The largest and best supported Jaguar cars enthusiast site on the Internet!

Serving Enthusiasts since 1993
The Jag-lovers Web

Currently with 3,166 members

Jag-lovers' Ebooks
- Jag-Lovers' xj40 Ebook -

7.4.2 - Overview - 1990 thru 1994 models ( John Ping,  January 16, 2001 )

The Teves Anti-Lock Braking System as installed on Model Year 1990 through 1994 Jaguar XJ40s has demonstrated both high reliability and excellent durability. The system is not exclusive to Jaguar as it was used on other European manufactured vehicles (Alfa Romeo, Saab, Mercedes-Benz and certain Ford applications). It is considerably more than just an anti-lock braking system; it also provides the power-assisted boost for the master cylinder. It is however, quite non-conventional in comparison to other contemporary ABS designs. Instead of the ubiquitous vacuum assist booster for the master cylinder, it uses a hydraulic boost provided by a small electric motor driven pump. To prevent continuous pump operation, high-pressure hydraulic fluid is stored within an inert gas filled accumulator. Whenever the driver applies the brakes, this stored hydraulic energy is used to boost input pressure to the master cylinder. Normally (non-ABS operation), the front wheel brake hydraulic circuitry is controlled in a conventional manner by the master cylinder in what is termed "static" operation. However, the rear wheel brake hydraulic circuitry is controlled by the complex pressure / position interactions of the hydraulic control unit in what is termed "dynamic" operation.

The heart of the Teves ABS is the electronic control unit (ECU), which is located in the trunk (boot) behind the molded carpeting on the fuel filler side. The Teves system performs an initial ABS "self-check" routine upon startup and subsequently, in a periodic manner, during vehicle operation to guard against hidden system malfunctions. If any system malfunction is detected by the ECU, the ABS function will be inhibited (conventional braking remains) and the "ABS Warning Light" will be illuminated. With the vehicle in operation, the ECU continuously monitors signal inputs from speed sensors located at each wheel. Additionally, it monitors system pressures by function of the "combined pressure warning switch" and brake fluid levels by operation of the "twin reed switches" mounted within the reservoir.

During normal vehicle operation, the ABS ECU constantly checks for wheel speed differentials. Normally, all wheel speed inputs should be relatively equal. But if the inputs are different, the ECU interprets this data as imminent wheel lockup and modulates the circuit control valves in a manner as to prevent wheel lockup (decreases hydraulic circuit pressure). Twin hydraulic circuit control solenoid valves are provided for each of the three hydraulic circuits (right front wheel, left front wheel and rear wheels). Each of these valves will open or close as necessary to eliminate wheel lockup. Wheel speed data manipulation and solenoid valve control is performed by the ECU. A main solenoid valve is energized during ABS operation to provide "dynamic" operation of the front wheels.

Electric motor driven hydraulic pump operation is controlled via the combined pressure warning switch. When stored system hydraulic pressure decreases below 140 bars (˜ 2050 psig), the pump-motor is activated. System hydraulic pressure builds and is stored within the accumulator until a threshold of 180 bars (˜ 2650 psig). Normal system operating pressure will be contained within these limits based on braking demands. The entire hydraulic system is protected from over-pressure conditions by a pressure control valve which releases pressure at 210 bars (˜ 3100 psig). The hydraulic accumulator is a spherical device internally separated with a flexible membrane to create two independent chambers. The upper chamber is filled with inert nitrogen to approximately 84 bars (˜ 1235 psig) and acts as a continuously applied force upon the lower chamber, which is filled with brake fluid. The action of the hydraulic accumulator provides a working reservoir of high pressure brake fluid.

The combined pressure warning switch also provides other ABS pressure related alarms. In the event of an electrical or mechanical malfunction (i.e. faulty pump or hydraulic accumulator) is experienced within the ABS, the combined pressure warning switch will illuminate (via the ECU and instrument panel logic) the "ABS Warning Light" when system pressure decreases below 130 bars (˜ 1900 psig). Additionally, the ECU will partially inhibit ABS operation by defeating the front wheel ABS control. At 105 bars (˜ 1550 psig) decreasing, the "Brake System Warning Light" will be illuminated. This latter action represents a very serious braking system abnormal condition and its cause should be immediately investigated and rectified. It is dangerous to drive the vehicle in this condition! Keep in mind, that if only the "Brake System Warning Light" is illuminated, the problem could be simply the parking brake is applied or the brake pads are excessively worn.

Upon normal vehicle startup (after several hours of shutdown), its normal for both the "Brake System Warning Light" and "ABS Warning Light" to be illuminated since system hydraulic pressure has partially bleed off. After approximately thirty (30) seconds or less, the system hydraulic pressure will increase (via pump operation) extinguishing first the "Brake System Warning Light" and immediately followed by the "ABS Warning Light". It is also normal for certain ABS relays to momentarily "cycle" during non-braking operations as this signifies performance of the ECU "self-check" routine. Increased operation of the hydraulic pump in conjunction with numerous illuminations of the "ABS Warning Light" is likely to represent a problem with the hydraulic accumulator.

The internal operating aspects of the hydraulic brake booster, valve block, master cylinder, pump/motor and the ECU are complex. Due to their complicated nature (and lack of refurbishment parts), repair of these circuits is usually far beyond the capabilities of even the most diligent and knowledgeable owner. Replacement of the hydraulic accumulator, combined pressure warning switch, motor-pump and wheel sensors is within the grasp of the technically competent owner.


The actual Teves Anti-Lock Braking System requires minimal "special" maintenance, but indifference or negligence in regard to system operation can be very expensive for the owner. As with any braking system, the longevity and reliability can be greatly enhanced by periodic flushing and replacement of the brake fluid. A dedicated flushing routine will eliminate oxygenated brake fluid and corrosion products from the brake system. Unlike many brake systems that are completely sealed via an expandable membrane, the Teves system uses a vented reservoir. Oxygen can be dissolved into the fluid, which can result in oxidized working surfaces and decreased seal life. Unless vehicle operation conditions are very severe, it is prudent to replace the system fluid every two years or approximately 30k miles (48k kilometers).

Fluid replacement can be performed using numerous traditional methods. However, the use of a manual (hand operated) vacuum pump with fluid reservoir makes it a simple one-person operation. These tools are very common and readily available at any quality tool shop or automotive supply store at a reasonable cost. The Teves ABS as installed on XJ40s requires the use of DOT 4 rated brake fluid and other types (silicone based fluids) should be avoided. As with any braking system work, always be vigilant for system leakage. Never push back a brake caliper piston without first opening the caliper vent and installing a drain tube. Contaminated fluid with particulate matter can have a notable damaging impact on valve block and hydraulic booster operation if allowed to re-enter the system.

During brake pad replacement or fluid change intervals, the wheel sensors should be cleaned and electrical connections checked for integrity. It is not necessary to remove the sensors, simply brush them off or clean them, as needed using a quality electrical contact cleaner. A buildup of ferrous compounds (brake rotor wear) on the sensors can alter their operating characteristics. Do not utilize strong petroleum solvents as this could adversely impact the sensor materials.

After approximately 100k miles (160k kilometers), it is prudent, though not mandatory, to replace the three (3) ABS electrical relays. The ECU and Main relays are contemporary five-conductor automotive type with 30 amp rated contacts. With these two relays, both the normally open and closed contacts are wired and perform a function. The Pump relay is of heavier design. A 40 amp rated, normally open contacts relay should be used for this application. A conventional five-conductor relay will fit this application as well. All three of the ABS relays are located under the driver’s side (LHD) footwell electrical component panel.

The Teves ABS has an ECU "interrogate" feature that can be accessed by the owner. The fault code is provided to the owner by a series of "blinks" from the "ABS Warning Light". The process of retrieving the codes is conventional after the appropriate "conductor jumpering" sequence has been initiated at the ECU diagnostics connector located near the ECU in the truck and ignition switch manipulated. A full description of ABS fault codes and recovery sequence is beyond the scope of this article.


sepbar.jpg (3094 bytes)

This section currently maintained by Pascal Gademer; questions, comments, submissions and suggestions, email


Please help support the move to the new site, and DONATE what you can.
A big Thank You to those who have donated already!



Go to our Homepage
Improve your Jag-lovers experience with the Mozilla FireFox Browser!

  View the latest posts from our Forums via an RSS Feed!

©Jag-loversTM Ltd / JagWEBTM 1993 - 2022
All rights reserved. Jag-lovers is supported by JagWEBTM
For Terms of Use and General Rules see our Disclaimer
Use of the Jag-lovers logo or trademark name on sites other than Jag-lovers itself in a manner implying endorsement of commercial activities whatsoever is prohibited. Sections of this Web Site may publish members and visitors comments, opinion and photographs/images - Jag-lovers Ltd does not assume or have any responsibility or any liability for members comments or opinions, nor does it claim ownership or copyright of any material that belongs to the original poster including images. The word 'Jaguar' and the leaping cat device, whether used separately or in combination, are registered trademarks and are the property of Jaguar Cars, England. Some images may also be © Jaguar Cars. Mirroring or downloading of this site or the publication of material or any extracts therefrom in original or altered form from these pages onto other sites (including reproduction by any other Jaguar enthusiast sites) without express permission violates Jag-lovers Ltd copyright and is prohibited
Go to our Homepage
Your Browser is: CCBot/2.0 (, IP Address logged as on 27th Jun 2022 06:06:18