The tech in cars keeps improving and becoming more complex with each passing year. Among these innovations are proximity sensors that use radar to detect people, objects as well as other vehicles around you.
In this article, I am going to talk about pre-collision assist and what it means when you get the pre-collision assist not working error message.
As cars move closer to complete autonomous driving, we are seeing more and more features that are meant to support this next step in the evolution of vehicles as well as offer a higher level of safety in the process.
For a vehicle to be completely autonomous, it will need, among other things, a way of assessing its perimeter and responding accordingly.
Today’s vehicles utilize sensors and cameras that feed information to the computer which, in turn, takes actions such as applying brakes or evading objects where there is a risk of an unfortunate event occurring.
What is Pre-Collision Assist?
As the name implies, pre-collision assist helps you prevent collisions. It is a system that works through cameras and sensors to assess the situation around you and take the necessary action.
One of the ways it responds is by automatically engaging ABS to make the braking system more responsive or, in some cases, take evasive action by applying the brakes or steering to the left or right.
Its primary objective is to assist you by making the brakes and steering more sensitive so that you are able to avoid a collision. If you do not take action in time, the evasive maneuver will be implemented automatically.
Other than detecting other vehicles or objects around it, the system also has pedestrian detection that detects pedestrians within a particular radius. When there is a possibility of a collision, the system will give out a warning and prepare the brakes by making them more sensitive.
Pre Collision Assist Not Available Meaning
This simply means the Pre Collision Assist is not working. There are several reasons why the pre-collision assist on your Ford might not be working.
The most common of these is due to camera or sensor malfunction. When one or more of either your cameras or sensors is affected, pre-collision assist will not work and you eventually get the “pre-collision assist not available” message on your dash.
Another cause of sensor malfunction that may not necessarily need to have you to replace a component is snow ice, sand, dirt, grime, debris, salt, or something else, blocking the sensors.
This is a very common occurrence during winter. Ice in particular and salt from the roads can play havoc on the sensors and cause them to malfunction. When this happens, you get the pre-collision error message.
How Do I Fix Pre-Collision Assist Not Working?
The first thing you need to do is just get your vehicle cleaned. When there are heavy snow or ice conditions, it is safe to assume that they are the primary cause of the problem.
Taking your vehicle to a car wash will usually solve the problem. Sometimes, however, you might need to do it twice before pre-collision assist is eventually reactivated.
Alternatively, go to where the cameras and sensors are located and try to clean them by hand. In worst-case scenarios, you will need to buy a new sensor or replace the cameras. This is a rare occurrence though.
At What Speed is Pre Collision Assist Activated?
Pre-collision assist is activated at 3mph. This is essentially as soon as the car starts moving. Functions like pedestrian assist only kick in at around 50mph. You have to still practice safe driving though as it will not work in all conditions.
So, there you have it. When you see the “pre-collision assist not working” appear on your dash, it most likely means that there is a minor problem with the sensors or cameras on your car.
This can be a result of ice, snow, salt, dirt, or grime affecting your sensors’ ability to read their surroundings A simple car wash should quickly solve this issue and you might have to do it twice before the issue is resolved. In a worst case scenario, you will have to replace some of the sensors or cameras.