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Ron
Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 35063
Experience:  23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
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I have a 2008 Ford expedition EL and the traction control

Customer Question

Customer: I have a 2008 Ford expedition EL and the traction control light comes on sometimes, but there is a shutter in the front brakes sometimes at speeds under 45. Definitely feels like a sensor issue related to the traction control or ABS. Previously (still happens every once in a while) while braking there is a feeling like the rear rotors are warped or I am manually pumping the brakes. It is not mechanical, the brakes are fairly new (within a year) and rotors are true. Sometimes it happened and others the brakes were as smooth as possible. Again I think it is a sensor issue related to ABS. This issues seems to have subsided since I feel the shutter in the front. My mechanic checked it out when the brakes were changed, but it never acted up when he was driving and he said the brakes were fine, but a couple days later it started again.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for you question,

Any time the traction control light comes on the computer system will set and store a fault code and or codes. In order to determine what is failing the first thing you need to do is to have the system scanned and the fault code and or codes retrieved . I suspect you are right and you may have a Speed sensor concern but to know for sure I need to know what the fault code is that is setting. If you can get the system scanned and the fault code I will help you get this resolved.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok let me get it.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Sure thing, post back when you can with it and we can work from there.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No codes are showing. We erased the it and the traction control light keeps coming on but no codes store or show.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

I suspect you have a speed sensor concern and if that is the cases the system will set a fault code. You may not be able to retrieve this code with a code reader . Your going to need to have it scanned with a full scan tool. If the light is coming on there has to be a fault code.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Had a full scan and nothing. Can you tell me if you would suspect a speed sensor or ABS sensor? Shops says that there is an ABS sensor for the front and one of rear. There is also speed sensors on each front tire that mount to caliper area right? If so which one are you referring to.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

The ABS and speed sensor are one in the same. There are 4 sensor on your 2008, one on each wheel. See the wiring diagram in the link below. Copy and paste the link to your browser to open and view them.

Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/104923897/VSS%20circuit%20Feb%205.pdf

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Now the mechanic is saying that it is coming from the torque inverter and I should change my transmission. Does that sound right?
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

No it dose not, I have never sees a torque converter cause the traction control light to come on. That being said a bad converter can cause a shutter but not while breaking. Are you sure this mechanic knows what hes doing?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Obviously not. Let me clear up one thing. The back brake pulse is when slowing to stop. Feels like warped rotor. But it is not and is random w no pattern of how strong or light the pulse is.The shudder feels like it is in the front driver side (mostly) and it happens when driving not braking. It feels like hitting reflectors on the road or like a series of quick bumps. The car feels like it slows a bit as if I were easing on the brake but I am not braking. That is why I thought it was sensor/brake related.
- only happens when going between 30ish and 50. Mostly at steady speed and not noticed while accelerating much if at all.
- does not happen while it is cold in the AM in the 30s
- I tried to feel if it originates in the tranny but it really feels like it is up front in wheel area.
- read a blog about it could be a coil issue that causes a shudder like torque converter shudder?
- drove it yesterday and again this am and almost like nothing is wrong with only only one slight shudder.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

A failing coil can cause the engine to skip but its often more pronounced and it will usually cause the misfire monitor to pick up an engine misfire and cause the check engine light to flash plus set an engine misfire code. One thing you can have them try is to hook up there scanner and monitor the engine data stream and see if they can pick it up from there. I suspect it is a traction control problem especially if the light is coming one and I dont understand why there is no code setting. There really should be if the light is coming on.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just noticed this driving home. Driving at a steady speed where transmission not shifting: If I left off the gas and coast and then ease back on the gas pedal (without causing a downshift) it shudders. Let off gas and coast, it goes off, ease back on and it shudders.But if I hit the gas a little harder and it down shifts to accelerate, it shifts smooth and does not shudder.That is not the only time it does it, but once it does, I can use the process above to activate or get rid of the shudder.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Your right at the transition point with RPM where this could very well be a coil dropping out. If your mechanic has a good scanner he should be able to look at the misfire count with and see which cylinder it is if in fact it is an engine misfire.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The adventure continues! Will let you know. Thanks.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

A misfire would sure be the least expensive repair for sure.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just found this on a blog:"The number #4 cylinder coil pack on 5.4's is a problem. There is a heater hose directly above it and next to the firewall. If that hose begins to leak, and it is a common occurance, the antifreeze drops onto the #4 coil pack. Look closely at the pack because it does not take much fluid to do the job of ruining that coil pack. I belive the code on that one is P0304."I DID have a heater hose go out last month and antifreeze sprayed on the plugs. What do you think?
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

It was a problem in the early days of the 5.4 but not so much now, it wild not hurt to pull the coil on that cylinder which is the worse one to access and see if there are any signs on coolant on the boot. Nothing left to loose by at least looking.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am willing to buy all new coils and change them
Myself. If I change them and the shudder still exists would you guess that I should them look to the speed sensors or the torque converter?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also I could flush the tranny but I did that in May prior to the shudder problems showing them selves.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

I would not replace all the coils, I would look at the misfire count and see if its showing a misfire and if so replace the coil on the cylinder that showing a miss. Flushing the transmission would likely be a waste of your money. If it fact it was the torque converter causing the shudder a flush would not help.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Turns out it was the transmission that needed service. Took it to Ammco and they said it was not slipping and there was not shavings etc. They did a full service with a filter and added a friction inhibitor. After about 10 miles it shifts like a dream. I went ahead and changed the coils too just to be proactive since I have almost 190k on it already. Now I just have to determine if the rear speed sensors are and issue for the brake pulsing vs warped rotors. Since the transmission is fixed, the rear seems more consistent while braking.
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Glad to hear your making progress and thing are working better.