In this article we are going to look at what causes the “park aid malfunction service required message” and I will also share with you what to do if you get this message when driving and how to resolve it.
Ford Parking Aid Explained
Before we get to the leading causes, let’s take a look at the Ford Parking Aid feature.
The parking aid system (also known as the park assist on some models) is an advanced technology that helps you park your car in tight spots, parallel park on the street, or even back out of a garage.
It uses ultrasonic sensors to detect objects around your vehicle and then displays information on your instrument cluster screen.
What Does “Park Aid Malfunction Service Required” Mean on a Ford?
In the simplest terms. when you get this fault message on your dashboard it means your Ford parking aid system is not working properly.
The message appears when there is a problem with either the parking sensors, a bad battery, the transmission control unit (TCU) or the control module which interprets their data, but there are other things that can cause this which I will discuss below.
What Causes Ford Parking Aid Fault on a Ford?
Now, that I have briefly explained what it means, let’s look at the main causes from my experience as a mechanic.
I want to put a disclaimer here that technically there are many causes, but I only want to focus on the ones that are common from working on ford vehicles.
1. Dirty Park Sensors (Front/Back):
The most common cause that I have seen, is dirty sensors. This can be from dirt or even snow, but the result is the same. The parking aid does not work properly and will display a fault code, which means it is time for a good cleaning!
2. Faulty Transmission Control Unit (Module):
Another common cause for the park aid malfunction is a bad transmission control module, this is pretty common, especially in Ford Focus and Escape vehicles but it happens with other models as well. The TCM is a computer that controls the transmission, so when it goes bad it can cause issues with the parking aid system.
Fortunately, this is covered under Ford’s Powertrain Warranty and can be repaired at no cost to you.
The warranty lasts for 5 years or 60 000 miles, whichever comes first.
3. One or More Sensors are bad:
Parking sensors can get damaged by potholes, road debris, and other road hazards. This can cause the sensors to become inaccurate or stop working altogether. If this happens, your vehicle’s parking aid won’t function properly.
It can be the front or back, one or more sensors that are bad, but your vehicle will need to be inspected by a certified technician.
They’ll be able to determine which sensors are damaged and what needs to be done to repair them.
4. Bad Battery:
I’ve seen it a couple of times that a bad battery can cause all sorts of electrical issues including parking aid faults.
The main reason for this is that the battery is not able to provide enough power for the vehicle’s electrical systems. This can cause the parking aid system to malfunction or even shut down completely.
The best way to tell if this issue is caused by a bad battery is:
- The Red Battery Light comes on your Instrument Cluster
- Other electronics don’t function properly (i.e infotainment system)
- Your Ford’s interior and Exterior lights are Dimmer than Normal
The battery usually lasts 3-5 years and if yours is older than that then the battery could be bad or going bad and needs to be replaced.
5. Bad Left or Right Rear Sensors:
The rear sensors are the ones that are located on the back bumper. They can be used to help you when parking since they have a 360-degree view of what is behind your vehicle.
If the connector or sensors goes bad it can cause the park assist/aid fault message to come on. On an obd2 scanner, these sensors’ fault codes are b13f3:08-AF and U0565:86-28.
are b13f3:08-AF and U0565:86-28. To check if this is the issue, you can remove the sensor cover on your bumper and look for any signs of wear or damage to the sensors.
How to Fix and Reset Parking Aid Malfunction/Fault
Since this can be caused by an array of different problems.
I recommended taking your car to the nearest ford dealer or any qualified mechanic to get a diagnostic done and find out the exact cause for your parking aid malfunctions.
If you are able to get this problem diagnosed, then you will be able to fix it and reset the error code yourself.