Missing ABS on Aerostar

I am the orignal owner of a 1995 Aerostar. Recently I had to make my first ever hard stop in the vehicle - the wheels locked up and the car skidded sideways off the roadway. Luckily no one was hurt.
However, I didn't think the ABS worked - and had my mechanic look. He informed me that there IS no ABS installed in my car - despite the fact one is supposed to be there (it's listed on my orignal invoice and is in the manual). Somehow he tripped a little light on the dash that wants me to check the ABS!
I know it's been nine years since I've had the car, but having paid for something that's missing, something I could have dearly used, I'm not real happy about what's happened. Any idea how I should approach Ford about this? I think what I want is the intallation of ABS due me.
Thanks,
Dave
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I would start by taking the car to the shop at the dealer. I would say that your ABS light is on, your mechanic says there is no ABS installed, and ask them to check it out. When they say you have no ABS, I would show them the invoice, and tell them that you expect either they install the ABS (which I doubt they can do) or they refund the money. (I doubt you can do better than get your money back, though.)
If you get no satisfaction, I would I ask to speak the shop manager. If you get no satisfaction, I would ask to speak with the factory rep. I would also write a letter to your state's attorney's general office as well as the National Transportation Safety Office (or whatever it is called).
Jeff

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Dave Wyman wrote:

No ABS - no ABS dash light. Something is fishy here. Whatever's going on, the VIN will tell the true story.
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FanJet wrote:

I did check the VIN - it just lists "hydraulic brakes" - but the manual states "your car is equipped with ABS" and the sticker on the window, which I still have, listed, among other features, "ABS."
Nine years after the fact, I suppose I'm silly to be upset - but when I finally needed the product, it wasn't there!
My only thought is perhaps one of my mechanics over the years pulled the devices. But I have no clue as to what they look like or how they are hooked up to the brakes; would a mechanic ever pull them for any reason?
Dave
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Dave Wyman wrote:

Highly doubtful. If the ABS was there and a mechanic at some point in the past decided to help himself to the components, then the moment the body module sensed missing wheel speed sensors or something else that made the ABS inoperative, you would likely have seen an ABS light on your dash. Unless he took the computer too, but then quite a few other things would stop working as well.

Well yeah, wheel speed sensors and such are items that break, so they are replaceable. But it would probably take quite a lot of modification for a car equipped with ABS to have the whole system go missing and not indicate something to that effect.
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On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 11:32:11 -0400, Isaiah Beard

The ABS on that Aerostar was single channel, rear wheel only. Not terribly usefull or effective in my experience, as on anything with a higher co-efficient of friction than wet ice you could not lock the wheels anyway. (with stock brakes) After installing carbon metallic pads I could actually stop the van in an acceptable difference. I think I had the ABS kick in half a dozen times in 200,000+ km of driving - including central Ontario winters.
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FanJet wrote:

Not always true. On quite a few car models, the dashboard light and indicator cutouts will be there for things like ABS and traction control, presumably so to simplify assembly and not have to stock different dashboard consoles for varying option packages. If the options aren't installed, then the lights just don't come on during use.
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Isaiah Beard wrote:

I think you'll find the bulbs/scockets aren't installed which accounts for them not coming on. If the light's on, it means the socket/bulb and the computer running it are installed which, in this case, means the car has ABS.
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I have a 95 Aerostar too. There isn't a 4 wheel ABS on them. There's a sensor that checks the rear brakes and pulses brake fluid pressure to them thereby not letting the rear brakes lock up. I get about 20,000 miles on my fronts and 150,000 miles on my rear brakes.
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Sans Nom wrote:
Right - I know it's only supposed to be on the rear - except in my case, it's not.
Dave

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Dave Wyman wrote:

Should be a simple check to verify that you have the ABS sensor in the rear axle housing. It is in the center pumpkin over the actual differential gears. It just screws in and should have wiring with a connector. If the sensor isn't there, and there isn't some sort of plug in the hole where it used to be, then you probably never had ABS.
Ed
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Dave Wyman wrote:

Having ABS listed in the owner guide is meaningless. If ABS was optional, it would still be in the guide. However, I am certain that rear wheel only ABS was standard on 1992 Ford Aerostars. Are you sure your mechanic didn't make a mistake? Maybe he was looking for 4 wheel ABS. The two wheel set-up is very simple by comparison to the 4 wheel type. Also, the Rear Wheel ABS won't stop the front brakes from locking up. If you lock those up you can easily skid straight off the road - or even go sideays depending on your actions and the camber of the road. What the RWABS does is keep the rear wheel from locking up. A rear wheel lock up usually results in a spin. Did you spin, or mostly go straight off the road (I am not sure what you mean by sideways). Many times the ABS light comes on becasue the fluid is low in the reservoir. However, once the light comes on, for whatever reason, the ABS is disabled.
Regards,
Ed White
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