Car model and year: 2003 Nissan 350z
Symptom: when I start the car and start moving it the front left wheel begins to brake on its own and the slip light flashes when this happens. after it does it a few times the VDC OFF Light comes on and the problem goes away.
How to do? Read the following reviews first:
- To access to a code reader to get the diagnostic system to confirm it.
I have personal experience with this exact same issue…
I believe this is related to the steering angle sensor located behind the steering wheel. Its mounted directly behind the clock spring, on the steering wheel. I just upgraded my 03 to an 06 steering wheel to have the audio control buttons from the 06, and had to alter the wiring and install a new clock spring t support the additional wires. When I transferred my existing steering angle sensor, I had to recalibrate it to prevent the TCS from going crazy on turns (slip and VDC off lights come on)–if I drove straight it was ok, but the minute I tried to turn, the car went haywire. So, my guess is the steering angle sensor went bad or needs recalibrated, but if you didn’t mess with it, it should not need calibrated. The job is kind of a pain, maybe an hour to 2 hours, to replace. The angle sensor at the dealership will be expensive, like $700, not including labor. I have a spare one I can sell you (not for $700 either) but you will need to recalibrate it with an advanced scan tool that supports Nissan ABS work functions. I have heard people say that the dealerships may charge anywhere for $50 to 175 to cal the SAS.
For now, if it’s your daily driver, be sure to turn the TCS (VDC off) when you start the car and you will be fine until you get this fixed, otherwise an improperly cal’d or non functional SAS (steering angle sensor) will beat on your ABS system and make the car very hard to drive, and could cause an accident if you aren’t careful.
I can look up the model of my scanner, if you are looking to do a ABS-SAS reset. You have to pay $200 (up to about $4k) or more for the scanners that have work support for ABS. Sadly, there are only a handful that actually work properly, even though the scanner manufacturers say they support SAS reset…which I found to be totally false. I have confirmed the tool that I have does work though, and I can actually watch the degrees change when I turn the wheel in either direction… TDC or straight ahead should read 0 degrees though, so after calibration with the wheels pointed striaght, it will be 0. My scanner is also supposed to support TPMS functions, but I have not tried those or needed anything outside of the ABS work support so far. I can post the manufacturer and model here, if needed for the community--I am 99.9% sure its a Foxwell NT650.
Foxwell NT650 it claims to do TPMS, but I believe that you will need the RF tool too to wake up and initialize the valve stems. I have that too, but I can’t remember the model now… they are usually orange or red, and have a short but thick black antenna.
EL-50448 is the tool.
You need to force the TPMS system into learn mode, then use the RF tool to initialize the individual stems in the proper order (FL, FR, RR, RL)… that should make the blinking light stop. If you don’t have the tools, you can force the learn by jumpering the TPMS connector to gnd (5x in 10secs after key on), and then use the RF tool, or without the tool, set the pressures according to the service manual and drive the car for a few minutes until it registers the sensors. Download the pages from the FSM and you will see how to do it, without even needing any tools. I know this works on an 03-06… not sure about other years.
If you need to calibrate your SAS or do other work, you will probably need a decent scan tool with work functions/support.