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Monroeville, PA

[Help] 2001 Ford Focus ZTS Traction Light Comes On

Hi All,

I bought this car back in January of this year with 30k miles on it for $3500. It needed about $1000 worth of work just from sitting (Grandma type driver who moved into a home), but it has been reliable since.

Over the summer, whenever it would be driven in hard rain for 20-30 mins, the traction control light would come on. This means that the traction system is disabled. Turning the car off and on reset it and it worked again.

Fast forward to last week with Sandy's rain. It was driven all week in wet roads (never pooling water though) and after 20-30 mins, the traction control would come on. However, after it dried up this weekend and I drove another 150 miles home on the highway which was bone dry. After 20 mins, the traction light came on again. Same thing this morning during rush hour, no water, light on. Every time I restart the car, it goes away.

Any idea on how to fix this? I am pretty comfortable doing my own work.

Go Colts
Fort Wayne, IN
My guess is the wheel speed sensor at one or more of the wheels is bad. I can't speak specifically for your vehicle, but on many vehicles their is a gear on or in the hub that passes nearby a magnetic sensor. If the teeth have become rusty or contaminated, then the wheel speed can't be accurately detected. To prevent the system always trying to correct a problem that doesn't exist and causing additional wear or other issues, it shuts down the TCS.

Monroeville, PA
reply to Gordo74
So how would one diagnose this? Would there be a code associated?

Would the whole hub need replaced or just the sensor?

Maryville, TN
If the TCS light is on, there should be a stored DTC. If you don't have a scan tool capable of reading the ABS module (and assuming there's no manual code reading capability), the best way to move on would be take it to a shop to at least have the codes read.

Premium,ExMod 2000-03
NW Illinois
reply to Gordo74

The wiring harness to the individual sensors is also a source of water intrusion. A noted, it can be easily determined by a proper diagnosis at a shop equipped with the needed scan-tool.