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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a day of moderate to challenging wheeling at 9k foot level I aired up and started to descend the mountain road (pavement). A couple miles down the road The ESC Warning light started blinking and the jeep lurched hard to the right with weird kind of oscillating feel in the brake pedal and a kind of clunking noise the brakes. Quite frankly it scared the crap out of me. I pulled off and crawled under to see if could find any obstructions in the rotors or pads or anything obviously damaged from the day's events. I did come down pretty hard on some of the obstacles but the only thing I saw was some new scratches in my skids. I tried going back through engaging and disengaging the lockers, sway bar, and in and out of 4 wheel drive. Cycled the ESC button on and off a couple times and proceeded back down the hill. Same thing... every so often the Jeep would lurch and pull to the right accompanied by the same unnerving symptoms. I pulled over and this time could smell the brakes. I did the heat test on each wheel (touched my fingers to the wheel and lug nuts). All were fine except the front passenger wheel. It was very warm. Actually hot. Again I looked for obstructions, kinked lines, etc. and found nothing. I waited for it to cool down a bit and started back down the hill after contemplating how long it would take to get a tow truck to the remote area on the mountain (been there and done that and didn't want to go there). I babied the rig down the mountain at a snail pace and started up the highway a bit. As mysteriously as it had started.. the problem went away. I drove another 10 or 12 miles, dropped off Dad and headed for home. After about 5-6 miles the light came back on and stayed on but none of the scary symptoms returned. I drove the rest of the way home with no problems. On thing I did notice is that the steering wheel was a bit off-center. This was even before the trip but was more pronounced after (maybe another inch to the right). Today I adjusted it up and drove it for about 12 miles and the light is still on but still none of the scary symptoms. I plan to send it to the dealer on Monday.
 

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Jeeps do not like to have the steering wheel off center. The computer uses the position of the wheel in conjunction with input from the wheel speed sensors to determine if it needs to apply stability and traction control. Since you stated it was a bit off when you started and a bit more after wheeling, I'd be the stability control system was applying some brake pressure to your right front, thinking it was spinning or sliding some based on steering wheel location. Get the wheel centered, reset the system and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what I'm hoping was the issue. I did get it re-centered but the light is still on. How do you reset the system? Is that the same as clearing the codes?
 

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My steering wheel was off center randomly, similar symptoms just not lurching. Took it to the dealer and they wouldn't touch it without me paying even tho it's under warranty, they will probably try to slap alignment costs on you like they did me(tried to, I told them? to shove it). Just don't let them try to rip you off is what I'm saying. I ended up checking alignment at home and resetting the drag link, light went off and has been fine since, (about a year ago)
 

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That's what I'm hoping was the issue. I did get it re-centered but the light is still on. How do you reset the system? Is that the same as clearing the codes?
If it's centered, just drive her a couple of miles around the block and the light should go away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Its definitely centered but light not going out even after driving much further than around the block. :(

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You may have a bad clockspring problem. Try disconnecting the battery for a while and see if that turns the light out. If not, good chance it's a clockspring or computer issue.
 
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if you were wheeling hard check your abs wires you may have knocked one off.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Guess didnt6drive it far enough to reset after adjusting the steering wheel. Figured I'd try to drive it again after a careful inspection of the abs wires and finding nothing obvious. Light went out before I hit the end of the driveway. Yea, thanks for the ideas!

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ABS system may be malfunctioning sending pressure to that one wheel. This could be due to an internal fault or poor feedback from the wheel speed sensor. ESC works by braking individual wheels when slippage is sensed. Are your tires different sizes, pressures, tread depths, etc? Do you have locking diffs?

You also may simply have a stuck caliper. SOMETHING is malfunctioning, causing that caliper to squeeze the brakes harder than the others. I'd try removing the caliper and trying to compress the piston to see if it's sticking, and replace it if it has the slightest bit of excessive resistance.

Even though the light is off now, you may have an underlying issue. Try having your codes read. Standard code reader won't do, you need a shop to read the codes.

FYI any play in the axles, bearings, or unevenness in the brakes/tires can cause an off center steering wheel. Doesn't just mean it's an alignment issue.
 

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If your abs starts acting up you can always nip the purple wire with light blue stripe. That will disable abs and esc until you can figure out what's up, or better yet put a momentary switch on that wire and it will disable unit you cycle the key. It's good for mud and deep snow anyway,
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ABS system may be malfunctioning sending pressure to that one wheel. This could be due to an internal fault or poor feedback from the wheel speed sensor. ESC works by braking individual wheels when slippage is sensed. Are your tires different sizes, pressures, tread depths, etc? Do you have locking diffs?

You also may simply have a stuck caliper. SOMETHING is malfunctioning, causing that caliper to squeeze the brakes harder than the others. I'd try removing the caliper and trying to compress the piston to see if it's sticking, and replace it if it has the slightest bit of excessive resistance.

Even though the light is off now, you may have an underlying issue. Try having your codes read. Standard code reader won't do, you need a shop to read the codes.

FYI any play in the axles, bearings, or unevenness in the brakes/tires can cause an off center steering wheel. Doesn't just mean it's an alignment issue.
For reference, the Jeep just turned 9k miles. Not to say still couldn't be one of those things mentioned but there isn't much wear/tear being newer. Tires are new (3k miles) and same size. Pressures were all checked and consistent. It's a Rubicon and does have locking diffs. I'll definitely heed your advice and check out the caliper and piston tonight on the wheel that was warm. I did find it odd that the steering wheel became of centered for no apparent reason. It's been aligned twice. Once after I installed the lift and once when I had the sleeves/gussets installed. I just assumed the clamp may not have been as tight as should be and slipped.

I've kind of assumed that since I know for sure the wheel was out of adjustment that this was the root cause but obviously don't want to mess around when it comes to brakes. Guess need to have the dealer check it out after all.

I did have another far fetched theory. I recently installed an ARB Twin Air Compressor in the engine compartment. The mount sits very close to the ABS module and pump and got extremely hot when I was airing up. I'm told this is normal by others but it did seem suspicious being recently installed and proximity to ABS. Maybe just coincidence.
 

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For reference, the Jeep just turned 9k miles. Not to say still couldn't be one of those things mentioned but there isn't much wear/tear being newer. Tires are new (3k miles) and same size. Pressures were all checked and consistent. It's a Rubicon and does have locking diffs. I'll definitely heed your advice and check out the caliper and piston tonight on the wheel that was warm. I did find it odd that the steering wheel became of centered for no apparent reason. It's been aligned twice. Once after I installed the lift and once when I had the sleeves/gussets installed. I just assumed the clamp may not have been as tight as should be and slipped.

I've kind of assumed that since I know for sure the wheel was out of adjustment that this was the root cause but obviously don't want to mess around when it comes to brakes. Guess need to have the dealer check it out after all.

I did have another far fetched theory. I recently installed an ARB Twin Air Compressor in the engine compartment. The mount sits very close to the ABS module and pump and got extremely hot when I was airing up. I'm told this is normal by others but it did seem suspicious being recently installed and proximity to ABS. Maybe just coincidence.
That air pump is a good thought.

Ever had a caliper lock up? The vehicle will pull to that side, thus throwing off the steering wheel. That's where the off center steering wheel will come from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No lockups.. thinking turnbuckle wasn't tight enough. Just a guess though.

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