ABS kicks in - dry conditions

I have a 2001 Explorer sport, 73k miles.

When stopping and turning to the right, the ABS will kick in (dry conditions, no skid). Going straight or turning left the car behaves normally. The ABS light does not come on.

I am thinking the problem is a bad wheel speed sensor. Agree/disagree? If so, is it a difficult job to replace? I have replaced O2 sensors and things like that - is it comparable?

Before replacing the wheel speed sensor, check the tone rings the sensors get their wheel speed signals from for debris or damage. If a tone ring is cracked or has damaged teeth the axle shaft will require replacement. If there’s a lot of debris in between the teeth from brake dust, this can mess with the signal for the wheel speed sensors. For this, take an aerosol can of sensor safe brake cleaner and clean the debris off the tone rings.


Thanks for the reply. Silly question - wouldn’t either of these problems (bad sensor or bad ring) cause the ABS light to come on?

Not necessarily. If the wheel speed sensor thinks the wheel is locking up because of a faulty signal due to a damaged/dirty tone ring, it’s going to cause the ABS to engage. But if there were a defective wheel speed sensor, that would turn on the ABS light. That’s why I suggest inspecting the tone rings.


That makes sense. How hard is it to replace the axle shaft if it comes to that?