ABS light flashing when truck is off but key in run position. - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:58 AM
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ABS light flashing when truck is off but key in run position.

I'm going to give as much info as I can so please bare with me. I like when others give an in depth description of their problem.

96' F250 manual 4X4.

Earlier this week I got stopped by my local police officer because of no tail lights.
I was on my way to work, in the dark, so he told me to just use my hazard lights, so I did. Nice officer.
I had same issue when I first bought this truck a few years ago. I checked out the wiring at the rear and found some badly nicked wiring. I did a quick splice job and it fixed the problem.

Fast forward to this week.

I get home and start looking at the wiring again and see nothing different from before.
I pulled the connectors and inspected them for corrosion and dirt.
Put everything back together and tested. Tail lights still don't come on and the ABS light is flashing. At some point during the test while checking the brakes I noticed that as soon as I pressed the pedal that the brake lights came on (as usual) for just a second and then went off. Blown fuse I'm thinking. My hazard lights had also been working but after this they were also gone. I didn't pay a lot of attention to it at that time. One problem at a time.

I figured I'll just go to my local yard and get another harness to splice into mine. I got one from a 95' f150 gasser. I cut off the rear connector with about two feet of the wiring, just to give me plenty to work with. I also took all the rest of the wiring all the way to the rear light assemblies along with the trailer hook-up.

The wiring was wire for wire and color for color to my existing except for one extra "solid green" wire already on my truck (the previous connector). I traced this wire through the connectors and found that it was not connected to anything and from the looks of it, it hadn't been.

Now to the real issue.
I got everything spliced in and now I have tail lights but now I have the problem with no brake lights and a flashing ABS light. 15 flashes then the long flash. My Chilton's manual says memory fault or something like that.
This is the thing. The light only comes on when I press the brake pedal or turn on the hazard lights with the key in the run position.
I've read a lot about the ABS sensor at the rear dif. From what I understand it reads ticks from the wheel or disk from inside. I'm guessing this only works when the rear is turning? If so, it must be caused from something else.

Please ask questions. I need some help.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:05 AM
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Forgot to mention that I found an open fuse (25A) under the hood though I don't know what this one is protecting. I think it was the only (25A) in there.
Replaced it before the last test then tested then checked the fuse again and it was fine.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:30 AM
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Check the center stop light in the cab roof.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:11 AM
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I was able to get some bulbs over the weekend so I replaced the center cab brake light. Unfortunately this did not fix the problem What could be causing the ABS light to blink 15 times with the key in the on position but not started?
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:17 AM
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I've read several times about people pulling the codes for their ABS light coming on by grounding a wire at a certain connector. My ABS flashes as soon as I press the brake pedal.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:24 PM
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From the factory service manual:

Quote:
System Pre-Check Test C, Yellow REAR ABS Light Self-Check OK, but Light Automatically Begins Flashing

Description
The RABS II warning light will automatically begin a flash-out sequence if the diagnostic line Circuit 571 or 483 is shorted to ground. This will result in a blown fuse for the Keep Alive Memory Power for the RABS II Module. An open Keep Alive Memory (KAM) fuse is the most likely cause of a grounded diagnostic connector.

Possible Contributing Base Brake Component/Vehicle Wiring Concerns
Intermittent RABS II module power circuit
Intermittent RABS II module ground circuit
Intermittent RABS II light circuit
Blown Keep Alive Memory fuse

C1 - Observe REAR ABS Light for Flash Sequence
Observe REAR ABS light and determine if the flashing is a diagnostic trouble code (one or more short pulses followed by one long pulse). Is the flash sequence a diagnostic trouble code?

Yes: Inspect Circuit 571 (BK/O) and 483 (R) for short to ground. Repair circuit and replace RABS KAM fuse (see Owner's Manual). Repeat System Pre-Check.

No: Go to C2.
This sounds like your problem. The 15 short flashes an the one long flash is a code of 16. Here's the pinpoint test for Code 16:

Quote:
Description
Code 16 is always present, unless a system concern has been detected and a diagnostic trouble code has been stored. This code should be used by the technician to verify the RABS II system is OK.

Code 16 will be output by the anti-lock electronic control unit when one of two conditions exist:

1. The technician ground Circuit 571 (BK/O).
2. The RABS II Keep Alive Memory (KAM) fuse has blown.

If the KAM fuse has blown, the REAR ABS warning light will begin flashing Code 16 (or a diagnostic trouble code if a concern has been detected) if the stoplight switch is depressed (F-Series), or the running lamps are turned on (Econoline).

Therefore, check the KAM fuse when diagnosing complaints of RAER ABS light flashing.
There is also drive test for code 16 (I can post if needed, but it would take me a bit to copy out of the manual) that is done after system repair (usually done for other trouble codes). Hope this helps. Forgot to mention that Circuit 571 is the BK/O wire from the RABS II Module connector to the diagnostic connector. Circuit 483 is the R wire from the other side of the diagnostic connector to the KAM fuse. Cheers!

Last edited by Patrick Feeley; 05-06-2013 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Added wiring description.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:24 AM
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I found the problem. It's a bit embarrassing. A bad fuse. When I say a bad fuse I don't mean a completely blown fuse. The top horizontal 15 amp fuse in the fuse box under the dash was mostly open. I know, that sounds impossible. It is either open or closed. I agree. This fuse would check good with my fluke dmm in the socket. I was using the tone function. I tested it several times and noticed that the tone would break up or not stay constant. I thought, now that is a little weird. I pulled it, looked at it very closely and noticed a small amount of carbon between the open portion of the wire. I guess it was just enough to check good with the dmm while in the socket (top contacts) but not out of the socket (spades). My best guess it that while I was pushing lightly on the top contacts it was just enough to cause the carbon to move slightly and make contact.

Lesson learned. Pull the fuse when checking.

Thanks for all of the help. You guys are good to take time to help others.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:37 AM
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Wire is typically found here behind the glove box:

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