How to Troubleshoot the ABS on a Ford F150

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The anti-lock breaking system (ABS) on a Ford F150 pulses the brakes for you in the event of hard braking. Rather than manually pumping the brakes, the ABS system pulses the brakes many times faster than any human being could ever do. This prevents the wheels from locking up and keeps the F150 from skidding across the pavement. This, in turn, helps you to better control the vehicle. If you are having problems with your ABS, however, you'll want to troubleshoot the problem prior to fixing it.

  • Turn the ignition to the "II" position.

  • Check the dash lights. The ABS sensor light should come on for a few seconds, and then go off. If it stays on, then you'll need to check the ABS system with a visual inspection.

  • Turn the steering wheel on the F150 all the way to the right. Look at the brake system on the front driver's side of the vehicle. With the wheels turned all the way to the right, you should be able to easily see the ABS sensor mounted to the wheel bearing assembly. There are two wires coming out of the sensor. The sensor is a small black box secured to the wheel bearing and hub assembly. It monitors the rotation of the rotor and wheel, checking to see if there is ever a stop or break in rotation while the vehicle is moving and the brakes are being applied. If the wires are broken or damaged in any way, your ABS is failing and needs to be serviced by a brake shop. If the wires look fine, repeat this step for each wheel. To check the passenger side wheel, you may need to turn the steering wheel all the way to the left. To check the rear wheels, you'll need to climb under the rear cab.

  • Turn the ignition off if all of the ABS wires appear to be normal and in-tact at the wheel hub. Wait 30 seconds and turn the ignition back on to the "II" position. If the ABS light remains on, the ABS is malfunctioning. You may have a bad sensor at one of the wheels. You'll need to have this component serviced by a professional brake shop.

References

  • Ford F-150 Pick-Ups Repair Manual 2004-2006; Mike Stubblefield, John H. Haynes; 2006
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