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Speed Sensor

14234 Views 29 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Turtles_ride
I have a 2008 Tribeca Limited. I had a wheel bearing go on my and as soon as it did, I got the ER SS error code along with the ABS light and traction control light. I am assuming it is the speed sensor on the same tire that is giving me the issue. Does anyone know if there is something online showing how to change one out? It is winter here in NH and I certainly don't want to be driving around without traction control.

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The beat goes on

I have done a lot of reading to try solve my TCS-OFF and ABS light on problem.
The real reason to fix this problem is that this is the fundamental reason why this vehicle drives so well and handles the bad weather.

I took it to the dealer (this must be one of the worst in the nation) to have a diagnosis done. After a three day diagnosis I was told that the 'ABS Computer' will need replacing for $1400.
No problem says I, I have two Tribecas, I will swap these 'computers' when I find out where it is and confirm this diagnostic before spending the money. Lights stayed off all the way home and I hoped that by scratching around the dealer had inadvertently fixed it but it started again the next day. Probably only reset the fault codes.

And so the study started.
The Result is that there is no such thing called an 'ABS Computer' the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) Control Module & Hydraulic Control Unit (VDCCM&H/U) module contains all the computing and hydraulic controls. A mouthful.
This unit is easily accessible, R/H side of the engine compartment, but looks like a whole day job that will disable both vehicles so I have nothing to report there yet.

The vehicle with the fault lights has an odd tire with more tread, and both vehicles needed tire rotation, so on an off chance I swapped and rotated wheels between them. This did not solve the light problem nor did it solve the hum which is getting quite noticeable >50MPH.

So it was back to the manual and forums.
There is a procedure to determine the faulty component in the system by the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) reported by the Subaru Select Monitor. Could be I should trust the dealer and hope they saw the code for the VDCCM&H/U.
My studies show that the DTC provided on the ODO/TRIP meter using this method have no bearing on the fault code I need. This is known as the Combination Meter System and provides codes for ECU and TCM.
It does however display communication errors between devices when they occur.

The FreeSSM software and cable only gets you access to the Engine Control Module (ECU) and Transmission Control Module (TCU) so that is useless for my diagnostic.

I am a stubborn one and want to find this myself. I get to learn that way.

Next test is to hook an oscilloscope to each wheel sensor and see what the output looks like. Supposed to be a square wave between 0.7V and 1.4V across a 100 Ohm resistor according to the manual.
Hope to find a faulty wheel sensor.

After that, it is getting the right day for swapping the VDCCM&H/U between the two Tribecas.

Keep you posted.
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Well after studying the manual and all the procedures required for swapping the VDCCM&H/U or even the G Sensor, I have decided that the job is too big for me.
The main reason is that I would need access to a Select Monitor and all the functionality it provides to perform the return to service.
Off to the dealer she will have go, hope that someone there knows what they are doing but as I have said before, this must be the worst dealer in the land.
Any suggestions of a dealership that has 'experienced' technicians would be welcome.

BTW, subarus need 4 tires that match in circumference to within a 1/4" CIRCUMFERENCE! measure around the tire and if your 'odd' tire is out, you need to get it shaved to match (assuming it's larger, good luck find a shop that does this) or replace all 4. It will mess with the AWD system something fierce as it is constantly trying to adjust for the different distance that wheel tells the computer it traveled.

Can wreck a diff over time (hum?). Other cause for hum other than tires is wheel bearing. Once you are sure it's not tires or the diff, isolate the sound to a corner and replace that wheel bearing.

Not sure if this is related to your lights or not.
That is great advice about the tires.
What I did do was swap the tires between the two Tribecas to see if the odd tire was causing my problem.
The result is that with the odd sized tire, on the vehicle without the fault, (measured it to be about 1/4" OD larger) the vehicle becomes less stable (Not unmanageable).

Searching for the hum I am thinking, would probably entail a lift and the wheels running, together with a stethoscope on the bearing housings and the differential. (need some advise here)
How does a leaking hot water heater help solve my TCS-OFF and ABS light on problem?

Its a long story.

Just before Christmas I was at the store and a guy mentioned to me in the parking lot that there were no taillights working on the Tribeca. Only the reverse light were working.
Went home and did some troubleshooting, starting with the lamp bulbs, I discovered one element (tail light) of one of the bulbs was broken. Swapped the break light relay with the one next to it and all the tail lights started to work. Swapped the relay back and they continued to work. Conclusion: faulty relay socket contact.
Instead of replacing the broken light bulb I ordered a pair of LED bulbs on Ebay and installed them. (All part of the modernization effort)

Well the wife then noticed the TCS-OFF and ABS light illumination problem. She asked if the tail light trouble shooting I had done had anything to do with the problem. Never could that be the cause, what does she know.

Fast forward: After hours of research, swapping tires, checking wheel speed sensors, $200 to the dealer for diagnostics and still no closer to solving the problem.

Then the hot water heater started leaking and needed replacement. Hooked the trailer and went off to the hardware store. Drove there, forgot the straps, drove home and back to the store, collected the hot water heater and drove home. All this driving and the TCS-OFF and ABS light did not illuminate.
I had got used to when the failure lights would typically illuminate: Turn on the ignition and start driving then after the first stop it would normally trigger the failure.

Thinking: The extra load of the trailer lights is being sensed by the electronics to indicate that the brake light bulb current load is enough to show that the bulbs are working. This load was below tolerance because of the LED light bulbs in the circuit.
Also it seemed that the longer first brake pedal push the sooner the TCS-OFF and ABS light would illuminate. Indicating that it is a function of current and time that is being sensed by the computer.

Verified my theory by unhooking the trailer and the failure re-occurred.
Confirmed it further by replacing the LED light bulbs with the correct 7442 bulbs ($5), and the TCS-OFF and ABS light on error problem has been resolved.

Lesson: The vehicle electronics is smarter than it first appears, it can detect a pair of broken brake light bulbs. There is no warning light specifically for that so it illuminates the TCS-OFF and ABS indicators.
Thinking about it, the vehicle stability did not seem impacted by the illumination of the warning lights.

Also, there is no way my local Subaru technician would have solved this problem, even with a Select Monitor. They were about to change the 'ABS computer' for $1400.

Remember: Don't use LED bulbs unless the vehicle is designed for it!
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There's no brake light relay, at least on 2006 models. At the same time, dual filament 7443 bulbs come with "standard" and "CK" base configurations. Perhaps it was a wrong type for the application, especially if purchased from a not fully knowledgeable seller on eBay?
I’ve got a similar problem with the Err SS being displayed as well as P0500 and C0241 fault codes. I’ve pulled the front two wheels off to get to the speed sensors and removed them. Gave them a clean and reinstalled them. Defect came back. I’m going to clean the aft two sensors and see how it goes. Does anyone know what C0241 actually means and how to reset it?
C0241 = front left abs sensor... if you didn't wash it in holy water - that doesn't count :D (seriously - you think broken sensor will reviwe like Jesus?)
Be aware the ABS sensors are known to become stuck in their hole, almost like rusted even though their housing is plastic. And if one breaks off, alot of the time the wheel bearing assembly will need to be replaced. If Flat6er is saying the error code indicates an issue with the front sensor only I'd recommend changing that one rather than digging into the back ones. As you know the sensors are magnets, so if they are worn at all its an indication that your wheel bearing may be going, causing the sensor to rub and wear and indicating a larger issue.
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