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Hill Start Assist Not Available in Ford F150 Causes and Fixes

Last updated on January 17th, 2024

“Hill Start Assist Not Available” is an error message that appears when the feature is not working due to an issue. A common cause of this message is manually turning off the system, driving with the hood open, or pressing the start button too long.

But sometimes, a bad ABS sensor, a weak or corroded battery, corrupt firmware, and a blown brake light fuse can also cause it.

Here’s why and how to fix the “Hill Start Assist Not Available Ford F150” error message that appears.

Meaning of Hill Start Assist Not Available Ford F150

“Hill Start Assist Not Available” is a message that may appear when there is an issue with the Hill Start Assist system. This could be due to a malfunction in one of the sensors or components used to control the system. For example, a bad ABS sensor, ESC, TC, etc.

However, the message may also appear if the system has been turned off manually.

Source: F150 Forum

Can You Drive with Hill Start Assist Not Available?

You can still drive your Ford F150 if the Hill Start Assist system is unavailable. However, to prevent the vehicle from rolling backward, use the brake pedal carefully when starting the vehicle on a hill.

If the Hill Start Assist system is unavailable, you must rely on your skills to start the vehicle on a hill safely.

This may involve using the handbrake or parking brake to hold the vehicle in place while you release the foot brake. Then gradually releasing the brake while applying the accelerator to move forward.

Hill Start Assist Not Available in Ford F150: Reasons and Solutions

If you need the assistance of “Hill Start Assist,” you should get your vehicle checked. Here are some reasons why your “Hill Start Assist” is not available-

Reasons

  • Bad ABS sensor
  • Weak or corroded battery
  • Battery replacement
  • Corrupt software
  • ESC and TC turned off
  • The brake light fuse blown

Solution 1: Restart the Vehicle

Sometimes “Hills Start Assist Not Available” can appear randomly without any issue.

The message can appear while starting the car with the hood open or pressing the start button too long. In such an event, just restart the car and see if it disappears.

Solution 2: Turn on the ESC and TC

If you have the electronic stability control and the traction control off, the “Hill Start Assist Not Available” message will appear.

Simply turning the ESC and TC on will solve the problem. In this case, TC and ESC lights will be on.

Solution 3: Reset the BMS

The “Hill Start Assist Not Available” message can appear if you recently replaced your battery without resetting the BMS. Resetting the battery monitoring system (BMS) should solve this problem.

Solution 4: Clean or Replace the Battery

The “Hill Start Assist” error message may appear if the battery has a low voltage. Make sure your battery terminals are corrosion-free by cleaning them with corrosion cleaner.

Make sure the battery voltage is correct by using a multimeter. If the charge is below 10 volts, it indicates a faulty battery. Here is a chart for you to understand your battery health-

Battery VoltageWhat It Means
12-12.6v (with the car off), 13-14.7 (with the car on)Healthy and charged battery
11-12vDrained, needs to recharge
10 or less than 10Weak battery, needs to replace

Here is a video guide on how to replace a car battery-

How to Replace a Car Battery (the Right Way)

Solution 5: Updating the ABS Sensor Module Software

Using corrupt ABS sensor module software can cause the “Hill Start Assist Not Available” message to come up. Simply updating the software should fix the problem.

Tutorial: Ford Module Firmware Update with Forscan

Solution 6: Replace the ABS Sensor

A bad ABS sensor can make the “Hill Start Assist” error message appear on your Ford F150. In that case, you must check if the ABS sensor works.

To check the sensor, locate and remove it from the harness. Then connect it to a multimeter using alligator clips. Set the multimeter to read in the 20 kOhm range. 

Now, the meter should give you a reading between 800-2000 ohms. If the reading is not within this range, replace your ABS sensor.

How to Replace an ABS Wheel Sensor Ford F150

Solution 7: Replacing the Brake Light Fuse

The “Hill Start Assist” is related to the vehicle’s braking system and uses the brake light fuse. So if the brake light fuse is blown, it can trigger the “Hill Start Assist Not Available” error message.

To locate the brake light fuse, refer to the owner’s manual of your vehicle. Once you do, you can test the fuse with a multimeter. Set the multimeter to read ohms, and the reading should be 0 or close to 0 ohms.

If the reading shows infinity or a higher number, it indicates that the fuse is blown and requires a replacement. While replacing the fuse, ensure the new one has the same amperage as the previous one.

Final thoughts

The error message “Hill Start Assist Not Available” in Ford F150  doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious issue.

Still, you should look into the problem, as it has the potential to damage your F150 further.

However, if the “Hill Start Assist Not Available” message is accompanied by other error messages and warning lights, it can mean something serious.

If that is the case, you should get your vehicle inspected as soon as possible.

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