2003 Ford Windstar

I had the front pads replaced and rotors resurfaced and rear brakes serviced. And at the same time the ABS and red brake warning light came on. The mechanic was dumbfounded said he didn't do anything to make that problem occurr. He changed the pads and the problem seemed corrected. Approx. 200 miles later. The brakes were applied hard, and soon after, the lights came back on intermittently. Seems like the lights come on quickly when the car is hot and been driven a while. If the car is cold or has sat overnight, the lights don't come on. Took it to the dealer, they ran a diagnostic ($100) said it needed a new ECU ($700). Don't mind paying if that's what it really needs, but it just seems like the problem occurred when the pads were replaced and maybe the original mechanic bent or tore something. The dealer is adamant that the C1185 code would not be affected by anything the original mechanic did (replacing the front brakes, resurfacing the rotors and rear brake service). I feel backed into a corner. Your thoughts.
July 23, 2007.

Thanks ScottM. Here is some feedback for anyone who has a similar problem. It turned out that the Camshaft Position sensor fault was triggering both the service engine light and the flashing Trac Off light. That answered my question about whether or not the Camshaft Position sensor supplied input into the Traction Control.

The fix was a lot more complicated than I expected. The CMP fault was due to the magnet inside the sensor coming adrift from the cover. The loose magnet fouled the rotor inside the base, which bent from the impact, then destroyed the rest of the inside of the sensor. I ended up with many bits inside the sensor and no way of fitting the new sensor because of the bent rotor.

Removing the base to repair the rotor involved dismantling much of the top of the engine and removing the upper and lower cowl covers, purely to get enough clearance for the long shaft and gear that extend into the engine below the base.

I straightened the bent rotor as much as possible so that there was no conflict with the new sensor. After all of the dismantling and re-assembly, I was very relieved that the problem lights were both off when I restarted the engine.

Aug 27, 2007.
Scott M : Did you check your PM's? I sent you one.


Aug 28, 2007.
I am having the same issue with both the ABS and break light coming on in my 2001 Windstar, 54K miles. I live in Virginia (hot and humid) and the problem has existed for a few months now. The codes are C1236, 1185, 1198, 1194, 1254, 1246, 1250, 1242, 1214, 1210, 1260, (one other that I can't read), and 1404.

Aug 28, 2007.

Wow tech level #1, I feel special.

I want to evaluate my ECM evaluated for the cause of the fire. We do know the two 40A circuits have something to do with it.

The cause is one of two things.

Was it behind door #1
1. The relay in the ECM that threw c1185.

Or Door #2
2. Wicking fluid from the master cyl. Switch to the wiring of the ECM leaking on the contacts?

Right now the ECM is powered off and in the condition it was when the smoke poured out of the unit.

I believe this will be a bigger and bigger issue as mine has 131K for a 2002 (which is on the higher side of normal).

Comments or feelings. I really do not have the time to get Jiggy with FoxNews or the like.


Aug 28, 2007.

I live in NY, and have a 2001 Windstar with 120K miles on it. I too am having problems with the ABS and brake lights coming on. They usually only come on when I have been driving for a while or if I brake hard. When I turn the engine off and on again the lights disappear. I have replaced the front and rear brakes and still have this problem. The mechanic at Kost thinks this problem may be related to bad wheel bearings heating up. Sorry I don't have any C codes yet, but will post them when I do. The hard and soft acceleration test do not cause the lights to come on. Is it safe to drive the van like this?



Aug 28, 2007.
Thanks Steve, I'm going to put together a complaint and file it with the above site. Hopefully my fellow Canadians will get on board and squawk loudly also. Ford has to get their house in order.

Aug 29, 2007.
I have a 2002 windstar and have received the same error codes. I get 3 lights the red BRAKE, ABS and TRAC OFF. The van also has a message that says CHECK TRACTION CONTROL. The problem initally started and would only occur after a few minutes and sometimes not at all. Lateley it has been occurring within the first minute or 2 of driving, or if the engine is warm, almost immediately. My mechainc looked at the van and said that it was the ECU unit and could only be replaced by a dealer. I received a recall in the mail earlier this woeek for the speed control switch mentioned in other postings. The recall was for a 1993 E-350 van and not for the windstar. In any case the recall number is 05S28. The recall if for the SCDS (Speed Control Deactivation Switch) and says the Ford has authorized the installation of a " fused wire harness into the speed control system". The notice specifies ". Posing the risk of an onderhood fire. This condition may occur either when the vehicle is parked or when it is being operated, even if the speed control is not in use.&Quot;

Aug 29, 2007.
I have a 1999 Windstar with a brake fluid leak and intermittent ABS light. I don't know enough about the van models to conclude whether or not I could be experiencing the same problems as the 2001-2002 models. Any thoughts? Should I be following the recommendations posted in this thread, or has the braking design been modified between the years in question?

Thank You,


Aug 29, 2007.
I have a 2002 Windstar with the ABS/Brake lights coming on intermittently. So far my Ford dealer has not been able to diagnose the problem. When I take the van in the lights are off and no codes come off the computer.

I see that others have had the same problem.

TSB data for: 2002 FORD WINDSTAR
Bulletin Number: 15682
Sequence Number: 636312
Date: 20020301
Make: FORD
Year: 2002

This is all I have. Perhaps this will help others as I have no car repair experience.

Aug 30, 2007.
Harold From Pa. Same Problems with 2002 c1185, c1194, c1198, c1210, c1214, c1242,1246,1250, and1254. Nice list. Weathers been warm here. May be a factor. Just stated with yous so I'll try checking connector and the switch. More to come.

Harold Light
Aug 31, 2007.
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