect driving it was time for the Alfa to get MOTd. I havr a mate in the trade who always does my MOTs. The Alfa needed a few things done, usual wear and tear of a 12+ year old car with near 100k on the clock.

The front nearside wheel bearing was one of these things. Usually I'd do most MOT work myself but due to starting a new job I thought I'd let my mate crack on with it and sort the Alfa out for me.

After doing the various small things and the wheel bearing I picked up the Alfa and all was good. Only drove for a few miles that night. The following day on my way to work I approached a car sitting at traffic lights when I pressed the brake pedal and it felt like the brakes failed!! Long story short, the ABS was activating when it shouldn't need to making the brake pedal feel completely wrong. After a few tries of slow speed braking and the ABS activating, the ABS fault light comes on and the braking feels fine - albeit with the ABS being deactivated. This happens most times I start the engine but on some occasions the ABS light comes on immediately.

There have been a few occasions where while driving the handbrake light has also come on but this has only happened 3 or so times and always resets when the engine is turned off then back on when I next go for a drive.

There have also been a few times where the speedo is clearly not showing the correct speed. This appears to only happen when the ABS light is off. Once the fault is detected and the ABS light comes on the speedo acts perfectly again.

The ABS issue souds very similar to this thread here but no solution was provided.

I guess the questions here are:

Was this caused by my mechanic changing the front nearside wheel bearing?

Why did this happen?

How is it rectified?

Or, is it just pure coincidence that this has occurred essentially straight after the MOT and not during the six months driving when I first got the Alfa?

From my own research it seems that the wheel bearing swap is relatively straight forward but that maybe the sensor has become broken/dirty in some way.

I'm going to be heading back to the garage in the next few days and don't want to wrongly accuse him but conversely if this is due to him then I'll need to tell him this and get him to rectify it - which I hope is an easy job.

I've been a member of many forums before, this one seems to be very knowledgeable so I look forward to any replies.

Thanks in advance.

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The wheel bearings have ABS sensors in them.

I suspect your mechanic damage the sensor when he fitted it into the hub. These bearings have to be pressed in to the hubs, the old way of hammering them in will break the sensors.

The bearing needs replacing and a new one fitting correctly.
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