What Does Park Assist Blocked Mean?

The Park Assist function is an aiding system in most modern cars which helps drivers while parking in narrow spaces. If this system is not functioning correctly for some reason, then you will receive a message or warning telling you that park assist is blocked.

Here’s What Park Assist Blocked Means

The most common cause for which your car might display the park assist blocked warning message is dirt, moisture, or ice on the parking sensors. Some drivers also report this problem after washing their cars, however, the message goes away after a few hours.

If you see the message “Park Assist Blocked See Owners Manual,” visit a professional mechanic.

However, there are some easy fixes that you can try before visiting the mechanic that can help with this issue.

Park Assist Warning Message

Where is it Located?

The message “park assist blocked” usually appears on the information cluster of the vehicle, which is more commonly referred to as the dashboard.

If you want to ignore the message, you can press the select button on the screen, and it will go away. But if the message keeps reappearing, then there is a problem with the car, and you should address it by seeing a mechanic.

How Do You Reset Park Assist?

If you receive the park assist blocked message in your car, then before going to the mechanic, there are a few things you can try yourself to reset the system.

Please try the following:

  1. Cleaning the parking sensors in the rear bumpers carefully.
  2. Turn the park assist button on and off this might reset the system.
  3. Turning the ignition on and off might help in some situations.
  4. You could try pressing the rear park aid disable button, then enable it afterward.
  5. You can ignore the message by pressing the odometer stem, and it might not come back.

If the warning message appears, visit a professional mechanic even after that. They will check your car with a scanner and fix the issue. A faulty sensor of LED would be replaced in case the warning still comes on.

Is Park Assist the Same as Parking Sensors?

Park assist and parking sensors are not the same things. Park assist is a safety feature, and parking sensors are an object that aid in this action. Park assist is an advanced function that handles the steering when you are parking the car, while you just have to control the gas pedal and braking of the car.

Parking sensors identify an obstacle that comes within the hitting range. This data is then transferred to the car’s ECU, which is in constant communication with the parking assist system.

The system will allow you to free your arms and sit back while seeing your car getting perfectly parked in a spot.

However, in some cars, the parking assist system might be referred to as the self-parking system. The parking assist could simply mean parking sensor project dynamic guidelines on the car’s infotainment screen.

The system also produces a beep sound when the vehicle is approaching an obstacle. The warning beep gets more intense as the distance closes.

Related: Should Radiator Fan Turn On When AC is On?

What Causes Parking Sensors to Stop Working?

Several reasons can cause parking sensors to stop working. Some of the major reasons are:

Washing the Car

After checking some community boards, most users reporting this problem have something in common: they receive this warning message after washing their cars. So, why does this happen?

Washing the car can trap moisture inside the parking sensors. This moisture will bar it from functioning properly and ultimately cause this warning message to appear on your instrument cluster.

In this situation, making the park assist blocked warning go away is simple. You need to allow a couple of hours for the trapped moisture to dry. You can help the car by using a cloth, a leaf blower, or drive for a couple of minutes at highway speeds.

If the problem persists, there might be other issues causing the problem, and the warning message appearing after washing the car is just a coincidence. However, keep reading to see what other factors can contribute to this issue.

Off-Road Driving

With the summer just around the corner, most drivers will start taking their pride for a dirty ride: off-road driving. For those of you who are not aware, off-roading will result in a lot of dirt and mud build-up on your car’s body panels, especially in the lower area.

Off-road driving can cover the parking sensors with mud and dust. This will obstruct the view of parking sensors. A visual inspection of your vehicle will quickly identify if this can be the root cause of your problem.

The fix for this problem is easy, as all you need to do is clean your car, and the warning message will go away. However, if the warning persists on your instrument cluster, then keep reading to see what else can cause the issue.

Damaged Bumper

Continuing on the off-roading experience, it is possible that during your adventure, the vehicle’s bumper might have suffered some light damage. This is a common occurrence in the off-roading world, but if this was your first time, you might not be aware.

Parking sensors are present inside the rear and front bumpers of the car. In case your car gets hit from behind, or you accidentally hit something in front, then chances are that parking sensors will be damaged and stop working.

A quick look around your car will tell you if this is the case. However, sometimes the paint might be intact, which can make things more difficult to diagnose. Therefore, it is important to try and remember if there was any impact between your car and another car or object.

Unfortunately, this is not as easy to fix as washing the car, and you will need to visit a repair shop. The labor and parts can add up to $600 – $700, depending on the car model, your location, and the damage caused.

Extreme Weather

After reading Reddit and some automotive forum boards, I noticed another pattern. Some drivers reported the parking assist blocked issue after driving in harsher weather. But how can this cause my parking assist system to malfunction, you wonder?

Extreme weather conditions can cause parking sensors to stop working. Most of the time it has been reported that after a snowfall or heavy rain, the parking sensors stopped working. Once the snow or ice was removed, they were working just fine.

The solution in this scenario is to allow a few hours after the trip so the ice formed on your bumper can melt. You can speed up the process by parking the car in the sun or in a garage. If the problem persists, ensure the front and rear bumpers are clean.

In case the message is still there the next day, there might be a technical fault with the car, and you might want to have a specialist check the car. I will also describe below some of the components that can trigger this warning.

High Speeds

Although the speed of a car is extremely slow while backing up, some drivers have a more spirited driving style, reaching speeds that some might consider unsafe while reversing.

Such a scenario is if you are in an open area and reversing the car at higher speeds, then it might cause your parking sensors to stop working. Most parking sensors stop working once the speed of the car exceeds 8 km/h or 5 mph.

This should be a temporary warning, and the message should go away as soon as you start moving forward. If the warning is still there, try restarting the car. If this did not solve the issue, there might be something else causing the warning message to appear.

How Can You Tell if a Parking Sensor is Bad?

Following are the most common symptoms you will face if the parking sensors go bad:

  • You would hear constant warning sounds from the parking system even if there is no obstacle nearby.
  • The dynamic guidelines created by the parking sensor would not appear on the rear-view camera screen, or they might guide in the wrong direction.
  • The parking assist function that makes use of parking sensors will not work properly and self-parking will fail.
  • You can also tell by visual inspection of the car if a parking sensor is bad.

Related: What is the Meaning of SR5 on a Toyota?

How Much is it to Fix a Parking Sensor in a Car?

Like other sensors, the parking sensors are costly to replace or fix. Depending on the model and make of your car, the complete replacement of parking sensors can cost you somewhere between $500 and $1,300.

Other sensors like oxygen, MAF, and MAP would cost you below $300. But the reason behind the expensive replacement of parking sensors is that there isn’t one parking sensor in the bumper.

There are multiple sensors in it. So, you have to replace all sensors if the bumpers are damaged.

The thing with a sensor is that it can’t be repaired in most conditions. Unlike a hardware component that can be bent, straightened, or hammered to return to its original conditions, sensors are sophisticated devices that need replacement once it breaks or starts malfunctioning.

What Else Can Cause Park Assist Blocked Warning?

Parking assist blocked warning mostly appears due to bad parking sensors or other reasons that have been discussed in the above section.

Other than that, the following problems have been reported as a root cause for park assist blocked warning:

Tow Trailers & Trailer Hitches

Another common reason for this warning that drivers reported on automotive platforms is a towing trailer. While towing a trailer, you might receive the warning that the parking assist is disabled.

Some drivers reported that they received the warning even after removing trailers. The reason being they left the trailer hitch intact.

ECU Runs into Problems

When everything is fine, but you still get a warning about that system, there is only one possible culprit: the car’s ECU.

It is the car’s brain that handles the receiving, processing, and transmission of data. If there is a glitch or it runs into problems, you will receive unnecessary warnings like these.

What car models have this common issue?

As seen on multiple Chevy forums, the Chevy Traverse and Chevy Silverado are two popular cars where owners are faced with this warning. When writing this article, there are no recalls from Chevy addressing the issue.

According to various discussion boards, a “Park Assist Off” warning message is pretty popular amongst the GMC Acadia owners.

After checking the list of GMC Acadia TSB (Technical Service Bulletins), it seems that GMC have not addressed the issue officially.

Other car models that have this common issue include Buick Enclave, Chevy Avalanche, Cadillac CTS, Cadillac Escalade, and GMC Sierra.

In Summary

To summarise, the “park assist blocked” warning message is not something major. Most of the time, the fix is washing the car or allowing the moisture trapped inside the parking sensors to dry.

If you have tried each method described in the article, yet the message won’t go away, the root cause of the problem might be a faulty component, and it is better to have an expert diagnose the problem.


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