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How to Troubleshoot the Explorer Backup Sensor

by Patrick Nelson

The latest Ford Explorer vehicles are sold with optional RADAR collision avoidance systems, backup cameras and other safety features, including a backup sensor that Ford calls a Reverse Sensing System (RSS). RSS sounds a tone to warn the driver of obstacles adjacent to the back bumper under certain circumstances. Problems with the RSS system can be related to speed, types of objects encountered and vehicle add-ons (like trailer hitches). These kinds of issues can be corrected by following some troubleshooting.

Step 1

Reduce the reversing speed to below 3 mph if the system doesn't warn you of objects. The system isn't designed to be used at speeds over 3 mph.

Step 2

Make sure that you're not trying to use the RSS in environments that it's not designed for if you continue to have problems. The system is designed for flat, parking-lot-type driving. It will only work in reverse, and may not work in rain or snow. Large and fixed objects are sensed best. Objects that are angular, small, close to the ground or moving may not be detectable to the system.

Remove bike racks, hunting racks and other trailer-like attachments if the RSS creates false alarms. The system is detecting the trailer hitch gear. Disable the system using the control in the dashboard Message System when towing or using hitch apparatus. Scroll through until you find the setting.

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