Mechanics

LOW OIL IN REAR AXLE = ABS LIGHT?

2000 Ford Explorer

Drive Train Axles Bearings problem
2000 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 80000 miles

Aside from the usual ABS light at ignition, I noticed the ABS light would come on and stay

on shortly after starting the Explorer. Other times it wouldn't come on at all despite

driving for 50+ miles at times. Used the ol hayne's manual to locate the rear axle ABS

sensor and crawled underneath the Explorer to make sure I could find it and check the

conenction. It was then I noticed what looked like a oil nipple on the driver side of the

rear axle, angled upward and towards the rear. There was a rubber hose connected to it and

stoppered at the other end, but that hose apparently broke off from wear and tear (feels

rigid and ome of the hose is still on the nipple). I also noticed what looked like some

fluid/oil having leaked out of the nipple. Not a huge amount, but enough to definitely

collect dirt and grime from the nipple and down the axle towards the ground.

There are no abnormal sounds from the rear end and it drives normally other than the ABS

light. The brakes work and there is no pulling. Front brakes are as warm as the rear brakes

as well.

Having said all this, I was wondering if the ABS light could be due to low oil/grease/fluid

levels in the rear differential. Should I be concerned with particles making it into the

rear differential due to this nipple being exposed? Any other concerns or recommendations?

I've used your website before and your advice has normally been very helpful.

Thanks for your time.

(BTW: Accidentally selected 4cyl. Edited to 6cyl)
Avatar
Tsuchida
September 20, 2009.




THat is a breather. It should be replaced it's damaged. As far as the oil level, just make sure it is full.

Thanks for the prompt reply. I do have a few clarification questions though: 1) " Breather"? Could you explain a bit to me?
2) Is the Breather connected to the ABS sensor somehow? Sounds like it may be the part that fits inside the differential. Correct?
3) How would I refill the rear differential or even check it?
4) Should I be worried about junk having gotten inside the axle due to the exposed nipple?

I'm fairly experienced with cars (grew up in the 80's workin on Fords, Chevies, etc with my dad doing alternators, carbs, ball joints, DIYS stuff) but haven't had to mess with a differential yet.

Thanks again for the prompt response!

Tiny
Tsuchida
Sep 20, 2009.
That is a breather for the differential. It shouldn't have anything to do with the ABS. As far as checking fluid level, I believe ford has their fill point either on the differential cover or it will be on the side of the driveshaft (on the side) Chances are it will require a 3/8" ratchet (without a socket) to check it. WHen you remove the plug, the gear lube should be even with the bottom of the plug hole to be full.

THere is a breather at the end of the hose you refered to. If it is bad, it will cause oil to leak.

Ah! Thank you for the explanation. The rubber hose that the breather is attached to (I assume the breather is what I thought was a plastic stopper at the other end of the hose) broke off from the differential nipple. I'll replace the hose and breather as your suggest and find the fill hole for the differential to check the oil level. I assume the local autopart store can tell me what fluid to replace it with if it is low.

You also mentioned it would have nothing to do with the ABS light. Does this mean that if the oil is low in the differential that it wouldn't cause the ABS light to come on? I'll replace the ABS sensor while I'm at it as well.

Tiny
Tsuchida
Sep 20, 2009.
Yes that is the breather at the end. I had a cutomer once that had gear lube from the front to the back of the underside of the car because that breather plugged.

As far as the ABS, the differential level shouldn't affect that. If you haven't already, have the computer scanned so you don't spend money on things that don't need replaced. Most parts stores will scac it for free.

As far as the type of gear lube for the differential, most likely it is a standard GL-5. If it is low, confirm that with them when you purchase it.

If you have other questions, let me know.

Joe

After a short search I located the rear and front ABS sensors. The rear sensor is an easy job, but I'm finding the front sensors to be a bit of a pain. I've removed the one retaining bold that passes through the front sensor and into the knuckle housing but cannot get the sensor to come out. Am I missing something or is just a matter of grit and grime and some more elbow grease. I wonder if I'm missing a retainer bracket or soemthing here.

Thanks!

Tiny
Tsuchida
Sep 25, 2009.
It should come off. I can't remember anything that you are missing.
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