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Most garages will ask for $1200 to fix it. Their solution is an overkill. They tend to replace most cables and sensors in the ABS system. Many new car owners prefer to buy cars without ABS mainly for the high cost of fixing it. I found a simple fix that should be tried before spending all that money. The fix can be used on other models. I noticed that my problem occured after heavy rain with frequent driving thru puddles and seemed to go away after few dry days. I took it on a dry day to a garage and asked to troubleshoot this problem with the mechanic (no need to mention the smile on his face). I started by disconnecting the cable from the front passenger side sensor (mounted over the disc brakes of the front wheel) and measured the voltage getting to the sensor, it was 5Volts. I reconnected the cable to the sensor and sprayed the equivalent of a cup of water on the cable until the warning light came on in the dash board. I disconnected the cable and I measured 2.5Volts at the connector end of the cable. That showed there is a crack in the cable. A quick inspection of the cable located the cracked spot. After drying the cable with a blower, I added some car grease to that spot and the mechanic wrapped it with a tight tape. Et voila! the problem is gone now for six winters with snow, salt and heavy rain. You may have to inspect all four sensors until you locate the problem. I learned to watch for the ABS warning light after going thru puddles just to remember which side of the car dipped into the salty melted ice on the road. That side would be the first on my list to test if the ABS light ever comes back. Note: The car was raised on a fork lift, the engine is stopped and the ignition key must be in the Battery ON position when measuring the voltage with a voltmeter. A $5 voltmeter will do. I will never drive a car witout ABS brakes. There is a way to maintain that system for over 12 years without going broke.
The ABS warning light is on because there is a fault in the anti-lock braking system(ABS) and the system is no longer operational. This does not affect the normal braking of the vehicle. But if you lock up the wheels under heavy braking, with an inactive ABS in your car, there is no system to release brake pressure and allow the wheels to rotate and regain tire grip .
The most likely cause of the fault is a failure of one or more of the wheels speed sensors. Until the fault is rectified the warning light will remain.
this may sound silly but have you checked the fluid level in the master cylinder? They do have a level sensor in there and will cause your symptom, more so under braking or heavy accel, also the e-brake pedal switch can cause this, if the pedal is falling under heavy braking the switch could illuminate the light, then the abs light will come on if vehicle still sees e-brake is on and the is still a speed signal recieved by the abs.
On the later S types, the two 8mm headed bolts that hold the trans cable to the
side of the transmission work loose and at times completely fall out. Give those
bolts a look before replacing anything..Determine that the transmission is actually going in to gear when the gear selector is moved. Don't worry about the surface rust on the rotors, this will happen on any car that is not driven daily in salty conditions. The ABS light is probably a sensor, the system will need to be scanned to detect the problem...I hope this helps.
If the ABS light stays on after you start the engine there is a problem with the ABS system, there are small sensor on each wheel and when they get dirty you will bet a steady ABS light. If it comes on when you are stopping on snow, ice or rain, it is probably OK.
When the ABS light is on the ABS system is deactivated. Meaning, when the abs is light is on and you brake, the tires will lock up with heavy braking.
Escapes have a common issue of the ABS excitor rings cracking causing ABS problems. Sometimes it activates on almost every brake application. It may set a code in the ABS computer for an intermitten wheel speed sensor or no wheel speed signal. Check all the "rings" on the outside of all four axleshafts. If none of the rings are cracked it is likely a bad ABS wheel speed sensor.