Service AdvanceTrac warning meaning causes fixes will help car owners who face this problem finally have a list of solutions.
A malfunctioning AdvanceTrac system usually turns on the “service AdvanceTrac” warning light on the dashboard. In this guide, our car team will explain the causes and solutions to this issue.
- 1 What Are Possible Reasons for the Service AdvanceTrac Warning?
- 1.1 – Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor
- 1.2 – Defective Sensor Wiring
- 1.3 – Damaged Fuse
- 1.4 – Broken Clock Spring
- 1.5 – Defective Steering Angle Sensor
- 1.6 – Incompatible Tires
- 1.7 – Rusted Battery Terminals
- 1.8 – Accumulation of Dirt and Debris
- 1.9 – Reduced Tire Pressure
- 1.10 – Limp Mode
- 1.11 Switched off Traction Control (TC)
- 1.12 – Reduced Battery Voltage Level
- 1.13 – Breakdown of ABS Module
- 1.14 – Insufficient Brake Fluid
- 1.15 – Low Coolant Level
- 1.16 – Broken Brake Pads
- 1.17 – Defective Catalytic Converter
- 1.18 – Damaged Ignition Coil
- 1.19 – Faulty Throttle Position Sensor
- 1.20 – Problems With the Computer System
- 2 What Are the Ways To Fix Service AdvanceTrac
- 2.1 – Change Broken Stability Components
- 2.2 – Fix Sensor Connections
- 2.3 – Inspect the Fluid Level of the Brake System
- 2.4 – Check Electrical Connections/Wiring
- 2.5 – Investigate the Fault Using an OBDII Scanner
- 2.6 – Change the ABS Module
- 2.7 – Interpret the AdvanceTrac System’s Light
- 2.8 – Consult an Auto Mechanic
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Conclusion
What Are Possible Reasons for the Service AdvanceTrac Warning?
The possible reasons for the service AdvanceTrac light warning are a damaged tire speed sensor, blown fuse, defective sensor connection, and mismatched tires. Other causes could be low wheel pressure, the buildup of dirt and debris, and a broken ABS module.
Before we dive into the causes, it is important to know the difference between the AdvanceTrac system and traction control. The traction control is used to handle the spinning rear wheels. It uses engine power to apply the rear brakes and stop the rear wheels from spinning. On the other hand, the Advehicle’s system handles both front and rear wheels and helps maintain the vehicle’s trajectory.
– Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor
Every Ford vehicle has a speed sensor attached to its four wheels hub. The sensors calculate the speed at which each wheel spins and communicate this information to the Engine Control Unit (ECU). The ECU relies on the data to determine the vehicle’s trajectory, detect when traction is lost, and make necessary adjustments.
Therefore, if you have a defective wheel sensor, the ECU will receive incorrect data. Sometimes, the sensor might not even send any data to the ECU, so the AdvanceTrac system will be unable to make the required adjustments. The vehicle’s engine will respond by triggering the AdvanceTrac warning light.
– Defective Sensor Wiring
The AdvanceTrac system relies on varying stability-related sensors to work effectively. So, if you have a bad ground connection, it can affect the system’s operation. A slight disconnection in a sensor or damaged wiring will trigger the AdvanceTrac warning light.
– Damaged Fuse
All the electrical components in your vehicle operate with the help of fuses. So, if any fuse is damaged, it will stop the information (signal) transmitted to the Advancetrac system. In response, the engine will set off the service AdvanceTrac light on your dashboard.
– Broken Clock Spring
In your vehicle, the clock’s spring powers up the steering sensor, the airbag, and the steering wheel buttons. If the spring becomes damaged, these components won’t function correctly, especially the steering sensor. A malfunctioning sensor will affect the functioning of the AdvanceTrac system and set off the light, signaling you to service it.
– Defective Steering Angle Sensor
Wire coils connect the clock’s spring to the sensor’s angle. These coils are also connected to the airbag and steering wheel controls. If the spring is broken, the transmitted signal from the steering sensor to the ECU can be discontinued.
– Incompatible Tires
If there is ever a need to change your vehicle’s wheels, make sure you consult the manufacturer’s manual on the correct tires or wheels to use. Although using mismatched tires may not affect your driving experience, the vehicle’s electronic system will detect irregularities in the wheels’ speed using the sensors.
The fluctuations in the wheel speed will set off the ABS light. Also, misalignment may occur in your tires if the vehicle has experienced many collisions with potholes and curbs while driving. The abnormal rotation of the wheels will affect the pressure of the tires and trigger the AdvanceTrac’s light.
– Rusted Battery Terminals
Another reason why your AdvanceTrac system light might come on is because of corroded battery terminals. If the battery terminals have become rusted, the vehicle’s electronic system will begin to malfunction, and the service AdvanceTrac’s light will be put on.
– Accumulation of Dirt and Debris
The continuous driving of your vehicle along salty roads and dusty areas can lead to the accumulation of debris and dirt inside the car. The debris can clog the traction control system and sensors, making it difficult to work correctly. Thus, the AdvanceTrac light comes on and stays that way until you solve the problem.
– Reduced Tire Pressure
The reason why your AdvanceTrac’s light is coming on could be because of your tires’ pressure. If your wheels’ pressure is low or doesn’t have the required air pressure, the system will trigger the AdvanceTrac’s light. Also, if you fail to fix this problem, it could deteriorate into premature wear and blowouts.
– Limp Mode
If there is a major malfunction or fault in the vehicle, it will go into inert mode. During this phase, the car will switch off any unnecessary system to stay protected. Also, a vehicle can enter this inert mode if it notices abnormal readings or a defective electrical component or mechanical operation.
Most times, the inert mode switches off the AdvanceTrac system for a while, and this can cause the popping light to come on. In this case, the remedy is to find out what caused the vehicle’s malfunction in the first place.
Switched off Traction Control (TC)
If you rarely drive on slippery paths and get stuck in deep mud or snow, you might decide to turn off the TC. While this is not a wrong decision, you should know that it will activate the AdvanceTrac check signal. In some cases, you might unintentionally turn off the control, so check to see if your traction control is the problem.
– Reduced Battery Voltage Level
One of the demerits of a weak or low-voltage battery is that it may unintentionally activate warning lights such as the ABS and TC lights. Once the vehicle’s alternator fails, the battery will lose all its charge. Then, the car loses its power. The power loss can cause both the ABS and TC systems to send false signals to the ECU, causing their warning lights to be triggered.
– Breakdown of ABS Module
One common reason why the AdvanceTrac’s light can come on in your vehicle is because of the failure of the ABS module. If the ABS controller breaks down, it can cause a problem with the brake system, such as an unresponsive brake pedal. Thus, the AdvanceTrac system’s light will come on while driving.
– Insufficient Brake Fluid
The brake system relies on an appropriate fluid level to function correctly. If the fluid level becomes low or insufficient, it will decrease the braking ability and pose a danger to you while driving the vehicle.
Insufficient fluid can cause the AdvanceTrac’s light to come on while driving. Also, low fluid in the brake system can affect the AdvanceTrac and ABS systems since they both use brakes to function.
– Low Coolant Level
The engine must maintain an optimum coolant level to operate correctly. If the coolant level is reduced, it can lead to the breakdown of critical components. The damage to these components can activate the AdvanceTrac’s warning light. So, you must check the coolant level often and add distilled water when needed.
– Broken Brake Pads
The typical lifespan of brake pads is 24 months or 24,000 miles. After this period, the brake pads are subject to wear and might become damaged. Broken brake pads can be why you see the AdvanceTrac system’s light on your dashboard. So, you should inspect the brake pads after you have used them for 24 miles.
– Defective Catalytic Converter
A broken catalytic converter can cause the service AdvanceTrac’s warning to come on. Thus, you should check your converter after you have used it for 100 miles or 100 months.
– Damaged Ignition Coil
A damaged ignition coil can affect the AdvanceTrac system, causing its light to appear on your dashboard. Typically, ignition coils begin to wear out after you have used them for over 60 months or 60,000 miles.
– Faulty Throttle Position Sensor
The throttle position (TP) sensor constantly monitors how far open or closed your throttle plate is. It transmits this information through the vehicle’s computer system, which helps it know when you are accelerating or decelerating. If the throttle position sensor is faulty, it cannot perform its primary function. Thus, a defective TP sensor can cause the AdvAdvanceTrac’sght to come on.
– Problems With the Computer System
Every vehicle has a central computer system that is responsible for the proper and correct functioning of the Advancetrac system. If there is a fault with the vehicle’s computer system, it will affect the operation of the AdvanceTrac system and cause the service light to come on.
What Are the Ways To Fix Service AdvanceTrac
The ways to fix Service AdvanceTrac signal light are to change the broken stability components, fix the sensor connections, inspect the fluid level of the brake system, and change the ABS controller. Other methods are to check the electrical connections, investigate using an OBDII scanner, and consult an auto mechanic.
– Change Broken Stability Components
Inspect the broken stability components to determine which of the sensors is defective. Once you have discovered the faulty sensor, replace it with a new one. In some cases, you might change more than one sensor. Unless you have some experience doing this, you should hire an auto mechanic to remove the defective sensor and install the new one.
– Fix Sensor Connections
You should fix disconnections in the wiring network of the stability control sensors by correctly reconnecting them. Also, the problem could be due to bad ground, so you should check the wiring harness very well and repair the faults, if any. You should consult an auto electrician or mechanic to diagnose and fix the problem of bad ground.
– Inspect the Fluid Level of the Brake System
Sometimes, the scanner might not help you narrow down the problem responsible for the popping light. If this is the case, check the fluid level of the brake system to see if it’s at the appropriate level. You may have to fill the fluid up to the correct line. Also, make sure that you are using the correct fluid for the vehicle.
However, there are cases where the fluid level will keep reducing or running low even though you recently filled it up. If you are experiencing this, you should search for the leak causing the problem. Repair the leak so the brake and AdvanceTrac system will function properly.
– Check Electrical Connections/Wiring
Inspect the electrical wires or connections to see if the fault is from there. Begin your check with the fuses, and once you discover a defective fuse, replace it with a new one. Sometimes, the fuse might not be blown but must be fixed to function correctly. If the fuse is not the cause of the problem, then check other wirings or connectors.
Inspect the ground connection to see if there is a good connection or not. A good connection ensures proper conductivity. If the connection is faulty, get an auto electrician to repair the damage. More so, having a wiring diagram of your vehicle makes it easier to track down the cause of the problem and fix the faults.
– Investigate the Fault Using an OBDII Scanner
Sometimes, reconnecting the wires properly might not fix the problem, and the light stays on. If so, you should investigate the fault using an OBDII scanner. The OBDII scanner can work in conjunction with a diagnostic software called FORScan. To use the scanner, you must connect it to the vehicle’s OBD port and turn it on.
The device will scan all the systems in the vehicle and transmit or provide error messages or codes. You can find the meaning of each code in the manufacturer’s manual. Thus, you will be able to determine the cause of the problem.
– Change the ABS Module
Once you have determined that the damaged ABS module is why the service AdvanceTrac keeps turning on, you should replace it immediately. Now, you shouldn’t carry out this repair yourself because it requires the skills of an expert. Instead, it would be best to work with an auto mechanic to remove the defective ABS controller and install a new one.
– Interpret the AdvanceTrac System’s Light
The AdvanceTrac system’s light can mean different things, so once you notice the popping light, the next step is to interpret the meaning of the light. You can decode the message using a scanner. If you have a scanner at your disposal, you can decode the message to discover the problem and repair the damaged part.
If you don’t have the device, you should visit an auto repair shop that has it. The mechanic at the shop will help you interpret the message and fix the faulty part responsible for the switched-on light.
– Consult an Auto Mechanic
Most of the problems that the AdvanceTrac system faces require professional expertise to fix them. In this case, an auto mechanic is the best person for the job. So, it is advised that you consult with a local auto mechanic to help diagnose the faults responsible for the popping light on your dashboard. Also, the mechanic will have the experience required to fix the problems.
Thus, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a local auto repair shop and have their mechanic come over to your house to inspect the vehicle. You can also drive to the auto repair shop and ask the professional to repair the defective parts. Fixing the faults early helps prevent more significant problems from affecting the vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
– What Is The Cost of Fixing AdvanceTrac?
The cost of fixing AdvanceTrac is between $400 and $600 at an auto repair shop. The amount you will pay depends on where you stay and the skill set of the mechanic. However, you might not have to spend much if you replace the parts yourself.
– Can You Drive With the Service AdvanceTrac Warning On?
Yes, you can drive with the service AdvanceTrac’s warning turned on. However, you should adjust the vehicle and prepare to have it fixed immediately. This is to help reduce the possibility of the car losing traction or control while driving, which might cause accidents.
Having read this complete guide, you now know what the warning light for servicing the AdvanceTrac means and how to diagnose and fix it.
Let’s do a recap of some of the essential points discussed above:
- A damaged ABS module can cause the AdvanceTrac signal to turn on, so hire a mechanic to change the ABS controller with a new one.
- Inspect the brake pads and replace them with new ones if they are broken.
- By using an OBDII scanner, you can decode the message of the signal light and diagnose the problem.
- You should detect bad wiring connections in the sensors and fix them immediately.
- Check the fluid level of the brake system to see if it is at the appropriate level. If it is not, fill it up to the required level.
There is no doubt that this guide has been helpful in knowing the meaning of the AdvanceTrac’s warning signal, its possible causes, and how to fix them. However, you can always consult a mechanic if you’re unsure of how to fix the problem.
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