• Hint: Use a descriptive title for your new message
    If you're looking for help and want to draw people in who can assist you, use a descriptive subject title when posting your message. In other words, "2008 LaCrosse" isn't going to indicate to anybody that you need help. However, "Need help with my 2008 LaCrosse" will. Be as descriptive as you can. Please use common sense... This message can be closed by clicking the X in the top right corner.

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

Globetrot1

New member
15
6
3
Buick Ownership
LaCrosse CX, (2008) first gen, 3800 V6 Series III
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
129
6
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
182
11
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
15
6
3
Buick Ownership
LaCrosse CX, (2008) first gen, 3800 V6 Series III
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.
______________________________
 

Globetrot1

New member
15
6
3
Buick Ownership
LaCrosse CX, (2008) first gen, 3800 V6 Series III
Here's an update on the repair of the car. I went in in person to make the appointment. He did a scan on the spot and pulled up two codes for the left wheel. The final result after having it in the shop was a little strange. The shop replaced the left front wheel hub assembly. He said that it cleared one code. As I drove away, I went into various parking lots on the way home and was turning the wheel lock to lock. The amber lights did not come on. Eventually, they did come on after enough tries of turning the wheel, though far less easily and way less often than before.

He told me about one code remaining when I left and told me to come back in and that he would have one of the mechanics put in the small harness. For this, I waited there and they went ahead and put that in. He just charged me for the part (not very much) since I had to come back a second time, albeit for less than an hour. I no longer have two amber lights in my instrument panel lit up as I drive down the road and that's a good thing. It always took a few pushes of the D.I.C. odometer button to get an odometer reading instead of two warning messages.
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
3,126
940
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Glad it's fixed, but I'm sure others on the forum may question why they didn't start with the cable first as that would be something that is causing the problem with the hub being able to communicate.
 

Globetrot1

New member
15
6
3
Buick Ownership
LaCrosse CX, (2008) first gen, 3800 V6 Series III
Glad it's fixed, but I'm sure others on the forum may question why they didn't start with the cable first as that would be something that is causing the problem with the hub being able to communicate.
I thought about this and had meant to make a comment. When I drove out, and the hub had been changed, the warning lights only came on with a lot of effort on my part. When the extra conduit went in, they didn't come on at all and are staying off. I agree that it's weird, to say the least, but I wonder how they managed to stay off more and come on infrequently ... or if anything during the repair would cause that. I used this mechanic for an easy, swap out R&R prior to this and he performed well - quickly, the part has held up, and his price was good. I'm hoping this holds up. Previous experience with a garage and a technician determine whether someone keeps using that outfit and sends their friends there.
 

oldschool

Full Member
182
11
18
Barrie, Ont
Buick Ownership
'03 Buick LeSabre, '07 Allure CXL
About your last sentence, this is true. If a business screws me over I never go back. There is always other businesses doing the same work or selling the same product that will happily take my money.
I changed the harness going to my front bearing early this spring and it's been trouble free since.
Could be that when they changed your bearing they had to move the harness and when it was reinstalled the connection was a bit better, creating a situation where it was harder to trigger the fault.
______________________________
 

SD73

Full Member
129
6
18
Buick Ownership
2006 Buick LaCrosse CX
I just had this problem crop up on me again for the second time. The first was 2 years ago when I needed a new hub installed. This time the code was for the same wheel again. This may be of help to someone else down the road so I'll document what I did here.

My problem started off intermittently with the traction control and abs lights coming on, on occasion then if I turned the car off and on it would clear. It eventually came on every time. I noticed a hard left turn was often the culprit but not always. In my troubleshooting I turned my wheel to the far left then had a look at the wiring harness. I noticed it was tugging on the connector where the bracket attached to the hub. I also followed the wiring harness back and found the wires crimped together by a bracket by the AC line that was covered with electrical tape. That did not look factory to me, but when I looked up GM preplacement parts for the car they all came with crimp connectors for the same point. At the crimp points I used my crimp tool to re-crimp the wires tighter in case they had come loose. At the hub end I unplugged the harness and I used the pointed probe that my multimeter came with to tighten the female connectors and I also put a small dab of dielectric grease in there to help with the connection. I also made sure that there was more slack to elevate the tension during the hard left turns. 300 miles later the light has not come back on.
 

Globetrot1

New member
15
6
3
Buick Ownership
LaCrosse CX, (2008) first gen, 3800 V6 Series III
About your last sentence, this is true. If a business screws me over I never go back. There is always other businesses doing the same work or selling the same product that will happily take my money.
I changed the harness going to my front bearing early this spring and it's been trouble free since.
Could be that when they changed your bearing they had to move the harness and when it was reinstalled the connection was a bit better, creating a situation where it was harder to trigger the fault.
I thought about this, even when I left, seeing how less often it would happen. I wondered if it was deliberate (how could someone rig something to light up less often ... wow) or if it was real (2 parts were culprits). It's in the past now. The grand total for both visits to the mechanic was $ 300. I even took the car on a trip across our northern international border and it behaved well all the way around (about 30 mpg on one stretch), with no warning lights coming on.

Hi SD73: I can and have changed brake lights and turn signal indicators but don't have the knowledge of electronics or the tools to make these analysis. I will not mess with any wiring and create more problems. In fact, I want some sort of conduit wrap around some exposed parts of the 2 wires sitting near the control arm, though most of the path is already sheathed. I do have an OBD 2 diagnostic plug-in, though. In almost 12 years, only one code has emerged. I'm knocking on wood.
 
Pedal Commander
Top