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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought an ‘04 SVT. It came with the Brake, ABS, and Traction Control lights on. Parking brake also didn’t work. And was having the calipers sticking on me occasionally. I replaced the rear calipers first. Which fixed the parking brake issue. Still had the front sticking on me. So I just replaced the fronts as well. Which I was hoping would at least kill the brake light. Upon start up the light was out. As soon as I hit my brakes it was back on. I found it weird when the calipers were sticking the light would be off. I would take off in the car and knew when the brake were going to bind up because the light would be off. As soon as I would hear the brakes break free the light would be back on. The ABS and TC light I assumed are caused by a possible bad sensor. Was told a rear hub was recently replaced so I figured the sensor was damaged. But the brake light has me confused. Any help would much appreciated!


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This might sound dumb but did you make sure your brake fluid is full? And no air in the system?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope,not dumb at all sometimes the simplest things get overlooked. Yes I have completely bleed and topped off the system. I changed the front calipers yesterday and got to drive round a bit today. Now I’m baffled for sure. Started it up this morning no brake light. Go and take off. the car starts sputtering and and gets harder to go forward. The same thing that was happening before. It like the brakes are progressively being applied. But now all new calipers and fluid. So now I’m wondering if it’s more of a Traction control issue. I think my next step is going to get a scan to tell me why the ABS and traction control light are on. This all has to be tied in together.


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I've got an 05 ZXW with the same issue, all 3 lights on. I just replaced my parking brake cable, because the rears were sticking. I was hoping this would solve the brake light.

When I turn on the car, the ABS and TC lights are both on, then as I start moving (at 10mph), the brake light comes on. I am 100% sure now that the e-brake is not applied in the least, so it's a bit confusing that the brake light comes on.

When there is a tone ring/wheel speed sensor issue, does it turn on the brake light at the same time?

As for the OP, have you checked that the e-brake/parking brake cable isn't sticking in any way? It almost sounds like what I had happening. The brakes were staying applied even once I put the parking brake lever down. The cable was so rusted that there was too much resistance for the spring on the brake to pull the cable back through, so it just stayed on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The parking brake was the first issue I addressed with my brakes. In my case it was the parking brake levers on the rear calipers that were seized up. But it does sound we’re having the same light issues. My brake light behaves the same way. But if I start moving and my brake light is of my car will get up to about 2500rpm and it start cutting out , and feels like the brakes are being applied. If I reverse the car and jam the brakes the go forward usually I start going forward the brake light will come on and then the car is fine. I’m leaning towards an issue with the abs system. Need to get a scanner that read abs. Well Charlesthemonkey. Let me know if you make any forward progress with your issue. I’ll do the same.


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The brake light only turns on due to two things, parking brake or low fluid sensor.

So check the limit switch by the ebrake handle or possibly replace the cap sensor on the fluid cap.

Traction Control & ABS light would turn on if their was a sensor issue. Apparently Forscan can dig into the ABS module and know what wheel is reporting wrong values, there is no PIDS in the ECU for this so a SCT scanner or other scanner can read the TC or ABS codes.
 

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Double post.
 

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Hmm, My limit switch is fine, it turns the light off on the dash no problem when I lower the parking brake.

I haven't tried anything with the level sensor, need to do that.

I thought I had solved the brake drag issue with the new parking brake cable, but I guess not. Today as I was pulling out of my work parking lot I noticed a bit of drag, and had the same weird engine stutter when I tried to accelerate. I stepped hard on the brake a few times, pulled the e brake cable a few times, then continued on my way, without any noticeable drag. Really a strange issue.

When I got home, I decided to check the hubs, and I can't really tell if there's play in the bearings. Not sure if that'd cause this kind of drag anyway. The right front had a slight clunking noise when I tried wobbling the tire with my hands, but I couldn't tell if it was the bearing or not.
 

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@HatchAddict, btw after reading your post I absolutely have the same problem as you. I even was doing the same thing with reverse and slamming on the brakes to loosen up the rears.

Hopefully the two of us can solve this. Just bought an OBD2 bluetooth device, as the one I've got doesn't like to communicate with my Focus. It works on the Miata, weirdly enough.
 

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I thought I had solved the brake drag issue with the new parking brake cable, but I guess not. Today as I was pulling out of my work parking lot I noticed a bit of drag, and had the same weird engine stutter when I tried to accelerate. I stepped hard on the brake a few times, pulled the e brake cable a few times, then continued on my way, without any noticeable drag. Really a strange issue.
Rear drums or discs?

Paul
 

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Ok, so I got my OBD2 scanner, used FORScan on my iPhone, and drove the car a little.

My symptoms are this:
1. Start car, see TC and ABS lights on. Brake light on, only because of handbrake.
2. Put handbrake down, Brake light turns off.
3. Start driving, get up to about 2k RPM and feel heavy drag on car, engine starts sputtering, like it's not getting fuel. Brake pedal is extremely firm, seems like ABS must be pressurizing the system.
4. Stop, mess around with brake pedal, press it a few times, and if I'm lucky, the car will actually accelerate.
5. Brake light turns on after I reach about 10 MPH.

I used the Veepeak OBD2 BLE scanner, for anyone looking for a quality one.

The only codes I see on the ABS module, even once the brake light is illuminated, are the rear wheel speed sensors.

Just realized I didn't re-scan for errors after driving the car, might need to do that again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, wow! We are absolutely having the exact same issue. So I also got my scanner. And low and behold the abs codes were both the rear speed sensors as well. I was starting to think that since I replaced my rear calipers and got my parking brake workng. Maybe me now using the parking brake is causing the cables to stick. But like you it seems like the engine is stalling. Which definitely makes me think TC\ABS issue. It does seem odd both rear abs sensors are bad. So I was thinking module as well. Just have some testing to troubleshoot this. Between the two of us. We'll get it figured out.

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So after doing a bit more research, I'm thinking that the mechanic forgot to put the tone rings on the rear brakes, at least on mine.

When I picked up the car, I told the mechanic that the lights were on, and he told me that he'd check that he got the right parts (drums for ABS equipped model) but that I should be fine for the time being to drive on it.

After a few days, I called him and he said that he verified that he got the right parts for the drums, and he's not sure why the light would be on.

At that point, I said to myself, screw it I'm not bringing the car back to him because he didn't do the job right in the first place.

I'm not sure of the exact part number that he ordered because he never gave me that information, but I'm guessing that it didn't come with the tone rings, and that they need to be taken from the old hubs and put onto the new ones.

This video is making me think that:

I don't have a 30mm socket, so I ordered a set that includes it (needed an upgrade anyway) and I'll have the rear hubs off in a few days.

I'll report back here when I've got more information.

@HatchAddict, as far as it being the module itself, it seems unlikely. If you're getting the sensor codes, to me that means that the module is operating correctly. I'd think that the OBD2 scanner would give you some other code if there were a module issue. Now as far as the SVT rear brakes, I'm not sure if the tone ring is the same setup, where it should be switched from the old brakes to the new.
 

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OK! Problem Solved!

The mechanic forgot to put on the tone rings. Was easy enough to pull the brakes and press new rings on.

The brake light only turns on due to two things, parking brake or low fluid sensor.

So check the limit switch by the ebrake handle or possibly replace the cap sensor on the fluid cap.
...
I'd just like to point out that this is FALSE - the light turns on when the ABS module has problems as well.

HatchAddict, I have to believe that your problem is the same. Simply missing the tone rings in the rear. If not that, then maybe the wheel speed sensors themselves are broken/out of alignment with the tone rings.
 

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^^^ well then you also would have your ABS light on also. So the mentioned items are the only reason why only the brake light would be on. If you have other lights all bets are off.

My experience with bad HAL effect sensors that are used on the ABS system have resulted in traction control light and ABS light and not brake light.

Guess depending on if you have traction control and or ABS will play a role in how multiple lights interact with each other.
 

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Fair enough, and on top of it all, Ford may have changed the way the lights interact between model years. MK1.5 may be different from MK1, etc.

I'm just saying that it's worth noting that there are more than those two things that will cause the brake malfunction light to come on.
 

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OK! Problem Solved!

The mechanic forgot to put on the tone rings. Was easy enough to pull the brakes and press new rings on.



I'd just like to point out that this is FALSE - the light turns on when the ABS module has problems as well.

HatchAddict, I have to believe that your problem is the same. Simply missing the tone rings in the rear. If not that, then maybe the wheel speed sensors themselves are broken/out of alignment with the tone rings.
That's great news! So now the brake light is always off unless you apply the parking brake? And no more brakes binding/engine cutting out? Think I'll order some tone rings and abs sensors. The thing I'm still not wrapping my head around is how the brake light behaves. Off when the brakes are binding/engine stalling. Then On when you jam the brakes a few times and the car goes back to running normal. Did yours only do it on start up? That's how mine is. Seems like it mostly happens when the car has been sitting for a bit. But once I unstick the brakes. Its always fine for the rest of the drive. Well, now for the task of finding the right parts for the SVT. Can be a real pain. Have received two sets for a regular Focus brake sets, on two different occasions from AutoPartsWarehouse. Sucks when you have to pay return shipping on Calipers, Rotors and Pads!
.


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Yeah, the problem was exactly as you describe. On startup, after I reach about 10 MPH or 2000 RPM in 1st, either the brakes start to bind up and the engine bogs and dies, OR the brake light comes on and the car drives just fine.

If the brakes are binding up, I had to slow down, step on the brakes, do whatever I could to make it drive. The brake malfunction light comes on, I believe, due to the ABS module realizing that the wheel speed sensors are not giving any signal, and then it goes into normal mode, without ABS. The car knows there's a brake/ABS problem, so it turns that light on.

At least that's my theory.

I bet you'll find there's a problem with the rear wheel speed sensors, and once that's solved, the brake binding problem will go away.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well I finally had time to dig in to my ABS issue. I took the rear wheel hubs and there was now abs rings! I can't believe somebody would put new rear hubs or bearings and not put the ABS rings back on. But that's what the did. Put the new rings on cleared the ABS codes and now I'm good to go.

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