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Can't bring it out of neutral tow mode, check brake, precollision system deactivated, won't start

strawhatguy

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I guess I did something wrong. I put my bronco into neutral tow mode while trying to pop the center console (I was installing a gmrs radio). I had to put the shifter in neutral to get it off, and I thought (perhaps stupidly, also to learn how it works) neutral tow mode would be safer.

I also had the battery disconnected, just be safe. I may have reconnected the battery before hooking up the center panel connections.

Anyway I hooked up Forscan to it, and was able to reset most DTCs, however this one keeps coming back:
===IPMA DTC U0418:86-AF===
Code: U0418 - Invalid Data Received from Brake System Control Module 'A'

Additional Fault Symptom :)86):
- Signal Invalid

Status (-AF):
- DTC Present at Time of Request
- Malfunction Indicator Lamp is On for this DTC

Module: Image Processing Module A

Freeze Frame #1:
-EVENT_TIME: 18254933 s (Wed Feb 21 22:12:10 2024) - Event time
-TOTAL_DISTANCE: 2661 km - Total Distance
-MODULE_VOLTAGE: 11.8 V - Control Module Voltage
-OUTDOOR_TEMPERATURE: 12 °C - Outside temperature
-ECU_POWER_SUPPLY: 11.6 V - ECU Power Supply Voltage
-ECU_INTERNAL_TEMPERATURE: 24 °C - ECU Internal Temperature
===END IPMA DTC U0418:86-AF===
Anyone know what things I should check? Signal Invalid sounds like a loose connection somewhere?
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There is a SSM out for "stuck in neutral tow mode". How this happened should not matter but we did have one of these waaaaaay before the SSM came out and the module did fix it. Probably need to have the dealer look at.

SSM 52197 2021-2024 Bronco - Stuck In Neutral Tow Mode - Built On Or Before 12-Jan-2024Some 2021-2024 Bronco vehicles equipped with 4x4 with part time engagement and built on or before 12-Jan-2024 may exhibit a condition of the vehicle being stuck in neutral tow mode. This may be due to a concern with the all-wheel drive (AWD) module software. Make sure the proper procedure is being followed to exit neutral tow mode by referring to the Owner's Manual > Towing Your Vehicle > Recreationally Towing Your Vehicle. Make sure the vehicle's battery is fully charged and then diagnose all diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) in the AWD module. Refer to Workshop Manual (WSM), Section 307-07A. If diagnostics do not resolve the concern or there are no DTCs present in the AWD module, reprogram the AWD module using the latest software level of the Ford Diagnosis and Repair System (FDRS) diagnostic scan tool. Refer to the appropriate section of the WSM. Once the repair is complete, verify the vehicle's ability to successfully enter and exit neutral tow mode by cycling the vehicle in and out of neutral tow mode a minimum of two times, allowing the vehicle to enter sleep mode (key-off for at least 5 minutes) between each cycle. This software release will have no other impact on the neutral tow experience or operation from current design. For claiming, use causal part 7P238 and applicable labor operations in Section 07 of the Service Labor Time Standards (SLTS) Manual.
 
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strawhatguy

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There is a SSM out for "stuck in neutral tow mode". How this happened should not matter but we did have one of these waaaaaay before the SSM came out and the module did fix it. Probably need to have the dealer look at.

SSM 52197 2021-2024 Bronco - Stuck In Neutral Tow Mode - Built On Or Before 12-Jan-2024Some 2021-2024 Bronco vehicles equipped with 4x4 with part time engagement and built on or before 12-Jan-2024 may exhibit a condition of the vehicle being stuck in neutral tow mode. This may be due to a concern with the all-wheel drive (AWD) module software. Make sure the proper procedure is being followed to exit neutral tow mode by referring to the Owner's Manual > Towing Your Vehicle > Recreationally Towing Your Vehicle. Make sure the vehicle's battery is fully charged and then diagnose all diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) in the AWD module. Refer to Workshop Manual (WSM), Section 307-07A. If diagnostics do not resolve the concern or there are no DTCs present in the AWD module, reprogram the AWD module using the latest software level of the Ford Diagnosis and Repair System (FDRS) diagnostic scan tool. Refer to the appropriate section of the WSM. Once the repair is complete, verify the vehicle's ability to successfully enter and exit neutral tow mode by cycling the vehicle in and out of neutral tow mode a minimum of two times, allowing the vehicle to enter sleep mode (key-off for at least 5 minutes) between each cycle. This software release will have no other impact on the neutral tow experience or operation from current design. For claiming, use causal part 7P238 and applicable labor operations in Section 07 of the Service Labor Time Standards (SLTS) Manual.
well this sucks. I’m not sure how to get it to the dealer though, if it really requires a repair. Some of the other threads are scary: the transmission is ruined? I didn’t even move the vehicle…. I hope this is covered under warranty.
 

zuke

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well this sucks. I’m not sure how to get it to the dealer though, if it really requires a repair. Some of the other threads are scary: the transmission is ruined? I didn’t even move the vehicle…. I hope this is covered under warranty.
If you haven't moved the vehicle, you haven't broken anything yet...

I'll bet the issue came up when you disconnected the battery after putting it into Neutral Tow, many of the horror stories involve the battery dyeing while in neutral tow, and you basically just simulated that ;)

First question, does the vehicle move if you have the e-brake off and give it a push (Not hard, just a few inches) If not, it isn't really in Neutral Tow.

If you're confident you got everything hooked up right, I'd try following the procedures to put it into neutral tow again, and follow that up with the procedures to take it out (Follow the owners manual steps carefully). Do it a few times if it doesn't seem to work the first time.

If you don't have any luck, Yeah, off to the dealer.. I wouldn't move it personally, I'd call for a flatbed
 

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I guess I did something wrong. I put my bronco into neutral tow mode while trying to pop the center console (I was installing a gmrs radio). I had to put the shifter in neutral to get it off, and I thought (perhaps stupidly, also to learn how it works) neutral tow mode would be safer.

I also had the battery disconnected, just be safe. I may have reconnected the battery before hooking up the center panel connections.

Anyway I hooked up Forscan to it, and was able to reset most DTCs, however this one keeps coming back:


Anyone know what things I should check? Signal Invalid sounds like a loose connection somewhere?
Hi there, Matt. This neutral tow mode concern doesn’t sound like something we want you to experience with your Bronco. If you are still in need of assistance, could you please send us a PM with your VIN and the name and location of your Ford dealer? To send a private message, just click on our username and select "Start Conversation". I'd be happy to look into how I can assist you on my end.
 

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strawhatguy

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Whew! Finally got it out of neutral tow mode.

what I did:
Bought a battery charger, as the SSM @flip mentions start with a full battery, and I charged the battery. (possibly not necessary, but rules out that variable)
Then, accessory only power on, hold brake for 7 seconds. But, unlike the manual, continue holding the brake and shift into Park. Keep holding the brake until 2H lights up and you hear the transmission change.

Kudos to my sales guy at my dealer, who gave a screenshot of somewhere else on this forum I missed with this procedure. Putting it here too for anyone else.

So it seems the owners manual isn’t quite up-to-date on how to get out of neutral tow. Or at least the one I saved to my phone wasn’t.

Silver lining is I got to learn how it worked!
 
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strawhatguy

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So it seems the owners manual isn’t quite up-to-date on how to get out of neutral tow. Or at least the one I saved to my phone wasn’t.
or maybe it was there… just in the automatic section… 🤦‍♂️
 

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On a recent trip, mine failed to shift out of neutral tow twice. To resolve I started the Bronco, maybe shifted into gear, shut off, then retried to disengage procedure and it worked. I may take it in to have the update done.
 
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strawhatguy

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On a recent trip, mine failed to shift out of neutral tow twice. To resolve I started the Bronco, maybe shifted into gear, shut off, then retried to disengage procedure and it worked. I may take it in to have the update done.
Oh really? That requires a dealer visit, not just an over-the-air update? Well, maybe in person is safer anyway.

Luckily for me, I was just stupid as it turns out: the procedure in the owners' manual for automatics did work, I was just reading the section for manuals: they are *slightly* different. Wasted a bunch of time though...
But still good to know out how to do it, for future reference. Better dealing with it now then in an emergency situation.
 

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Oh really? That requires a dealer visit, not just an over-the-air update? Well, maybe in person is safer anyway.

Luckily for me, I was just stupid as it turns out: the procedure in the owners' manual for automatics did work, I was just reading the section for manuals: they are *slightly* different. Wasted a bunch of time though...
But still good to know out how to do it, for future reference. Better dealing with it now then in an emergency situation.
Yeah, I have an auto an holding the brake through the shift to park step works 90% of the time. I was going to avoid the software update, I try to avoid any opportunity for someone to screw something up, but now may do it since I've had the issue.
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