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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up an 06, 5 Speed, non Turbo, with ABS on. In NY State, you cannot be failed for inspection just for that, so, does not trouble me from that point, but I would like to know how to get the codes and figure out the problem.

Any guidance?
 

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2009 Legacy
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669 Posts
Look for an obd2 scanner that's at least capable of reading abs codes. Not all are able.

This one is a good example of a brand name capable tool. There are others too, some bluetooth connected so you use your phone as a display. Some of those are capable too. Just look for the ABS capability. Some can do more, like restraint systems (SRS), tire pressure (TPMS), body codes and transmission codes. I'd get the most capable tool you can afford. With an 06, it will likely see some use and will save you money, being able to figure out what a problem may be. OBD2 readers may not always point to a definitive source of a particular issue but will yield you a place to start.
 

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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. $100 + is a bit much. I was hoping for something that just required work and not wallet. But, if necessary, I guess.
 

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2009 Legacy
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I hear you. We've all been there, at one point in our lives.

Look on Amazon for OBD2 bluetooth readers and see which one specifically states it does ABS. There are some. The cheap sub 20 buck readers will not. You can read engine codes, live data and reset the CEL - good stuff but not what you need. Some are labeled "Enhanced" fearures but that does not always indicate true capability.

BT readers, besides being convenient, are a bit cheaper than the all-on-one units because the display is provided by your phone or tablet.
After you decide on one, download an app called "Torque" - there's a free one and a paid one. For your purposes, the free one will likely be fine. The paid version is twenty bucks, I think.

I can't really recommend any of those BT readers. I do have a cheap reader in each of our cars, just to be able to read engine codes. You never know when you or someone around you need one but don't use them for repairs.
For actual repairs, I have several readers - some more expensive than others. These do all sorts of things - things most people would likely ever need.

Perhaps someone else can recommend a good but inexpensive BT OBD2 reader that can reader more than just engine codes?
 

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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have read some posts, various place, that some models show the ABS codes, via some flashing indicator (like pre OBDII), if a certain "magic dance" is done with ignition key and certain buttons. Is that possible?
 

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2009 Legacy
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I've not done that for a long time on newer cars but understand that's still possible - frankly forgot about it.
Give it a whirl. I can't hurt.
 

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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So I picked up a cheap Bluetooth adapter on Ebay and so far it has looked up to all the apps I have tried. Only one so far Garage Pro/CaRPM has actually seemed usable in that it had a simple interface and actually run an ABS test.

It showed no codes for ABS, yet the light is still on. I could not turn it off, but that may be a limitation of the free version. The "pro" is only 10 bucks but is limited to 2 cars per year.

Two questions: Are there any known good apps for bluetooth adapters? Is there some reason the ABS light could be one with no codes? Other than a short or something in the dash or cables to the dash?
 

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99 Forester 4eat
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32 Posts

Those round electromagnetic coils sometimes break a connection. I cant recall if mine gave a code or not, I replaced the ABS module and the ABS light has not come back. It was easy compared to chasing ABS codes for days.

PS the pump tested fine and, I didn't need to get into any of the hydraulics of the system. These things get rattled to death.
 

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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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Discussion Starter #11
@fawndog Is there a part name/number for this? I don't see it right off in what I have looked at. Did you buy new or salvage?
 

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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I hear you. We've all been there, at one point in our lives.

Look on Amazon for OBD2 bluetooth readers and see which one specifically states it does ABS. There are some. The cheap sub 20 buck readers will not. You can read engine codes, live data and reset the CEL - good stuff but not what you need. Some are labeled "Enhanced" fearures but that does not always indicate true capability.

BT readers, besides being convenient, are a bit cheaper than the all-on-one units because the display is provided by your phone or tablet.
After you decide on one, download an app called "Torque" - there's a free one and a paid one. For your purposes, the free one will likely be fine. The paid version is twenty bucks, I think.

I can't really recommend any of those BT readers. I do have a cheap reader in each of our cars, just to be able to read engine codes. You never know when you or someone around you need one but don't use them for repairs.
For actual repairs, I have several readers - some more expensive than others. These do all sorts of things - things most people would likely ever need.

Perhaps someone else can recommend a good but inexpensive BT OBD2 reader that can reader more than just engine codes?
I tried Torque. While it looks capable and seems to have a strong and active set of users, I cannot find a setup menu that shows a setting I need to change. A number of people have made that complaint, seems to be device dependent. I don't know where to turn on that one as I did not see a support contact anywhere.

Oh, and it troubles me that Torque seems to want to "own" your phone, too many permissions required. I see no reason for it to need access to your contacts list, for instance. I guess that is not so much a problem for the paranoid, like me, if one uses a tablet without phone functions. Still will need "location" also, for some reason.
 

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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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I bought a used ABS module for $50.
Seems like the FSM says not to separate it from the hydraulics. Not sure how all that works, will look deeper. But . . . if I just replace the whole thing, how can I bleed the system without the Subaru test gear?

A lot of the ones I have looked at do not do Subaru ABS. One did not object when running the test, but told me it found no problems. Yet the ABS light is on and it does not function.
 

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2009 Legacy
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I tried Torque. While it looks capable and seems to have a strong and active set of users, I cannot find a setup menu that shows a setting I need to change. A number of people have made that complaint, seems to be device dependent. I don't know where to turn on that one as I did not see a support contact anywhere.

Oh, and it troubles me that Torque seems to want to "own" your phone, too many permissions required. I see no reason for it to need access to your contacts list, for instance. I guess that is not so much a problem for the paranoid, like me, if one uses a tablet without phone functions. Still will need "location" also, for some reason.
I guess it is okay for most but not all uses. I have them in our cars' glove boxes out of convenience because they are cheap, torque pro is cheap and 'you never know' but don't use them to perform diagnostics at home.

At some point, even the better ones fall short, causing me to have bitten the bullet to get pro tool, a Launch x431 V+.
Worth it for me but probably not for everyone.
 

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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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Discussion Starter #16
Woof! That puppy is way beyond my tinker needs. I am looking at Foxwell NT630 Plus and a Launch Creader VII+ that seem to be quite capable.

I may go with the Foxwell as it claims it can exercise and help bleed the ABS. I don't think the other one does.
 

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2009 Legacy
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I don't bring my cars to mechanics or dealers so can justify the proper tools in my mind and - more importantly - my wife's mind. :) The right tool makes all the difference.

Yup, you usually do need 'two way' capability to properly bleed ABS systems.

After overhauling the brakes on my 52 Dodge truck (see avatar), I had an issue bleeding it properly so also bought a Branic Pressure Bleeder (gearWrench makes the very same tool). It doesn't work through suction but pushes the fluid through the system without introducing air or cavitation inherent of pumps.
Since our modern cars were due a proper bleed, I again bit the bullet and was fortunate to find the Branic tool on Craigslist in NJ for $150 with most the adapters. They show up so it pays to look around. The tool has been around for decades but is so handy.
If you can borrow or find one, use that tool. It makes life so much easier, faster and you know the job is done right.
 

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06 Forester, 02 Tacoma
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Discussion Starter #18
Never heard of that one. Use the vacuum bleeders myself, dicey when working alone. Does it work by attaching to the master cylinder to apply pressure or activates break pedal in some way? I will read up on it.

Worst time I ever had was bleeding the clutch slave on a 504 Peugeot diesel. The bleeder was just not positioned correctly, or I was sold the wrong one. Worked eventually.
 

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2009 Legacy
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Never heard of that one. Use the vacuum bleeders myself, dicey when working alone. Does it work by attaching to the master cylinder to apply pressure or activates break pedal in some way? I will read up on it.

Worst time I ever had was bleeding the clutch slave on a 504 Peugeot diesel. The bleeder was just not positioned correctly, or I was sold the wrong one. Worked eventually.
It basically is akin to a large injection needle, pressuring the fluid in the master cylinder at around 5 psi. You just put some clear tubing on the bleed valve on a particular corner so you can see what comes out. You then crack the wheel cylinder bleed valve, wait for clean fluid to come out without bubbles and you're done with that corner.
You can bleed the system quickly and reliably.

It works like a chimp.
 

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99 Forester 4eat
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32 Posts
Seems like the FSM says not to separate it from the hydraulics. Not sure how all that works, will look deeper. But . . . if I just replace the whole thing, how can I bleed the system without the Subaru test gear?

A lot of the ones I have looked at do not do Subaru ABS. One did not object when running the test, but told me it found no problems. Yet the ABS light is on and it does not function.
You likely don't need to break the hydraulics loose. There is no need to bleed as you aren't opening the hydraulic system. If you have good pressure and braking don't open the system.

The motor is attached to a manifold with solenoids that trigger a hydraulic circuit. Current runs trough the coils to activate each solenoid. The module just uses bolts to mount on to the manifold. Unplug the harness and remove the six bolts and it will separate.
 
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