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2004 Tdci Focus Abs & Traction Control

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I wanted to share this with fellow diy'ers as I found limited info to help fix my

ford focus 2004 1.8 tdci ABS system,

While changing the clutch on my focus I was unable to part the n/side abs sensor plug

under the wheel-arch so I ended up giving it a pull & ripped the plug apart,

because of the damage to the plug I also thought I’d better get a new abs wheel

sensor for the nearside as this would solve the ripped plug issue, after

telephoning around I got a new one from GFS auto parts for £43,

after re-building the car & fitting the new sensor I started the car & the clutch worked fine but

the abs light wouldn’t go out , I have bought a fault code reader & the

fault it showed was n/side front circuit failure which would not clear even

though I had just fitted the new abs sensor,

At the time I was not aware that the front sensors are interchangeable & had no issues before I started the work on

the system so I thought I must have damaged the wiring loom plug end,

I got a new set of wires & plug from the scrap yard from a another focus

diesel & graphed them into the wiring loom, after checking again with my

code reader still the abs lights stayed on, at this point I needed to get the

car MOT’ed so thought it better to let my local FORD stealer put it on their

diagnostic tool & help clear the fault & MOT the car,

FORD told me that they couldn’t clear the fault from the ABS module & that they

were getting little info back from the nearside sensor, I explained that it was

a new sensor bought from GFS , FORD at this point asked me if I had fitted a

new wheel bearing, I told them no , it was the original wheel bearing, FORD

also mentioned that they had checked the wiring out that I had graphed into the

plug & that it seemed to be ok, then they told me I must have shorted the

wiring out when I ripped the plug apart & that the abs module was damaged

& they wanted £1500 to fit a new one,

as you imagine the car isn’t worth that now & I was pretty !Removed!

that I had damaged this & had to take their word for it,

Something didn’t seem correct & I had no way of challenging this!

FORD has all the information & tools for the system after all!

So I took my car home after parting with £150 for fault finding I removed the abs


I found a company online called ECU testing & called them to arrange sending

my abs module to them to check to find what was damaged & replace the parts

& then send it back to me as they had what seemed a good turn around

service of a few days & they could do this for about £200, they phoned me

to explain that they had checked my abs unit & the fault was not in the abs module

& that they had no problems clearing the codes from the unit, they sent the

unit back to me for £75 & before it arrived I got on the phone to FORD

explaining that I was not happy with what they had said & that they need to

train their staff better to use the equipment that they use,

I refitted the abs module to my car & turned the key & got the same

problem code up again, at this point now I was starting to get doubts about who

was correct so I looked on eBay & found another abs module for £40, when it

came I fitted it to the car & turned the key & got exactly the same

fault code, at this point I found out from looking on eBay for a new front abs

sensor that they were interchangeable & I could have got one for about £15,

I took the new nearside sensor off the car & put my meter on it, got 22.5m

ohms & then got the driver’s side off & got 17.5 m ohm’s , this was where

I noticed something different between the two front sensors, the new sensor

when I tested it by reversing the polarity on my meter gave me an intermittent

reading on the ohm’s scale, on the original sensor when I reversed the polarity

to get a reading I got nothing, I realised at this point that there must be a

diode in the original sensor & that the sensor I bought from GFS must be an

incorrect sensor for my car,

At this point I decided to go to FORD & buy a new sensor for £97, put it on

the car & hey presto the abs light went out & the fault code cleared

with my code reader,

Only by finding out on the internet that the sensors are interchangeable enabled me

to realise both front sensors should have been 17.5 m ohm’s because that was

the reading I got from the new sensor I bought from FORD,

How the hell did BUSSEY’s not spot this? These guys are meant to be the experts?

As for GFS, well I believe they gave me what they thought was correct but it

caused me a !Removed! nightmare all because FORD withhold information about the


Also ECU testing proved to be correct as the fault was not with the old unit so full

credit to them,

Not impressed with BUSSEY’s think they need better training as they would have

quite happily charged me £1500 for work that never needed doing!

moan over & as I stated i've only posted this so it might help others struggling with the abs system.

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Hi I've worked with machines for a long time now and never assume a new part is either :

the right part

or that it works

This is a good post to show this up and to show how easy the so called experts get dragged into this trap, I m glad your car is sorted now, but sorry it took so long, the frustration caused by the experts and the expense.

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I have learned something from you, on that I didnt realise the sensors were behaving in that way, I was tempted to replace the ABS sensor on my Offside Front. I was looking at one on euro car parts, and I am glad I didnt do it, I took it to Ford and it was fixed rather quickly and for not much over £50. For me it was the loom, but your post shows some interesting points.

I would challenge ford, and request a refund, and also I would challenge a refund for the ECU test that was performed on the ABS. Their diagnosis was incorrect and way off the mark.

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thanks for your replies and hope the post helps ,


i,ve just reread your post , seems you are meaning to challenge ford about the service, yes i phoned them & got the answer phone treatment 3 times, i guess a letter or email or visit will be my next move.

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I think both, I would also complain to head office, state the cost you have suffered as a result of their misadvice, and see if you can get them on your side to argue your case with the dealer.

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I wrote to them, they have replied & returned £75 of the money i paid, they have also offered me a free MOT anytime within the next year, I took my abs module to them along with the nearside sensor & they confirmed what i had told them so they did at least stay honest even though they were unable to fault find initially,

lessons learnt all round i guess.

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