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Ford Repair/Second opinion on braking issue

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Question
QUESTION: Hi,

Yesterday evening i had a braking problem with my 2004 1.25 Ford Fiesta. Coming off the highway my braking pedal seemed to have lost power and i had to brake fairly hard to come to a stop. Continuing my way home i noticed the pedal to offer practically no resistance. I literally had to push it to the floor to be able to slow down. Something else i noticed on the drive home (before the braking problem) was that my acceleration to get on the highway was really poor. The whole drive there was a light indicating a braking issue. According to the manual this indicates either a lack of braking fluid or some sort of malfunction in the braking circuit.When i finally got home and stepped out of the car i also noticed a burned smell.

This morning i went to a Ford Dealer to have it checked out but strangely enough my braking problem had all but vanished and there was no braking problem indicator on the dashboard. The repairman couldn't find anything wrong with the actual brakes. He then did a read-out of the car and this indicated a ABS module communication error. They claim the entire module needs to be replaced to fix the issue. That would set me back 1600 euros.

Before i make such an investement i'd like to know if this ABS issue is actually consistent with the symptoms i experienced? By this i mean the loose pedal, slower acceleration and overnight disappearing of the problem.

If this is indeed the case, is replacing the unit the only option?

Thank you for your time!

ANSWER: did they find the brake fluid the least bit low ??? or did they not tell you..  was your abs light on or just the red brake light ?? a communication failure code is not an immediate reason to replace a module so i need this little bit more info from you please

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I checked the fluid myself before going to the dealer. The reservoire was completely filled. There was no ABS indicator, just the red brake light. The same indicator you see when your handbrake is on.

ANSWER: it is entirely possible that an internal failure of the abs module caused the low pedal as a valve may have stuck open and when you parked it, the valve moved back in place and allowed the fluid to flow back to the resevoir. so yes, i would agree with them on this diagnosis

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Alright, i assume replacing the entire module really is the only option then? Or is there a chance this was a one-off occurence? I've been driving short distances for the past 3 days  and have had no problems braking. Do you reckon the ABS is still functional at this moment?

Either way i'm taking the car to my regular dealer tomorrow to have it checked out and confirmed. Thanks a lot for your help!

Answer
it is possible that this was a one time occurance of the abs module, mechanically sticking. Let me give you a little of my own advice. your abs module is mechanically/electrically controled. some modules don't do a " self test " so, this module just sits there. obviously if the electrical/mechanical portion if not used, when activated, it can stick vlaves open or electrically not react due to corrosion etc.. so, if you get a chance, find a small dirt road or an area your comfotable with. speed up to atleast 35 miles per hour and do some hard braking to activate the abs. this will keep this portion of your braking system working

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brian

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I can help you to answer most vehicle questions dating from 2000 and on. cars and light trucks relating to ford electrical. air conditioning, heating, brakes, steering and almost all driveabilty concrns. I am well versed in the area of Fords new sync/ford and lincoln my touch systems.

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I have worked for Ford for the last 15 years and recently received my master technician status.

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Ford master tecnician. Ford certified in steering, suspension, brakes, climate control, electrical and driveability concerns. light transission concerns. as well as certifed in Fords new sync/Ford/Lincoln mt Touch systems

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