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Traction Control Light - always on - Freestyle

I have been researching this for months and have been back at the dealership several times. Still no answers, but here’s the gist:

My traction control light is on and turns on within a few miles of driving.

At first, there is no difference in the “feel” of the car & movement.

However, after another 10-20 minutes of driving, the steering has slightly more resistance and I can hear, what can only be described as, a humming/vibration while turning (almost as if the power steering were failing - that sort of sound).

I have a 2006 freestyle with 82,000 miles.

I have been to my local mechanic, been to the ford dealership twice, and I’ve even talked to several Volvo mechanics that won’t touch it (even though it is a Volvo part in the rear differential).

Based upon the TSB’s provided by Ford, I replaced the pressure sensor kit - twice. No fix.

In speaking with Ford Dealership service managers - they state after that fix, there is no clear answer on a resolve for the issue. After several conversations with ford by the dealership, Ford has only stated that this issue is still under study. So there seems to be no clear fix.

So far my options seem to be - to purchase the DEM (the entire rear electronic module for the differential) or replace the entire backend. These aren’t real answers, these are jump to conclusion answers because there is no real cause and effect identifier here.

So, I’m asking the community for help and hopefully I can get an idea of what to do next. (In reading other Ford forums - notably the freestar, seems to have a similar light that is caused by bad wheel speed sensors. - not sure if that applies in this situation, but may be something worth looking at).

Thoughts? Advice? Hail Mary’s?

As the TCS works in conjunction with the ABS, I would check to see if there isn’t a problem with IT.

I certainly would NOT throw parts at it as that just gets expensive with NO guarantee of success.

There HAS to be a reason why this problem is here. There is ALWAYS a reason why things have problems.

You just need to find a tech with more knowledge about these systems.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any techs that have experience with this. Largely, because Ford has yet to identify the cause. I’ve been to 2 different Ford dealerships, and had them both investigating the root of the problem. Both of them said Ford was still investigating this issue and had no solid fixes only possible suggestions.

So yes, there has to be a reason, but unfortunately the system is super complex and because of the ford/volvo hybrid nature of it that was only in production a short time, it’s relatively unknown.

I’m MAD! My Ford Dealership Charged me over $1,000 to have this light fixed. They replaced the rear differential sensor and the rear differential oil pump. The sensor didn’t correct the “light” issue, so the next step on the flowchart was to replace the Oil pump on the differential. What a joke. Of course, this just happened after my extended warranty ran out as well. Oh by the way Lady…You need new tires too! OUCH!!

Well it sounds like it will soon qualify for the lemon law. Read up on the link below. Don’t neglect to keep documentation of everything.

Oh please, can you tell me one state where a 5 year old car with 82,000 miles qualifies for lemon law relief?

This system is usually really really good, thats why you having a tough time finding a technician with significant hands on experience.

Based on you posting, im going to assume that the vehicle has a p1889 Differential pump pressure fault. There is a TSB for this as you already mentioned. So what should be done next?

Step 1 should be examining the Torque Coupling fluid condition… If the fluid is cooked/burnt, the entire Haldex assemble will need replaced… (Worst case scenario) If the fluid is clean, equivalent to vegetable oil (in color, do not use cooking oil to fill the drive unit).

Step 2, If fluid is clear then a technician with a good scan tool will need to monitor the differential hydraulic pressures, pump amperage/load while at idle and driving conditions (Hot and cold), the numbers will dictate what needs done. Ultimately it will be one of three things. The pump, the DEM (Differential module) or the entire Haldex unit. The Torque coupler should only be needed if the fluid is baked or contaminated.

Your Ford Dealer has access to the the Factory Hotline. So if the dealer does not know what to make of the pump data, an engineer will. The 1889 is not a new event, although the system is no longer being installed in 2010-2011 vehicles, there are still experts available who know and will talk to the dealer.

It may be as easy as fluid pressure is low, no contamination is found… Replace the pump… Done… The data could also prove that the DEM is truly at fault. Without the road test data, we’re all just guessing. Someone is going to have to the car a good physical, listen to it cough enough, and the data will tell you exactly what ails it. There is a cause and effect identifier, their just not looking close enough. IT IS THERE…

Roadrunner’s post did make a good point. The ABS and AWD work in conjunction with each other. The ABS will need verified OK to insure that the AWD is not being over commanded. Wheel speed sensors , tone rings issues can cause over commanding of the AWD system. The same will occur if there is excessive tire circumference issues between the front and rear tires.

I am not saying tires are you issue, nor the braking system but if you have to go the route of replacing the torque coupler (a little pricey), you only want to do it once. If the front tires are new and the rear tires are worn out, that WILL overload the AWD clutch and bake the unit again.