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Roy, import/domestic specialest
Category: Car
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Experience:  ASE master tech for 40 years
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Ford Taurus Wagon: 2001 Taurus Wagon-ABS activation when not

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2001 Taurus Wagon-ABS activation when not needed. Always activates when stopping, when almost stopped. Replaced all sensors, calipers, ABS-control module. No ABS DTC. Occasional ABS light when driving, not braking. Scrubbed all 4 rings with wire brush to remove rust buildup. Oscilloscope shows normal sensor function. I've printed off all the diagnostic tests from Alldata, but have not done them yet since none are indicated by my symptoms. I'm removing dash now to do tests from Alldata.


good afternoon my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you today.

before going to the dash, I would re check your sensors at the wheels. in most cases, the reason for this type of activation is the sensor gap. make sure the mounts that the sensors sit on are clean of all dirt and debris and are sitting flat.

I would start here before going to the dash

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When I cleaned the tone rings with a wire brush, I also cleaned the sensor mounts. If you know the spacing, I can check the spacing between the tone ring spoke and the sensor, front and rear, but especially the rear since they protrude more. I'm following the Alldata "pinpoint test" for "ABS light on" with "no DTC set" since this problem is the closest to mine.

ok, just to be clear, you cleaned the mounting surface where it bolts on???

Any play in the hub bearings front or rear???

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I cleaned the mounting surfaces where the sensors bolt on, each of them... The front end was aligned last month, there is no bearing type noise or vibration. Also no noticeable play in the front end, when I checked the tie rod ends and ball joints. It tracks straight at acceleration and cruise. (Just trying to think of what else might tell if a bearing is bad... all the ones I've changed have either shown wear in being loose or by making noise). I did read that bad bearing could cause problems so I did try to feel for any looseness in the wheels. Car has 75k miles, but that hasn't stopped it from having a load of issues!


ok, with that eliminated, you may be looking at a failed abs module. If all your inputs are good and your connections are all good it does not leave much else.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That's why I replaced the ABS control module... Only thing left is the ECU or the wiring harness. Right?

no, the ecu is engine only.

one question, did you match up the part number for the abs unit??? there are 2 different ones, one with trac control and one without.

new or used???

check the connector at the abs module as well. I have seen connectors with wires that are loose or backed out.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The dash wire test I just did said to measure the resistance between pin 25 on the ABS module side harness to the dash pin 1 connector (both Green). It says to replace the "Electronic Control Unit" if the resistance is less than 5 ohms. I was following the circuit diagram and you are right that the ABS controller does not interface with the Engine Control Module. Using my standard electronics meter, set at Ohms, 20k, there was 0 ohms resistance. Set at 200 there was point 7 ohms (.7) resistance. Yes the ABS control unit is used. Yes I did match the numbers since this Taurus does not have Traction Control. Sounds like I may have to spring for the expensive (new) ABS controller? Don't want to do that if I'm not certain it will fix the problem.

I agree. I am used to hearing ecu as the engine computer, sorry,

sounds like you have done a great diag. make sure you have your vin number when you order it as you may have the same number but it may be updated to another number over the years for constant failures.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm use to ECU being Engine control also.

I just checked the pins and don't see any pushed back, am going to double check with the wiring diagram. The only other thing I wasn't sure about was the sensor rings, maybe needing to use a mini grinder to grind out the valleys since it was a northern car and there is still some buildup. But those don't look like they are replaceable(?). Thanks for the help, reassurance, and advice.


the mounts are part of the spindle. use a good cookie or aggressive sand paper. they must sit flat and straight

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I meant the tone rings... they're not replaceable, or are they? I see Advance Auto carries them.

yes, they are replaceable. you have to be real carefull or you will break the new ones. they are not very strong at all. if you dont have one that is broken, then I would not worry about it.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.