2001 Ford Windstar

Electrical problem
2001 Ford Windstar 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 130000 miles

I had to slam on my brakes the other day and all heck broke lose with my van. The ABS and brake light are on, OD light flashes, check transmission flashes, speedometer and odometer wont work, nor will the miles until empty work. It just reads error. HELP please. I know there is a leak somewhere because I have to add brake fluid every so often. Took it to a mech, they told me that several sensors went out. And would cost around 1000 to fix, I think they are just trying to collect on my ignorance since hubby is not here to deal with them. Any help would be great. Am I stuck paying 1000 to fix this?
December 16, 2008.

Hi: Wow, that doesn't sound right. I want you to try a couple things. First, disconnect the battery for about 10 to 20 minutes. It may reset several of the things when you replace it. If that doesn't work, take the van to a nationally recognized parts store like Auto Zone or Advance and ask them to run a scan on the computer. Let me know what they tell you.


I agree with the other reply; take the vehicle to a reputable place to get the Codes pulled from the computer. Just slamming on the brakes doesn't cause a whole bunch of sensors to malfunction and require replacement. Don't fall into the " replace parts until it's fixed" method of repair. Get the actual problem diagnosed, then proceed with repair. Remember that all these components are related to one another and/or communicate via body control modules and network lines. A failure in one module can pull the whole related network side down. I'm not saying this for you to start purchasing body control modules, I just hope you see sensors within a car work together and communicate. Pull one down and it can wreck havoc on the remaining ones.

If slamming on the brakes caused such a stress to cause a brake fluid leak, I would start my diagnostics as to where the leak is. The leak is causing a pressure imbalance in the hydraulic lines, which again, causes various sensors in the brake system to send out fault signals.

In regards to the speedo, odometer, and check transmission message, I cannot offer input other than repeating that these modules rely on each other working properly. There might be a damaged module (or even just a module sending out a fault signal) causing problems on the network. The way (though as tedious and difficult as it may be) to diagnose this is to unplug each module one by one and recognize any differences in the way the rest of the vehicle behaves. Again, pulling diagnostic codes in the beginning will help narrow down the options.

Good luck. And stay away from the purchase-parts-until-it's-fixed method. You'll end up paying for a shopping cart full of good functioning parts for no reason except to drain your bank account.

Dec 17, 2008.
Thanks a bunch for your input. I really have no idea about this stuff, but did however feel as if the mechanic " saw me coming" . With my husband being deployed he can't be of much help right now he is the one that normally handles this stuff. Thanks again for input.

Dec 19, 2008.
Hi: I want you to try one thing. Are you able to carefully disconnect your battery? If so, disconnect it for about 10 minutes and then reconnect it. This will most likely reset the computer and BCM. You will loose your presets on the radio and have to reset the time, but I would like to see if changes all of the lights. It's Christmas and I don't want to see you getting stuck with a huge bill for things you don't need. I'm sure your husband wouldn't object.

Let me know if you're going to try it and the outcome. And if you speak with your husband, let him know there are people wishing him the best and a safe return.


I dis-connected the battery, when I re-connected everything was still the same. So I guess there really is something wrong. I thank you for your input, and for the kind words you said about my husband. Its nice to hear a stranger's gratitude for the service of our military men and women. Thank you.

Dec 22, 2008.