Service AdvanceTrac Warning Light – Meaning, Causes, & Fixes

Service Advancetrac is a common warning signal that most Ford vehicle owners may likely experience at one point in time or another. This and many other warning systems are fitted in Ford vehicles to guard the owners against imminent dangers.

The warning signal reveals a malfunction within the vehicle that you must not overlook. So, if you’re battling this issue right now in your Ford F150, don’t panic. Service Advancetrac’s meaning, causes, and solution to the problem have been unraveled below in this article.

service advancetrac ford

What Does Service AdvanceTrac Mean

Service AdvanceTrac is a warning signal that illuminates Ford vehicles’ dashboards. It notifies the driver that the car’s computerized system has detected a fault that needs immediate attention.

Advancetrac is Ford’s proprietary electronic stability system. It is similar to the ESC – Electronic Stability Control function in other vehicles. Like the ESC, AdvanceTrac helps the driver to maintain powerful control over a car, especially when driving under bad road conditions.

Driving through snow, ice, gravel, or mud can be extremely tough. It is a battle between your vehicle’s wheels and the bad road which in turn impacts your ability to control the vehicle. This is where AdvanceTrac comes to play in helping you maintain stability and control.

Ford Manufacturers designed the service AdvanceTrac system to work by using gyroscopic car sensors to read, monitor, and analyze the vehicle movement about 150 times every second. The system will detect any steering and stability issues by monitoring, reading, and analyzing the vehicle’s movement. Once it detects any stability or control issues, it will slow the vehicle to help the driver control the wheel.

The Ford Service AdvanceTrac is designed to work with several car sensors in the vehicle to enable it to monitor the speed of the wheels and other areas of stability and control. Advancetrac combines a number of safety systems to help a driver avoid accidents that result from traction loss.

So, a malfunction in one or more individual safety sensors or systems can alter the proper function of the AdvanceTrac system. Therefore, you must endeavor to spot any slight malfunction within any related components that enhance stability and control.

Read Also: Service Airbag Light – Meaning, Diagnosis, and Fixes

What Causes Service AdvanceTrac Light to Come On?

“Service Advancetrac” warning light illumination is common with Ford Edge, F150, Fusion, Expedition, and Explorer. The light is triggered by sensor-related malfunction, thereby altering proper functioning. Some of the major causes of service Advancetrac Light include the following:

Bad sensor wiring

Since the Advancetrac system works with different stability-related sensors, slight disconnections in one or more sensors’ wiring harnesses can alter the proper functioning of the Advancetrac system. Note that the problem will persist until you correct the wiring defect.

Defective wheel speed sensor

The wheel speed sensor is also referred to as the ABS sensor. These components are attached to your Ford vehicle’s four-wheel hubs. They help to detect the speed at which each wheel spins and sends the information to the Engine Control Unit (ECU).

The ECU depends on the info it receives from the wheel speed sensors to determine the vehicle’s trajectory and also to detect when traction is lost. So, a faulty ABS sensor or wheel speed sensor will release the wrong data or send no data to the ECU. This will automatically trigger the service Advancetrac warning light.

Limp mode

When a vehicle enters limp mode, it will most likely trigger a lot of warning signals, including the service Advancetrac warning light. Hence, you must do everything possible to avoid this mode because it disables many functions in a car in order to protect the engine.

Tires/wheels mismatch

If you must change your Ford vehicle’s tires or wheels for any reason, ensure to verify from the vehicle owner’s manual in order to identify the right tires or wheels to use.

Using mismatched wheels may not alter your driving experience; however, the computerized system will detect abnormalities in the wheel speed via the sensors.

Damaged clock spring

The clock spring is responsible for powering up the steering angle sensor, the airbag, and the steering wheel buttons.

A damaged clock spring will alter the proper functioning of these components, especially the steering angle sensor. This will automatically affect the Advancetrac system and trigger the warning light.

Other common causes of service Advancetrac warning light in a Ford vehicle include defective steering angle sensor, defective rotational speed sensor, system programming problems, low battery voltage, low fluid level, etc.

Kindly note that the service Advancetrac in Ford 150 also conveys the same meaning as the service Advancetrac in Ford Explorer and some other models.

Read Also: Service Emission System – What Does It Mean & How to Fix It

How Do I Fix Service AdvanceTrac Light?

If you drive a Ford vehicle and you’re experiencing a constant service Advancetrac warning light illumination, kindly check what could be wrong.

If you were asking how to fix service Advancetrac in Ford Explorer or any Ford model, once you can pinpoint the actual cause of the problem, fixing it becomes very easy. However, the following solutions can help you rectify your Ford’s Advancetrac warning light issues.

Reconnect sensor wiring

If you discover any disconnections within the wiring harness of any stability-related sensors, ensure to reconnect them properly. If the problem is due to bad ground, take some time to inspect the ground straps carefully and rectify the defects.

Replace any defective or damaged stability components

Since a defect in one or more stability-related sensors can affect the Advancetrac system, kindly narrow it down to identify the specific defective sensor and replace it accordingly. If you can’t handle this as a DIYer, be sure to contact an expert auto mechanic.

Correct service Advancetrac error with a scanner

Sometimes, the service Advancetrac warning light can be triggered in error, whereas every component related to the system is intact. In this case, kindly get an OBD II scanner to figure out what triggered the light and rectify it accordingly.

Read Also: Service Hybrid System Error Message – How to Fix

How Do I Reprogram AdvanceTrac?

A common way to handle the service Advancetrac in Ford F250 is to reprogram the system, especially if it is triggered in error. Reprogramming your Ford’s Advancetrac is pretty straightforward. Follow the procedure below to reprogram the system.

  • Turn on the car’s ignition and keep it running.
  • Open the car’s deck.
  • Remove the battery’s negative terminal.
  • Allow the disconnection for about 5 minutes.
  • After that, reconnect the battery.

Engaging in the simple procedure above will help you reprogram the Advancetrac function in your Ford Explorer, Mustang, F150, and many other models. However, you must ensure to engage the process accordingly to get the desired result.

service advancetrac ford f150
Image Credit: Bubba Blue YouTube

How do I turn off AdvanceTrac?

Turning off Advancetrac in your Ford is pretty easy. Firstly, locate the Advancetrac switch beside the car’s start engine or on/off switch. After that, press the switch to turn off Advancetrac. Alternatively, you can turn off your vehicle and restart it.

Once you turn off your car’s engine and restart it, the Advancetrac system will turn off automatically. However, it is better to allow the function due to its role in ensuring stability and control under tough road conditions.

What is the AdvanceTrac on a Ford?

Advancetrac is a peculiar function of Ford vehicles. It works exactly like the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in other vehicles. The advancetrac system is responsible for providing stability and control when you’re driving on tough terrains like snow, ice, mud, etc.

The Advancetrac function is designed as one of the safety systems in Ford vehicles, especially the Ford F150, Ford Explorer, etc. If you own a Mustang, ensure to learn about the Advancetrac function, as well as service Advancetrac in Mustang, in order to know how it works.

What does it mean when my car says check AdvanceTrac?

Ford vehicle owners may have come across the caption “Check Advancetrac” at one point or the other. If you’re wondering what the caption means, it simply shows that the Advancetrac function is unavailable.

On the other hand, the caption could also connote a malfunction within the Advancetrac system or its related components. If you suddenly see this message on your vehicle’s dashboard, ensure to figure out what the problem is and rectify it ASAP.

Should AdvanceTrac be on or off?

Advancetrac function is expected to stay on always, except on rare occasions. The system helps your Ford maintain stability and control when driving under poor road conditions, especially snow, rain, ice, etc.

However, you may need to turn off Advancetrac if your car gets stuck in mud, snow, or ice. Turning off the function will enable your vehicle’s wheels to continue spinning to boost engine power. This level of engine power is necessary to get the car off that situation.

What’s the difference Between Traction Control and AdvanceTrac?

TCS – Traction control system and Advancetrac are somewhat similar in function. However, traction control is designed to handle spinning rear wheels. If you spin your vehicle’s rear tires, traction control is triggered to pull more engine power, apply the rear brakes, and stop the spinning.

On the other hand, Advancetrac functions like traction control. However, it also controls the front wheels. So, technically, it triggers more engine power to apply both the rear and front brakes to keep a car on its trajectory.

Is service traction control serious?

The service traction control system helps you to drive safely during bad weather conditions, such as when driving on slippery terrain or other stability or steering issues. Though the illumination of the service traction control light will not prevent you from driving the vehicle, it is best to diagnose the car and address the underlying problem.

If you ignore the warning light and keep driving the vehicle and run into slippery terrain, weather shift, storm, or into a situation that could cause traction issues, you’ll certainly lose the vehicle control since the traction control system is no longer there to help you maneuver the situation.

Is it safe to drive with the traction control light on?

Of course, it is okay to drive with the traction control light on when your car is losing traction. It signifies that the function is available and working in case your vehicle’s wheels suddenly start to spin.

However, if you decide to drive without the traction control function, your car’s wheels will most likely spin around while on the road. This can lead to unexpected accidents. Therefore, keep all safety systems active according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Can you drive with the AdvanceTrac light on?

The illumination of the Advancetrac light will not stop you from driving your vehicle. Technically, your vehicle will run pretty fine, but it will be dangerous if the light pops up due to a system malfunction or bad weather conditions. If the light stays lit after starting the vehicle, contact a service technician to diagnose and address the issue.

If the traction control and the ABS lights are on, it possibly means you have a malfunction on the car computer that could lead to brake failure. If this is the case, refrain from driving the car. Instead, contact your mechanic to run a thorough check on the system.

How much does it cost to fix a service AdvanceTrac?

Fixing a service Advancetrac warning light issue will cost between $100 and $250. However, the cost implication depends on the auto technician’s service labor cost and location. While the service Advancetrac costs can be relatively cheaper in some locations, others can be overly expensive.

So, if you’re experiencing this issue in your Ford, ensure to figure out what the problem is or contact an expert auto mechanic within your neighborhood. However, ensure to engage the service of an auto mechanic who knows how to handle this system’s malfunction perfectly.

Final Words

Understanding what service Advancetrac means will help you know exactly what to do when the warning light illuminates your dashboard. This function is peculiar to Ford vehicles. However, it works just like the regular Electronic Stability Control system in other cars.

So, ensure you do everything possible to avoid this warning light from displaying on your dashboard. And if you’re currently battling this issue, try the solutions suggested in this article.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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