We did have it "diagnosed" at the dealership who said that the ABS module was shot - that it would not work when the light was on. My light just comes on intermittantly - so when it is off does that mean my ABS will function? Can I be sure?
The "fire issue" is a problem the NHTSA is investigating right now. See this website for further info...Ford Windstar Recall For ABS Brake Light Issue
- and after doing a lot or research over the past couple of days I'm sure it is.
I have a 2002 Ford Windstar and have had some similar issues. I am not a mechanic and not an expert. The Ford Windstar Recall for ABS
site you mention above is a great resource.
My cruise control started working intermittently about a year ago (Fall 2008). Sometimes it worked fine, sometimes I had to push the button a number of times before it would engage, and sometimes it refused to engage no matter how many times I pushed the button. And when it did engage, sometimes later it would dis-engage abruptly and for no reason.
Also, the ABS and Brake lights would come on intermittently. Once they came on, they would remain on until the car was turned off.
I took the car to the local Ford dealership. They said the ABS system "Electronic Control Module" (ECM) was bad and needed to be replaced. They said the cruise control tested out fine. They quoted me about $750 to replace the ECM module. And charged me about $100 for the diagnostic fee. Ford said they say lots of error codes related to the ABS system, and when they saw that many error codes, it meant the ECM itself was bad.
We decided to live with the symptoms. I reported my problem to the NHTSA as recommended on the recall web site mentioned above.
I tested the ABS system during some wet or slippery days last winter. Somewhat to my surprise, the ABS appeared to consistently work fine in my car, both when the ABS light was off and even when it was on!
About a month ago (August 2009), my local mechanic said the Cruise Control actuator switch was leaking brake fluid and replaced it. He also replaced the wiring harness that goes to that switch. Voila! Suddenly my cruise control started to work consistently again.
My ABS and brake lights still come on intermittently while I am driving. Once on, they remain on until the car is turned off. Based on my tests last winter, I believe (hope!) the ABS system is working, whether the ABS and brake light are on or off.
I hope that Ford is forced by the NHTSA to address these problems with the switch, wiring harness and ECM module with a recall. In the meantime, I encourage anyone who has experienced these problems to report them to the NHTSA (including your VIN number) as discussed in the "recall" page above. It is easy and just takes a few minutes of your time.
I would recommend that if possible you test the ABS on a slippery day, both when the light is off and when it is on. I am guessing that it will probably work when the light is off, and might even work when the light is on. That's just a guess based on observing how my 2002 has behaved.
Maybe some 1999 Windstar owners also seeing the ABS light come on intermittently could let us know their experiences? Anyone, anyone? Buehler?