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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time really testing out the AWD system on a muddy road and it failed me miserably. Was trying to climb a slippery section of road going into a friends property and the wheels began to spin. I tried to back up and get a new approach but soon after that, the AWD system shut down. It would not work again until i was able to get pulled out of my stuck position and back to flat ground.

System seemed to work after that, but what good does it do if the system shuts down while you are stuck? I know these arent made to go to the rubicon, but a slippery dirt road, come on man! What gives? Im sure its a safety thing Ford implemented for the system to not over heat or get abused, but litteraly 4 minutes of trying to get unstuck shuts the system down? Anyone ever experience this? Hoping someone has and can tell me a way to bypass this system shutdown? Thought i had the perfect camping vehicle in the new Transit, but with no confidence in the system now, it has me worried.
 

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Sorry to hear you experience. When you say shut down- how did it let you know this - a dash message?
I'm sure you tried a bunch of reset tries, restarting etc.
What drive mode where you in?
If you are climbing a slippery hill you should have it in mud /ruts (NOT slippery) so there is less or no traction control.
thanks for sharing
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry to hear you experience. When you say shut down- how did it let you know this - a dash message?
I'm sure you tried a bunch of reset tries, restarting etc.
What drive mode where you in?
If you are climbing a slippery hill you should have it in mud /ruts (NOT slippery) so there is less or no traction control.
thanks for sharing
Yeah switched into Mud/Rutts mode which i think automatically disables traction control if im not mistaken?

Wheels started to spin in the mud and i was only able to try to get unstuck for about a minute before a message on the dash said something to the effect of "AWD system shutting down" I cant remember exactly what it said since i was heated at this point and worried about backing down this muddy hill without going over the edge. i was really surprised it shut off. i was almost at the top of the hill before it shut down. I would have made it even spinning the tires if the system hadn't failed me.

Of course being such a new model etc.. im sure experiences are low with issues with the system, but was just hoping someone has had the same issue and found a fix? I have the LSD in the rear, so other than installing an air locker (which i may have to do now if possible) i think i have all Ford can offer etc... I just hate mechanical systems like this that have no override or no fail safe. Thank god for friends with 4x4 or i would still be stuck there.

Is there a magic fuse i can remove to make the system stupid so it wont shut off? (lol) I would rather overheat the system than be stranded. Should be my choice to decide that. (lol)
 

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Question: did you post this or something similar on Ford Transit USA group on Facebook? thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Question: did you post this or something similar on Ford Transit USA group on Facebook? thanks
Yes a friend of mine did for feedback. Was just hoping there was a solution out there for me somewhere. Just shocked it failed so quickly.
 

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Were you stuck or still moving forward and climbing when you say you were spinning your tires for a minute?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Were you stuck or still moving forward and climbing when you say you were spinning your tires for a minute?
Wheels started to spin, but i was still moving and making forward progress, until i wasnt and the system shut down. I would have made it no problem if i could have kept the power on and have they system stay on. Once it failed and shut down, i was done and helpless. Frustrating to say the least how it failed so quickly.
 

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The Ford Transit is not unique in this issue. Most modern electronic AWD systems with traction control can freak out when the computer can't figure out what to do. Worst I've had was Toyota. Best has been Audi. All depends on the model and configuration. We all wish that the nanny systems didn't go this far but they do and we have to recognize they are not off-road cars so they have limitations. You just have to be smarter than the computer when it comes to certain stucks.
 

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Did you just come off the highway before this happened? Exhaust temps directly affect the PTU (AWD transfer case) temps.

That said.... wouldn’t hurt to double check the fluid level. Low fluid will heat up faster.
 

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Wheels started to spin, but i was still moving and making forward progress, until i wasnt and the system shut down. I would have made it no problem if i could have kept the power on and have they system stay on. Once it failed and shut down, i was done and helpless. Frustrating to say the least how it failed so quickly.
It doesn’t surprise me, AWD is not made for continuous long term spinning of the tires. The system that allows it to change from front/rear will heat up eventually. Looks like you found the limits. This is why the manual has a warning about deep sand and how long you can go in it.

Only a full time 4wd system will allow you to continuously spin, at least until you break one of the front axles under the right circumstances. It is the weak point for these independent front axle assemblies. Especially for a fully loaded down van.

Of course a deep lug mud tire makes a big difference, but isn’t good for anything else. Everything else just packs up and spins.
 

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Ordered 12/16/2020 R3U AWD Adventure Pkg. No VIN or any news from Ford ford since..
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This is a solid case for making sure you have the proper recovery gear. Growing up in Wyoming we always had a saying that you "use 4x4 to get you out of a bad spot, not to get you into one". I can't tell you how many times i walked several miles home in drifted blowing snow to get help for not heeding that advice.
 

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Mud on the sensors? Trying to go to fast? What gear? Overload of the sensors with these new fangled things will leave you stuck.
Glad i chose Quadvan
 

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Yeah switched into Mud/Rutts mode which i think automatically disables traction control if im not mistaken?
Looking in the owners manual I don't see any mention of the need to disable traction control, which some on this thoughtful posted about the necessity of doing so in some conditions. Nor do I see any mention of traction control being automatically disabled by the vehicle in any mode/conditions. All of the information in the manual basically reeks of legal disclosure. Why does that not surprise me.

There is a Waldoch YouTube video that is an excellent overview but does not get into the "nitty gritty" details. If anyone can point to a good source of information official (preferably) or otherwise on the functionality of the "intelligent" AWD system, it would be greatly appreciated by me and I am sure many others on this forum.
 

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so AWD system is shut down

that means your no longer in MUD AND RUT setting

presumably then youre in 2wd mode with TCS back on

with LSD in the rear for it to be effective you need to push TCS off again

LSD with weight in the back can handle alot
 

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ok, ive got the time,,

:"
If your vehicle is equipped with AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™, it could be beneficial to disengage the AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ system while attempting to rock the vehicle.
Note: Do not rock the vehicle if the engine is not at normal operating temperature or damage to the transmission could occur.
Note: Do not rock the vehicle for more than a few minutes or damage to the transmission and tires could occur or the engine could overheat."
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys for all of the feedback. I think getting some tow hooks are a must at this point as it would have been easy to be pulled out from the front, but glad i didnt try, my bumber would still be there. (lol)

As mentioned, there are no easy access points from the front to attach too, but aftermarket options for tow hooks are out there, just take a bit to install as the entire front end has to come off to install.

Next time i will try other modes, turn off other stuff etc... just to play around to see if it shuts down again, but i need a backup plan and i think tow hooks are it at a minimal cost. Quigly install is not an option at this point $$$$
 

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"Note: Excessive tire slippage can cause driveline damage.
All-Wheel Drive Information Messages

traction control
The system automatically turns on each time you switch the ignition on.
If your vehicle is stuck in mud or snow, switching traction control off may be beneficial as this allows the wheels to spin.




Message Description
AWD Temporarily Locked​
The system is temporarily locked.This could be due to the system increasing its capacity in order to improve performance.​
AWD Temporarily Disabled​
The system temporarily turns off.This could be due to the system overheating.Stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so and allow the system to cool.​
AWD Restored​
The system resumes normal function.​
AWD Malfunction Service Required​
The system has malfunctioned.Have your vehicle checked as soon as possible.​
AWD OFF​
The system temporarily turns off to protect itself from overheating or if you are using a mismatched tire.

 

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I have a transfer case from an AWD Transit opened up on my bench right now. Got tired of so little information available from Ford so I bought one and disassembled it :). I can say with a high amount of confidence that the issue you had with the AWD system is 100% due to the AWD control module software and how it handles (...or in your case chokes on and errors out because of...) the incoming wheel speed data. The transfer case mechanicals internally are simple. The encoder motor that controls the front drive engagement is simple and provides the module with nothing other than a positional signal (there is no temperature sensing of the t-case or the encoder motor in the system). The "AWD" engagement is all handled by the module and the algorithms (which are different depending on the drive mode selected) and the math behind relative wheel speeds vs. throttle position vs. output shaft speed and any number of variables Ford has chosen to use. It's possible that the module itself has a temp sensing shutdown mechanism, after all it is engaging/disengaging a 20amp motor in real-time based on how the wheel speeds are interpreted. I could see the module heating up quickly if it was having to "work" a lot to manage the response to the drive mode algorithm but I don't see the motor having any issues because it doesn't actually see any significant load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
"Note: Excessive tire slippage can cause driveline damage.
All-Wheel Drive Information Messages

traction control
The system automatically turns on each time you switch the ignition on.
If your vehicle is stuck in mud or snow, switching traction control off may be beneficial as this allows the wheels to spin.




Message Description
AWD Temporarily Locked​
The system is temporarily locked.This could be due to the system increasing its capacity in order to improve performance.​
AWD Temporarily Disabled​
The system temporarily turns off.This could be due to the system overheating.Stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so and allow the system to cool.​
AWD Restored​
The system resumes normal function.​
AWD Malfunction Service Required​
The system has malfunctioned.Have your vehicle checked as soon as possible.​
AWD OFF​
The system temporarily turns off to protect itself from overheating or if you are using a mismatched tire.
Thanks Van7 for the info. Now it comes back to me, it was the AWD temporarily disabled message i got on the display. Im sure due to it saving itself, but makes no sense as it failed that quickly. I would think i would get a little bit more before it shut down? Like the manual says, 2.5 miles in deep sand will make the system fail, but i didnt go anywhere near even a 1/4 mile before it shut off. I just dont trust it anymore and cannot rely on that system to save me unless there is a way to disable the safety feature of it saving itself and leaving me stranded. Sure wish someone had a dongle or something. (lol) I would by pass any factory safety setting in a heart beat as most often than not, it shuts down way before its close to failure. All i needed was 50 more feet and i would have been to the top.
 
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