brakes FORD THUNDERBIRD 2002 11.G Owners Manual
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Seating and safety restraints 95
Safety restraints 99
Air bags 109
Child restraints 122
Traction control 138
Transmission operation 140
Vehicle loading 146
Trailer towing 148
Recreational towing 152
Roadside emergencies 153
Hazard flasher switch 154
Fuses and relays 156
Changing tires 164
Jump starting 169
Wrecker towing 176
Customer assistance 177
The dispute settlement board 180
Utilizing the mediation/arbitration 183
Getting assistance outside the U.S. and Canada 183
Ordering additional owner's literature 184
Reporting safety defects (U.S. only) 186
Cleaning your vehicle 187
Underbody preservation 192
Table of contents
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Brake system warning
Illuminates if the parking brake is
engaged. Also momentarily
illuminates at start up to ensure the
circuit is functional. If the brake
warning lamp does not illuminate at
these times, or illuminates after releasing the parking brake, seek service
immediately. Refer toBrakesin theDrivingchapter for more
Anti-lock brake system (ABS)
Momentarily illuminates at start up
to ensure the circuit is functional. If
the light does not illuminate,
remains on or continues to flash, the
ABS needs to be serviced (refer to
Brakesin theDrivingchapter for more information). With the ABS light
on, the ABS is disabled and normal braking is still functional.
Transmission PRNDL indicator
Displays the gearshift positions. If
an ªEº character is displayed or
flashing, this indicates a
transmission malfunction, contact
your dealer immediately. Operating
the transmission with the ªEº character illuminated may cause additional
damage to the transmission.
Air bag readiness
Illuminates to confirm that the air
bags (front and side) are
operational. If the light fails to
illuminate, continues to flash or
remains on, have the system
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To turn speed control off
²Press OFF or
²Turn off the vehicle ignition.
Once speed control is switched off,
the previously programmed set
speed will be erased.
To set a speed
²Press SET+ / SETþ. For speed
control to operate, the speed
control must be ON and the
vehicle speed must be greater
than 48 km/h (30 mph).
If you drive up or down a steep hill, your vehicle speed may vary
momentarily slower or faster than the set speed. This is normal.
Speed control cannot reduce the vehicle speed if it increases above the
set speed on a downhill. If your vehicle speed is faster than the set
speed while driving on a downhill, you may want to shift to the next
lower gear or apply the brakes to reduce your vehicle speed.
If your vehicle slows down more than 16 km/h (10 mph) below your set
speed on an uphill, your speed control will disengage. This is normal.
Pressing RES will re-engage it.
Do not use the speed control in heavy traffic or on roads that
are winding, slippery, or unpaved.
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²This seat belt system has a retractor assembly that is designed to pay
out webbing in a controlled manner. This feature is designed to help
reduce the belt force acting on the occupant's chest.
After any vehicle collision, the seat belt system at all passenger
seating positions must be checked by a qualified technician to
verify that the ªautomatic locking retractorº feature for child seats is
still functioning properly. In addition, all seat belts should be checked
for proper function.
BELT AND RETRACTOR ASSEMBLY MUST BE REPLACED if
the seat belt assembly ªautomatic locking retractorº feature or
any other seat belt function is not operating properly when checked
according to the procedures in Workshop Manual.
Failure to replace the Belt and Retractor assembly could
increase the risk of injury in collisions.
Vehicle sensitive mode
The safety restraints in the vehicle are combination lap and shoulder
belts. The safety belts have two types of locking modes described below.
The vehicle sensitive mode is the normal retractor mode, allowing free
shoulder belt length adjustment to your movements and locking in
response to vehicle movement. For example, if the driver brakes
suddenly or turns a corner sharply, or the vehicle receives an impact of
approximately 8 km/h (5 mph) or more, the combination safety belts will
lock to help reduce forward movement of the driver and passengers.
Seating and safety restraints
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WARNING:Engine exhaust, some of its constituents, and
certain vehicle components contain or emit chemicals known to
the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other
reproductive harm. In addition, certain fluids contained in vehicles and
certain products of component wear contain or emit chemicals known
to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other
Important ventilating information
If the engine is idling while the vehicle is stopped in an open area for
long periods of time, open the windows at least 2.5 cm (one inch).
Adjust the heating or air conditioning (if equipped) to bring in fresh air.
Improve vehicle ventilation by keeping all air inlet vents clear of snow,
leaves and other debris.
Your service brakes are self-adjusting. Refer to the scheduled
maintenance guide for scheduled maintenance.
Occasional brake noise is normal and often does not indicate a
performance concern with the vehicle's brake system. In normal
operation, automotive brake systems may emit occasional or intermittent
squeal or groan noises when the brakes are applied. Such noises are
usually heard during the first few brake applications in the morning;
however, they may be heard at any time while braking and can be
aggravated by environmental conditions such as cold, heat, moisture,
road dust, salt or mud. If a ªmetal-to-metal,º ªcontinuous grindingº or
ªcontinuous squealº sound is present while braking, the brake linings
may be worn-out and should be inspected by a qualified service
Anti-lock brake system (ABS)
On vehicles equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), a noise
from the hydraulic pump motor and pulsation in the pedal may be
observed during ABS braking events. Pedal pulsation coupled with noise
while braking under panic conditions or on loose gravel, bumps, wet or
snowy roads is normal and indicates proper functioning of the vehicle's
anti-lock brake system. The ABS performs a self-check after you start
the engine and begin to drive away. A brief mechanical noise may be
heard during this test. This is normal. If a malfunction is found, the ABS
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warning light will come on. If the vehicle has continuous vibration or
shudder in the steering wheel while braking, the vehicle should be
inspected by a qualified service technician.
The ABS operates by detecting the
onset of wheel lockup during brake
applications and compensates for
this tendency. The wheels are
prevented from locking even when
the brakes are firmly applied. The
accompanying illustration depicts
the advantage of an ABS equipped
vehicle (on bottom) to a non-ABS
equipped vehicle (on top) during hard braking with loss of front braking
ABS warning lampABS
TheABSwarning lamp in the instrument cluster momentarily illuminates
when the ignition is turned to the RUN position. If the light does not
illuminate momentarily at start up, remains on or continues to flash, the
ABS needs to be serviced.
With the ABS light on, the anti-lock
brake system is disabled and normal
braking is still effective unless the
brake warning light also remains
illuminated with parking brake
released. (If your brake warning lamp illuminates, have your vehicle
²In an emergency or when maximum efficiency from the four-wheel
ABS is required, apply continuous force on the brake. The four wheel
ABS will be activated immediately, thus allowing you to retain full
steering control of your vehicle and, providing there is sufficient
space, will enable you to avoid obstacles and bring the vehicle to a
²The anti-lock system does not decrease the time necessary to apply
the brakes or always reduce stopping distance. Always leave enough
room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to stop.
²We recommend that you familiarize yourself with this braking
technique. However, avoid taking any unnecessary risks.
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Apply the parking brake whenever
the vehicle is parked. To set the
parking brake, apply the brake pedal
and pull the handle up as far as
The BRAKE warning lamp in the
instrument cluster illuminates and
remains illuminated (when the
ignition is turned to to the RUN
position) until the parking brake is
The parking brake is not recommended to stop a moving vehicle.
However, if the normal brakes fail, the parking brake can be used to stop
your vehicle in an emergency. Since the parking brake applies only the
rear brakes, the vehicle's stopping distance will increase greatly and the
handling of your vehicle will be adversely affected.
Always set the parking brake fully and make sure that the
gearshift is securely latched in P (Park).
Your brake handle may need to be
pulled up slightly to release
pressure before pushing in the
Push the button on the end of the
parking brake and push the handle
down as far as possible to release
the brake. Driving with the parking
brake on will cause the brakes to
wear out quickly and reduce fuel economy.
TRACTION CONTROLY(IF EQUIPPED)
The Traction Controlysystem helps maintain the stability and
steerability of your vehicle. It is especially useful on slippery and/or hilly
road surfaces. The system operates at all speeds by detecting and
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controlling wheel spin. The system borrows many of the electronic and
mechanical elements already present in the anti-lock braking system
Wheel-speed sensors allow excess rear wheel spin to be detected by the
Traction Controlyportion of the ABS computer. Any excessive wheel
spin is controlled by automatically applying and releasing the rear brakes
in conjunction with engine torque reductions. Engine torque reduction is
realized via the fully electronic spark and fuel injection systems. This
process is very sensitive to driving conditions and very fast acting. The
rear wheels ªsearchº for optimum traction several times a second and
adjustments are made accordingly.
The Traction Controlysystem will allow your vehicle to make better use
of available traction on slippery surfaces. The system is a driver aid
which makes your vehicle easier to handle primarily on snow and ice
covered roads. This is especially evident if wheel spin-up should occur
During Traction Controlyoperation you may hear an electric motor type
of sound coming from the engine compartment and the engine will not
ªrev-upº when you push further on the accelerator. This is normal
If you should become stuck in snow
or on a very slippery road surface,
try switching the Traction Controly
system off using the traction control
switch located on the left-hand side
of the instrument panel. This may
allow excess wheel spin to ªdigº the
vehicle out or enable a successful
If the Traction Controlysystem is
cycled excessively, the brake portion
of the system will shut down to prevent the rear brakes from
overheating. A limited Traction Controlyfunction using only engine
torque reduction will still help control wheels from over-spinning. When
the rear brakes have cooled down, the system will again function
normally. Anti-lock braking is not affected by this condition and will
function normally during the cool down period.
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If you cannot move the gearshift lever out of P (Park) with ignition in
the RUN position and the brake pedal depressed:
1. Apply the parking brake, turn ignition key to LOCK, then remove the
2. Insert the key and turn it to OFF. Apply the brake pedal and shift to N
(Neutral).This allows the automatic transmission shift lever to be
moved from the P (Park) position without the brake pedal
3. Start the vehicle.
If it is necessary to use the above procedure to move the gearshift lever,
it is possible that a fuse has blown or the vehicle's brakelamps are not
operating properly. Refer toFuses and relaysin theRoadside
Do not drive your vehicle until you verify that the brakelamps
If your vehicle gets stuck in mud or snow it may be rocked out by
shifting from forward and reverse gears, stopping between shifts, in a
steady pattern. Press lightly on the accelerator in each gear.
Do not rock the vehicle if the engine is not at normal operating
temperature or damage to the transmission may occur.
Do not rock the vehicle for more than a few minutes or damage to
the transmission and tires may occur or the engine may overheat.
Always set the parking brake fully and make sure the gearshift is
latched in P (Park). Turn off the ignition whenever you leave
If the parking brake is fully released, but the brake warning lamp
remains illuminated, the brakes may not be working properly.
See your dealer or a qualified service technician.
Driving with a 5±speed automatic transmission
Your automatic transmission electronically controls the shift feel by using
an adaptive learning strategy. This feature is designed to increase
durability, and provide consistent shift feel over the life of the vehicle. It
is normal for a new transmission to shift firmly. This operation is
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Use 1 (Low) to provide maximum
engine braking on steep
Upshifts can be made by shifting to
2 (Second), 3 (Third), 4 (Drive) or
5 (Overdrive). Selecting 1 (Low) at
higher speeds causes the
transmission to shift to a lower gear,
and will shift to 1 (Low) after
vehicle decelerates to the proper
DRIVING THROUGH WATER
Do not drive quickly through standing water, especially if the depth is
unknown. Traction or brake capability may be limited and if the ignition
system gets wet, your engine may stall. Water may also enter your
engine's air intake and severely damage your engine.
If driving through deep or standing water is unavoidable, proceed very
slowly. Never drive through water that is higher than the bottom of the
hubs (for trucks) or the bottom of the wheel rims (for cars).
Once through the water, always try the brakes. Wet brakes do not stop
the vehicle as effectively as dry brakes. Drying can be improved by
moving your vehicle slowly while applying light pressure on the brake
Driving through deep water where the transmission vent tube is
submerged may allow water into the transmission and cause
internal transmission damage.
Before loading a vehicle, familiarize yourself with the following terms:
²Base Curb Weight:Weight of the vehicle including any standard
equipment, fluids, lubricants, etc. It does not include occupants or