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ABS light comes on intermittently

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by froglady99, March 31, 2015.

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  1. froglady99

    froglady99 New Member

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    I have a 2003 Explorer XLT with almost 135,000 miles on it. Recently the ABS light started coming on part of the time, staying on for a bit, then turning off. Since it's not staying on constantly, I thought maybe the problems was the brake fluid. I checked it and it looked a little low, so I added more. But this didn't fix the problem. I stopped by an auto parts store and had them check to see if there was a code, but when they plugged in the code reader, it couldn't find a code.

    Any idea what the problem is? I really can't afford to take my car anywhere to get it checked, so if there's something I can check myself, I'd like to do that.
     
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  3. icepickjazz

    icepickjazz Active Member

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    I had similar intermittent ABS light issues. The light would come on and then go off after shutting down the vehicle. Next time the ABS light comes on, try using your cruise control. If cruise control doesn't work then the problem is most likely caused faulty main pressure transducer which is AKA cruise control switch. I had intermittent ABS light too. Finally pulled a code C1440 indicates an error with main pressure transducer located on the master brake cylinder inside the engine bay. Luckily, this switch/sensor is very cheap and very easy to replace. You need Ford part #3L3Z-9F924-AB Description: SWITCH 873966. See http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=239295
    for more details.
     
  4. froglady99

    froglady99 New Member

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    OK, I'll try that tomorrow and let you know what happens. Thanks!
     
  5. froglady99

    froglady99 New Member

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    Today I tried using cruise control, and it seems to be working fine. The ABS light turns on and off several times while I'm driving. Any other ideas?
     
  6. lincolnshibuya

    lincolnshibuya Active Member

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    find another parts store that has a scanner that could read ABS codes. the guy probably put in a generic scanner that couldn't read the codes. sometimes those ABS failures were caused by the front wheel bearing hubs.
     
  7. jakedrew

    jakedrew Active Member

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    My 04 had the abs light and I replaced the rearend speed sensor and went away.

    It is on top of the rear differential. Hardest part is dropping the spare tire.

    I just blew out the area with compressed air, undid the wire clip and took out the one 8mm or 10mm bolt.
    The sensor is a magnet and gets gunked up.
    New sensor at ford was like 30$.
     
  8. froglady99

    froglady99 New Member

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    The speed sensor sounds like a good idea, but I'll have to wait to check on it because I don't have a dry spot to park my car and crawl under it. At the moment, my driveway is a mixture of half-melted snow and mushy ground.

    In the meantime, I tried going to the other two auto parts stores in town, and neither of them was able to scan for ABS codes. I might try going to a garage today and see if they can check it inexpensively.

    In the last few days, I've noticed an issue with the brakes themselves, in addition to the ABS light. Sometimes when I press on the brake pedal, the brakes rattle and vibrate before engaging. At first I thought the brakes were just a little wet, but it even does it on dry pavement. Not only that, but it only seems to happen when the ABS light is off. When the ABS light is on, the brakes engage immediately. Any ideas on this one?
     
  9. lincolnshibuya

    lincolnshibuya Active Member

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    without the code everybody could just make guesses here.
    find a scanner or a shop that could read the codes.
     
  10. froglady99

    froglady99 New Member

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    I stopped by a garage where I've had work done on my car before, but when I asked the guy at the desk if they could read ABS codes, he said, "There is no code--it's just telling you that something is wrong with your anti-lock brake system." So I guess I'll have to try another place tomorrow.
     
  11. froglady99

    froglady99 New Member

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    Finally got a code!

    I was able to buy a scanner for a little over $100 and finally got a code. The code is C1234, and the explanation given was "Wheel speed right front input signal missing."

    Am I correct in assuming that this means the right front wheel speed sensor needs to be replaced? I looked up instructions for replacing it in my repair manual, and it says to put the car up on jack stands. But it also says to do that for changing the oil, and I'm able to pretty easily change my oil without lifting the car up at all. Would a standard jack that's used for changing a tire work to replace the wheel speed sensor?
     
  12. lincolnshibuya

    lincolnshibuya Active Member

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  13. jd4242

    jd4242 Explorer Addict

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    Any more info on this
     
  14. WaterBrat

    WaterBrat Member

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    my experience with 2005 EB 4.6L. I have replaced both front hubs a couple of times using the CHEAP autozone hubs. One of the first I replaced had a disintegrated speed ring. You could see it in strips through the hole that the sensor wire bolts too. I have also had a wire go bad on one of the AZ replacement hubs with the same symptoms and code described above. The cost of the hub through Autozone here in MX. is about 130$ USD and the cost of just the cable is about 95$ USD. I use the cheap parts because the Motorcraft hubs here are between 700 and 800 USD and any other brands at local parts stores have NO warranty. Might as well replace the whole hub but get one with named bearings.
     
  15. TechGuru

    TechGuru Well-Known Member

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  16. Lazerskull

    Lazerskull New Member

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    When the ABS light is ON that actually means that the system is OFF. So when the light is ON you are using normal brakes. Some people get annoyed with the light... so they just open the hood and take out the fuse responsible for ABS braking. I think it is a 30V fuse.

    I am replying to your message because I was also driving in snow when my ABS light started coming on. I had slipped in some ice on a backroad (didn't have it in 4 wheel drive at the time... trying to save gas). Luckily I didn't suffer too much damage... I just slipped and did a 180 and slide into a snow bank.

    Truck seems fine runs fine. Now however getting some noisy wheel noise by the brakes only in forward, not reverse... Also once in awhile the ABS light comes on. So I am wondering have you had any luck figuring out your problems more?
     
  17. froglady99

    froglady99 New Member

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    I was so busy that I never got around to replacing the wheel speed sensor, but last year one of the wheels started getting wobbly. The front wheel bearings were going bad, so I got both front hubs replaced (which included new wheel speed sensors), and also the front brake pads and rotors. Later I replaced the rear brake pads and rotors. I think the C1234 code went away after I got the wheel hubs replaced, but there's another code I've never been able to figure out. I haven't had the time or money to get it checked out, and the brakes are working fine, so I haven't worried about it too much.

    I'm not sure why the wheels would be noisy only going forward, but since bad wheel bearings or worn brakes can cause noise, those would probably be good things to check, if you haven't done so already.
     

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