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Dreaded 'ABC Drive Carefully' warning came on...

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by rexemper, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. rexemper

    rexemper Senior Member

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    Hi

    Was driving the R230 today, decent run of about 40 miles. Parked up and left it for about 2 hours. Came back and started it and got the red 'ABC Drive Carefully' warning. Drove it for about a minute till it was safe to stop, warning was still on dash.
    Switched it off and then re-started (didn't lock the car or wait 2 minutes etc.) and car started normally with no warning on the dash.
    Drove back with no warnings coming on, but kept the speed quite low just to be safe.
    Got home and waited for car to cool down a bit and then checked the levels - the ABC fluid shows as in-between the hot and cold marks. Fluid is still quite green in colour.

    So, should I just top up the fluid and monitor it or is it likely that its something else/more expensive?? Is it normal to lose fluid?

    PS I thought there may have been more of a pump type noise from the car when driving at very low speed/coasting but that could just have been paranoia or the fan blowing to keep the engine cool.

    Thanks
     
  2. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    If you have access to a code reader there may be a stored error code which will gives pointer. I'd also check ABC pressure in the live data.
     
  3. OP
    rexemper

    rexemper Senior Member

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    Thanks. I don't have a code reader. Looking back through an old thread I posted on about ABC fluid levels and mine was just under the 'Unladen' mark so it has dropped a little since then which was over a year ago.
     
  4. OP
    rexemper

    rexemper Senior Member

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    Just reading the sticky about the ABC system and reading the part about checking if the level drops when the engine is on compared to when it is off.

    Just wanted to check something - checking the ABC fluid level with engine off is fine - as in I can do that. Checking with the engine on, is there a recommended procedure for doing this? Should I check with it off, replace the dipstick and cap, start engine and check again. Or should I check when its off and then just start the engine with the cap off? Just want to minimise the risk of doing any damage / something silly.

    Thanks
     
  5. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    Engine on, pull dipstick up, check level, wipe with clean rag, check again, replace dipstick, clean up any drips. Fluid level should be within the notch of the lower mark.
     
  6. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    Might help visually ( not a 230 but principal is the same)
    However....get codes read quickly it’s just not worth the risk
    When my pump went there was a cavitation noise with the roof down at low speed - this was when I was crawling to my Indy slowly but by then it was obviously too late. And that with no dash warnings!
    With dash warning I would be even more concerned !
    Sorry rant over ...
     
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  7. OP
    rexemper

    rexemper Senior Member

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    Thanks.

    Thanks John - I recall yours being a very expensive repair!

    Just checked with engine on and the fluid is about halfway between the lower mark and the bottom of the dipstick. So obviously needs fluid in there. Is it worth getting some and topping it up whilst I get the codes checked - which won't be till next week now?

    If so, where is a good place to buy some? Somewhere I can drive to or will deliver quickly would be good.

    Will get the codes read for sure. At least the warning hasn't reappeared yet.
     
  8. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    GSF do Febi's Pentosin. If you get one of the weekend special codes it's about £7 per litre...
     
  9. OP
    rexemper

    rexemper Senior Member

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    Thanks, will try them.
    Is it the CHF11 that I need?
     
  10. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    That's the one. CHF11s
     
  11. OP
    rexemper

    rexemper Senior Member

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    Thanks. Can't see any deals on at the moment so might wait for the weekend to kick in just in case.
    No difference between Febi and any other brand I take it? I thought Pentosin was the actual brand.
     
  12. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Yes Pentosin is the brand. The febi stuff is the same spec.
     
  13. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    And just make sure when you pull the dipstick out nothing falls in ...
     
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  14. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    Halfords are doing one from £14 a litre, there are loads selling it
     
  15. OP
    rexemper

    rexemper Senior Member

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    Thanks John.

    Plan is to buy a litre and top it up and then find somewhere to get the codes read. Best to get it on Star or will a more generic reader give some insight as well (as in from a non-specialist)?

    I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that the lack of the warning's reappearance is a good sign.
     
  16. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    Fingers crossed!
    The icarsoft can read ABC issues not sure on others but anyway best get it on Star it’s worth it to be sure. Ian at Star in Caversham comes to mind
     
  17. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    As John says Star will gibgthe most definitive answer. You also need to find why the fluid level dropped.
     
  18. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    This ^^^ is correct. The only time my ABC fluid level dropped was when I had a fluid leak. Other than that, it has not dropped at all in 6 years. I believe you have a leak which will need finding and fixing as soon as possible, I would not drive the car until the cause is found.
     
  19. OP
    rexemper

    rexemper Senior Member

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    Thanks. I have noticed there is also a rumble type noise from the front passenger side when at low RPM - goes away when you accelerate. Reading the sticky about the ABC system, it points to the pulsation damper failing. I haven't had the warning come up again since topping up the fluid, but I'm not really driving it much till the guys at Star have had a look - which should be on Thursday.

    Fingers crossed and will keep you updated.
     
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  20. SL55 Mark

    SL55 Mark Senior Member

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    Not wishing to set any pigeons running, a rumble type noise from that area can be the sign of an ABC pump failing, which was what happened to me and caused my leak. The ABC pump is on the front passesnger side of the engine (in a RHD SL55, anyway). Hope it is nothing too serious for you.
     

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