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2001 Ford Windstar ABS and Brake Light on

mtcm mtcm
New User | Posts: 5 | Joined: 05/06
Posted: 10/24/06
11:52 AM

And they wonder why they are loosing $5B a quarter.  I went to a repair facility and got the code read for my ABS light problem.  It said that the left rear ABS sensor had no signal.  I purchased a replacement part and installed.  I cleaned and inspected the teeth on the hub which I suspect produces the signal.  The thing ran well for a few days and now the light is coming on again.  Someone on this forum posted a message about a TSB on this problem.  I found a site called which says that they have TSBs on your vehicle.  I paid the yearly subscription fee, access the site, and there is no data on this TSB.  I am to the point where I need to just let the technicians take care of the issue or just trade the hunk of junk in.  This is my second Ford Windstar.  My first was a '95.  Since 1976 I have owned 7 different Ford vehicles.  This may be my last for a while.  I like the way they drive but I can't stand the problems.  Blown head gaskets, computers going out, leaking intake manifold gaskets, and now this (and that is not all).  

BachPhi BachPhi
New User | Posts: 11 | Joined: 10/06
Posted: 10/25/06
01:14 AM

Well, havent you drive a Ford lately?
Yes I and hate it.  

windpiper windpiper
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 02/20/07
10:39 AM

The problem is the ABS speed sensor ring located on the front axles.  Cracks can be observed on these rings (examine perimeter very carefully) causing slippage and misalignment.  Eventually the car will not go into Overdrive, the speedometer won't work, and cruise control will malfunction.  Oh yeah, your OD light will flash on and off when you exceed 30-mph.  

Best bet is to replace the entire axle as the rings are included and the price difference for rings alone is small.

Can you image what an idiot the engineer had to be to design a car where a safety feature sensor malfunction cripples the entire operation of the vehicle?  No, this is a clear case of planned obsolescence.  I think a few class action law suits might reduce this kind of practice by car manufacturers.  

koke koke
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 06/08
Posted: 06/18/08
07:26 AM

Folks....this is a common problem that people are trying to get a recall on. has a description of things that can happen.  I am currently looking for the harness that connects to the ABS controller, mine has gone bad.  The Windstar, which I believe was a joint venture between Ford and Mazda, is the WORST vehicle I have ever had (wife bought it, not me).  We have replaced the rack and pinion, two calipers, master cylinder, and now are in the midst of the ABS mess.  When the ABS started messing up it caused the rear brakes to freak out and then one wheel cylinder blew up... I have removed the harness, which on our 2001 is totally under the car where the driver sits!  Repaired the brakes so they work find but many things sense from the ABS module like the speedometer and of course the odometer.  If anyone knows where to get a harness, or at least the round pins that are in the harness....please post.

for the person that hates all fords...this wasn't really a ford....


cygnus1963 cygnus1963
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 11/08
Posted: 11/23/08
05:49 PM

Icon QuoteKrichardson:
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.

Hello, I am having this exact problem with my 02 windstar. The lights have been coming on just as you describe and then we started having the battery problem. Did you find out what the problem was? I assume the two are related. Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated this is a really frustrating problem. To keep the battery from drainin i put a swan disconect on the van so now we disconect the battery when we are not driving it. Not very popular with my wife.

Thanks in advance
Erie PA  

j_rossdale j_rossdale
User | Posts: 139 | Joined: 11/08
Posted: 11/25/08
03:21 AM

That has happened to me once before as well. Be sure to check the gas cap.  
John R. seeking for the best maintenance help on Toyota Corolla cars..

rollsafe rollsafe
User | Posts: 213 | Joined: 11/08
Posted: 12/10/08
09:40 PM

check the gas cap


MAC911 MAC911
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 02/09
Posted: 02/22/09
11:09 AM

I have a 2002 Windstar Sport and 2 weeks ago the abs,brake, and trac off lights all came on and the abs system is not working.   There was no warning or any other indication of a problem.  I had it scanned but cannot find the paper with the 4 codes I wrote down.  I believe they were servo power relay and three servos not functioning.  I've done a little investigating and found lots of possibles.  One is the abs control module mounted to the hydraulic control unit has just gone bad.  Or the possibilty of a sensor gone bad and shut down system.  But no sensors came up on the scan.  Is there a possibilty that the brake pressure deactivation switch mounted to the master cylinder went bad and shut down abs?  Or is it possible the brake switch which sends informaton to abs is malfunctioning.  Third is it possible that parking brake switch has something to do with problem?  I used parking brake 2 days before while working on reverse sensing system.  Any and all help appreciated.  

crusingg crusingg
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/09
Posted: 04/22/09
06:30 PM

To all who wonder about the master brake switch attached to the master cylinder.. Ford had a recall on the F150 trucks because this switch leaked and casued electical shorting on the harness just below the master cylinder.   The recall did not include the WIndstars. I have (so sad) a 2001 Windstar. The leaking switch caused the cruisee control to go out on a trip and light up every light on the dashboard flashing lights and codes all while driving 75 mph on an interstate in the mountains of TN during a thunder storm... 500 mies from home.  Two days in the local Ford dealer to figure out what was wrong. They replaced the switch but could not reconnect the cruise control. Local dealer at home replaced a part to hook up the cruise control.

Point here is that the faulty switch drops fluid on the electical harnees which does drain the batery and can cause a fire under the hood.

Suggestion - If you have not had that switch replaced do so to avoid a major problem.

Oh yeah.. the reason I got to the site is I also am suffering with the ABS and brake light coming on.  Been doing it for two plus years but happening almsot daily now

Good luck fellow WIndstar owners!!


bartoonland bartoonland
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 06/09
Posted: 06/13/09
10:08 PM

I could write a book on our 2001 Windstar!!! We've been dealing with some of these same issues for about 3 years. Lack of finances/lack of knowlege. Check engine light was on, Good Ol Emissions testing in Illinois, suspend your license and plates if doesn't pass. Anyway, went through the process of replacing MAF, fuel filter, two O2 sensors, & "Ford" gas cap. Had the lamp reset and emptied a can of "guaranteed to pass emissions" into the tank. Passed inspection, but check engine light came on shortly afterwards. Then began the new adventure...replaced brakes on front the same time we did the 02 sensors. While driving, one day, had to suddenly press on the brake, the brake light intermittently came on, the speedometer went haywire, odometer went blank then went back to normal. We have a digital panel. Not too long afterwards, the brake light came on and stayed, along with the ABS light and the OD light flashing. It looked like a Christmas Tree! In addition to this, we lost speedometer, odomometer, cruise control, ac/heat/defrost, seat belt dinger, & driver's side head lamp. Put it in the shop for them to look at, they checked recalls and asked if it had ever been in a wreck or had any front end damage to the driver's side. Our reply. no. Their diagnosis...the ABS module went kapooey due to corrosion from salt/water/etc. from driving on the road. (imagine that!) (The mechanic's comment was "one of Ford's engineering afterthoughts") the only thing he could figure out was since the ABS module fried, it in turn "fried" all the "legs" tying into the wiring harness causing all our other problems. They tried(or said they did) to find a partial wiring harness that they could piece but had to find "specific make/model". They never called back and we gave up. Guess we were a mechanic's nightmare. They were able to reroute the ac/heat/defrost wiring since it was winter and we needed that desperately and we were able to find someone who could reroute the headlamp wiring. It's been running "as is" ever since. We only drive in town and watch our speed since we don't know how fast we are going. This brings me to our most recent experience about a month ago...the maser brake switch. I had just driven the van about a block, stopped and smelled something electrical then saw smoke coming out from under the hood. Waited til the smoke cleared and drove it a block back home. Looked under the hood and saw brake fluid leaking from that area. Did a little checking at the Ford parts store and they gave me (well, charged me) the part that was recalled for the F150's. After doing some research online, I came across the website re: Brake, Crusie Control, and Speedometer/Odometer Electrical Problems (
It seems that our problems may have been linked to this all along and didn't know it. Yes, we replaced the part, and yes, we have saved the melted, damaged piece. Have we fixed all of the other problems yet...NO. The check engine light is still on, and we're on round two of Emissions testing. Codes read po171 system too lean bank 1, po172 system too lean bank 2, and po 303 cylinder 3 misfire. Oh, did I mention that we replaced the plugs and wires about 8 months ago??? Anyone got any suggestions other than "should have let it burn up and collected the insurance?"  

jessicawhite95 jessicawhite95
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 09/09
Posted: 09/27/09
04:44 PM

I am having the same problem and came across a website that explained what was happening.  Ford may be recalling the problem vehicles.  Here is the link to the site.  

siman79 siman79
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 11/09
Posted: 11/06/09
01:46 PM

I'm running into the same issue with codes po1071 and po174, bank one and bank two lean.  Irronically about 8 months ago I have to pass emissions and at that time a MAF sensor replacement took care of the codes.  I've checked the MAF sensor again (hoping that was the problem as it is still under warrenty) and ran across information regarding the isolator bolts under the upper intake plenum.  Autozone has a valve cover repair kit for $100 that seems to include everything recommended in the link below.  Haven't had a chance to do the work myself yet, but I hope to get at it in a couple of weeks.  Its a great step by step procedure that includes good pictures.  

gcx4 gcx4
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 11/09
Posted: 11/07/09
06:40 AM

Can someone help me out? I'm new to this forum and can't figure out how to start a thread. (yes, I registered). Thanks.  

kb123 kb123
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 03/10
Posted: 03/10/10
07:05 PM

I have a 2003 windstar and the ABS light and brake light came on tonight as I was driving back home from church. It scared me and now I am worried about driving it. The brakes were worked on 3 weeks ago and I'm wondering if this may be the cause? Has anyone had this problem totally fixed? If so exactly what was the problem with the lights coming on? As I read all the posts it looks like all the vehicles were 2001 or 2002. Now a 2003. Ford should be doing something about this...  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4547 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 03/10/10
10:50 PM

there are many things that can turn on the Anti Lock Brake light..

there are ABS code readers that can be plugged in.. and codes accessed...

it could be anything from a low brake fluid level to more serious things...

hmm... you might want to look at this link

i was looking for the full list of ABS codes.. but i cannot find it right now..  

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