ABS/Traction Control amber dashboard lights on first-gen LaCrosse

Globetrot1

New member
4
3
3
Buick Ownership
LaCrosse, first gen
This is on my 2008 LaCrosse CX with less than 100,000 miles. A while back, I made a sharp left into a parking space and both the ABS and Traction Control amber warning lights suddenly came on. I clicked on the odometer D.I.C. button a few times and the green warnings went away and gave me back the odometer.

I then came to realize that it was turns that set it off. If I left a parking lot without any sharp turns, I could drive 50 miles without setting the amber lights off. But that's not realistic on an ongoing basis.

At first, it was a left turn of the wheel at low speeds that did it. Then, I was out of town for a couple of weeks and didn't drive the car and it was a right turn of the wheel that did it. On some occasions, it doesn't set off the lights when I'm turning. Most of the time, it does ... when I'm driving at slow speeds in parking lots, etc.

I did some reading. I understand that the ABS speed sensor is built into the hub bearing assembly. I looked up the part and one of the major retailers indicated you needed to buy two of them! Wouldn't just one be the culprit? I also read some posts where people just replaced the ABS wiring harness(es) and the problem was solved because the harness had become chafed or corroded over time.

Has anyone had this problem with a 2005-2009 LaCrosse (with the 3800 V6)? What was the fix? I'm looking at a reasonable way to proceed so I don't replace any unnecessary parts. Thanks in advance.
 

SD73

Full Member
125
5
18
Buick Ownership
2006 Buick LaCrosse CX
Those hub assemblies have been known to go out. I replaced the right front on my car when I bought it for the same reason. You can check rockauto for some decent pricing for replacements if you do need them. If you have a code reader or can borrow one you can get the code for the specific wheel that's throwing the error and just replace the one if necessary. Before you do that though, check the connectors to make sure they are clean and making a solid connection. They sell some sprays to clean the connectors too if necessary. And check the wiring to the connectors for breaks. Those will throw up the code just as surely as a bad hub will.
 

oldschool

Full Member
177
8
18
Barrie, Ont
Buick Ownership
'03 Buick LeSabre, '07 Allure CXL
Look for a break in the wire harness between the bearing and where the harness disappears behind the inner fender. You will have to remove the outer protective plastic. If you have a code reader that reads ABS codes you will know which wheel to look at. It will be one of the fronts. If you pull the connector off at the ABS module you can check the pins for continuity back to the bearing to confirm which side is faulty. I have a wiring diagram and pic of the connector some where. I'll see if I can find it.
After reading your entire post you are right. it will be the bearing or the harness. I have replaced the harness and fixed this problem. Also you can change one bearing at a time, no need to change both.
 

Globetrot1

New member
4
3
3
Buick Ownership
LaCrosse, first gen
Thank you for the replies above. So, it seems one should go toward the more economical solution first (harnesses), which makes sense, and then move onto a wheel bearing assembly (and it should be just one).

Right as to Rock Auto. I've seen their prices. At this point, I don't feel like going OEM from the dealer on a car this age even though I like the car.

I cannot work on the car where I live and I'm more comfortable with small fixes of a mechanical nature. I once changed the air blower motor on my Regal coupe and it wasn't a lot of fun getting it out from under the passenger side of the dash! I do have a very simply OBD II diagnostic gizmo I bought and it has been handy for codes with the engine management system but it is not giving me codes for the amber ABS/Traction Control. (I didn't think it would.)

It will be going in next week for this repair. Thank you for the great input.
 
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