“As I was trying to turn left at a junction, I saw the Active Info screen showing “Front Assist Not Available.” There are a few other illuminating warning lights, alongside, too. What’s responsible?” Yeah, I can imagine your pain and frustration. Having adaptive safety systems in your vehicle is a great way to drive safely and comfortably. A functional front assist will alert you if a vehicle is coming or a collision is imminent. But when this technology fails to work, what could be the cause? Let’s find out in this article.
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What Does the Front Assist Mean?
As the name implies, the Front Assist is an auto safety feature. Automakers install this system in cars as an anti-collision alert technology. It’s designed to help drivers in dangerous situations and notify them in case of any potential collision ahead. The Front Assist uses a sensor to monitor the situation in front of the car to ensure maximum safety.
If you use a Volkswagen model, the Front Assist is located in the grille behind the VW logo. This position is often considered too low to the ground. Hence, moisture, rock, or ice can build up, causing the sensor to deactivate. The dirt can also create false readings or positives.
When you’re faced with any possible collision, the Front Assist automatically presses the brake. This way, it can break the speed, let you have adaptive cruise control, and maneuver the car effectively, while mitigating the consequences.
Plus, this driving assistant and safety system can also stop your vehicle to prevent it from colliding with any oncoming vehicle. While the technology prevents your car from hitting an oncoming car, it, however, could increase your chance of getting from behind.
Why is the Front Assist Not Available and what are the Fixes?
There are several reasons the Front Assist may not work or become unavailable. The fixes aren’t as difficult as many had thought.
The Issue: Dirty radar sensor
The first and most common cause of a Front Assist not available message is a dirty radar sensor. These short-range devices are located on both sides of your car’s rear bumper. They monitor what happens behind or directly alongside the car. A buildup of road sand, moisture, rocks, debris, or other impacts can dent the radar sensor or make it dirty. Thus, it can cause it to take incorrect readings. This will prompt the Front Assist not available message. You may also observe a little dent in the radar sensor’s alignment.
The Perfect Fix: The thing to do if the radar sensors get dirty is to clean them. A mixture of mild soap with clean water and a piece of soft cloth can do wonders. Ensure you clean the windscreen as well. Follow the proper process of cleaning a radar sensor and windscreen so you don’t end up damaging these critical components. For the alignment issue, all you need to do is to align the radar sensor in its place.
The Issue: Recent Repair or Paintwork
Did you carry out any painting work recently on your car? Or, perhaps, you made some structural modifications to the car’s frontal part. When you repaired a damaged sensor, it requires repainting so the color can match your vehicle. However, if you scuffed the sensor membrane before painting, it can cause damage to the sensor. Although it’s not recommended to repaint already painted parking or Front Assist sensors, some car owners make the mistake.
The Perfect Fix: Replace the radar sensor once its view is obstructed.
The Issue: Impaired Camera view
If you notice that the Front Assist is not available, an impaired camera view can be responsible. A blurry dashboard camera is often caused by a dirty AF sensor. These sensors are located at the bottom of the camera. Front-stuck carrier bags, dust, or debris can clog or blur the camera sensor, thereby impairing the camera from having a precise focus.
The Perfect Fix: The thing to do is to ensure that you clean the sensor with a microfiber cloth. Alternatively, you can use a hand blower to remove the dust in the AF sensor.
The Issue: Unfavorable Weather Conditions
A poor weather condition can cause your Active Info display to indicate ‘Front Assist not available.’ Heavy rain, fog, snow, or ice in cold isn’t a perfect condition for the Front Assist. Wintery conditions often cause this adaptive safety technology from working well.
The Perfect Fix: There’s not so much you can do about weather conditions. However, you can target when to go out. Allow the weather to get better before. Your car wiper will also help in clearing water, mildew, or fog setting down on your windscreen.
The Issue: Impeding add-on accessories
A Front Assist not available message can also be caused by plug-ins or add-on accessories. Once you notice that the Front Assist is not working, it may be that you have added a few accessories to the device. These extras blur or impair the camera view of the Front Assist.
The Perfect Fix: What you do is remove the unnecessary or extra accessories that are blocking the view of the Front Assist camera.
What does the Front Assist warning mean?
When the Front Assist warning light comes on, it means that Front Assist has detected a potential collision risk ahead. The thing to do is to step your foot on the brake pedal. Alternatively, you can take any evasive action to deactivate the light once the risk is no more. However, if the light won’t go off, then contact a professional technician.
Safety is the first and last thing to consider when driving. It doesn’t matter the model, makes, or year of your car. The Front Assist comes in handy in this regard. Like the blind spot detector and predictive cruise control features, the Front Assist should always be functional. Don’t wait until you’re in a potential head-to-head collision with an oncoming car before activating this feature. I hope this article helps.