Technical ESC and Flashing Hazards

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Technical ESC and Flashing Hazards

mikegml

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(I posted this by mistake in the Mk3 forum, you can see the link below)

So, I pulled up to park on a slight incline this afternoon and the 'ESC' light suddenly came on with 'hill holder not available, see handbook' warning? The light is still on.

About half an hour later going home I rounded a corner quite fast and had to brake quite hard for a roadworks traffic queue, as I braked the hazards flashed in rapid succession several times till I eased off the brakes! Where did that one come from? Don't know if the ESC and flashing hazards are related?

I've done a bit of research and it seems a brake sensor switch connected to the brake pedal is a likely culprit for the ESC light.

Anyone else got any other info?

 
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@mikegml The flashing of the hazards under heavy braking is a built-in feature on the Panda (and most other modern cars) – called Emergency Brake Assist. The system detects emergency braking (using the two parts of the brake light switch to tell how fast the pedal moved), adds extra braking power from the ABS pump, and flashes the hazard lights to alert cars behind you. (I could suggest 'read the owner handbook', as its described in there :) - see image below)

The earlier issue of ESC light and Hill Holder warning is a common result of low battery voltage, and unrelated to the above.

11F2C72B-DA0A-480D-9DB0-A896DE13F746.jpeg
 

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I do see a few cars do this ..
typically German and braking abruptly from 80 to 30

I did wonder why they were unable to plan stopping distances.. but could operate other controls well

Now I know, thanks :)
 
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mikegml

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Wow, that's cool. The brakes on my panda are very good anyway. I suspected it wasn't a fault but didn't know it had this.
 
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mikegml

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UPDATE

Been away a while so only just had chance to replace what's thought to be the main culprit for this problem which is the switch under the floor well, (left hand side on UK cars)

There's also a few videos on youtube about this.







However, having replaced it, it's still the same with the "hill holder not available, see handbook" warning still there.

Any other ideas?
 

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Low battery voltage (or at least, poor battery health)
How old is the battery? What’s a typical weekly/monthly mileage? Do you have start/stop?
If yes to s/s, if monthly mileage low, and/or battery over 4 years old, a good contender for the cause of the problem.
 
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mikegml

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Battery seems fine? I do have S/S and monthly mileage is very low, haven't used it for two weeks but it started just fine this morning. Battery is also a bit of a monster for a small car and seems pretty newish. I'll check voltage tmrw before I nip for my morning coffee.
 
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Check the battery voltage at least 6 hours after last drive. If 12.7v, battery is perfect. If down to 12.2 or less, it’s had it. It *will* start the car at a lower voltage but also lead to errors showing. Plenty of posts in the forum where folk say ‘battery fine’ but later say ‘new battery cured [insert various warning lights and errors messages here]’. New s/s battery from Tayna online is about £80 - or double that at ECP!
S/s batteries don’t really like monthly miles below 500, and don’t like infrequent use and short runs. Pain if you only use a couple of times a week and less than 20 mile trips. (Don’t be tempted to fit non s/s battery though, as the ECU ‘expects’ it to be there)
 

Panda IIs

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Battery seems fine? I do have S/S and monthly mileage is very low, haven't used it for two weeks but it started just fine this morning. Battery is also a bit of a monster for a small car and seems pretty newish. I'll check voltage tmrw before I nip for my morning coffee.
There's the clue - "haven't used it for two weeks". My experiences with TA 4x4 suggest battery voltage. You say you have SS but does it work, especially when you have the hill-hold warning??
 
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mikegml

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Voltage this morning after standing 14hrs was 12.49. Not great but not bad. Voltage yesterday afternoon after standing for abour 9hrs was 12.6 which is good. I don't think it's the battery. It started just fine this morning as it always does, no labouring or hesitation.
 

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mikegml

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There's the clue - "haven't used it for two weeks". My experiences with TA 4x4 suggest battery voltage. You say you have SS but does it work, especially when you have the hill-hold warning??

Does my SS work when I have the hill-hold warning? Don't understand? By SS I mean stop/start which is switched on or off by the button on the dash, in my case it's always off. Seems to be working just fine. It's been on 'off' (so the engine doesn't cut out) since I bought it, except when I accidentally switched it 'on' once. Cant see what this has to do with the 'hill-hold' fault unless I'm missing something.
 
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Does my SS work when I have the hill-hold warning? Don't understand? By SS I mean stop/start which is switched on or off by the button on the dash, in my case it's always off. Seems to be working just fine. It's been on 'off' (so the engine doesn't cut out) since I bought it, except when I accidentally switched it 'on' once. Cant see what this has to do with the 'hill-hold' fault unless I'm missing something.
The question ‘does stop-start work’ is relevant as the system turns itself off if the battery is not up to scratch, so it’s a good indicator of battery state. (You get no indication of this - no lights ir mrsssges, it just chooses not to stop the engine). But if you’ve turned it off ‘manually’, you’d not know ( no need to turn it off really, since it regulates itself anyway).
If the battery is low when the engine is first started (which drags the voltage down much further for the time the starter runs), that lower voltage can lead to the various sensors in tbe car being ‘misled’ into thinking there’s a fault. One of the very first to show (others will follow as the battery gets worse) is the ESC system and Hill Hold.
12.5 volts shows the battery is only 50% charged - which is enough to lead to errors when the drain of the starter is applied to it. Trust me - been there, done that. On my other car (a Volvo v50 - recently sold) just about every warning possible showed over a two week period. All cured by replacing the battery. My 2018 4x4 Panda is already starting to not stop for stop-start, or to restart almost immediately as it senses the volts drop too quickly while it’s stopped. That’s a car with 37000 miles on it, used several times a week but ‘only’ 8000 miles last year. My battery is at 12.6v the morning after a drive the previous day.
 
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Panda IIs

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The question ‘does stop-start work’ is relevant as the system turns itself off if the battery is not up to scratch, so it’s a good indicator of battery state. (You get no indication of this - no lights ir mrsssges, it just chooses not to stop the engine). But if you’ve turned it off ‘manually’, you’d not know ( no need to turn it off really, since it regulates itself anyway).
If the battery is low when the engine is first started (which drags the voltage down much further for the time the starter runs), that lower voltage can lead to the various sensors in tbe car being ‘misled’ into thinking there’s a fault. One of the very first to show (others will follow as the battery gets worse) is the ESC system and Hill Hold.
12.5 volts shows the battery is only 50% charged - which is enough to lead to errors when the drain of the starter is applied to it. Trust me - been there, done that. On my other car (a Volvo v50 - recently sold) just about every warning possible showed over a two week period. All cured by replacing the battery. My 2018 car is already starting to not stop for stop-start, or to restart almost immediately as it senses the volts drop too quickly while it’s stopped. That’s a car with 37000 miles on it, used several times a week but ‘only’ 8000 miles last year. My battery is at 12.6v the morning after a drive the previous day.
Thanks @Herts Hillhopper for making my point; SS is a "great" indicator of battery health (this is tongue in cheek but true). The other thing to check is the voltage regulator which attaches to the -ve battery terminal (more of which here https://www.fiatforum.com/threads/panda-twinair-battery-intelligent-battery-sensor.494029/ but not in relation to this problem). I can "encourage" the SS to work by charging the battery with an intelligent charger but it will stop functioning of its own accord if the car isn't used regularly or does only short runs (not that non-functioning disturbs me especially). This is with a relatively new battery.

So, I would still not dismiss low volts/poor battery condition for the ESC, hill-hold warnings.
 

Panda IIs

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OK, I get what you mean now about the SS and battery. I'll have to test it, maybe tomorrow.

Thanks.
Again, based on my own experience; just because battery doesn't have the guts to drive SS doesn't mean the battery is dead or dying. The SS takes into account all sorts of factors (I believe) including ambient temperature, current (no pun intended) electrical load (wipers, fan etc) probably engine temperature etc. Interestingly (well I didn't know this anyway) when my daughter was learning to drive (SS apparently not functioning but not turned off) if she inadvertently stalled the engine, depressing the clutch would trigger the starter and restart automatically - both interesting and unnerving at the same time!

I would anticipate that you had an issue with the ESC light after a short drive with the car not having been used much before that drive so the battery not fully recovered?

One last thing, the brake light switch can cause all sorts of (seemingly) unconnected issues since it reports to the engine management both when it is closed and open, your brake lights may be working fine but the switch may not be sending when in the other condition. I don't remember the symptoms of this but again I think it did mess with the various warning lights on mine.
 
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mikegml

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I won't be using the car till weekend but will keep an eye on battery voltage and then test if the SS works on a drive when activated. I still doubt it's the battery, she starts first time every time never any signs of a weak battery, but maybe I'm wrong.
 

Panda IIs

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I won't be using the car till weekend but will keep an eye on battery voltage and then test if the SS works on a drive when activated. I still doubt it's the battery, she starts first time every time never any signs of a weak battery, but maybe I'm wrong.
Well, mine was starting ok too...
 
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