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1998 Dodge Durango brake/abs light problem

50231 Views 52 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  babygoose209
hey folks..i have a dilemma..my brake and abs warning lights come on every so often. As far as i know my brakes are fine..ive been driving like this for the past 3 months. Some days the lights will come on others, they stay off. I was thinking that the problem could be the rear speed sensor but my speedometer works fine.
Any suggestions?
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When the rear sensor goes bad, the speedometer may or may not be affected. When the light come on, the brakes will work but the ABS will be disabled.
Brake/ABS problem

Hi Guys,

Found this thread and would like to blow some life back to it :wave:

I have a '98 Durango 4x4 with the rear wheel ABS and my ABS and Brake warning lights are constantly on (have been so for a couple of months) and now the speedo has backed out for good...

I replaced the abs sensor on top of the rear axle last week but this did not solve the problem.
The warning lights went off for a while and came and went for some days but now they are back on constant and the speedo does now work.
The Engine Warning light is also lit...

Anyone with some ideas?

Help is highly appreciated!

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Are you showing any codes?

Press and hold the trip reset button then put the key on (don't start the truck) wait about 5 seconds and it should display the codes.

If that doesn't work, hold the trip button then turn the key on-off 3 times ending in "on".

Forgot to post.

I used a diagnostic tool and it displayed code P0500
P0500 - No vehicle speed sensor signal.

You said the "speedo has backed out for good" and "speedo does now work." Which is it? It sounds like a bad sensor OR bad wiring to the sensor on top of the diff.
Hi again and thanks for the posts!

Yes it said vehicle speed sensor malfunction.

The speedo does not work anymore now.

I did the sensor replacement when the car was on the ground and did not manage to inspect the inside of the diff when I replaced it.
The sensor used is the Dorman (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1268592) ordered from RockAuto.
This has the wire connector on the oposite side of the original and it comes with a short wire loop to compensate for this, but should be a right fit?
Was no problem to install...
I'm not familiar with the Dorman sensor.

Was there any obvious damage to the old sensor? How did the wiring look? Was the connector clean and tight? I know on my 2000 there is an seal on the connector.

Seems odd it would work for bit then not now. Maybe crawl under, disconnect the connector, clean it up with contact cleaner and try again.
No visual damage to the old sensor. Just some very small metal chips from wear in the diff that magnetically was sticked to it...

Yes I will try to get the D on a lift and examine both the connectors and the ABS ring inside the diff.

Thank you and I will post the outcome here.
I doubt there is anything wrong with the exciter ring, I was thinking more of something damaging the sensors but it won't hurt to check.

Good luck!
I didn't see anyone mention it, but there are two speed sensors. One on top of the rear axle...which you replaced, and a second one on the transmission. I have not replaced it so I don't know exactly where it is, but I had the same warning light issue and mine was fixed by replacing the axle sensor.
the sensor on the tranny displays a different code (P0720) But it is towards the bottom of the tranny angled out towards the drivers side.
The transmission output sensor does not have anything to do with the ABS ands will not trip a Brake code. As indicated above it will cause a 0720 code.
Sorry to bump an old thread. I have a similar problem. When I bought my Durango (1998, 5.2L), it had the brake & ABS lights on all the time, and no speedo below 20 mph or so. I did the rear speed sensor replacement, and it worked fine.

Now, about a year later, the problem is different. Occasionally, after I've been driving for a while, the brake & ABS lights will come on, and then a short time after, the speedo stops working altogether, regardless of my speed. When I hit a bump in the road, the speedometer works for a few seconds, then quits again. And (as weird as this sounds) it doesn't happen when it's cold outside, unless I do a lot of driving, which again goes along with the heat thing. The speedo problem ONLY happens when the brake & ABS lights are on.

I'll try the trip/reset thing to see if there's an error code when I leave work. Aside from that, does this ring any bells? The jarring and temperature things lead me to suspect that it could be a loose wiring harness on the ABS computer, maybe. Is that a valid guess? Where is the ABS computer located? Is it accessible, or do I have to tear the truck apart?
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Check the connections to the rear speed sensor. Maybe pull it and see if there's any "crap" on it, metal from the differential.

Worst case, have a dealer scan it when the abs lights come on. It might help you nail it down. Most readers can't do brakes codes.
So, as most of us know, the ABS and Brake lights are very common issues on our trucks, i have a 97 Dakota with the ABS and Brake lights on, the rear speed sensor has been changed.

Now the bizarre part, if i disconnect the battery and reconnect it, the lights go out, and as soon as i hit 60 MPH, they come back on. Also, when they are off, when i press the brakes there is a faint clicking noise coming from, what sounds like, the left front corner of the dash. Any thoughts?
So last night I replaced the rear speed sensor again, and the problem is worse. Now the abs/brake lights are always on, and the speedometer never works. Even after sitting overnight.

Also, as of this afternoon, now it won't start. Is there any chance this is related, or is it the world's shittiest coincidence?
I have the same problem with my '98 Durango.
I have replaced ALL ABS sensors (2 on front wheels and the rear speed sensor) but still doesn' t work.
Also there is no communication between the diagnostic tool and the system. I think there's an issue with the ABS CONTROL MODULE.
Joe, maybe a coincidence. Your PCM could be toast too.

Loghann, What kind of "diagnostic tool" are you using? A regular code reader won't do it.
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