Causes Of Unavailable Front Radar Obstruction

Do you notice an unavailable front radar obstruction problem with your vehicle?

In recent years, the advancement of technology in vehicles has brought about innovative safety features that aim to enhance driver awareness and prevent collisions. One such feature is the front radar system, which utilizes sensors to detect objects and provide critical data for adaptive cruise control, collision warning systems, and automatic emergency braking. 

However, there are instances when drivers may encounter an “Unavailable Front Radar Obstruction” warning message on their vehicle’s display, indicating a temporary malfunction or obstruction in the front radar system. 

In this article, we will delve into the potential causes of this issue to shed light on why it may occur. Let’s get started.

unavailable front radar obstruction

Unavailable Front Radar Obstruction

For car owners, security and safety remain paramount concerns. In the pursuit of enhanced safety systems, radar sensors and cameras have become integral components in vehicles. They work diligently to gauge the distance and speed of objects in front of the car. However, when these radar sensors encounter issues, an alarming message, “Unavailable Front Radar Obstruction,” is displayed, potentially leading to frequent system deactivation or even complete shutdown.

Here are among the common reasons behind an unavailable front radar obstruction issue:

1. Weather Conditions

One common cause of an unavailable front radar obstruction warning is adverse weather conditions. Heavy rain, fog, snow, or even excessive dirt and debris on the vehicle’s front sensors can interfere with the radar system’s functionality. When the sensors are unable to obtain clear and accurate readings due to these conditions, the system may temporarily deactivate to prevent false alarms or erroneous data.

2. Obstructions in the Sensor’s Field of View

Another possible cause of an unavailable front radar obstruction warning is physical obstructions in the sensor’s field of view. This can include objects such as mud, ice, or snow accumulation on the sensors themselves or even a bumper-mounted accessory that partially blocks the sensor’s path. Even a simple accumulation of dirt or debris can hinder the sensor’s ability to function properly, leading to the warning message.

3. Sensor Malfunction or Damage

In some cases, an unavailable front radar obstruction warning may indicate a malfunction or damage to the front radar sensors. The sensors may experience technical issues, electrical problems, or physical damage that impairs their functionality. This could be due to factors like faulty wiring, a sensor becoming misaligned or loose, or even a minor collision that affects the sensor’s performance. When the system detects such problems, it may disable the front radar functionality and display the warning message.

4. Calibration or System Reset Requirements

Periodically, front radar systems may require calibration or system resets to ensure optimal performance. This can be necessary after certain maintenance or repair procedures, such as replacing a bumper or sensor. Failure to complete the calibration or reset process may trigger the unavailable front radar obstruction warning, as the system needs to confirm accurate sensor alignment and calibration to function correctly.

5. Software or Firmware Issues

In rare cases, software or firmware issues within the vehicle’s computer system can cause an unavailable front radar obstruction warning to appear. Software glitches or outdated firmware versions can disrupt the communication between the front radar sensors and the vehicle’s control module, leading to temporary malfunctions or system deactivation.

6. Excessive Paint on the Front Bumper

Some used car owners may face an issue where the radar sensor appears faulty, leading them to consider replacing the sensor itself. However, the root cause might actually lie in the front bumper. 

In many instances, the front bumper of a car has been repainted in preparation for resale. If there is a thick layer of paint on the front bumper, it can trigger the warning message “Unavailable front radar obstruction.”

The solution is relatively simple. You can remove the excess paint layer from the bumper or, if there are signs of physical deterioration, consider replacing the bumper altogether.

7. Malfunctioning Radar Sensor

If you have thoroughly checked all the aforementioned causes and the warning message persists, there is a possibility that the radar sensor itself is faulty. It is worth noting that specific Nissan models from 2017 onwards have been reported to experience front radar sensor issues, leading to unexpected braking and halting of the affected vehicles.

When you have  exhausted all other possible fixes without success, replacing the radar sensor becomes necessary. It is advisable to contact your dealer for further assistance and arrange for a sensor replacement.

On average, the cost of replacing a radar sensor can amount to approximately $1600.

Additional Points To Consider

When the radar sensors malfunction or encounter obstructions, the repercussions can be significant. The “Unavailable Front Radar Obstruction” indication serves as a warning sign, alerting drivers to potential issues with their safety systems. This situation can lead to the deactivation of critical functionalities or a complete shutdown, thereby compromising the vehicle’s safety measures.

Several factors can contribute to this predicament. Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, fog, or snow, can interfere with the radar sensor’s accuracy, causing temporary disruptions or false readings. Physical obstructions, including dirt, debris, or even accessories mounted on the car’s bumper, can impede the sensor’s field of view, hindering its ability to operate optimally. Moreover, instances of sensor malfunction, damage, or misalignment may occur, stemming from electrical issues, wiring problems, or even minor collisions.

If you encounter an unavailable front radar obstruction warning in your vehicle, it is recommended to take the following steps:

1. Inspect the front sensors for any visible obstructions or damage. Clear away any debris, mud, or ice that may be obstructing the sensors’ field of view.

2. Check the owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to perform a system reset or calibration, if applicable.

3. If the warning message persists or if you suspect a sensor malfunction or damage, it is advisable to consult a qualified technician or contact your vehicle’s manufacturer for further assistance. They can diagnose and address the issue more effectively.

Remember, the front radar system is an integral safety feature in modern vehicles, and it is crucial to ensure its proper functionality. By understanding the potential causes of the unavailable front radar obstruction warning, you can take the necessary steps to maintain and resolve any issues, promoting a safer driving experience for you and those around you.

Read More: AC Compressor Oil Leak Issues – Causes And Fixes

Bottom Line

Operating your vehicle with an “Unavailable Front Radar Obstruction” warning will not cause any harm to your car or directly impact its systems. However, it is crucial to understand that your safety systems will be rendered useless. 

When the radar sensors are obstructed, the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) systems will be unable to accurately measure potential collisions and automatically engage the brakes when necessary. Even if you consider yourself a cautious driver, it is highly recommended to address the issue promptly. Take steps to resolve the radar sensor obstruction and then restart your vehicle to verify if the warning light has turned off.

Leave a Comment