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Tailgate Foot Sensor Just Stopped Working

tailgate foot sensor malfunction

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28 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 07:26 AM

2015 Energi SEL with under 8000 miles. Been happily using the handsfree foot sensor to open the tailgate, but in the last two days, it has all but stopped working (it possibly works once every 10 tries, and no consistency to opening or closing). Keyfob, tailgate button and dashboard button all work fine. Wondering if the sensor can get dirty and, if so, where to find it and how to clean it. I've tried moving my foot closer, further, front-to-back and side-to-side, without success. Even tried different shoes. I saw some threads from two years ago, but they were largely about the then-current software fix, so they weren't much help. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! {Jonathan}









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#2 OFFLINE   bschwerdt

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 07:42 AM

Last weekend I took my CMax down some dirt roads.  Afterwards, the sensor seemed a lot less sensitive.  So I'm assuming that it can indeed get dirty.  I haven't yet crawled under the car to see if I can locate it.  I'll try to remember tonight.


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#3 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 07:54 AM

You can try to hose down the bottom of  the bumper from the inside, I had mine stop working once because of mud building up inside the bumper from driving in a field and washing out all the grit from under there made it work again for me.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 01 October 2015 - 07:55 AM.

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#4 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 10:01 AM

Thanks to all. Will try and report back. {Jonathan}



#5 OFFLINE   dontfret

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 01:35 PM

Raja's post is spot on - the opening of the lift-gate is very sophisticated and involves 3 separate actions that must happen in sequence - owner approaches with key fob, a sensor that is inside the bumper (long straight wire) detects this approach and primes the secondary sensor (black plastic, center of bumper) for the kick of a foot.  It only works about 50% of the time on first kick (same before/after adding hitch), BUT IT ALWAYS opens when I reach underneath to remove the hitch pin to remove the bike carrier from the hitch, which is not good as it can then open into the bike carrier upright :( 


Edited by dontfret, 01 October 2015 - 01:40 PM.

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#6 OFFLINE   bschwerdt

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 07:15 AM

I got down underneath the rear bumper and took a look.  There are a few wire harnesses back there, but nothing connected to anything pointed down.  It seems to me that it is using the sensor on the rear of the bumper, and not actually any sensor underneath the car.

 

When I washed my car, I didn't hit the undercarriage, but it still seems to have helped the sensor.  This supports my theory that it is using the sensor on the bumper.



#7 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 07:59 AM

Raja's post is spot on - the opening of the lift-gate is very sophisticated and involves 3 separate actions that must happen in sequence - owner approaches with key fob, a sensor that is inside the bumper (long straight wire) detects this approach and primes the secondary sensor (black plastic, center of bumper) for the kick of a foot.  It only works about 50% of the time on first kick (same before/after adding hitch), BUT IT ALWAYS opens when I reach underneath to remove the hitch pin to remove the bike carrier from the hitch, which is not good as it can then open into the bike carrier upright :(

Interesting. Mine works first time for me. You just have to be sure to kick perpendicular to the bumper.



#8 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 09:30 AM

Happily, after my driving through a fair amount of rain puddles last night, the sensor began working again. Probably got self-cleaned from the splashes. Hopefully, it will continue to work. {Jonathan}



#9 OFFLINE   dontfret

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 09:45 AM

The picture and description of sensors are here:  http://www.extremete...capes-liftgateĀ 

 

#4 is the sensor inside the bumper, #5 is off center and doesn't look like much - about 2" black plastic, I think on the muffler hanger..


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#10 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:01 PM

It's ALIVE! After a few months of not working, the foot-activated tailgate mechanism just started working by itself this week! Whether it was because whatever was blocking the sensor fell out, or it was moisture that froze, thawed and went away, or the silicon spray I was using to try to fix the squeak, or the car just wanted to make me happy, I can't say. Still, for now it means I can't and won't be bringing it into Ford to fix it. {Jonathan}



#11 OFFLINE   David Moore

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 06:45 PM

It will never work when you have an audience. There have been many embarrassing miments at my local grocery store. Ive trained my five year old to open it now
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#12 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 10:08 AM

It will never work when you have an audience. There have been many embarrassing miments at my local grocery store. Ive trained my five year old to open it now

I wish it had been that simple. I'm counting my blessings for the moment. {Jonathan}



#13 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 06:57 PM

Hopefully it will work fine from now on for you Johnathan, mine acted up once but I washed the bottom of the bumper on the inside with a hose and it fixed it, been fine since so there is good hope yours will be too!

 

-=>Raja.


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#14 OFFLINE   Kermit

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 05:10 AM

After installing a hitch on my car a few weeks ago, my tailgate kick sensor no longer works like it used to. After some web searches, another forum suggested actually touching the bumper when I kick, and lo and behold, it works when I do so. That being the case, can the sensors be adjusted so it works like it used to, with a gentle  "air kick" under the car, rather than actually tapping the bumper from below (with my foot)? If it's possible to adjust the sensors, how do I do that? What am I looking for to adjust? Or is it not even possible?  (I can live with the "kick the bumper from underneath" approach, but it's less than ideal.) 



#15 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 06:38 AM

I wish I had an answer. Mine literally began working by itself, and hasn't (so far) given me any more problems. In your case, I wonder if the materials in the hitch (metals?) could be interfering with the sensors in the bumper, making it necessary to approach them more closely to register? {Jonathan}


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#16 OFFLINE   tr7driver

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:19 AM

I have a hitch I haven't installed for this reason.  How difficult is it to find the sweet spot to open the hatch?  I have a bike rack that I want to convert to a "continental tire kit" for road trips. 



#17 OFFLINE   toolman_57

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 04:37 AM

I've had the car for three months now--sensor replaced twice. It has only worked twice for me in that time. Going back to the dealer again. I think it's a gimick.



#18 OFFLINE   Kermit

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 04:44 AM

I have a hitch I haven't installed for this reason.  How difficult is it to find the sweet spot to open the hatch?  I have a bike rack that I want to convert to a "continental tire kit" for road trips. 

 

It wasn't difficult at all to find the "sweet spot" to open the hatch once I learned that I had to actually touch the bumper instead of just kicking air like I used to be able to do. I'm just wondering if there's a way to adjust the sensor so it picks up movement under the car like it used to. (Then again, maybe having to actually touch the bumper could be a good thing, especially if I have a bike on the bike rack...hhhhmmmm)



#19 OFFLINE   Kermit

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 04:46 AM

I've had the car for three months now--sensor replaced twice. It has only worked twice for me in that time. Going back to the dealer again. I think it's a gimick.

 

toolman, what movement are you making to try to get the sensor to work? Before adding my hitch, I found that the movement had to be somewhat precise to get it to work. I watched some Youtube videos to see how others were doing it. (I think they were on Youtube...wouldn't bet my life on it.)



#20 OFFLINE   ScottChi

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 04:17 AM

I am completely jealous.  I've had my Energi since May and I've gotten the kick sensor to work maybe five times.  I'm guessing it ignores me 90% of the time.  If I can get it to open, it will always detect a second "kick" to make it close.  That's the closest it comes to being reliable.

 

By the way, I did install a hitch a couple of months ago.  But it seems no more or less reliable than it was before I put it on.

 

When my Ford salesman got it to work (after 5-6 tries), he said to do the kick slightly to the left of center.  He also did the kick slightly below and under the bumper.  And he held the key high in one of his hands.  It looked a bit like a karate maneuver.  I've tried that many times, and several variations.  I stopped after a while because I was afraid someone would post a video.

 

The car has trained me to dig out the key and press the button twice.  If there really is a sure-fire process, someone please post a link!











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