Ann, sometimes disconnecting the battery wil reset those fault indications. But you also need to discharge the memory holding capacitors, Switching on the headlights while the battery is disconnected and the ignition switch is on should do that. It works for some brands and model years and is cheap and easy to try.
Most cruise control systems disable when the brakes are applied. The brake switch input is pulled to ground through the brake lights, which act as a low resistance path to ground when the filaments are cold. Applying the brakes puts a 12 volt signal on this input. If the brake lights are open circuit (a/k/a burned out) the brake input may be pulled up to 12 volts internally in the cruise module. This is a safety feature that defaults the cruise to Off.
I completely agree with William about the useless of dealers, maybe even more so. I've got an air bag sensor light on my 1996 Nissan Sentra that's been flashing for about 10 years. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the airbag--it means I'm supposed to waste an entire day, and a lot of dollars, going to the nearest dealer for them to turn it off. An entire day because that's how long it takes to get there and back (I live in the mountains), and wait for them to get to me, and then wait for them to do something. I'm only surprised that the sensor has lasted this long.
Class ACT dealer mechanics are ASE idiots I can read the crap on the com puter but never learned mechanics. I spent 5 years to understand just a part a of what I know about repairing Aircraft, boats, cars, trucks, plumbing, and the rest of the world. ASE is crap..........find an old timer to fix your car.
That same red brake system failure light was also connected to the parking brake operator, and if the parking brake lever was not fully pused back into the released position then bumps would make the light flash. They were just too cheap to provide a secong light to warn about the parking brakes release lever.
Another thing that would cause the light to come on occasionally would be a very small air bubble in a caliper, which would heat up and expand and cause a pressure differential across the pressure differential sensor, lighting the light. The bubble could be small enough to just barely change the feel of the brakes, but it would remind one that brake bleeding time was here. Chrysler never had a brake fluid low warning light because they did not want folks to be alarmed about the possibility of losing brake fluid. That comes straight from the chief body electrical engineer, quite a few years back.
I had the same problem with my 2006 F-150 and after troubleshooting the system (it took some time and an unnecessary sensor replacement) we found out the following:
A) Almost always the antilock sensor (except if mishandled or destroyed) is seldom ever the culprit. This is a bullet proof part.
B) This malfunction usually appears when you change or replace the brake disk.
C) The disk has two removable parts: The Bearing and the Sensor Ring (usually a toothed pinion-like ring).
We found out that the when I purchased new disks, the sensor ring (which is not locked in place) was knocked out of position during shipping. Two things would happen: The check engine or brake light would come on and/or the antilock firing system was triggering when the brake was applied.
When you check the alignment of the Hall effect sensor ring with the wheel mounted, if the sensor ring is misaligned, a noticeable wobbling of the ring against the brake sensor will be observed when turning the wheel by hand (use a flashlight). The sensor ring and the sensor must never come into contact, but a small constant gap should be observed between the two parts.
This is the reason why Ford is not selling replacement parts for the disk assembly anymore and, if anything happens to the disk, bearing or ring, you have to purchase the complete disk assembly. Then again, even with a new disk assembly no one can warranty that the sensor ring is in alignment until you mount the new assembly and re-check the aligment of the sensor ring against the sensor after each repair or replacement.
The re-aligment procedure is fairly easy, check the opposite wheel (or consult the shop manual) ring-to-sensor gap and set the affected wheel ring to this tolerance. Don't forget to apply some thread lock or CA glue between the sensor ring and the disk brake housing to avoid future dislplacement
Good luck and may God have mercy on you all new F-150 owners.
dnason, NO, the brakes are the SECOND most important system in a car. Steering is more critical because it allows you to avoid hitting things most of the time. A car can be driven fairly well without brakes, but when the steering stops working then there is big trouble a lot quicker than when there are no brakes. I have had both kinds of failures and so I know this first hand.
The steering failure was not a loss of power assist, it was a sudden loss of the upper bearing in the steering box, resulting in an instant increase to four turns of the wheel backlash. The brakes failures were a bursting of the front brake hose, which even though Chrysler claimed they had independant brakes, front and rear, when the front brakes were failed there were no brakes at all. Thatb happened twice, left side one year and the right side a year later. Evidently 1982 was a bad year for Chrysler brake hoses.
I have to take exception to the last comment "I decided I can live with a red lamp in the lower left corner of the panel that comes and goes randomly."
There is a reason the light is red. The brake system is the single most important system in your vehicle. If you are learning to ignore the warning light then in the unlikely event the light comes on for a valid reason, it could be too late. If the vehicle is old enough to be found in a junkyard, you can probably find one for low cost. Less than 10 years old, I would suggest paying for the replacement or finding an aftermarket replacement.
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