2003 Ford Windstar ABS C1185 trouble code

Tiny
FRENCHBULL
  • 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.

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Monday, July 23rd, 2007 AT 9:47 PM

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Tiny
FRENCHBULL
  • MEMBER

Both the ABS(Yellow) & Brake(Red) Lights come on. Rear Brakes were cleaned by using a solvent, not sure what it was. Then they were rinsed with water & air dried. This was all done with a high pressure hose. Then the rear brakes were adjusted. Front pads were replaced after 1 mile of driving, the lights turned on & the van was returned to the repair shop. Everything was rechecked & the tech was not sure about what was happening. Advised me to drive van for a few days to break in the pads. The light went back on, I returned back to the repair shop & he ran a scan & it showed the above code(C1185). He agian was unsure, so he replaced pads again. The light continues to come on & off. So I took the van to the dealer where I was told that I needed to replace the ECU which I mentioned in the prior message. The van currently has 36K & this was the first set of replacement pad & rear adjust done. Do you have any advise?

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Wednesday, July 25th, 2007 AT 4:14 PM
Tiny
DHTUTTLE
  • MEMBER

What's the status? I have the same exact problem with my Windstar in addition to the HCU. Is it necessary to replace those or is there an easy fix? :

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Thursday, July 26th, 2007 AT 9:14 PM
Tiny
DHTUTTLE
  • MEMBER

The problem started approx. 4 weeks ago. Both the ABS and the Brake Light come on immediately when the vehicle is warm. Sometimes they won't come on at all when the vehicle is cold. I brought to a Ford Dealer and they hooked up their computer and diagnosed that the ECU and HCU need replacement. At first I tried cleaning the rear brakes and adjusting them. No luck. I did a visual inspection on the ABS sensors and they appeared in good shape. I'm stumped!?

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Friday, July 27th, 2007 AT 12:23 PM
Tiny
FRENCHBULL
  • MEMBER

Sorry I didn't reply right away. (Work issues) I drove the van as you suggested (slowly accelerating to 25 mph and hard acceleration to 25 mph or more). The lights did not come on. However my wife drove the van in the rain and went through a few water puddles and the lights came on. So the acceleration test did not cause the lights to come on but going through water puddles did. So now, the lights come on: 1. If the car has been driven a long time. Restarted and driven again without a chance to cooldown. 2. Driven through some water puddles. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

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Friday, July 27th, 2007 AT 7:05 PM
Tiny
J4RACIN
  • MEMBER

Hi, my name is Jeff from Charlotte, NC (Nascar capital) and I'm a first time user. I just happened to cross this thread and joined so that I could give you my.02 cents. I have a 2003 Windstar SE Sport with the same exact problem. I have been trying to figure this out for quite a while now. I have not been able to figure out if its heat or speed that triggers the lights to illuminate. It's always both yellow (ABS) and red (e-brake) lights. The problem is sort of intermitent. I have changed the front pads and inspected all the sensors visually and wiped the sensors clean with a mild detergent. A co-worker and I went to the dealership together and bought the same vans (mine green, his silver). He has not had this problem. I have already replaced the alternator and his is fine. Mine has less mileage and stays in the garage. His stays outside and is neglected, yet, he has had no service repairs since the purchase. I believe the vehicles were assembled in Canada. The bottom line is we all share the same problem. I am sure there are many many more out there too. We need to figure out what is causing these lights to illuminate. Lets all stick with this thread until we resolve this issue. My brakes are good, new pads and brake lines bled. The master cylinder fluid level is full. There are no leaks anywhere. Ah, just thought of something. Does anyones brake pedal make a creeking (scrunching) noise when depressed. Mine does and it has nothing to do with the pedel forward adjustment. Does anybody elses brake pedal make scrunchy noises when pumped? Maybe it's a clue. Lets keep thinking and updating. It's 4:30am and I need some sleep. I shall check back later on. Good night.

Jeff

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Saturday, July 28th, 2007 AT 3:32 AM
Tiny
DHTUTTLE
  • MEMBER

My name is Dave, I live in NY I haven't had the opportunity to replace my front brakes yet but they do need it. I will try what is suggested and remove the 2 wire connection on the side of the reservoir and I'll get back to you. Everyone, keep this forum updated if anybody has any luck. The dealer makes it sound like there's no choice but to replace the ECU and the HCU. I have another question for anybody who might know, will this cause the vehicle to fail a NYS Inspection? A guy I know who works for Jiffy Lube says it won't fail because of the lights. True or Not??

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Saturday, July 28th, 2007 AT 10:48 AM
Tiny
J4RACIN
  • MEMBER

Hi, This in Jeff again. This morning I did as Steve suggested and disconnected the two wire switch mounted on the brake master cylinder FORWARD of the resevoir. Had to remove part of the air filter assembly to get my fat forearm in there to disconnect the switch. Any how, the switch is disconnected. Took the van for a few mile ride with heavy acceleration and braking. Came home and got coffee and cooled van in garage. Went back out and drove 5 to 6 more miles using same driving conditions. So far I can report that the lights have NOT come back on since I disconnected the switch. I am not excited. I will do some hiway driving this afternoon and report back. Steve, is this connection related to the low fluid level indicator in the resevoir or something? I have a brake squeel in the front passenger side that can be heard at low speeds. I knew I should have replaced original with ceramic pads. I will check back later. Have a great day. BTW: Conditions: HOT 90 + degrees, hazy and humid.

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Saturday, July 28th, 2007 AT 11:40 AM
Tiny
J4RACIN
  • MEMBER

Steve,

I drove about 30 more miles today both on interstate and local. I reached speeds of 75+ MPH. The ABS and e-brake lights never came on. Also, as you said, the cruise control no longer works. When the engine is not running and the key is turned to ignition, the lights come on and go back off. When the engine is cranked, the lights come on and go back off. I understand that as long as the ABS light is not lit when driving, it is functioning properly. Is this true? Is there something that needs to be replaced? Do you have any ideas what is causing this problem? Do you want me to leave the connector seperated or put it back together? What do you suggest that I try next? Please advise. Thanks

Jeff

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Saturday, July 28th, 2007 AT 10:14 PM
Tiny
J4RACIN
  • MEMBER

Steve,

Still driving with the switch in front of the resevoir disconnected. No cruise control-no ABS or e-brabe lights. Have driven at least 100 miles over the weekend. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.

Dave, If you or french bull disconnected the switch on side of the resevoir, please report back with an update. We all would like to resolve this this issue.

One more thing, look at the switches below and side of the resevoir and check for wetness. Report if the wires are wet from a brake fluid leak.

Jeff

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Tuesday, July 31st, 2007 AT 3:15 PM
Tiny
DOTHCAR
  • MEMBER

Steve,
I was driving with the brake resevoir switch unpluged, but I still have the same problem (the ABS/Brake lights still came on after a few minutes of driving).
TD. :

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Tuesday, July 31st, 2007 AT 6:27 PM
Tiny
LIMEY
  • MEMBER

I have a 2003 Ford Windstar Sport, same problem, ABS and Brke light comes on when hot. I took it to te dealer and for $1000 they will replace the ABS module. Not going there yet. Is the module a easy to replace with one from a scrap yard? Van drives fine but light bothers my wife

Cheers

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Tuesday, July 31st, 2007 AT 10:30 PM
Tiny
J4RACIN
  • MEMBER

All,

It's hard for me to believe with all the Windstars out there with ABS and E-brake lights illuminated on the dash pannel that Ford hasn't issued a TS Bulliten or recall to repair this problem. This does't seem like an isolated incident, it's more like an epidemic. Evidently, some people are paying to have this problem corrected and charging big bucks. Isn't there an honest mechanic out there that is familiar with this problem that will just tell us what the problem is and how to correct it without having to do all this experimentation? Is the fix for this some kind of big Ford secret? This seems like a conspiracy. We can put men on the moon, a craft on Mars and perform brain surgury but we can't figure out how to correct an ABS light issue. Sorry for all the junk talk, but i'm frustrated to death over this. Steve, do you think the people who have both ABS and E-brake lights illuminated have two different issues or do you think its all related to one thing? I hope someone reads this and can help.

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Wednesday, August 1st, 2007 AT 12:29 AM
Tiny
ROMANG
  • MEMBER

Hi there!

My name is Roman and I live in Orleans, Ontario.
BTW, all Windstars were built in Oakville Ontario, Canada.

I have 2002 Windstar, 125k km on it and same problem as the rest of you.
After driving in hot conditions, ABS and Brake light come on. My dealer suggested to replace ABS module and HCU. I am not ready to pay $1300 as I believe that it is not ABS module problem.
The switch that Jeff suggested is known to cause issues with ABS light, it is pressure switch for cruise control unit. It disengages cruise control if you hit the break pedal.

I will get "C" codes read and will post results here.

Cheers

Roman

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Thursday, August 2nd, 2007 AT 9:33 PM
Tiny
J4RACIN
  • MEMBER

Steve,

What is the name of the replacement switch you would like me to replace so that I can shop for one on Saturday. I believe you were talking about the one that I disconnected under the brake fluid resevoir. Please advise.

PS: By the way, I know you said that you were from MN, are you located near where the bridge collapsed in Mineapolis? That was really tragic.

Jeff

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Friday, August 3rd, 2007 AT 6:15 AM
Tiny
CRV96
  • MEMBER

I too have the brake light problem. I also have the engine light that stays on. The codes say I need a new O2 sensor. What that has to do with my brakes, I have no idea. I do appreciate any and all help with both of these things. Where is the O2 sensor? The guy at AutoZone said it could be before or after the catconvert.

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Friday, August 3rd, 2007 AT 11:57 PM
Tiny
FROSTIE
  • MEMBER

Hi. Just new to this board. I have a 99 Windstar with traction control. My ABS and "TRAC OFF" lights come on intermittently, usually when it is hot out. I had my codes read, and there were a lot! C1185 to start with, and my mechanic said the remainder were probably caused by the C1185.

Hope this info helps everyone get to the bottom of this annoyance.

Terry in Ottawa

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Saturday, August 4th, 2007 AT 4:36 PM
Tiny
FROSTIE
  • MEMBER

Steve,

No, the red brake light does not come on.

My total list of codes is: C1185, C1198, C1194, C1254, C1246, C1250, C1242, C1214, C1210, C1404 and U1262(SCP Data related).

Terry

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Saturday, August 4th, 2007 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
DHTUTTLE
  • MEMBER

I tried removing the plug on the side of the master cylinder and the lights stayed on. I then tried removing the plug on the front of the master cylinder and got the same results. I then removed both at the same time and got the same results. What next?

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Sunday, August 5th, 2007 AT 2:34 PM
Tiny
DHTUTTLE
  • MEMBER

My van is a 2003 Ford Windstar SE just like the others and the dealer did not tell me the codes only that the computer indicates that the ECU and HCU need to be replaced at a cost of $1010.00.

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Sunday, August 5th, 2007 AT 10:47 PM
Tiny
RAK
  • MEMBER

Hey folks,

I have a 2001 Ford Windstar 3.8 L Sport with 95355 km (about 57 000 mi) on it About a week ago the red brake and ABS warning lights came on while driving the vehicle (weather was hot -95oF and humid outside). The warning lights on the instrument cluster can be turned off by turning off the ignition and then restarting the engine. The lights (ABS and Brake warning) may or may not come on again while driving, since the problem seems to be intermittent. Code Reader (OBD II) retrieves no codes from the PCM.

With the two lights out. I slowly accellerate to 25 MPH. Lights didn't come on. I repeated from a stop. Accellerated hard to 25 MPH and still the lights did not come on.

I have at the moment disconnected the the Speed Control Deactivation Switch (disconnected the two wire switch mounted on the brake master cylinder FORWARD of the resevoir). I took the vehicle for a test drive and no warning lights on so far. Again the Code Reader (OBD II) retrieved no codes from the PCM - with Speed Control Deactivation Switch still disconnected.

The switch mentioned above will remain disconnected and the vehicle will be driven for the next couple of days in this mode. Will keep you posted.

RAK :)

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Monday, August 6th, 2007 AT 2:56 PM

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