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Old 01-21-2009, 02:52 AM   #1
grog11
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Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

I have a 2004 Freestar SEL ,4.2l, 101,000 miles with the advanced trac light staying on, on the dash for the past month. The cruise control does not work when this light is on also. I do keep the vehicle maintained very well,tuneups,trans.fluid changes w\cooler,underbody paint,new brakes,rotors,sound deadening,etc., and have had no other issues.
I have checked all 4 wheel sensors and the near tire wiring connections to make sure no corrosion or debris is causing the problem, everything looks ok but who knows?
A battery disconnect\reconnect does eliminate the dash light for approx. 10 miles and everything works then the lights back on again.The on off dash button does work after I reconnect the battery. I am hoping to not have to take the vehicle in for a scan and check by the dealer if possible.
I have heard that there is a steering angle sensor replacement associated with this problem.
Has anyone else had a similar problem?

I and am wondering if there is something else to check, or should I just take it in and get it scanned to pinpoint the problem, and pay the big bucks for the dealer to repair it?

Any Help is Appreciated.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:26 AM   #2
Davescort97
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Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

The illuminated Trac Control light indicates it's off with ADVANCE TRAC OFF. If a failure is detected somewhere in the system the ADVANCE TRAC light illuminates.
There is a TSB #6218 . NHTSA number 10020701 for 2004-07 Freestars. The bulletin date is 12/2/06. Advanced Traction Control System- Duration of activation.
There was a recall on 8-10-04 for 35,401 Freestars with front wheel hub assemblies on some mini-vans that were not heat treated correctly which could result in small cracks in the hub and possible separation of wheel.

Bad hub sensors have been replaced on Freestars and have solved the
problem. Some had the ABS module replaced which solved the problem.

Many have had the same problem and been back to the dealer multiple times with no fix. Whether the recall about the hubs has anything to do with the hub sensors is not known.

The failure of the Cruise Control could be a faulty deactivation switch $30.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:46 PM   #3
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Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

Thanks for the Information.
I checked the hub TSB issue and it does not apply to the date my vehicle manufacturer sticker shows.
The cruise control does work when the trac light is off, so something related is probably disabling cruise control possibly.
There are so many possible related items that could be wrong causing this light, so I guess in this case, I will take it to the dealer and have them do a full diagnostic scan to pinpoint what has failed exactly.

This will save alot of time,guessing, and buying unneeded replacement parts, and I will also get to find out if there any unknown trans. codes, SJB related codes, etc. showing.
With the fully integrated electronic vehicles, its very hard to know whats wrong without the necessary full diagnostic scan tool.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:13 PM   #4
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Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

I think you are making a wise decision. Ford's service motto is: Fixed Right the First time every time. I don't know if they actually live up to this. My research uncovered the fact that other people have had the same problem with little relief from the dealer. Still, the dealerships have service manuals that cover all replairs with pinpoint repair procedures. If problems arise with the repair they susually will make good on it without further expense.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

UPDATED REPAIRED INFORMATION.
After taking the vehicle in and having the $97.50 electronic scan diagnostic fee, along with $90.00 hr. labor rate. The solution was found. A connector under the vehicle had a bad connection, was unplugged,cleaned, reinserted, and problem solved.

I did want to share the information below I found out, to possibly help others that have an electrical issue, save some money and solve a problem!

I spoke with the 27 yr. veteran ford certified mechanic that did the work about why they suggested I replace a wheel sensor. As we talked a while, without the service manager present, I tried to explain my interest in the problem solution, or reason why, this happened, and what can I do to prevent future problems occuring? His eyes lite up, he stopped,spun around, took me outside, and he said off the record, that this was a simple common problem with the connectors for the ABS, and Advance Trak wiring.There is no dielectric grease on these connectors, and the issue is that water runs down the wiring into the back wire inserted side of the connectors and into the terminals causing the problem with the connections.The dealers and most mechanics there do not clean terminals, and just replace the modules on ABS, PCM, Transmission Range Sensors,transmission harness connections, etc. If the diagnostic machine points to the module as bad it just gets replaced. Dealerships can not warrant their work on the possibility that a terminal cleaning will last, or liability issues of a cleaned, and not replaced unit module, or connection causing a serious failure of the vehicle, can be a lawyers dream to prosecute a negligence claim on the dealer and mechanic.Simply put, the dealer will not put himself in that position. The cost is passed to the customer for high priced parts replacements, and people complain.( You got to love lawyers when they cost you more repair money in this day and age!!)The used part may actually be good if cleaned properly.

As I listened carefully, He said that if a vehicle owner would take the time to check, terminals, and seal the wire side of connectors with dielectric grease , or silicone, unplug terminals that are suspect that 80% of the electronic failures they see would be solved, with electronic spray cleaner on terminals, then dielectric grease to keep moisture out. The internal terminals build up a coating, reducing signal input/output, before they eventually stop signal flow all together. This made sense to me. A good solid wire is only as good as its weakest point.

One more tip I got , That ABS light that comes on is usually caused by the, ( You Guessed It) the main stability assist and abs terminal connector just in front of the left rear tire that just needs removal, cleaning, and reinsertion back into the module. The water from the tire spray gets up in there.

Always, Always disconnect battery terminal 1st, before any work on wiring!!!!
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:55 AM   #6
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Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davescort97 View Post
The failure of the Cruise Control could be a faulty deactivation switch $30.
Is that a common part to fail on these??
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:44 AM   #7
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Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

The solution was found. A connector under the vehicle had a bad connection, was unplugged,cleaned, reinserted, and problem solved.

What is the name of the connector? Whereo is it specifically located?
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:44 AM   #8
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Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On


The hydraulic control unit under driver side rocker panel, just ahead of the rear wheel.
Also check the 4 wheel sensor wiring connector to each wheel. Follow the wires to the connector, unplug,clean, grease, and re-attach. Don't forget, remove battery terminals first.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

I really appreciate your help with this matter. Thank you.
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:26 AM   #10
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Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

I recently got a 2004 Freestar SEL, and the Trac light was a problem. This tread was helpful to point my mechanic in a starting direction. They tried a few things, and the problem disappeared for a week or two, then returned as a solid problem that would come on about 30 mph, and stay on until the engine was restarted.

Of course the cruise control would not activate when this light was on.

I took it back, with the light activated, and they checked for ABS codes and found that there was a C1288 code set.

When the mechanic checked their info database on alldatapro.com, he found a reference to a Technical Service Bulletin 07-14-10 "Traction Control Lamp - ABS Lamp - ABS Self Activation with DTC C1288" that covers 2004-2005 Freestar and Monterey.

It points at the ABS Module, the HCU and the Brake Pressure Switch. My guy opted to replace the Brake Pressure Switch as the lowest cost option (bless him!), and said he also saw where this is the primary part to replace. $99, and a little over an hour later, I cruised away with the cruise control back operational and the Trac light turned off.

I'll let you know if it returns.
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2004 Freestar, 4.2L SEL
156,000 miles as of 8/26/15
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:06 PM   #11
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Unhappy Re: Freestar 2004 Advanced Trac Light On

what is a tsb #? how and where do I find this? is this a recall #?


"There is a TSB #6218 . NHTSA number 10020701 for 2004-07 Freestars. The bulletin date is 12/2/06. Advanced Traction Control System- Duration of activation.
There was a recall on 8-10-04 for 35,401 Freestars with front wheel hub assemblies on some mini-vans that were not heat treated correctly which could result in small cracks in the hub and possible separation of wheel."
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