2012 Ford Explorer: Is It That Big a Deal?
May 18, 2012
Last night this warning came up in our long-term 2012 Ford Explorer's instrument panel. Oh no, I thought. I probably said it, too, because I talk to myself often. I heeded the little arrow prompt to view the warning which said only "Grade Assist."
Huh? I turned on the hill descent control?
No, of course not. It turns out Grade Assist is Ford's terminology for "overdrive off," and all I'd done was inadvertently hit the button formerly known as the overdrive-off button on the side of the shifter.
But it took me a few minutes to realize this, because there's no listing for "Grade Assist" in the index of the Explorer's owners manual. Instead, I flipped to page 280 for hill descent control and kept leafing forward until I found something useful.
I don't think I need a full-on warning if I happen to turn the overdrive off accidentally or deliberately. At most, all that's needed is a simple "O/D off" light in the instrument cluster. There's lot going on in this cabin; no need to elevate the threat level for such a minor issue.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 14,979 miles