Question about 1998 Ford Windstar
Got my front brakes done a month ago, two days later intermittent problems upon braking the whole van jolts as though the brakes are real aggressive and the brake pedal jumps real hard under foot (very scary). Now I sometimes hear clunking noise. Figured the rear brakes must need doing, got them done, van is fine for another two days, then same old problem back again. the ABS light is on 80% of the time now, and my traction control light has started flashing. Wish I could get this thing figured out, hate paying insurance to have a vehicle I don't want to drive for fear of my kids safety. Any ideas? Someone told me it could be dirt on the ABS sensor but I have no idea where thats located?
Prior to the brakes being replaced you more than likely had metal to metal contact which can throw metal shavings on the ABS wheel sensors. This metal shavings stick to the road grime on the wheel sensors showing the ABS computer a false reading making the ABS light come on. On Ford Windstars, the ABS light and the traction control light are on the same circuit. A simple (and cheap) fix is to pull the ABS wheel sensors and clean them with brake cleaner or throttle body cleaner. Make sure you dry them well and reinstall. On the Windstar there is one bold holding the sensors to the back of the wheels. I recommend you spray some WD40 on the bold and wait about 10 minutes before removing.
If this doesn't fix the ABS light and brakes, you can have the ABS system diagnosed at a shop for about an hour labor. (Usally about $100)
I have fixed many of these type of problems just by cleaning the ABS wheel sensors. Good luck.
Posted on Dec 13, 2008
Running to each wheel are ABS sensors - E-Z to find, these are generally the only electrical wires running to the wheels.
If ABS kicks in (pulsation) only at low speeds, this was the cause/solution for me : Remove two screws holding sensor to inside of rear wheel. Carefully remove sensor and clean the metal part that was inserted into wheel hub - generally quite dirty / rusty. IMPORTANT!!: agressively scrape away any rust from the wheel where the sensor screws in - it pushes the sensor slightly out and causes it to activate ABS incorrectly.
Note: When your ABS light is on, it is not active so working fine means braking normally without ABS assistance - try to fix it before snowy weather.
Posted on Aug 11, 2008
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