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Traction Control on a 2002 Mustang GT, potential causes for it being seemingly disabled

1452 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  96Stang3R
A couple of weeks ago I suddenly noticed out of the blue that the indicator light for my tractioncontrol was on, indicating that T/C itself was switched off. Pressing the button does nothing to the indicator light, leaving it on. And it's been that way since then, with one notable exception.

One start I did notice the light was off (indicating the T/C was back on), and I was able to switch it off and on again with the switch. Once I'd driven home however I noticed the light was back on (indicating T/C was off again), and since then the light on the switch has always been on (indication T/C being off).

I have not specifically pushed the car to a point where I'm trying to forcefully engage the traction control, or even the ABS to verify if the system is operational and the indication on the dashbutton is just a false-flag. Might still do that.

Now I know that this does not indicate the car is undrivable (some of you would state it's the only way to drive (thus jokingly stating that nothing is actually broken, and this is the way it should be), or have it switched off via a tune or something by default). But since my car is not tuned, and while I don't need T/C to be operational to drive (it rarely kicks in whenever it's normally engaged), the fact that this indicates 'something' is seemingly broken irks me. And thus I'd like to inquire as to what might be potential causes.

Seeing the switch operated normally on one occurrance since it 'malfunctioned' I'm ruling out a fuse or something. Also this indicates the switch in the dashboard itself is fine.
Other threads on the T/C indicate it's closely related to the ABS system. If that had a fault I'd expect atleast one of two things:
  • An indication on the dash marking the ABS as faulty (which isn't lit, and the light is sound since I see it when engaging the contact prior to starting)
  • A code in the OBD2 system (which has NO codes, and no 'Service Engine Soon' indicator on the dash).

So the only thing I'm faced with is the lit light on the dashbutton indicating T/C is switched off. No codes, no other fault indications, and a fully drivable car. As stated, no forceful check done (yet) to verify the status of the T/C (or ABS).

So I'm curious if anyone has any idea where I might start to look for a potential fault.
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Thanks... Didn't read that thread yet, tho I did some digging before posting this. :oops:

So the ABS computer might develop a loose wire somewhere inside. Expensive fix in the US... Moreso if I have to get that shipped over to Europe... It's annoying but not to the point where I'm willing to toss over a 1000 dollars (shipping and taxes are murder on parts) on it to get it fixed.

And no, I don't plan on looking into fixing it myself:

Other fix might be the wheelsensors that might be faulty (but that would likely toss an indication on the dashboard), or ask the local Ford dealership (where the car is in maintenance) if they have a means to read/talk to the ABS computer (really hoping Ford used the same parts/computers for the European cars as they did for the US based vehicles there then).

I'm gathering the ABS computer doesn't pass it's codes to the OBD2 system.
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Went to the Ford dealership today. They got three of their testing computers out to see what they could find.

Two were duds... apparently they didn't play nice with the cars systems. The third seemed 'partially' successful seeing, it wasn't able to communicate with the whole of the system, but did manage to get in contact with the ABS module. No codes present in that one.

Based on that the dealership concluded the ABS unit is fine. Getting a replacement (even just to test) would be expensive as heck with shipping and importtaxes (not to mention the VAT of 21% going over that total!) included. As it's a rare car here, no real means to pull one from another Mustang just to test either. Dealership did indicate that they have an address for someone that might be able to refurbish those ABS units, tho it's still the question: is the ABS used in the 2002 GT one Ford also used in cars within Europe, or is it something specific to the US? Because if I decide to go that route, I'd rather also know if the refurbishing company has potentially actually seen one of those units from the USA, or if this is the first one...

Might have to test sometime to see if the ABS still works (according to the dealership it should), and if the T/C is actually active despite being indicated as being off. Unless anyone else has further ideas?

Like I said, car is perfectly drivable, so no real issue. Just that that extra light on the center console somewhat annoys me.
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