Ford Taurus/Sable 1996-1999 Repair Guide

General Information


See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: Anti-lock hydraulic system schematic

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Fig. Fig. 2: Anti-lock brake system component locations

The 4-Wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) is an electronically operated, all wheel brake control system. Major components include the vacuum power brake booster, master cylinder, the wheel speed sensors, and the Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU) which contains the control module, a relay, and the pressure control valves.

The system is designed to retard wheel lockup during periods of high wheel slip when braking. Retarding wheel lockup is accomplished by modulating fluid pressure to the wheel brake units. When the control module detects a variation in voltage across the wheel speed sensors, the ABS is activated. The control module opens and closes various valves located inside the HCU. These valves, called dump and isolation valves, modulate the hydraulic pressure to the wheels by applying and venting the pressure to the brake fluid circuits.


Certain components within the ABS system are not intended to be serviced or repaired individually.
Do not use rubber hoses or other parts not specifically specified for and ABS system. When using repair kits, replace all parts included in the kit. Partial or incorrect repair may lead to functional problems and require the replacement of components.
Lubricate rubber parts with clean, fresh brake fluid to ease assembly. Do not use shop air to clean parts; damage to rubber components may result.
Use only DOT 3 brake fluid from an unopened container.
If any hydraulic component or line is removed or replaced, it may be necessary to bleed the entire system.
A clean repair area is essential. Always clean the reservoir and cap thoroughly before removing the cap. The slightest amount of dirt in the fluid may plug an orifice and impair the system function. Perform repairs after components have been thoroughly cleaned; use only denatured alcohol to clean components. Do not allow ABS components to come into contact with any substance containing mineral oil; this includes used shop rags.
The Anti-Lock control unit is a microprocessor similar to other computer units in the vehicle. Ensure that the ignition switch is OFF before removing or installing controller harnesses. Avoid static electricity discharge at or near the controller.
If any arc welding is to be done on the vehicle, the control unit should be unplugged before welding operations begin.


See Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6

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Fig. Fig. 3: Anti-lock brake system trouble codes

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Fig. Fig. 4: Anti-lock brake system trouble codes-continued

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Fig. Fig. 5: Anti-lock brake system parameter identification

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Fig. Fig. 6: Anti-lock brake system parameter identification-continued

The ABS module performs system tests and self-tests during startup and normal operation. The valves, wheel sensors and fluid level circuits are monitored for proper operation. If a fault is found, the ABS will be deactivated and the amber ANTI LOCK light will be lit until the ignition is turned OFF. When the light is lit, the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) may be obtained. Under normal operation, the light will stay on for about 2 seconds while the ignition switch is in the ON position and will go out shortly after.

The Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) are an alphanumeric code and a scan tool, such as Rotunda NGS Tester 007-00500 or its equivalent, is required to retrieve the codes. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for operating the tool and retrieving the codes.

The data link connector (DLC) for the ABS is the OBDII connector located under the driver's side of the instrument panel, underneath the steering column.