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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

When I got my new second-hand Vitara I went to test the brakes with an emergency stop. I could feel the ABS kicking in, then suddenly the ABS seem to stop working and the car pulled to the right in a nasty way. Been having a braking problem pulling to the one side when braking and a kinda choppy ride ever since, including a weak braking power. Been back to the mechanic who replaced the disks, pads, looked at the brake pump and none worked to fix the problem. He now managed to get hold of an another second-hand ABS unit to replace the current one. Hopefully that could solve the problem. If it doesn't ....any other ideas of what it could be.

Thanks :)
 

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If you need/want a second opinion, get it from someone who can get eyes/hands on the vehicle - weak brakes, pulling to one side suggest a problem affecting the brake system fitted to the other side (meaning the side opposite the direction it is pulling in), the problem could be "mechanical" - sticking calipers (either the piston or the slides), "hydraulic" - partially blocked flex hoses or hard lines, and yes, the ABS modulator is a possibility.

Whoever is doing the work has to be systematic & methodical - do the calipers slide freely on the pins, do the caliper pistons move freely - are you getting a proper flow of fluid from the hose. If those hoses are the factory originals, it's not a bad idea to replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you need/want a second opinion, get it from someone who can get eyes/hands on the vehicle - weak brakes, pulling to one side suggest a problem affecting the brake system fitted to the other side (meaning the side opposite the direction it is pulling in), the problem could be "mechanical" - sticking calipers (either the piston or the slides), "hydraulic" - partially blocked flex hoses or hard lines, and yes, the ABS modulator is a possibility.

Whoever is doing the work has to be systematic & methodical - do the calipers slide freely on the pins, do the caliper pistons move freely - are you getting a proper flow of fluid from the hose. If those hoses are the factory originals, it's not a bad idea to replace them.
Thanks for the reply :) Yeah I believe he looked at the hydraulics and calipers before moving on to the ABS unit. He did mention that. I saw something online about the wheel speed sensors? After the ABS would that be a good thing to look at too?
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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Sounds like your mechanic is not the greatest at diagnosis. It's a common problem -- "Let's replace this and see if that solves the problem." Does this "guy" actually have any experience with these types of vehicles?
 

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+ 1, keep throwing parts at it, who knows, maybe the problem will be solved
seen similar brake woes where bad tires where to blame... specially if it some no-brand ones

out of curiosity: what type of engine in in that "2L" 1996 Vitara? Want such an engine in mine!!!!!
we want picutres of that engine bay!!!
 

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Thanks for the reply :) Yeah I believe he looked at the hydraulics and calipers before moving on to the ABS unit. He did mention that. I saw something online about the wheel speed sensors? After the ABS would that be a good thing to look at too?
A defective wheel speed sensor will set an ABS code - in my previous response I indicated a need for systematic, methodical work - I believe he looked at the hydraulics & calipers is not good enough, he either did or he didn't - every i needs to be dotted, every t crossed.

out of curiosity: what type of engine in in that "2L" 1996 Vitara? Want such an engine in mine!!!!!
we want picutres of that engine bay!!!
A 1996 Vitara with a 2.0 engine will either have a J20a, if it's the two door body style, or the H20a, if it's the four door - the J20a is fairly common as it was used in several models over a decade or more, the H20a is a bit of a unicorn, it's the little sister to the H25a, and was only used in the V6 Vitara Estate and only available from 96~98.
 

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Additionally an abs unit won't stop brakes from working properly, its designed so if it loses power or has a sensor failure then it reverts to being "dumb" brakes like any older vehicle has.
 

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Sticking valves or blocked ports in the ABS modulator can cause reduced hydraulic pressure to the wheels - the ABS system works by selectively reducing the line pressure and therefore the braking effort to the wheels - the system IS designed to "fail safe" but not all failures modes allow continued operation.
 
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