AdvanceTrac Warning Light

March 28, 2017

The AdvanceTrac system is a Ford proprietary stability control and traction control system, designed to inspire confidence in operating the vehicle, without regard to road conditions. The AdvanceTrac warning light is there to tell you, the driver, that the AdvanceTrac system is negotiating a risky situation, and once the system stops blinking, the vehicle has recovered from a hazard. The AdvanceTrac warning light is displayed for two separate reasons, in two different ways.

What Does the AdvanceTrac Warning Light Mean?

When the vehicle senses a situation in which control may be lost, the vehicle may skid, or a wheel loses traction, the light will flash until the hazard is fully compromised. The flashing lets the driver know that the vehicle is autonomously braking individual wheels, applying power to other wheels, and possibly reducing engine power. In this situation, drivers should allow the vehicle to make adjustments, and focus on driving the vehicle. When the AdvanceTrac warning light is illuminated solid, not flashing, it means there is an error in the AdvanceTrac system, and this should be brought to the attention of technician or service center.

Can I Drive With the AdvanceTrac Light On?

Yes, Yes you can. There is nothing that prevents the vehicle from being driven in the AdvanceTrac system, but driving patterns should be adjusted to reduce the risk of losing control or traction. When the light is blinking, the vehicle will return to normal condition once the hazard is gone, but when the light is solid, the AdvanceTrac system is not functioning, and complete control of the vehicle is dependant on the driver.  It is less safe to operate a vehicle with the AdvanceTrac warning light on, but no more unsafe than driving a vehicle without traction and stability control. Notwithstanding, the system should be repaired, as they do prevent collisions, especially in less-than-favorable driving conditions.

How Do I Fix the AdvanceTrac Warning Light?

Repairing a vehicle with a solid AdvanceTrac warning light on can be simple or complicated, but the process always begins with a physical inspection, and a professional computerized scanner. In some instances, restarting the vehicle may eliminate the fault. If not, it will require diagnostic testing to ensure the error is pinpointed, and proven. This is because there are several components that play a role in the AdvanceTrac system, and several systems are integrated to provide or accept information in real-time.

That being the case, it is nearly impossible to find the error without professional computerized diagnostic equipment, unless there is an apparent physical defect found. The majority of the time, with any traction control or stability control system, a wheel speed sensor is at fault. It is important to note that the communications for the AdvanceTrac system are delivered via the controller area network (CAN), so a fault preventing the AdvanceTrac from working can be related to the AdvanceTrac system only by the network.

About the Author

Kimberlea Buczeke is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

1 User Comment

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By , December 21, 2018
Thanks for the info. My 2016 F250 owners manual says little about the light. I like this site!

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The advance trac warning comes on along with the abs and traction control icons