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2001 Forester S, auto
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I tried to be a hero as I was unearthing my Forester, and instead of shoveling behind it where there was plowed snow higher than the bumper, I tried to drive over it.

To my credit, I did this yesterday with my Legacy on Blizzaks, and it was fine. But the Forester was on balding 9 year old Geolandars (Nokian WR G2's installed tomorrow) and I was given a rude awakening on how the AWD system in the automatic cars differs from the manual trans cars like my Legacy.

Anywho, after we managed to clean out from under it and rock it free, the ABS light was on for like 5 minutes, then it went off.

This worries me. Even though it's off now. Any ideas why this would have been triggered, and then go away? Anything else I should look for that I could have bent on hardpacked snow when we have it on the lift tomorrow?
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
I tried to be a hero as I was unearthing my Forester, and instead of shoveling behind it where there was plowed snow higher than the bumper, I tried to drive over it.

To my credit, I did this yesterday with my Legacy on Blizzaks, and it was fine. But the Forester was on balding 9 year old Geolandars (Nokian WR G2's installed tomorrow) and I was given a rude awakening on how the AWD system in the automatic cars differs from the manual trans cars like my Legacy.

Anywho, after we managed to clean out from under it and rock it free, the ABS light was on for like 5 minutes, then it went off.

This worries me. Even though it's off now. Any ideas why this would have been triggered, and then go away? Anything else I should look for that I could have bent on hardpacked snow when we have it on the lift tomorrow?
I have a feeling you had snow/ice jammed in the brakes so it detected slip issues. I got my Forester high center last winter, doesn't take much hard packed snow!
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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8,052 Posts
I high centered our Tribeca on Christmas day trying to get to my mom's house to dig her out. I kind of did the same thing because I backed up and hi-centered it. In this situation the VDC worked against me slowly digging at each corner making the situation worse. I too was riding on tires that have about 60K on them. In retrospect it would have been better to take the Forester. I probably would still have gotten stuck but it would have been easier to dig under :)

I think RL is on the right track thinking you just got packed snow up in the ABS sensor ring section. The system most likely thought something was wrong because it knew the car was moving but the ABS didn't think so with no wheels registering movement because the stator ring packed with snow. Just a guess. After you moved a little while the snow flew out.

We get new tires on the Tribeca tomorrow, a day I've long dreaded because it has 18" wheels...
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Ahh, ok thanks guys. Not so worried now.

And Peaty, I do not envy you, that's gonna be some expensive rubber :lol:
 

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2005 Forester X
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225 Posts
Same thing has happened to me. At the time I called the dealership and they claimed it was normal after being stuck in snow, and all should be fine as long as the light goes off. I had no problems after that.
 

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2009 & Jamboree Motorhome
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347 Posts
Anywho, after we managed to clean out from under it and rock it free, the ABS light was on for like 5 minutes, then it went off.

This worries me. Even though it's off now. ?
I would not worry to much.. Like as not it was the snow.. And after it warmed up and dryed out a bit it went away.. Also there is a good chance it will also come on when running in very heavy rain when water gets into the wires ect.. And it will dry out after a bit and go out.. Its really kind of common on the early Foresters.. 99-02.. My 99 was worse than our 01.. If it stays on.. Then worry.. :icon_biggrin:

Snowdance

Flickr: snowdance38's Photostream
 

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Banned
2000 Forester L
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315 Posts
this is creepy.

I was kind of taking a "short cut" through a parking lot last night and high centered my Foz on an old snow bank hidden under fresh powder. I had to call my bro with his 4.0 Xj to pull me out. I had an ABS light on last night but, when I went to school todayu it was off. I kinda freaked but, I am relieved now.
 

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1999 Forester S Automatic
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426 Posts
I had the same thing happen one day this winter while on my way to go goose hunting. I was on old tires and I got pulled into the tracks of a full size truck and went into a drift that was up to the top of the hood. After maneuvering around and a little digging I got myself out. As you stated my ABS light was on. The next time I started the Forester the light went out and I had no problems. As others have stated I had snow packed EVERYWHERE lol!
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,091 Posts
I got high centered yesterday also while trying to be nice and let an approaching car pass on a single lane. I pulled off to the side and into deeper snow figuring i got awd no problem. I let the car pass and when I hit the gas all 4 tires just spun, Im like damm.... im stuck , but the only light that came on was my traction control. broke out the shovel and after 5 min of shoveling out from under the car I was on my way. I don't care what kinda tires you got, you aren't going anywhere once your bottomed out on snow.
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Here's a follow up question. This may be completely unrelated and I only now just noticed it since the radio happened to be off, and plus I haven't had a chance for the ABS to activate since I bought the car until today, but when the ABS kicks in on my Forester, I hear a whirring noise, like a little electric motor, and my headlights dim slightly.

Is this normal? I never heard any whirring electric motor noise on any other car I've driven when ABS kicked in.
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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444 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
It most definitely is, my worry is that it isn't normal that it makes noise like that or dims my lights...
 

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Premium Member
2015 XC diesel CVT
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4,055 Posts
The ABS system takes a fair bit of current so it wouldn't surprise me to see the lights pulse a touch. But if it seems excessive I'd likely check grounds and battery cables...
 

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2009 & Jamboree Motorhome
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347 Posts
The ABS system takes a fair bit of current so it wouldn't surprise me to see the lights pulse a touch. But if it seems excessive I'd likely check grounds and battery cables...
I agree with dpm.. I would check the ground and battery cables.. That is an older style system.. They do make a good bit of noise.. And perhaps that was the first time it was ever used.. But I would be a bit more sure to make it work often.. Here with all the gravel we run ours on both cars works several times a week..


That system is one up from the first systems that also would make the brake pulse and shake the heck out of your foot.. That shake made many people just take their foot off the brake a wreck.. As far as having it checked.. Sure why not..

Snowdance

Flickr: snowdance38's Photostream
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
Yeah Subaru ABS is not the easiest on nerves, first time I had it go off it scared the crap out of me! It is very loud and obnoxious. I thought my car was asploding lol.

And yes, my lights dim a little too on both the Forester and Leggy.
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,039 Posts
My '04 has a lot better feel and action with the ABS than the '00s I used to have. Noisy but didn't really look for or notice any headlight issues when I was out a week or 2 ago in snow/ice. May get another chance tomorrow.
 
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