Fiat 500x Drive Mode Unavailable:Causes and Fixes

Automobile engines are prone to malfunctioning. They can fail anytime due to design flaws, technical errors, or careless handling. The Fiat 500x (Type 334) engine isn’t immune to these issues and the makers aren’t mincing words too. However, you shouldn’t delay fixing a faulty ‘drive mode’ if you’re keen on using this Chrysler model.

The Fiat 500x “drive mode unavailable” message comes as a sign that something isn’t right with your car. It’ll need a quick fix. What does the drive mode unavailable warning mean? Why does it come on in the first place? What quick solutions are out there? One after the other, I’ll take up your questions. Stay with me till the end.

What does Fiat 500 “Drive Mode Unavailable” Mean?

In simple terms, a “Drive Mode Unavailable” signal means your engine has retreated into a safe mode to protect it from damage during driving. When your car enters this mode, a blinking light first appears on the instrument cluster. The dash receives a “Check Engine, Drive Mode Unavailable” message. The consequence is that your vehicle may refuse to move or fail to switch between driving modes.

Many customers have reported that it resulted in excessive oil and fuel consumption. Also, it causes damage to the car engine if the vehicle remains in continuous use without repair. One can only imagine how pretty tough it could be to keep up with the vehicle, economically speaking.

Drive modes are essential to a car’s performance, especially in varying situations. That is why the drive mode’s malfunction is no joke, as customers have reported several complaints and hazards.

Causes of Drive Mode Unavailable

The Fiat 500x models have three drive modes: Sport, Auto, and Traction mode. They prepare the car for any driving conditions while enabling it to perform optimally. These modes can control the amount of fuel getting into the engine. They help vary the responsiveness of the throttle pedals. Plus, they adjust the variations of the suspension. Drive modes can also alter the computer grip available during driving. 

Based on the car model, changes that occur when you alter the drive mode may vary; however, what is certain is that it will affect how the car feels and drives.

Several things cause the drive mode unavailable problem; sometimes, it stems from an operator’s mistake or a technical issue from the manufacturer; however, let me talk about a few things that cause the malfunctions. 

  • It can be a result of a dirty sensor 
  • The FAP filter may fail to regenerate
  • Sometimes a low battery may cause a car to misbehave and give improper readings
  • Quickie lubes or fake products, especially if a mechanic has previously worked on them.
  • Water may get into the Electronic Control Unit (ECU), damaging its wiring and causing it to misbehave.
  • The thermostat gasket may be faulty
  • A smashed oxygen sensor and faulty catalytic converter 
  • Faulty gearbox

How to Fix

When your dashboard notifies you of this problem, the next question on your mind would be, what does my car want? Your car might automatically shift to neutral mode while driving and refuse to change to other modes, which if not careful can easily lead to a life-ending fatal car accident. Thus, it is vital to figure out a way of fixing the issue as soon as possible and confidently bring your car back on the road.

Diagnostic Scan

Conducting a diagnostic scan with a relevant diagnostic tool is the first step in resolving the “Drive Mode Unavailable” warning. This tool accesses the vehicle onboard diagnostic, and retrieves error codes that reveal information about the underlying problem. These codes help mechanics and technicians determine the broken vehicle part.

Update or Reset the ECU

The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) acts as the car’s computer and regulates several systems using sensor information. Software flaws or faults occasionally result in error messages like “Drove Mode Unavailable.” Such problems are frequently fixed by running a firmware update or resetting the ECU. A dealership or an expert technician utilizing specialized tools can perform this.

Check the battery and charging system

Error warnings and other electrical issues, such as weak batteries or charging systems, can occur. Electronic components in modern automobiles heavily depend on the battery and charging mechanism for electricity. You can avoid unexpected problems and error messages by checking the battery’s health and the charging system’s performance.

Transmission Examination

Competent mechanics conduct an extensive inspection of the transmission system to see if it gives signs of damage to get to the issue’s root. The transmission is a sophisticated part that impacts how the wheel receives power. Transmission problems may activate safety features that turn off some driving modes if it requires repairs or replacement.

Inspection and replacement of the sensor

A thorough examination of these sensors is required to know if they are the culprit behind the error message. Sensors are essential to monitor the operation of the engine, the transmission, and the vehicle’s emissions. Malfunctioning sensors might cause inaccurate readings and error messages. The state of the sensor will determine if it requires replacement, reprogramming, or calibration.

A Wrap

When your Fiat 500X displays “Drive Mode Unavailable,” it can be alarming, which is quite understandable. However, by being aware of the possible causes and having access to the necessary repairs, you can efficiently handle the problem.

It is best to seek assistance from qualified mechanics or approved service facilities. You can ensure that your Fiat 500X runs smoothly and safely on the road by determining the issue’s source and taking the appropriate action.

  • James Smith

    I'm James Smith, a car enthusiast and a content writer for Daily Car Tips. I have a passion for all things cars, from classic muscle cars to the latest electric vehicles. When I'm not writing about cars, you can usually find me tinkering with my car or checking out the latest automotive trends.

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