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2001 Ford Windstar ABS and Brake Light on

 
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mtcm mtcm
New User | Posts: 5 | Joined: 05/06
Posted: 05/11/06
01:27 PM

I have a 2001 Ford Windstar that, from time to time, has the ABS and Brake Light come on.  I have no braking problems when it does come on.  When I shut off the engine and restart, the lights will go out.
 I have not been able to pin down a particular pattern that causes them to come on.  It may go months without coming on, and then suddenly several days in a row, the lights will come on and stay on until the engine is stopped and restarted.  
 The only thing that is a constant is that the vehicle is in motion when the lights come on.  It never somes on when stopped, only while the vehicle is moving.  It comes on sometimes shortly after taking off from a stop light or stop sign.  Sometimes it comes on during a long trip with the cruise control on...just suddenly pops on.
 Will this throw some type of code that I can read and diagnose or is this one of those things that I have to just bite the bullet and bring to a repair facility?
 Thanks for any help.

Michael  

Davesportscars Davesportscars
New User | Posts: 35 | Joined: 05/06
Posted: 05/16/06
06:57 PM

First thing to check is if the brake fluid is low in the master cylinder. Other than that it is an ABS computer problem that is intermittant. Next time the light comes on take it to get the code read on it.  

Davesportscars Davesportscars
New User | Posts: 35 | Joined: 05/06
Posted: 05/16/06
06:59 PM

First thing to check is if the brake fluid is low in the master cylinder. Other than that it is an ABS computer problem that is intermittant. Next time the light comes on take it to get the code read on it.  

automotivejtm-#001 automotivejtm-#001
Guru | Posts: 1019 | Joined: 03/06
Posted: 05/17/06
10:23 AM

like dave said, check your brake fluid.  If its low it will cause your abs light to come on.  Remeber though, that brake fluid does not just dissapear.  If it is low it means your pads are warn down (creating more space in the lines) or you have a leak somewhere.  

mtcm mtcm
New User | Posts: 5 | Joined: 05/06
Posted: 05/18/06
11:09 AM

The brake fluid is fine.  There are new wheel cylinders, shoes, and small hardware on the back.  There are new calipers, pads, and the rotors were turned on the front.  I had someone tell me that this particular year and model had a problem with the fluid level switch on the master cylinder resevoir due to spillage of brake fluid.  This may be an issue because the first time I did pad and shoe replacement on this vehicle some time back, I did spill some brake fluid in the process.  I normally add fluid as the pads and shoes wear, and I didn't remove enough before compressing the calipers and wheel cylinders at that time.  I am not sure how to tell if this is actually the problem though.  I guess I will just have to bring it into a shop to have the code read.  

automotivejtm-#001 automotivejtm-#001
Guru | Posts: 1019 | Joined: 03/06
Posted: 05/19/06
06:00 AM

thats probably your best bet.  

mp5800 mp5800
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 08/06
Posted: 08/06/06
06:34 AM

Having the same issue here, I went straight to my regular mechanic.  On Wednesday, he read the code and changed the left rear speed sensor.  The second time I got in my van after picking it up, it did it again.  Showed a different code this time, he wasn't convinced that was the problem so he just reset the code.  Friday, same indicators came on.  I have another appointment on Monday with my mech again.  

I've used this mech for 5 years with no complaints on all my Fords until now.  If he doesn't get it right on Monday, I'm going to find me another mech.  So far, he's only charged me for the first 'repair.'  

Dan the Ford man Dan the Ford man
New User | Posts: 31 | Joined: 06/06
Posted: 08/07/06
01:15 AM

low brake flow will turn only the red brake light on when stopping.Caused by the vehicle leaning forward while letting the fluid move in the master cylinder.
Spilling fluid will not cause any problem with the brakes.
Have someone bring up the codes for the ABS. This should give you a clue to what is going on.  

wuzacop wuzacop
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 08/06
Posted: 08/12/06
11:58 AM

Ours is a 2002 and we are experiencing the exact same symptoms as described in mtcm's post of 5-12-06.

AND we only experienced it after we had a flat and ran the donut.
We had the wheel sensor light come on first.  We tried resetting it and finally took it to the shop for resetting.  That worked.

Then right after that on the way home, the ABS and Brake light came on.  We took it back and they reset that.
(There were no codes on it.)  Then about a month later it did it again.
We have just lived with it since but it is annoying.

I would appreciate a fix to this problem.  

Krichardson Krichardson
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 08/06
Posted: 08/20/06
10:35 PM

I have had the same issue for some time. Checked the fluid level and added some. Now the light comes on as soon as you start the vehicle. Shortly after we added fluid the vehicle would run the battery completely dead during the night. Tested the battery and it was ok. I have been jump starting it daily for the last week, but today when I put the key in and went to jump start the van, I noticed smoke and a burning smell. This was coming from the little electronic piece just under the master cylinder, the same one mentioned above. I have heard this part costs around $25 but am not sure exactly how to replace it. Any help is appriciated.  

mtcm mtcm
New User | Posts: 5 | Joined: 05/06
Posted: 08/23/06
02:54 PM

An update to this post.  I finally got tired of the light coming on and brought it to have the code read.  The code was C1236, which is left rear ABS speed sensor no signal, which is similar to what a mechanic fixed for someone else in this chain.  I was thinking about changing the sensor myself but am not so sure I want to do that after reading what the previous person said about that sensor.  They had theirs changed, the light went out for a few days, and it came back on.  I can get the part from Ford for about $45 and change it myself or I can have this mechanic charge me $101 for the part and $60 to change it.  Is the possibility of saving $115 worth the risk of just having the light come back on and no recourse?  Anyone know if these sensors are difficult to change?  I haven't jacked up the vehicle to look at it yet.  I assume it is just a wiring harness that plugs into it and maybe held into place by a bolt.  

Chris d Chris d
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 09/06
Posted: 09/06/06
11:30 PM

My 2001 Windstar has had this problem for months. I have ignored the light coming on and going off. Yesterday while stopped! at a red light the A.B.S. system kicked in-- the brake pedal started jumping and the van rolled into the intersection. I could not stop the van! I brought it in and because the light goes off they couldn't pull a code.  

redscare redscare
User | Posts: 81 | Joined: 09/06
Posted: 09/07/06
01:39 AM

There is a TSB for the ABS light turning on intermittently for both the 01 and 02 Windstar

TSB #15682 -- EXHIBITING INTERMITTENT ANTI-SKID BRAKE SYSTEM AND / OR RED BRAKE LAMP ON AT TIMES WHILE DRIVING. *TT (NHTSA ID #636312, MARCH 01 2002)  
Ce n'est pas une voiture

JStrick7 JStrick7
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 09/06
Posted: 09/26/06
04:53 AM

I have had the same problem for a few months and have been to the Ford place several times, but they cannot pinpoint the problem.  The last time the guy said maybe changing out the hydraulics would do the trick, but he could not say for sure and that was very expensive.  We're just driving with both lights coming on once or twice a ***

Has anyone actually gotten this problem repaired?  

fedupfordowner fedupfordowner
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/06
Posted: 10/23/06
09:50 PM

I own a 1998 Ford Windstar I have had almost every sensor replaced at great cost. My ABS light and my Trac off light now comes on intermittently and I am told it will cost $460 to replace the ABS speed sensor. I've looked in my repair book and it doesn't seem to be a big job at all unless you have to also replace the control module. I've decided to just live with it. This was the worst vehicle purchase of my life. Will never buy a Ford again.  

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