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2002 ford explorer ABS

Hi, Guys my question is what is causing my Abs light to come on?

My Abs light will come on and stay on as soon as I get up to about 15-17 miles per hour. The light does not come on when I first start the Explore or even when i apply the brakes to back up or go forward. I even can put around at 5 -10 mph stopping and starting and the light won’t come on. This just started this weekend, but my wife who drives it most of the time said it has come on once before on her but didn’t bother after she shut the vehicle off and started it again. This is not the case anymore as I have shut it off while drive and restarted it and it comes right back on once you hit that 15 MPH speed. I hope you can help.


The ABS does a self test at about 15 MPH. Clearly, that self test if failing. A Ford specific code scanner should be used to pull any and all DTCs present related to the ABS. That will tell you what area to start with. It could be one or more wheel speed sensors (it probably isn’t in this case), it could be the ABS pump, or it could be the ABS module (with the solenoid valves and the electronic controller).

Thanks for the information. IF I have a OBD II scanner will I be able to use that to find ABS codes. Are there any particular codes that will indicate whether is a sensor, the pump or the module control? Which of these is the most common to fail on this vehicle?


An OBDII scanner won’t read ABS codes. It requires an ABS scanner.

One thing that can cause the ABS light to come on shortly after the vehicle starts moving is contaminated wheel speed sensor tone rings. These tone rings can accumulate brake dust on them over time. If the brake pads are semi-metalic type brake pads, this metal dust messes up the signals to the wheel speed sensors causing the ABS light to come on.

Inspect the wheel speed sensor tone rings for accumulation of debris at each wheel. If a lot of debris is found on the tone rings, blast them clean with an aerosol can of sensor safe brake cleaner.


I would bet that wheel speed sensor problems would show up at times other than the self-test. From my experiences, failures at the self-test moment are going to be a bad solenoid valve or a bad pump.

Some OBDII scanners will pick up the ABS codes, from the OBDII port. Autoenginuity makes one that will, as long as you buy the Ford unlock code for it.

A generic OBDII scanner won’t pick up the ABS codes. The ones that the Ford dealers have will, as well as those used by the better consumer shops.
This one will

but you also need this

Thanks, to all of you for your help. I am going to check the area around the the front wheel sensors for dirt and debris. I drive on alot of muddy gravel roads and I do know the brakes on the front are about due to be replaced. If that doesn’t work I am going to price out the scanner and the ford unlock code. If there is any thing else you can think of that may help please respond.