How to Check the ABS on a 2000 Ford Ranger

by Lee Sallings

The anti-lock brakes system (ABS) on your 2000 Ford Ranger is designed to prevent wheel lock up during a panic stop so that the driver can maintain directional control and steer around an object. These systems are primarily designed for wet-weather conditions and have limited effect on dry or icy pavement. Troubleshooting these systems can be challenging due to the complexity of the computer control circuits. However, the most common cause of an ABS warning light it simply a dirty wheel speed sensor.

Step 1

Connect your scan tool to the diagnostic connector located under the driver side dash near the steering column. Turn the ignition key to the run position and turn on the scan tool. Select "ABS" from the menu, and then select Data from the following menu. This will list all of the sensors and outputs of the system. Test drive and monitor the wheel speed sensor outputs; they should be close to even, and change smoothly with an increase or decrease in speed. If a sensor is reading much higher, much lower or not at all, continue.

Step 2

Lift the Ranger using a floor jack and jack stands. Position the jack stands on the frame rails, and lower the vehicle onto them. Allowing the jack stands to support the weight of the vehicle prevents injury or damage caused by a floor jack failure.

Step 3

Remove the faulty wheel speed sensor. The front wheel speed sensors are located in the back side of the steering knuckle and the rear wheel speed sensor is located in the top center of the differential. Unplug the electrical connector. Use the 1/4-inch drive socket set to remove the 10mm retaining bolt, and twist while pulling to remove the sensor. Clean off any debris that has built up on the magnetic tip of the sensor. This debris is the most common cause of a sensor fault because it dampens the signal sent back to the on-board computer.

Step 4

Reinstall the sensors into the steering knuckle or differential, and lower the truck to the ground. Test drive and monitor the sensor signals with the scan tool. Replace any sensor that still shows a fault.

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