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Adaptive Cruise Control issue: Sensor Blocked

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Just bought a 2012 Edge Limited with 29K miles on it. The vehicle is in very good condition, bought from a reputable used car dealer, and everything seems to be working properly except for the adaptive cruise control (ACC). After driving anywhere from 5 to 15 miles using the ACC a message pops up saying the collision control is unavailable because the sensor is blocked and the ACC disengages. When I try to restart the ACC another message pops up saying the Adaptive Cruise Control in Unavailable - Senor Blocked. Unfortunately during my brief test drive of this Edge I only tried the ACC for about 2-3 miles and it worked great during that time.

 

When it's working the ACC works great. It just doesn't stay on for very long before we get the "sensor blocked" message. Driving conditions are sunny and dry. The plastic panel (and entire grill) in front of the radar unit that says Radar ACC is clean. I looked at the front of the radar unit as best as I could through the grill and did not see any mud or debris on it.

 

Driving several miles or more after getting the error message apparently clears it and ACC can be used again. I've never had a vehicle with this feature until now. I didn't find any recalls or TSB's online for the Ford Edge ACC system. Is this behavior normal and it's just a finicky system that can't be relied on or does it sound like the ACC in my vehicle is malfunctioning? I've found some comments online from owners mentioning that the ACC in their Ford Edges also turns off at times but no one seemed all that concerned about it, as if it's just the way it is. Is this the case? Does the collision sensor get easily fooled and shut itself off?

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It usually only happens in really wet weather. Sounds like a bad sensor or connection. Are you still under the 36 month factory warranty? If so it will be covered. That depends on when the original owner bought it. The dealer can check it.

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Hi akirby. The 36 month warranty expired on 2/21/2015, so the Ford dealer wants $90 minimum (their hourly shop rate) to diagnose it. For now I've changed the cruise setting to "normal" to turn off ACC.

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bummer. You might be able to replace the sensor yourself but without a real diagnosis you might be throwing money away. Might be worth the $90 in this case.

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Yes, I don't want to start replacing parts unless I know for sure a part is bad and actually needs replacing. Maybe someday I'll have a dealer diagnose it. It's a shame that a feature Ford highlights as a selling point in their website ads, complete with videos and diagrams showing how wonderfully it works, is already basically useless on this low mileage Edge.

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Yeah - so terrible that this happened once or twice out of a million vehicles.

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The radar sensor has probably disconnected from its retaining taps. It has studs and clips. The sensor clips onto the studs. See if you can move the sensor by hand through the lower grille. If you can, simply snap the sensor retainers back on the studs. You can sometimes get a long screw driver to do this without pulling front bumper cover. If not, unbolt bumper cover to gain access.

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bought from a reputable used car dealer,

 

 

Yet the dealer won't correct an issue that was obviously present when the vehicle was sold? Most will offer some sort of short warranty on the cars they sell.

 

As stated, Ford knows there are conditions that will cause that warning.

 

2011MY Owner Guide 4th Printing:

 

“Blocked sensor

If a message regarding a blocked sensor is displayed, the radar signals from the sensor, located behind a fascia cover near the driver side of the lower grille, have been obstructed. When the radar signals are obstructed, a vehicle ahead cannot be detected and the collision warning system will not function. The following table lists possible causes and actions for this message being displayed…

 

Cause: Heavy rain, spray, snow, or fog is interfering with the radar signals

 

Action: The collision warning system is temporarily disabled. Collision warning should automatically reactivate a short time after the weather conditions improve.”

 

Grab a free digital copy of the Owner Guide here:

 

http://Owner.Ford.com/servlet/Conten...OwnerGuidePage

 

As it happens in clear weather, could road salt have blocked the sensor? Terminals might be corroded. Is it possible to pull the connectors apart, clean them and use dielectric grease when reassembling?

Edited by rscalzo

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Most will offer some sort of short warranty on the cars they sell.

 

 

And this one does, 90 days and 3,000 miles included with every purchase. However, it is not a bumper-to-bumper warranty as it would be very unusual for that kind of warranty to be offered at no charge on a used car by any dealer. The included warranty covers only major components like engine, transmission, etc.

 

 

 

As it happens in clear weather, could road salt have blocked the sensor?

 

As I mentioned, I was able to see the front of the sensor by looking through the grill at an angle and it is clean. The city here does not spread salt on the roads when the weather is clear. Also, the car came from Orange County, California. I live near Salt Lake City (yes I know, ironically the place where I live has the word "salt" in it) and the winter has been unusually mild this year. This time the East got most all of our snow.

 

 

 

Is it possible to pull the connectors apart, clean them and use dielectric grease when reassembling?

 

I will try doing this to see if it helps, thanks for the tip.

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Yeah - so terrible that this happened once or twice out of a million vehicles.

 

Really, that many times? Since that is the case I will lower my expectations.

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Really, that many times? Since that is the case I will lower my expectations.

 

The point is this is the first time I've seen this issue (sensor failure in dry weather) reported here or on the other ford model specific websites, and it's been offered for a couple of years now on various models. So it's not a very common occurrence at all. Even the best quality electronic components aren't 100% perfect.

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I have a 2013 Edge and a few months ago I started getting the Sensor Blocked error message every time I am driving behind a large vehicle. I have taken it in three times to a dealership and they STILL have not fixed it. They cleaned the sensor, and they replaced broken clips holding the sensor. Still not fixed. Any ideas? I lived in California so weather is not the issue.

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TO: FordTech1 and AKirby

Just bought a very low mileage used 2013 Edge Limited. During test drive the "acc not available" and "sensor blocked" went off in dry road conditions. Salesman said that there was probably "a bug on the sensor." On delivery I asked if the sensor had been cleaned off and was told the entire car had been detailed for me prior to pickup. Two days after delivery the same ACC and Sensor dash messages appeared. I found this forum and the discussion about the sensor blocked issues. Question: Is the ACC Sensor issue one that has been addressed in a Ford TSP?

Thanks, guys.

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ACC is very rare on the Edge because dealers didn't stock it and it was a pricey standalone $2K option. As the cars age, it does look like the sensors are failing quite early so it's safe to assume there is a design flaw that will effect many others. Might be one of the reasons ACC was delayed a year on the new Edge.

 

I did have ACC on my 2011 and 2013 MKXs without incident, the only time the sensor threw up an error was in snow storms or heavy road spray, it still worked in dense fog. Another reason I'm glad I lease ;)

Edited by BORG

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Thanks, Borg,

To be clear, I am speaking of the collision avoidance sensor being "blocked and Not Available." Not enough experience yet with Automatic Cruise Control functionality.

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Thanks, Borg,

To be clear, I am speaking of the collision avoidance sensor being "blocked and Not Available." Not enough experience yet with Automatic Cruise Control functionality.

 

Pretty sure it's the same sensor.

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Yes it is the same sensor.

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ACC is very rare on the Edge because dealers didn't stock it and it was a pricey standalone $2K option. As the cars age, it does look like the sensors are failing quite early so it's safe to assume there is a design flaw that will effect many others. Might be one of the reasons ACC was delayed a year on the new Edge.

 

I did have ACC on my 2011 and 2013 MKXs without incident, the only time the sensor threw up an error was in snow storms or heavy road spray, it still worked in dense fog. Another reason I'm glad I lease ;)

I have not replaced any ACC sensors due to defect. All the concerns I have run across have been mounting clips becoming disengaged allowing the sensor to drop out of alignment. Also, a few software updates, but no sensor replacement.

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That's what I mean, if the clips are failing than so is the sensor. That's a design defect. That's like say, the door didn't fail, it just fell off the car.

Edited by BORG

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Depends on whether it just needs to be put back into place or if it has to be replaced.

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Thanks BORG and AKirby! I will take these comments with me to my dealer.

DGH

Rockwall, TX

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That's what I mean, if the clips are failing than so is the sensor. That's a design defect. That's like say, the door didn't fail, it just fell off the car.

Then the hinges would be the failed part not the door. However, agreed the clips should be more robust, the ones I have repaired look to have some impact damage to the bumper.

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I just saw this subject and thought I'd add my experience on ACC for a 2011 Taurus. The early ACC was musch quicker to cut out in wet weather than my '13 Explorer, and the Taurus eventually began giving the error mentioned above in clear dry conditions. Dealer cleaned, reconnected and worked on it 3 times with no luck. It was finally replaced under extended warranty and the new part is much more reliable than the original, so it has obviously been impoved. Glad I had the warranty as it would have been a $1,200 bill otherwise. I think the tech was finally able to find a TSB on this problem, put no code was ever put out. I had to take pictures of the problem displayed on the message center since the control reset each time the engine was restarted.

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I got this error message on our 2019 Ford Edge while we were on a recent trip. Initially the error was sporadic, but became more persistent over time.

 

On the 2019 and later models, the sensor is located just below the license plate bracket. It appears someone either backed into the vehicle while it was parked, or nosed into it in a parking lot. I could see some minor abrasion on the license bracket and the bottom of the plate was bent. But otherwise the front-end of the Edge looked great.

 

However, I could feel something loose behind the grill area and one of the 'shutters' was displaced from its location. I took it to the dealer and they removed the front fascia. The sensor is held in place by a bracket that is part of the shutter assembly and had broken away. So the sensor was loose and not properly aligned, resulting in the error message. This ended up somewhat costly. I could submit an insurance claim, but the damage repair cost was only slightly more than my insurance deductible.

 

It might have been possible to glue the assembly together using two-part epoxy, but the sensor body hangs from the top and the piece holding the two bolts and centering pins broke off. It might have eventually failed, so I chose to go with replacement.

 

See picture for what this looks like once the front bumper assembly is removed. 

20210719_154715.jpg

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