Since ABS is essential for safety, it is designed to self-diagnose regularly and turn on an indicator light whenever it detects a problem. If you encounter the ABS light on your Ford Focus, it must have one or more issues related to the ABS system.
Why is my Ford Focus ABS light on? Several problems can cause the ABS light to turn on, including the following.
- Damaged wheel speed sensors
- Low brake fluid levels
- Faulty ABS module
- Blown fuses
- Low pressure in the tires
To turn off the ABS light, you must figure out and fix its cause. Keep reading to learn more about what causes Ford Focus ABS to turn on and how to troubleshoot and reset it.
Ford Focus ABS Light ON: A Quick Overview of Causes and Fixes
Here’s a table showing the cause of the Ford Focus ABS light on and their quick solutions.
|Ford Focus ABS light causes||Solutions|
|Faulty ABS module||Replace the ABS module|
|Damaged wheel speed sensor||Replace the wheel speed sensor|
|Low tire pressure||Add air until the pressure gets to about 30 – 35 psi|
|Low brake fluid level||Refill the brake fluid reservoir|
|Blown fuses||Install new fuses|
|Broken relay||Replace with a working relay|
What Causes The Ford Focus ABS Light To Turn On?
The ABS (Anti Lock Braking System) light comes on whenever there’s a problem with the ABS. The most common reasons the Ford Focus’ ABS indicator turns on include the following reasons.
1. Faulty ABS module
The ABS module receives and processes data from the wheel speed sensors to decide when to reduce braking pressure and prevent skidding. Whenever the ABS module gets damaged or cannot manage the brakes, the ABS indicator light turns on.
Though the ABS module is typically waterproof, it can still get damaged due to too much exposure to water, leading to short-circuiting and corrosion. In some cases, the module sustains physical damage during routine maintenance, causing failure.
2. Damaged wheel speed sensor
Each Ford Focus wheel hub has a wheel speed sensor that monitors its rotation speed and relays that data to the ABS control module. The module uses this information to determine which wheel requires braking pressure adjustments to avoid locking up.
If any wheel speed sensor relays inaccurate data or fails to send any data, the ABS indicator light turns on. Wheel sensors are constantly exposed to the elements because of their location, and this can damage the sensors. As a result, wheel sensor issues are the most common reasons for the ABS light illumination.
3. Dropping brake fluid level
Brake fluid plays a critical role in hydraulic brakes because it’s the medium that transfers pressure between the pedal and the wheel. When the brake fluid level in the reservoir drops, pressure transmission within the brake system is compromised, which causes the ABS light to turn on.
The most common causes of dropping brake fluid levels are leakage, worn-out brake pads, and damaged brake rotors.
4. Low tire pressure
Low tire pressure causes a wheel to rotate faster because of the reduced diameter. The associated wheel speed sensor reports higher speeds than the other wheel sensors. When the ABS module receives this data, it flags it and turns on the ABS indicator light.
Some of the latest Ford Focus models are equipped with a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Whenever these modern Fords have tire pressure issues, the ABS light and TPMS warning appear simultaneously.
5. Damaged relay or blown fuse
Relays and fuses protect the ABS control module from damage when the electrical current in the circuit experiences surges and spikes. If the ABS fuse is blown or the relay is damaged, the module doesn’t get any power because the circuit is open.
Whenever the ABS stops working due to a lack of power, the ABS indicator light turns on.
How To Troubleshoot ABS Light On Issue?
Whenever the ABS light is illuminated in your Ford Focus, you can use the guide below to troubleshoot and fix the issue;
1. Check the ABS module
Follow the steps below to troubleshoot the ABS module.
- Open the hood and locate the ABS module in the engine area.
- Inspect the module for signs of physical damage, such as rusting.
- Check the module’s wires and connectors to ensure there are no loose connections or damaged wires.
- Finally, use a multimeter to test the ABS module. Set the multimeter to Ohms mode, connect the meter’s probes to the module’s terminals, and read the results. The module is faulty if the resistance falls below or above the typical range of 800 – 2100 Ohms.
- If your ABS module is damaged in any way, it’s prudent to contact a mechanic because it may need to be replaced.
2. Inspect the wheel speed sensors
To troubleshoot the wheel speed sensors in your Ford Focus, follow the steps below;
- Locate the sensors in their respective wheel hubs.
- Inspect each sensor visually, checking for any signs of damage or corrosion. Ensure that each sensor is properly connected.
- If there’s any dirt on the wheel sensors, clean it off gently to avoid causing damage.
- Check the sensors’ connecting wires and replace any broken or corroded wires.
- Replace any broken or damaged sensors.
3. Check and fix the brake fluid level
Open the hood of your Ford Focus and check the brake fluid reservoir. The fluid level should be at the line marked ‘full.’ If it’s below that, it could be the reason for the ABS light turning on. Top up the brake fluid to the required level to fix the issue.
Several problems, including leakages and worn-out brake pads, can cause a brake fluid level drop. Hence, if the low brake fluid issue persists after refilling the reservoir, contact a professional for assistance. He will fix the further underlying issues like leaks, worn-out brake pads, etc.
4. Check the tire pressure
Use a tire pressure gauge to measure the tire pressure of your car’s tires. Simply remove the valve cap and press the pressure gauge onto the valve to get a pressure reading.
If any tire has low pressure, use an air pump to add air until the pressure reaches the recommended level of between 30 and 35 psi.
5. Check the fuses and relays
Here’s how to troubleshoot the ABS fuse and relays;
- Use your car manual to locate the fuse box.
- Open the fuse box and identify the ABS fuse or relay using the fuse box diagram.
- Inspect the fuse. If the copper strip in the middle is burnt, that fuse is blown.
- Pull out the blown fuse using needle pliers and replace it with a compatible fuse.
- The easiest way to troubleshoot the relays is by swapping them out. If swapping out a relay fixes the ABS light, replace the damaged relay.
How To Reset The Ford Focus ABS Light?
Here are three ways to reset and turn off the ABS warning light on a Ford Focus.
1. Fix all underlying issues
To get rid of the ABS light, you must fix any underlying issues that may be causing it. Use the troubleshooting guide above to identify and fix all underlying ABS issues.
After fixing the issues, the ABS light should go off. If it persists, move on to the following steps.
2. Use an OBD-II scanner to clear codes
If the ABS light stays on after fixing all underlying issues, you will have to use a diagnostic code scanner. Here’s how to clear trouble codes with an OBD-II scanner;
- Plug in the OBD-II scanner to the corresponding port near your Ford’s steering wheel.
- Insert the ignition key and turn the car to the ON position.
- Follow the instructions to access the diagnostic menu.
- Find the ‘Clear codes’ option on the menu and select it to clear all stored trouble codes.
- On the ensuing prompt that appears, confirm that you want to clear the codes.
- Disconnect the OBD-II scanner from the port once it indicates that the code-clearing process is complete.
- Turn off the car.
3. Disconnect the battery
All the electrical systems in a Ford Focus depend on the car’s battery for electricity. That dependency makes it possible to reset the ABS light simply by disconnecting the battery. Here’s how to disconnect the car battery.
- Open the hood and locate the battery.
- Identify the positive and negative terminal. The terminals are usually labeled clearly.
- Use a wrench to loosen the bolt securing the negative terminal and detach the connecting cable.
- Loosen and detach the positive terminal’s connecting cable.
Once you’ve disconnected the battery, let the car sit for about 15 minutes to clear the ABS light. Reconnect the battery, starting with the positive terminal’s cable.
Can I Drive My Ford Focus With The ABS Light On?
Yes, you can drive with the ABS light on, depending on what caused it to turn on. If the problem is ABS-related, such as damaged sensors, blown fuses, or a faulty module, you can safely drive the car.
Remember that without ABS, your car may skid when braking in harsh conditions like rain or snow.
However, if the cause of the ABS light is low tire pressure or dropping brake fluid levels, get the car fixed before driving. In this case, you won’t be able to use the regular brakes to stop the car.
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the Ford Focus ABS warning light.
ABS wheel speed sensors and fuses are cheap, with a piece costing about $5 on average. On the other hand, the price of a new Ford Focus ABS module is relatively high, averaging at about $400.
The price of resolving the ABS warning light varies depending on the kind of repairs your vehicle needs.
No, stopping the car when the ABS light is on is not harder; rather, it’s quicker. The ABS typically reduces braking pressure when it detects the car is about to skid. Without the ABS, the braking pressure on the wheels remains constant, which stops the car more quickly.
The traction control and anti-lock braking systems are similar because they share the same module but have one significant difference. ABS prevents skidding when you brake, while traction control helps prevent skidding when you accelerate.
Issues that cause the ABS light to turn on include faulty wheel sensors, low brake fluid, blown fuse, low tire pressure, and ABS module damage. To turn off the ABS light, troubleshoot and fix these issues or disconnect the battery. You can also use an OBD-II scanner to clear codes and turn off the ABS light.
Driving while the ABS light is on is safe, provided the problem is ABS module or sensor-related because the ABS doesn’t affect regular brakes. If the problem is related to tire pressure or brake fluid, fix it before driving.