Encountering a “Reverse Brake Assist Not Available” error message may catch you off guard. But don’t worry, it’s a common issue with certain vehicles, and there are steps you can take to resolve it.
This message indicates that the reverse brake assist system in your vehicle is currently unavailable, which may affect your ability to safely reverse.
Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting methods you can follow to fix this problem and regain the full functionality of your vehicle’s reverse brake assist system.
Before diving into the potential solutions, it’s essential to understand your vehicle’s reverse brake assist feature.
This advanced technology helps prevent collisions by automatically applying the brakes while reversing when it detects obstacles in the vehicle’s path.
Having a clear understanding of this feature will help you diagnose and resolve the “Not Available” error message much more efficiently.
To address this error message quickly and safely, you’re advised to follow a few key steps, which may include resetting the system, checking for potential obstructions on your vehicle’s sensors, or even having your vehicle inspected by a professional.
Understanding Reverse Brake Assist
Reverse Brake Assist is an advanced safety feature found in some modern vehicles that helps prevent potential collisions while reversing.
When engaged, the system monitors the area behind your vehicle for obstacles and can apply the brakes automatically if it detects any imminent collision.
When engaged, the Reverse Brake Assist System operates the car at speeds between 1-7 mph (2-12 km/h).
If the system detects an obstacle, it can provide a warning through the rear parking aid or cross-traffic alert system before applying the brakes.
However, if you see an error message that says “Reverse Brake Assist Not Available,” it might require some troubleshooting.
One possible reason for this message could be that your vehicle’s doors, liftgate, tailgate, or hood are not fully closed. Drive your vehicle on a straight road for a short period after making sure these are closed.
If you’re using vehicle accessories like a bike rack while reversing, Reverse Brake Assist might misinterpret it as an obstacle and apply the brakes.
In this case, you can turn off the Reverse Brake Assist feature by following these steps:
- On your in-vehicle screen, go to Settings
- Select Driver Assistance
- Tap Reverse Brake Assist
- Toggle the feature to Off
If the problem persists, you can try resetting the brake assist system by doing the following:
- Park your car in a safe location and turn off the engine
- Open the car hood
- Unscrew the battery’s positive terminal and remove the cable
- Get inside the driver’s seat, press the brake pedal for a minute, then release the pedal
- Reconnect the battery.
If the error message still appears after trying these solutions, consult your vehicle’s manual or seek assistance from a professional mechanic to diagnose and fix the problem.
What To Do When You Encounter the Reverse Brake Assist Not Available Error
Here are a few things you can do to remove this error.
Inspecting Sensors and Wiring
Your vehicle’s reverse brake assist system relies on sensors to detect obstacles and work correctly.
To ensure the system is functioning properly, you should inspect the rear sensors for damage, debris, or dirt that may be obstructing their view.
Clean the sensors as needed and ensure they are securely attached to your vehicle.
Additionally, check the wiring connected to these sensors, making sure there are no signs of damage, corrosion, or loose connections.
Any issues with the wiring can cause the system to malfunction and display the “Reverse Brake Assist Not Available” message. Repair or replace any damaged wiring as needed.
Taking the time to diagnose the problem will help you understand the underlying issue and determine the best course of action to fix it.
Rear Camera and Network Interruption
Another common issue is network interruption or problems with the rear camera.
If your rear camera is obscured, it might trigger the ‘Reverse Brake Assist Not Available’ message.
An interruption in your vehicle’s network, for example, in 2021 Mustang Mach-E and F-150 vehicles, can also cause this warning. This happens because the steering center in the vehicle gets reset.
To rediscover the center, drive for a few minutes at a slow speed, about 18 mph (30 km/h) on a flat, straight road.
The car will rediscover the steering center and remove the reverse brake assist not available warning will go away.
Running a Scan For Errors
Many cars have onboard diagnostic systems that can provide valuable information about the fault.
You can use an OBD-II (Onboard Diagnostic II) scanner to access these codes.
Once you have retrieved the error code(s), consult your vehicle’s manual or search for the codes online to help identify the specific problem.
When sensors, wiring, or software updates do not resolve the error message, it may be time to seek assistance from your Ford dealer.
The dealer may provide a solution utilizing the most up-to-date Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), addressing issues related to the Reverse Brake Assist system.
Moreover, they can verify if there are any recalls or ongoing warranty coverages for your vehicle.
If your vehicle is still under warranty, repairs related to the Reverse Brake Assist system should be performed without any cost to you.
The dealership experts will identify the root cause and suggest appropriate measures to fix the issue, ensuring a smooth and safe driving experience.
Prevention and Maintenance
Regular Checkups and Maintenance
One way to prevent the “Reverse Brake Assist Not Available” error message is by performing regular checkups and maintenance on your vehicle.
This includes ensuring your rear camera system is clean and functioning properly, and all sensors are in good condition.
If you notice any issues or warning messages, address them promptly by consulting your vehicle owner’s manual or taking your car to a professional mechanic.
Reactivate Disabled Reverse Brake Assist
If your reverse brake assist is disabled or not functioning, you can reactivate it by following the recommended steps in your vehicle owner’s manual or consult with a professional mechanic.
This may involve resetting or updating certain modules, such as the steering center find, which can become faulty due to network interruptions or failed updates.
Rear Camera Maintenance
The rear camera plays a major role in your reverse brake assist system. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly inspect and maintain the camera for optimal performance.
Ensure that it is clean, free from debris or dirt, and functioning correctly. If you encounter any issues with your rear camera, address them immediately to avoid compromising your vehicle’s safety features.
A “Reverse Brake Assist Not Available” error message usually occurs either because of a sensor of camera-related problem, or else it could be due to a network issue during modular programming.
To resolve the issue, your best bet is to check that all your doors and hatch are locked, the sensors and camera are clean and have no debris on it, and then check for the network error.
Network errors can be resolved by driving the car at a slow speed on a flat surface for a few miles. If none of this works, it is best to take your vehicle to a professional who can take a look at the issue.