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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2002 sedan with 50,500 miles, DOHC 3.0 with the T/C and ABS package. I've owned this car for about 5 months and 4,000 miles.

Here's what happened:
Last night I left work and went to a gas station about 1/2 mile away. While pulling into the station I applied the brakes and the ABS activated for a second. I thought it was odd since the pavement was dry and fairly clean and I've only ever had it activate on snow/ice. There just didn't seem to be any need for ABS at the time. After filling the tank I drove home and didn't have any problems.

Today right after I left to go to work it seemed like I was almost flooring it just to do 40mph - it felt like the brakes were dragging. I noticed the ABS light was on. I instictively pulled the parking brake release which obviously did nothing. The ABS light stayed on the rest of the way to work (about six miles) but the dragging brake feeling went away after a mile or so.

Tonight when I left work, the ABS light came on with all the other lights when I started the car and it stayed on all the way home. Also, the T/C was off and wouldn't turn back on. But I didn't notice any feeling of brakes dragging.

Please keep in mind that before the Taurus the newest vehicle I've owned is my 1988 Dodge Ram which features fancy electronic options like Dual-Speed Wipers. So I don't know if this is a blown fuse or something big and expensive. I just have no experience with these things. Does anyone know what's causing this? Do you think it will go away on its own? Do I need to buy a code reader?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Update:

My wife and I did errands yesterday and the ABS light was on all morning. And the T/C did fun stuff like activating while the car was in park.

At the dealer the first people we ran into were the salesman that sold us the car and his boss. They both agreed it sounds like a wheel sensor but they would have to charge a diagnostic fee to have someone look at it since it's not covered under their oh-so-impressive warranty. (In an aside, I think they also realized they had just lost any chance they had of selling us that second Taurus my wife wants.) So we left and guess what - the ABS light didn't come back on the rest of the day, until we got home.

My father-in-law and brother-in-law both think it's a wheel sensor. They're Ford guys from way back so they probably know what they're talking about. My brother-in-law can get me a code reader on Tuesday. I'm not sure if I need it though since teh light isn't on as much. Are the wheel sensors something I can clean? Where are they and what do they look like?
 

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I would still stick to the dealer. Even if you have to pay a diagnostic fee, if the repairs ends up being expensive and you want to claim it on your warranty, the dealer is going to want to diagnose it themselves anyway, so you'd end up paying twice.
 

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This sounds like the exact same problem I am now having with my 2002 Taurus. I see this post was from forever ago, but in case by some chance anyone is still out there and can maybe do a follow up on this, that would be great. What happened with this? Was it in fact a wheel sensor?
 

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There are recent post on this here. I do not know where but I added a post recently. Someone might know where it is.
-chart-
 

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First step is to use a GOOD scan tool, like Forscan, (free download) with an ELM327 OBDII interface (around $25 on Ebay or Amazon) that can read all 4 series of codes (P, C, B and U series) and see what comes up. Without knowing the codes present (likely C series codes) you are just shooting in the dark.
 

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My last case with intermittent light and activation of ABS when not needed. Code was for loss of signal from front left sensor. New sensor ~$35 from RA. Not all that easy in my case as old one was corroded in place. Still a minor project. With module fail I got both lights, red and amber.
-chart-
 
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