“Service AdvanceTrac” Warning Light (What it is and How to Reset)

The Service AdvanceTrac is a warning light that appears on Ford vehicles. You may come across this warning on the dashboard if you own a Ford SUV, Truck or passenger car. The service AdvanceTrac Warning light appears on almost all Ford models. Such warning lights are a cause for concern among drivers. Well, you do not have to worry. Here is a simple hack to clear the warning signals. But first, what is AdvanceTrac?

What Is Ford AdvanceTrac Technology?


It is a proprietary technology owned by Ford Motor Company. The technology is similar to Electronic Stability Control (ECS) used with several car brands. Its role is to maintain the stability of vehicles and protect it from skidding when driving under extreme weather conditions. The AdvanceTrac system is more complex than other ECS technologies. The technology leverages several sensors to monitor wheel speed and stability. It also integrates several safety systems under a unified control system. 

Which Safety Systems Are Included In The AdvanceTrac Technology

  • Anti-lock braking

Anti-lock brakes prevent a vehicle from skidding when it is accelerated suddenly. When one or more wheels lock up under considerable braking pressure, the lack of motion is sent via a wheel speed sensor to the ABS controller of a car.

The ABS pump motor/valve body assembly is then activated via this software to rapidly pulsate brake pressure to the damaged wheel, breaking the skid.

  • Traction control

The traction control system receives data from speed sensors at each wheel end location. If the controller detects an irregularity in wheel speed from one wheel to the next, any wheel that displays excessive speed will be disabled or brake pressure will be applied.

The torque distribution arms can send the % of available power to each wheel at the same time, ensuring that there is no variation in engine speed between any of a vehicle's four wheels. As a result, any loss of traction experienced previously is completely eliminated.

  • Directional oriented stability control

Skidding has been identified as a cause of vehicle instability, therefore numerous sensors are now used to identify automobile imbalance. These sensors send a complete picture of the vehicle's orientation while in a skid to a designated controller, which adjusts power output and brake pressure to each wheel as necessary for stabilization.

Steering wheel angle sensors, yaw rate sensors, and accelerometers are all used to acquire data for this operation.

Why does the Service AdvanceTrac Warning Signal Come On?


The appearance of the Service AdvanceTrac warning light indicates an underlying sensor problem. It implies that the central controller has identified a fault that limits the capabilities of the sensor. It means the vehicle cannot function as intended. Common issues that trigger this warning light include:

  • System programming issues
  • Damaged wheel speed sensor
  • Bad steering angle sensor
  • Damage to a section of steering system components
  • Bad rotational speed sensor
  • Faulty sensor wiring or connections

Is it safe to drive with the Service AdvanceTrac Warning Light On?

The appearance of a warning light is, without a doubt, a cause of concern for most drivers. You are uncertain of the performance of the car and cannot ascertain the level of damage that may accompany the warning light. 

The warning appears when the controller identifies a fault that affects the operations of active systems. The system deactivates the components affected by the fault. It means drivers can still move around. The fault has minimal impact on the mechanical soundness of the vehicle. 

AdvanceTrac-related warnings do not affect vehicle driveability. Instead, it impacts the stability of the car. 

How Do I Fix Service AdvanceTrac Light?

The best way to guarantee the stability of a vehicle when the warning Service AdvanceTrac light comes on is to identify and rectify its root cause. For most drivers, the quickest fix is clearing the error codes. Of course, the warning lights come on during the next ignition session.

Since this solution has only a temporary effect, you need to deal with the causes of the error, not its consequences. We suggest that you get acquainted with the most common causes of Service AdvanceTrac Warning Light, and maybe you will be able to cope with it on your own. If you try all these methods, but they are ineffective - you should apply to qualified mechanics - though it will be more expensive, you can be sure of the result. 

Reconnect sensor wiring


Inspect the connected wiring to any stability-related sensors for any breaks, and reconnect them if necessary. If the problem is due to a faulty ground, make a careful examination of the ground straps and correct any flaws.

Replace any defective or damaged stability components


Because the Advancetrac system might be affected by a problem with one or more stability-related sensors, please narrow it down to identify the faulty sensor and replace it. If you're not comfortable doing this as a DIYer, seek expert help immediately.

Correct service Advancetrac error with a OBD - 2 scanner


The Advancetrac service warning light can sometimes be triggered by something other than a problem with the system, particularly when numerous components are still operational. In this instance, get an OBD II scanner so you can figure out what caused the light and fix it as needed.

The most viable solution is to use an advanced scan tool to pinpoint the faulty components. Experienced mechanics can perform visual inspections, identify faults and advise accordingly. Drivers can perform self-diagnosis by inspecting sensor connections, harnesses, and power supply lines. A software update can also help in clearing the error codes.

How Do I Reprogram AdvanceTrac?

One of the most common methods for Ford vehicles to handle the Service Advancetrac Warning Light is to re-program the system, especially if it was triggered by an accident. It's easy enough to reprogram your Ford's Advancetrac. Follow these steps to reset the system.

  • Turn on the car’s ignition and keep it running.
  • Open the car’s deck
  • Remove the battery’s negative terminal.
  • Allow the disconnection for about 5 minutes.
  • After that, reconnect the battery.


Ford owners should expect a Service AdvanceTrac warning light once or more. The drivers ought not to worry. It is an issue that is rectifiable using appropriate diagnosis and tools. Visit the dealership or specialized repair shops when the warning light comes on. 


Can I drive with the Service AdvanceTrac Warning Light On?

The warning light indicates an issue with the vehicle’s stability. Drivers can travel short distances after the light comes on. It is advisable to visit a service center once the warning light shows.

What causes the Service AdvanceTrac warning light to come on?

The warning light comes on if there is a faulty sensor affecting the stability of the vehicle. It could be damaged sensors, poor connection or software issues.