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How do I tell whether a 2000 Toyota Celica GTS has ABS or not?
May 10, 2009 8:05 PM   Subscribe

How do I tell whether a 2000 Toyota Celica GTS has ABS brakes or not? I'm buying used, and the owner isn't sure.
posted by ssnickerer to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total)
 

1. There will be an indicator light on the dashboard. It will light up, at least briefly, when the key is turned to the "run" position, and should turn off when the engine starts. If the ABS system were to fail, this light would stay on, until you clear it.

2. If the owner will let the car out of his sight, run it up to about 35 and stand on the brake pedal. If you feel it pulse under your foot, it's probably got ABS. If it just feels solid, and you slide to an eventual stop, it probably doesn't.
posted by toxic at 8:12 PM on May 10, 2009


Download the service manual.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:12 PM on May 10, 2009


I'd do #2 in a parking lot...

It will either vibrate the brake pedal and chirp chirp chirp as it slows, or squeeeeel as the brakes lockup.

Just mash the pedal and wait for the car to stop.

35 is a bit fast .. try 25-30. No need to damage the tires.
posted by SirStan at 8:18 PM on May 10, 2009


The ABS light isn't fool proof as it's possible for the lamp to burn out. However if it comes on at all you know the car is equipped. Other things to look for is ABS markings on the brake pedal, ABS fuse in the fuse panel, and a lack of a vacuum booster behind the master cylinder. Most cars aren't shy about proclaiming ABS equipment with badging either inside or out.

toxic writes "If the owner will let the car out of his sight, run it up to about 35 and stand on the brake pedal. If you feel it pulse under your foot, it's probably got ABS. If it just feels solid, and you slide to an eventual stop, it probably doesn't."

You should do this anyway when test driving a used car. Among other things it'll help show whether brakes on one side are grabbing or not working at all, it'll work the suspension (listen for thumps/clunks), test the inertial belt system and it can show problems with fuel delivery.
posted by Mitheral at 8:23 PM on May 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


a lack of a vacuum booster behind the master cylinder.

There is not necessarily any correlation between the existence of ABS and the presence (or not) of servo assistance in the braking system.
posted by Brockles at 9:01 PM on May 10, 2009


There will be an indicator light on the dashboard. [...] If the ABS system were to fail, this light would stay on, until you clear it.

If ABS was a factory-installed option, and was not installed, would you still expect the 'ABS failed' light to be on at all times?

I say go for the parking lot/deserted street emergency stop test. Industrial estates at the weekend/evening are a good place to find wide, empty streets. Performing a stop like that is a standard part of my country's driving test; it doesn't damage the car or anything.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:31 AM on May 11, 2009


Nth-ing the recommendation to try out a full panic stop test from a low speed. In addition to finding out if the vehicle has ABS or not, you will also get to find out if the brakes suck. Having once bought a used car with brakes that turned out to be really terrible, I wouldn't buy a car ever again without performing this test.
posted by FishBike at 7:17 AM on May 11, 2009


Brockles writes "There is not necessarily any correlation between the existence of ABS and the presence (or not) of servo assistance in the braking system."

Interesting. What modern street cars don't have vacuum boosters and also don't have ABS? I know GM at one time had models with hydraulic assist and of course no assist at all was common on drum brake cars because they were self energizing. But I'd thought that any car equipped with an electric assist had ABS.
posted by Mitheral at 7:35 AM on May 11, 2009


Anti-lock brakes were optional on the 2000 Celica GT-S.

If you are buying used, I would recommend taking the car to a dealership for a paid inspection. They'll be able to tell you if the car has anti-lock brakes.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:36 AM on May 11, 2009


>If ABS was a factory-installed option, and was not installed, would you still expect the 'ABS failed' light to be on at all times?

No. That's not how these sorts of indicator lights work. If the car doesn't have ABS, then although the light will be in the dashboard, it should never light up, because there's no ABS controller to tell it to light up. The fact that it comes on before start-up is part of the system self test (like your check-engine light, which is similarly controlled).

Look at it this way. How many Toyota customers would drive a new car off the lot with a dashboard warning light lit up?
posted by toxic at 8:17 AM on May 11, 2009


Put the key in the ignition, turn it on click - so the car is on but the engine isn't started: on the top right of the dash it will say in yellow: ABS.

Depicted here with the abs lit up and here without: Alternat link for the w/ ABS.
posted by zenon at 8:42 AM on May 11, 2009


Just to be clear: if it ain't lit up - the car doesn't think it has ABS.
posted by zenon at 8:43 AM on May 11, 2009


Interesting. What modern street cars don't have vacuum boosters and also don't have ABS?

My '88 Volkswagen Jetta DID NOT have ABS but DID have a giant vacuum booster under the dash. Damn thing broke a seal, too. Hissed like a goddamn snake.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:11 AM on May 11, 2009


I wouldn't buy a car without testing the brakes in a full-on stop first (just make sure to let the owner know what you are about to do if s/he is in the car with you). If the owner doesn't want you to test the ABS before you buy the car, then you probably don't want to buy the car. No need to be circumspect about it.
posted by ssg at 2:43 PM on May 11, 2009


Interesting. What modern street cars don't have vacuum boosters and also don't have ABS?

That wasn't really my point. The point was the existence of a servo does not in any way preclude the car from having ABS - as implied (intentionally or not) with your answer). I know of many, many cars that have servo and ABS, especially at that age, but am not up to date on the correlation between electric assistance = ABS in more modern cars. A 2000 Celica is not all that modern in terms of design, though.
posted by Brockles at 10:48 AM on May 13, 2009


Ah, I see, I meant the logic the other way. If a car doesn't have a vacuum booster than it has ABS. You are right that the opposite doesn't apply. I should have been more explicit.
posted by Mitheral at 6:40 PM on May 13, 2009


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