Have you ever encountered a Ford problem when far away from a mechanic shop? If yes, then you know how it usually feels. It drains all your energy and even ruins your beautiful day. It should be noted that such issues typically occur after you have received a particular code. That is why knowing what each code means in your Ford is vital. The most severe codes are generally those related to the braking system and the engine. Therefore, codes that indicate a problem with any of those areas should be fixed as soon as possible. An example of such code is B1676, which we will discuss in detail below.
Meaning of code B1676
Code B1676 is a braking system code. It means “Battery Out of Voltage Range. The anti-lock braking system (ABS) needs a constant voltage to function. The battery supplies this voltage via cables. If the voltage exceeds the maximum or goes below the minimum allowed value, components such as the traction control, stability control, electronic brake distribution system, etc., will malfunction. The Power Control Module (PCM) will detect such deviation, and code B1676 will be shown in the OBD II system. In most cases, a deviation in the voltage received by the ABS is usually caused by faulty wirings or problems with the ABS, not a faulty battery.
Symptoms of code B1676
1. Check engine light will come on
If code B1676 is caused by faulty wiring, the check engine light will come on. However, this is not usually the case as the ABS has its light which indicates a problem.
2. Illuminated ABS light
Code B1676 is usually accompanied by an ABS light that comes on. Unlike the check engine light, the ABS light is the most reliable when diagnosing a problem with the ABS. Therefore, you should pay close attention to it when you suspect an issue with the ABS.
3. Disabled safety systems
As already mentioned, if the battery voltage goes out of range in the ABS, safety components such as traction control, stability control, and the electronic brake distribution system will not work. So, pay attention to the performance of these components when you suspect there is code B1676.
4. Malfunctioned ABS braking functionality
When code B1676 is present, the ABS braking functionality will disappear. However, normal braking will work.
Causes of code B1676
The following are the primary causes of code B1676.
1. Blown ABS Fuse
There is a fuse in the ABS which protects it from excess voltage. If the voltage from the battery exceeds the required amount, the fuse will blow up to safeguard the ABS. Aside from excess voltage, other things, such as excess heat or vibrations, can damage the fuse. A faulty fuse will make the circuit incomplete resulting in code B1676 being produced in the OBD II system.
2. Bad wiring connection
As mentioned, there are wires which supply the ABS with the required voltage. If these cables get damaged, they will not function well. The wires can go bad in many ways. For instance, they will be shorted if they get exposed to water. Also, they might get damaged if they pass through a section in your Ford with sharp objects. Nevertheless, if you recently took the car to a mechanic shop, the attendant may have wired them wrongly.
3. Malfunctioned ABS module
The ABS module controls everything in the ABS. For instance, it controls the wheel speed, braking effort, braking fluid level, etc. This module has an electric circuit that can get shorted. A shorted ABS module will not function. This will result in code B1676 being relayed by the PCM. Like the cables, the ABS module can get defective due to exposure to water or physical damage.
4. Faulty ABS Sensors
ABS sensors relay information about the ABS to the PCM. The wrong information will be sent to the PCM if they get damaged. For instance, the sensors could indicate that the ABS voltage has gone below the required level, yet it’s not true. This will result in code B1676 being produced in your Ford vehicle. Water, debris, and excess heat can harm the ABS sensors.
5. Defective ABS Pump
Your Ford’s ABS has a pump that regulates its hydraulic pressure once the valves are released. This Pump relies on voltage from the ABS module. The standard ABS Pump voltage normally ranges between 1.5 and 5 volts. Any deviation from this will result in code B1676 being thrown. For instance, if the voltage exceeds 5 volts, the ABS module will be deprived of the optimal voltage it needs to perform other duties.
6. Clogged hydraulic valves
The hydraulic valves play a vital role in the ABS. They are responsible for diverting the hydraulic fluid to an area of low pressure, preventing skidding. An Extra voltage will be needed to make the valves work if they get clogged. The hydraulic valves can get clogged if the hydraulic fluid is contaminated by dust or debris.
7. Malfunctioned PCM
Even though it is hard for the PCM to malfunction, it shouldn’t be ruled out as a possible cause of code B1676. This is because the PCM can temporarily fail due to bugs. A lousy PCM will fail to analyze the information sent by the sensors correctly. For instance, it could incorrectly indicate the ABS voltage is below the optimal level. Therefore, if you get code B1676, you should not forget to examine the PCM.
Can you drive with code B1676?
Since an issue with the ABS does not affect the normal braking, you can safely drive your Ford. However, if you are used to driving the car in areas that necessitate emergency braking, you should fix the issue as soon as possible. Below are the things you can do to resolve it.
1. Check and replace the fuse
There will be a metallic smear on the glass that houses the ABS fuse when the fuse is blown. Similarly, a blown fuse will have a gap. But if manually diagnosing it becomes hard, try using a multimeter. A damaged ABS fuse will not allow voltage to pass through it; hence there will be no recording on the multimeter. Unfortunately, it is impossible to repair a faulty ABS fuse. Hence the only option available is to replace it to get rid of code B1676.
2. Examine the wires and replace them if they are damaged
If the fuse is okay, check the cables supplying the voltage for any mishap. The process may be tiresome; hence you may need a multimeter. When the wires are damaged, the multimeter will not display any voltage reading. Sometimes the multimeter displays a voltage that is below the optimal level. This happens when the cables are partially damaged. However, the wires should be replaced in both cases to eradicate code B1676 fully.
3. Fix the ABS Module
When the ABS module goes bad, you will get most of the above symptoms. Luckily, it’s possible to repair a bad ABS module, saving you the cost of installing a new one. However, ABS module repair requires some technical know-how and tools which you may not have. Therefore, you may want to take your Ford vehicle to a specialist when you suspect the ABS module is defective.
4. Replace the ABS Sensors
If the above components are fine, proceed to check the condition of the ABS sensor. You can diagnose a faulty ABS sensor using a multimeter. You only need to connect the sensor to the multimeter and set the multimeter to read AC. If the multimeter reads less than 200 millivolts when the wheel is spinning, you have a lousy ABS sensor. The bad news is that replacement is the only option available for a bad ABS sensor.
5. Replace the ABS Pump
A bad ABS Pump cannot be repaired; hence you need to replace it to get rid of code B1676. Unfortunately, the procedure requires technical knowledge as it involves separating the ABS Pump from the ABS module. As such, even amateur mechanics may not be in a position to do it. This means you should take your Ford to a high-end mechanic shop to fix the problem.
6. Unclog the hydraulic valves
You will have to dismantle the hydraulic valve to check if it’s clogged. If you observe some dirt when dismantling it, the hydraulic valve is clogged. You will eliminate what is blocking the hydraulic valves by flushing them with a low-viscosity fluid.
7. Reboot the PCM
If you still get the code after running all the above diagnostics and fixing the affected part, the issue may be the PCM. Fortunately, rebooting the PCM will eliminate most of the bugs. However, sometimes the PCM is damaged and needs to be replaced. This rarely happens; hence you shouldn’t worry much about it.
Code B1676 does not usually mean the voltage in the ABS is below the required level but that there is a problem with the ABS components. These problems include a blown ABS fuse, lousy wiring, malfunctioned PCM, defective ABS Pump, clogged hydraulic valves, etc. When you get code B1676, you will notice symptoms such as an illuminated check engine and ABS light, malfunctioned ABS functionality, and disabled safety measures such as traction control and stability control. Thankfully, you will eliminate code B1676 in your Ford vehicle by repairing or replacing the affected parts.