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1999 Explorer ABS False Activation


punmaster7
10-14-2015, 08:29 PM
Hi all! I tried a search for ABS on this forum, but although there was a title with ABS in it, the search resulted in nothing found, so here ya go!

I have been experiencing intermittent false activation of the ABS when I come to an almost complete stop. This allows the car to drift just a little further than desired. This started happening following a front brake job with a right caliper replacement as well. None of this caused the ABS light to come on. I did some net searches and followed recommendations to pull and clean the front sensors and reinstalled them. This resulted in the ABS light coming on. Oh goodie! So, I went to Advance Auto Parts and used their code reader and it showed the right sensor failure, so I bought a hub assembly to replace the sensor and cable. It was only $20 more for the hub over the cable alone, so it was a no-brainer to me. I replaced the hub and no more light! Great! Upon the test drive, I was back to the slow speed false ABS activation. There goes $120 for nothin'! All of this is on dry pavement. Recently, after three months of the ABS thing, my 4WD HI & LO lights began to flash - 6 times each time and repeats regularly (every 3 minutes or so). My HI lock works, but I have yet to get the LO lock to engage (the auto lock has never worked on this vehicle since I had gotten it).

Does anybody have any suggestions before I go spend another $120 for a left hub? The rear differential sensor was replaced last year, so I doubt it is bad.

Thanks!
Curt.

shorod
10-14-2015, 09:55 PM
A scan tool that can monitor wheel speeds individually in real time would help. You will likely see one wheel that reads "0" for the speed before the others. This could be due to a wiring issue, a cracked/damaged tone ring, or a bad sensor.

The cheapest and easiest of these would probably be to carefully inspect the tone rings for small cracks, missing teeth, etc.

-Rod

punmaster7
11-13-2015, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the response. I agree that an appropriate scan tool would be a big benefit. I bought a cheaper PC package that only reports on engine codes, but have some links to other software vendors that will also report on ABS codes as well. Transmission and restraint systems codes would also be nice too! I wanted to get the AutoTAP product, but it was a bit pricey, and I hear that it isn't available anymore.

The problem has been fixed. Replacing the left hub resolved the ABS from engaging when it shouldn't. I had to disconnect the battery to clear the 4WD code from flashing the indicators. The six flashes has not occurred since I did so. A better scan tool could have helped me there too, I'm sure!

Thanks again!
Curt.

shorod
11-13-2015, 03:46 PM
I'm glad to hear you got the issue fixed.

If you watch the popular auction sites you might find a used Autel MaxiDAS DS708 on sale for a price you can afford. Of course determining what you can afford sometimes means putting a value on your time. If you can rationalize that finding a problem 3 times as quickly without replacing 5 parts that don't fix the issue allows you spend 2x on a diagnostic tool versus what you want to spend, that might raise your budget a bit. The DS708 should do everything you would ever need for the 1999 Explorer. Then if you need to update it at a later time, it runs around $400 to get another year of updates.

-Rod

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