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‘14 Fiesta SE “Hill Assist not Available” + more

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Alma
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What I Drive
2014 Ford Fiesta
#1
Afternoon, long time listener / creeper first time caller. I bought a ‘14 Fiesta SE from a dealer a little while ago and I’ve been running into a couple issues I’m having a hell of a time diagnosing.

I will be driving normally down the flat road and then my car loses power and my “hill assist not available” chime comes up along with a flurry of dash light ups. To add to injury I cannot drive my car at night because the headlights flicker brightness and occasionally shut off when that message pops up. I tend to get it whenever I roll a window up as well.
It is not throwing any codes that could be found. Anyone else experience this? Battery is brand new.
 

LionsTooth

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#2
Battery ground connection is a common issue with these cars. Clean both ends of the ground cable and the grounded connection, try it out...that doesn't work keep finding grounds in the engine bay to clean. Best to do one connection at a time and try it out so you know which one it was when it happens again in 5 years.
 
OP
H
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2014 Ford Fiesta
Thread Starter #3
Battery ground connection is a common issue with these cars. Clean both ends of the ground cable and the grounded connection, try it out...that doesn't work keep finding grounds in the engine bay to clean. Best to do one connection at a time and try it out so you know which one it was when it happens again in 5 years.
Thank you! I will give that a shot
 

scotman

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#4
Being a Michigan car. I would remove the battery and the tray it sets in. There is a cluster of ground connections that reside under the tray. Good old fashioned Vaseline petroleum jelly is the best- cheapest way to protect the grounds after you have wire brushed them and refastened them.
I think that we did a pictorial of this a year or so back.
 

LionsTooth

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#7
I cannot love this enough
thank you as well scotman I will give that a shot! I’ll let you know if it was successful
Yeah you can take a boy out of Michigan, but you can't take Michigan out of a boy; Ann Arbor born (at U of M hospital).

1634158149916.png
 

Handy Andy

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#8
As you work on those "ground connections" remember too, that many of these are simple stranded copper wire crimped and sealed in shrink wrap - so they are even prone to breaking in two...

So that means - you may be able to get the connector off and clean up the ground, but the actual ground that wire is supposed to conduct to - may have broken / corroded open inside - BREAKING the connection.

That is a worse case scenario and I unfortunately found it more than once on different cars across all brands - so that means you may have a job to get these ground connections to work, and then ESTABLISH or REESTABLISH the ground connections - may require considerable effort to re-run the wire or trim off the bad corroded wire back at the device it powers and redo a ground point from the connector at the device - to a mounting bolt at the device to complete the circuit return.

It is unfortunate that although the Automotive industry in general, has done a tremendous job of making their connectors work for a long time, that doesn't fix the problem of poor dielectric breakdown of the wires own insulation sleeve "jacket" allowing water entry and eventual corroding away of the internal conductor - breaking the wire to open the circuit from within the wire sleeve itself. It's why they wrap the loom like they do to prevent any punctures but age and vibration of the older aged sleeve works against the now stiffened no-longer pliable wire and cracks the dielectric open allowing the water entry.

There are quite a few threads about Battery Life and if you can remember this article...
1634216506752.png
You might want to think that this is the time you dug it out of that Pile of
"Reading Material" you kept in the bathroom for those special moments​
 

scotman

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#9
Andy makes some very good points regarding the potential condition of any given ground connections.
I have seen this issue with three 2011 Fiesta's in my area.
I think that the problem is most prevalent on the 11's and 12's because they had under hood fuse boxes that were not really weather proofed as well as they should have been.
I was not particularly impressed by how the grounds were done from day one until the end of the production of the Fiesta.
Both the exposed attachment and poorly sealed wire end were an obvious open invitation to corrosion.
On the battery side of the situation, there is no space for a battery of appropriate capacity to give the rather electrically intensive Fiesta enough capacity to perform normally even when at less than ideal state of charge.
Andy probably could shed some light on the issues of under capacity systems and how important it is to load test even a new battery before you drop it into your Fiesta !
Issue one is a condition called sulfation. Where the battery is partially dead due to being in a constant undercharged state.
And the other issue is understanding why "surface charging" of a battery can mask a capacity problem that will result in an array of warning lights and canbus communication failures, seemingly random and out of nowhere. When the hard truth is the battery is turning to shit.
These are un glamorous issues that are lurking around within the wiring of every modern car.
 

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