Owners of 2004-07 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey models with stability control systems may come into your shop with a complaint of premature system activations during normal driving.
Ford reports the activations usually will be of short duration, won't illuminate any warning lights and will not store any trouble codes in the ABS module.
A dirty or contaminated steering wheel angle (SWA) sensor or tone ring is the likely cause.
Replacing the SWA sensor and tone ring with updated parts from a new kit, part No. 7F2Z-3K519-A, should take care of the issue.
Here's how to go about it: Begin by centering the steering wheel. Now pull out the ignition key and rotate the steering wheel until the steering column locks.
Using the illustration, disconnect the SWA sensor connector, then remove the two retaining screws and the sensor from the steering column.
Continue the fix by removing the upper steering column-to-intermediate shaft bolt. Now remove the lower bearing spring followed by the tone ring.
To complete the repair, install the new tone ring and SWA sensor, then reverse the remainder of the removal procedure, tightening the intermediate shaft bolt to 22 ft.-lbs.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].