Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What does the service AdvanceTrac® warning mean in the message center?

asked by on

What does the service AdvanceTrac® warning mean in the message center?

A: AvanceTrac is the electronic stability cont...

AvanceTrac is the electronic stability control (ESC) system used in Ford vehicles. It may also be referred to as “traction control” or “vehicle dynamic control” is other vehicle models. This system monitors the steering stability of the vehicle and engages when skidding has been detected, or the loss of traction.

The AdvanceTrac system counteracts oversteering and understeering by reducing power and/or applying brakes to specific wheels. This is done by the use of electronic sensors that communicate with the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) regarding steering performance and stability in adverse weather conditions. The are several components that are necessary for the AdvanceTrac system to work properly.

Anti-Lock Brake System-When/if the brakes lock up, this may cause a loss of control and the vehicle may slide. The anti-lock brake system prevents this from happening by preventing the brakes from locking up, as well as preventing oversteering and/or understeering when the vehicle starts to slide.

Traction Control System-The traction control system works by reducing engine speed and determining which wheel to apply brake pressure to in order to prevent the vehicle from sliding.

Electronic Sensors-The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) receives information from electronic sensors regarding the rotational speed of each wheel, the horizontal motion of the vehicle, and the vertical motion of the vehicle.

If the “service AdvanceTrac” warning indicator light comes on in the dashboard, this could be an indication of several issues.

  • A faulty wheel-speed sensor
  • A faulty steering-angle sensor
  • A faulty rotational-speed sensor
  • An issue with the steering rack
  • Something that is lodged in one of the wheels
  • The AdvanceTrac system needs to be reprogrammed

If you need assistance diagnosing the service AdvanceTrac warning light, contact a certified techncian for help.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What does the AdvanceTrac® Light mean on the dash?

Your car is equipped with an advanced traction and stability control system called AdvanceTrac®. The system is always on unless you manually turn it off. The AdvanceTrac® Light should come on in the dash when you first crank the engine...

Q: What does the AdvanceTrac® Off light mean in the dash?

The AdvanceTrac® system is Ford’s stability and traction control solution for your car. It’s automatically turned on every time you start the engine. The system is designed to help provide better traction during driving on slippery roads (rain, snow, etc.)....

Q: Radiator not holding water

This is a common issue. Many of the radiators installed in vehicles are aluminum cores with plastic water tanks. There is a gasket that seals them together. Over time the gasket fails and water starts to leak from between the...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.