ABS light coming on

Tiny
RKIRKLAND1
  • 2003 FORD WINDSTAR
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES

The ABS and brake light will come on simultaneously while driving.

I just paid for a total brake job and still have this problem. This issue seems to be all over these forums. Why has there not been a recall? Any ideas about what to do without spending more than the vehicle is worth to get it fixed?

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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 3:57 AM

32 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
  • 28,561 POSTS

The are dozens of different reasons for the yellow warning light turning on, so to say it is all over the internet can apply to a lot of different causes but most of the problems can be related to the wheel speed sensor that is out. Here is a guide that can help you test and get the problem fixed:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/abs-wheel-speed-sensor-test

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/abs-warning-light-on-easy-repair-guide

and

https://youtu.be/Pb6nXV-iamI

If you cannot find the wheel sensor that is out the place to start is by having the diagnostic fault code(s) read. Those will get you into the right circuit, not necessarily to the defective part. The fact that the red light is also on is likely related. That light turns on if the parking brake pedal is not all the way up, there was unequal hydraulic pressures in the two circuits, or if the brake fluid level is low in the reservoir.

Ford is the only manufacturer that uses a non-spring-loaded pressure-differential valve to turn the light on when system pressures are unequal. That valve and switch can trip during brake bleeding or even just from pumping the pistons out of the calipers to contact the new pads right after installing them.

That valve can be real frustrating to center so the light will go off. You have to unplug its electrical connector to see if that is the cause for the light being on. Usually when the red light is on, the yellow one will also turn on and the computer will disable the ABS system because it does not know why that red light is on. It assumes the cause will prevent the ABS system from working properly.

As for a recall, that is only done when there is a known common problem related to safety or emissions. Pattern failures which are common ones that you hear about over and over are just that; common problems. Every manufacturer has them but that does not mean they warrant a recall. There was nothing defective about the parts. They just wore out real fast.

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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 4:49 AM
Tiny
LOCKANDLOAD
  • MEMBER

What a great test, I found the problem to be an right front wheel speed sensor that has gone bad so I replaced it using this guide.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-an-abs-wheel-speed-sensor

and the jack guide was equally as good, which I have never done before.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/jack-up-and-lift-your-car-safely

Now the light is out and all is good again.

This site rocks! I love 2CarPros :)

I have a sticking problem with my tachometer?

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Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 AT 12:13 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
  • 28,561 POSTS

We are glad you fixed the problem I have been with 2CarPros for over ten years now and we have helped fix more cars for people just like you.

The correct reading is counter-clockwise. After that, it will follow engine speed back down like normal. A brief tap on the accelerator pedal seems a much more logical choice than taking the cluster apart.

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Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 AT 11:40 PM
Tiny
LOCKANDLOAD
  • MEMBER

I will take the cluster apart to see what up. Thanks again for the awesome site, I will tell my friends.

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 AT 2:05 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
  • 28,561 POSTS

The issue still remains that if you indeed found the cause of the warning light to be electrical in nature, that defect is going to prevent the ABS system from working properly either due to incorrect input information or because the computer detected it, set the fault code, and shut the system down.

If your power assist comes from brake fluid pumped up to very high pressure, you need the system functioning to have power brakes. I am not recommending disabling the system. If you were to do that, your safest bet would be to remove everything in the hydraulic system, then install the combination valve made for that vehicle without ABS.

Part of that valve limits brake fluid pressure to the rear to prevent rear-wheel-lockup under hard braking. The valve is carefully calibrated to maintain balanced braking, front-to-rear, based on vehicle weight distribution and weight transfer. Also, without ABS you have a split-diagonal hydraulic system. The insures that if there is a leak in one half of the system, the other half is working one front brake.

Thanks again for using the site.

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 AT 2:44 AM
Tiny
BULLDOG1212
  • 2003 FORD WINDSTAR

Six cylinder front wheel drive automatic 71,000 miles.

Hi,
While driving the abs and brake light both come on if the car is stopped and shutoff and restarted the light goes off but after a while it will come back on. Is this a sensor?

Thanks

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
  • 16,970 POSTS

Hello and thanks for the donation!

First you may want to inspect your vehicle's brake fluid level in the reservoir. Let me know how that looks.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BULLDOG1212
  • MEMBER

I checked the reservoir and it was a little low above the minimum line. I did fill it.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
  • 16,970 POSTS

Did this cause the ABS and brake warning lamps to go out?

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BULLDOG1212
  • MEMBER

Hi,
I filled the reservoir and drove it around no lights came on so far. It was intermittent I will keep an eye on it and let you know.

Thanks a lot!

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BULLDOG1212
  • MEMBER

The ABS and brake light came back on again.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
  • 16,970 POSTS

Okay, you will need to have the ABS system scanned for the trouble code(s) it has stored. This will pinpoint the cause of the lights and where the malfunction is in the system.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SCOOTER1998
  • 2003 FORD WINDSTAR

Six cylinder two wheel drive automatic 81,000 miles.

Hi all,
I have the LX model, and when it is hot outside my ABS and brake light comes on at eight five plus degrees outside. Code c1185 plus many others.
What do I need to do to fix this problem. I live in South Carolina.
Thanks,
Bill

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,957 POSTS

Hi scooter1998,

Thank you for the donation.

What other trouble codes are showing?
Code C1185 = Power Relay Output Circuit Failure.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/192750_C1185_03Winstar_1.jpg




http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/192750_C1185_03Winstar01a_1.jpg

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BULLDOG1212
  • MEMBER

I have an odbII tester can I use this tool to scan the ABS?

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
  • 16,970 POSTS

If the manual for your tool indicates how to go into ABS scan mode then it will be fine. If there is no ABS scan mode on your tool then you may have to go to a shop to have it scanned.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JEFFUDY
  • MEMBER

Do not forget to find out why the brake fluid was low.
You may need pads or shoes, or have a bad slave cylinder. That is what I had. My rear slave was leaking.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MWOODY6
  • MEMBER

To all the Windstar owners, my name is Michael better known as Nevada Tbird. I have owned several ford throughout my Airforce career plus others. I enjoy working on my cars and built my Mustang's engine myself. The problem with the Windstar's lights coming on is due to your computer that is under the hood on the passengers side. This is a problem with a lot of Windstars. It is a defect in the computer, that when it gets hot, the circuit board in the computer malfunctions because of the design. The problem is Ford knows this but has yet to do a recall on it. I have had two Windstar's a 1995 new and now a 2003 that has the problem. I will be replacing my computer when I get the time off work. Just like all of you several shops told different things but I like checking on things myself. After a lot of research I found out that this was the problem I think the research page was national highway safety and recalls or something like that.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BELLERD
  • 2003 FORD WINDSTAR

Automatic 47,000 miles.

Hello all. I have been searching the internet for answers to the problems I have been having with my Ford Windstar. I also have problems with the ABS and brake lights going on and off for no apparent reason. It only happens when the engine is warmed up, but not every time I drive it. A few weeks ago, I had a fuse blow that knocked out my odometer, speedometer, fuel computer info, etc. I replaced it, and all of that worked fine. Yesterday, I had to have a new battery put in, and now, that same fuse has blown three times. I read on another board that a master cylinder leak could be causing the blown fuse. Is it possible that when the battery was replaced, it moved something around that is causing the leak to more directly hit the wires, causing the blown fuse? Or could it be the battery itself? So, I have the brake light problem, and now a fuse blowing repeatedly. I read in some of the other posts about putting a jumper between the relays. Here is my problem: I have no experience with mechanical repair, and my husband is not much better. I hate to take it into a shop, because I know I will be taken for a ride. Any ideas for someone who needs to do it themselves, but does not want to cause further damage?

Thanks!
Deanne

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DEMEPOLI
  • 2003 FORD WINDSTAR

Six cylinder two wheel drive automatic 69,500 miles.

My wife was driving down the road and the odometer went to - - - - - - -, the speedometer went to zero and the AC started blowing hot air. The ABS and brake lights came on and the O/D light started flashing. I checked the fuses and one was blown. I replaced it and it blew the next day. Any ideas?

Thanks!

D

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:15 PM (Merged)

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