View Full Version : "Brake" and "Anti-Lock" lights lighting up?

05-26-2003, 04:44 AM
Hey everyone,

I have a problem with my ABS system.

Now, the brakes work fine. However, almost every time I hit the brakes, both the "Brake" light and the "Anti-lock" light will light up for a second or so.

They only light up for a second or so. The brake light first comes on, then the ABS light, then the brake light goes away... then the ABS light turns off. Both lights stay on for roughly 1 second, maybe a half second.

I notice nothing odd about my brakes, they still work fine. I've never had to panic brake, but even under pretty heavy braking they hold up just fine.

I know for a fact, that while the lights are on, my ABS system isn't working. One time in really wet pavement, I slammed on the brakes to test it out and my wheels locked up.

Obviously this isn't a huge issue, as the brakes have been working fine the year or so I've been driving the car. I do, however, want to get this fixed so my ABS will work this coming winter.

What do you think could be causing this problem?

05-26-2003, 10:00 AM
As far as I know, the "brake" light only comes on if the fluid is low. Have you checked the brake fluid level? Perhaps some of the other guys can verify this/shoot me down.

Next, do you have a code reader for the electronic engine control (EEC)? On my 94, the same code reader will retrieve codes from the EEC or the ABS system. This would tell you what, if anything is wrong with the ABS (could just be doing it due to lack of fluid).

One more note on fluid. Most folks do not think to change their brake or clutch fluid. These deteriorate over time just like any other fluid. So, the level may be fine but the fluid may be underperforming. You may want to bleed the system and replace the fluid but do this carefully so the ABS system still works correctly. I believe both the Haynes and Chilton repair books for our cars (available at most autoparts stores) give a detailed description of this. In any case, I'd start with the level and codes first.

Hope this helped. Good luck.

05-26-2003, 10:45 AM
Syphon, It is definatly your accumulator. Do a search and look for Prior remanufacturing. They have new accumulators for about $100.00. Also search for accumulator and you will find all the info you need. You need to fix this A.S.A.P. I ignored it for like two months, and everynow and then the brakes would get rock hard for a moment. If you listen closely your abs pump probally comes on every time you press the peddle. Thats not good, the pump will burn out and you will need to replace the whole dam $800 assembly. Eventually your brakes will get rock hard and stay that way untill you change the accumulator. Luckily when my brakes got rock hard, I wasent on the highway. I was on a side street going a little too fast when no brakes! I shifted into first grabbed the e-brake and still barely made a safe stop. But lucky me i had my new accumulator in the trunk waiting for the weekend. Well i had to change it on the side of the road. Took only like 20 min to replace. No more lights. Good luck

05-26-2003, 01:05 PM
The original ABS accumulator is good for about 10 years of service, then its time for a new one. You can get a replacement from prior for around $100 or Ford for about $175 if you shop around. The Ford part is easier to install. 5-Star Ford has good prices. http://www.fivestarford.com/

Remove the accumulator BEFORE you buy the new one. You'll need an exact match for the thread length. You can go ahead and order it, just make sure you match it up before you accept the part. There are 2 different lengths.

Key off. pump the brake pedal 20 or more time to relieve the pressure. Remove driver side wiper arm (yes you will need to do this). Lift the arm up, and slide the latch out to hold it. Then lift off. Careful you don't drop and lose the plastic key.

Remove the driver side cowling. You need a special star bit to do this. There is also a screw inside the engine compartment.

Stuff rags and/or newspaper below the master cylinder. Loosen and remove the accumulator (black ball) with and 8mm hex socket. Don't try to use 5/16", you'll round off the nut.

Install the new one and torque to 34 lbs. Key on, engine off, let the hydraulic pump run till it shuts off. press the brake pedal numerous times and see how many presses you get before it starts up again. 4 or more is good. Thats about it, reinstall your cowling and wiper arm and go test the brakes on a wet surface.

ABS Accumulator
P/N E8OY-2C231-A (nipple length= (15.25-15.75)mm (.600-.620)in)
P/N E8OY-2C231-B (nipple length= (11.90-12.10)mm (.476-.469)in)

05-26-2003, 02:43 PM
You don't have to remove your acculmulator to order one.
There are two different nipple sizes and the small(shorter one ) will work for both.
And i really don't see how the more expensive one from Five Star Ford could be easier to install.
Just get the one from Prior, it's easy to remove &install. The book says that you have to remove the wipers and cowl, i did , but some say you can do it without removing them.


it's $75 cheaper and is just as good but you should change it ASAP or you could burn up you're abs motor, and thats a job you don't want to have to do.

05-26-2003, 05:33 PM
with the lights coming on, and it's been like that for over a year and my brakes still work fine, and I think that even the ABS works occasionaly

05-26-2003, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by boosted89SC
If you listen closely your abs pump probally comes on every time you press the peddle.

You're right!

Every time I hit the brake pedal, I can hear a very faint squishing sound... but I never thought it was a problem.

05-26-2003, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by tinknocker105
You don't have to remove your acculmulator to order one.
There are two different nipple sizes and the small(shorter one ) will work for both. The shorter one should work fine. Mine had the longer one, so thats what I used. In my case, I could have used either one.

And i really don't see how the more expensive one from Five Star Ford could be easier to install......it's $75 cheaper and is just as good.. The OEM part has a 8mm hex fitting on the top, rather than the nut welded to the bottom. Due to the limited space, its a lot easier to torque to specs. As far as good as? Well one is OEM, one is aftermarket. We know the OEM units were good for about 10 years, we don't know how long the prior unit lasts as they haven't been around for that long.. The $170-something is a lot cheaper than it was. Used to be $250 ;)

05-28-2003, 02:51 AM
well the ford part is new, and the prior one is rebuilt isn't it? If that's the case it's a no brainer. always go with new over rebuilt unless rebuilt is all that's available. Now if they are both new then i'd have to think about saving that $75.oo !

05-28-2003, 12:18 PM
I have a question about this......whenever I make a hard right turn ie; into a parking space,my pedal gets hard and the antilock light flashes.....then everything is normal again.Only happens when I make a hard right turn...any ideas?

06-19-2003, 02:37 PM
Check your electrical lines to the brakes, they may have a cut in them causing the light to come on. I cut one while changing my Radiator and the light would stay on.