Ford is a renowned automotive brand known for producing high-quality vehicles with advanced technology and cutting-edge features. However, even the most reliable cars can develop faults, and one common warning message that Ford drivers may encounter is the “Drive Control Fault Service Required” message. In this article, we will discuss what this warning means, what causes it, and what you should do if you see it appear on your Ford’s dashboard.
Common causes of drive control fault
Improperly seated fuses
Improperly seated fuses can potentially cause a “Drive Control Fault” warning to appear in a Ford vehicle. It is still important to ensure that all fuses are properly seated and in good condition to prevent any electrical issues that could potentially affect the performance of the vehicle’s control modules.
To check the fuses, you will need to locate the fuse box in your vehicle, which is typically found in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. The location and layout of the fuse box may vary depending on the make and model of your car, so refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions.
Once you have located the fuse box, carefully remove the fuse panel cover and inspect each fuse to see if it is blown or improperly seated. If a fuse appears to be loose or not properly seated, gently push it back into place until it clicks.
It is also important to check all the fuses, even if they appear to be properly seated, as a blown fuse may not always be visible. Use a fuse tester or multimeter to test each fuse and replace any that are faulty.
Bad connector or wire at the shocks
A bad connector or wire at the shocks can potentially cause a “Drive Control Fault” warning to appear in a Ford vehicle. The shock absorbers are part of the suspension system, and if the wiring or connectors are damaged or faulty, it can affect the stability control systems and other electronic components, potentially leading to a “Drive Control Fault” warning. The warning can be caused by a fault in the electronic control module (ECM), which is responsible for monitoring and controlling the vehicle’s performance, including the suspension system.
If there is a fault in the wiring or connectors at the shocks, it can cause the ECM to receive incorrect data, leading to a warning. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the wiring and connectors in the suspension system are properly connected and in good condition to avoid potential issues that could lead to the warning.
If a rodent has chewed through the wiring harness that goes to a shock absorber, it can potentially cause a “Drive Control Fault” warning to appear in a Ford vehicle. The wiring harness contains the electrical connections that are critical to the proper functioning of the shock absorber and the electronic control systems that monitor and control the vehicle’s performance.
If the wiring harness is damaged or disconnected, it can cause the electronic control module (ECM) to receive incorrect data, which can result in warning lights appearing on the dashboard. In some cases, the damage to the wiring harness may also affect other systems, such as the stability control system, which can cause the “Drive Control Fault” warning to appear.
If you suspect that a rodent has damaged the wiring harness or any other components of your vehicle, it is important to have it inspected by a certified mechanic as soon as possible.
Control unit malfunction
A control unit malfunction can cause the “Drive Control Fault” warning to appear in a Ford vehicle. Control units, also known as electronic control units (ECUs), are responsible for controlling various systems within the vehicle, such as the transmission, engine, and stability control systems.
If there is a malfunction with one or more control units, it can lead to the “Drive Control Fault” warning appearing on the dashboard. This can happen if the control unit is not receiving the correct information from other sensors or systems, or if there is a software glitch or electrical failure within the control unit itself.
Diagnosing a control unit malfunction can be complex, and may require specialized diagnostic equipment to retrieve any stored trouble codes from the affected ECUs. If a control unit malfunction is suspected, it is recommended to have the vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic who has experience working with Ford models to ensure that the underlying cause is properly diagnosed and repaired.
Use an OBDII scanner to diagnose the issue
Using an OBDII scanner is a common method to diagnose issues with a vehicle, including those related to the “Drive Control Fault” warning in a Ford. The OBDII (On-Board Diagnostics) system is a standardized diagnostic system that is built into most modern vehicles, including Ford models.
When a “Drive Control Fault” warning appears on the dashboard, an OBDII scanner can be used to read the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that are stored in the vehicle’s ECM. These codes provide information about the specific system or component that is causing the issue, which can help a mechanic to diagnose and repair the problem.
For example, if the “Drive Control Fault” warning is caused by a faulty shock absorber or a damaged wiring harness, the OBDII scanner can help identify the specific DTCs related to those components. The mechanic can then use that information to inspect and repair the affected components, which should resolve the issue.
It is important to note that an OBDII scanner is just one tool that can be used to diagnose issues with a vehicle, and it may not always provide a complete or accurate diagnosis. If you are experiencing any issues with your vehicle, it is recommended to have it inspected by a certified mechanic who has experience working with Ford models to ensure that the underlying cause is properly diagnosed and repaired.