4WD Failure in sand (hill assist/descent faults warnings)

2018 EXPY

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Thought I'd resurrect this thread on driving in the sand. Just got back from the Outer Banks, NC and spent some time at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore with the Expedition. Overall, I was very pleased. I'm running 20" wheels with Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires. I aired down to 20 psi and was able to drive anywhere we needed to with a mix of hard packed and really soft deep rutted sand. Ground clearance was also fine and I didn't drag anywhere even in the deep rutted areas. I did trim my front air dam so that its even with the front skid plates, so not sure if the standard air dam would have dragged. I ran in 4A with the rear locked and didn't have any issues. The Stowaway hitch carrier worked out well on the trip, and was a good spot to keep recovery gear (VIAIR pump, jack board, Bubba Rope, Maxtrax, etc). Photos attached:

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nice stance on that expy!

outstanding performance as well, considering street tires.
 

StealthyBulldog

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Thought I'd resurrect this thread on driving in the sand. Just got back from the Outer Banks, NC and spent some time at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore with the Expedition. Overall, I was very pleased. I'm running 20" wheels with Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires. I aired down to 20 psi and was able to drive anywhere we needed to with a mix of hard packed and really soft deep rutted sand. Ground clearance was also fine and I didn't drag anywhere even in the deep rutted areas. I did trim my front air dam so that its even with the front skid plates, so not sure if the standard air dam would have dragged. I ran in 4A with the rear locked and didn't have any issues. The Stowaway hitch carrier worked out well on the trip, and was a good spot to keep recovery gear (VIAIR pump, jack board, Bubba Rope, Maxtrax, etc). Photos attached:

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Hmm, think I'll need a bigger hitch carrier for my new tow rope, might has over estimated the pulling force / weight of the Expy!
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Hahaha, this came through work today, I'm guessing it's for one heck of a big tractor!
 

apex96

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New member here. Sorry to resurrect an older post but I recently purchased a certified used 2018 xlt and just had a similar issue occur. Took it out on the Caroline beach, no freeman park 4wd beach. Went out fine parked, the issue occurred on the way off the beach. I hit a few good size ruts and it felt like the shocks bottomed out on the rebound. As soon as I went through the ruts the warnings went off. Everything seems fine and I’ll try to clear the codes at the local automotive store but was wondering if there has been any consensus on what is causing the issues to arise while traveling on the beach.
 

Teamzambo

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New member here. Sorry to resurrect an older post but I recently purchased a certified used 2018 xlt and just had a similar issue occur. Took it out on the Caroline beach, no freeman park 4wd beach. Went out fine parked, the issue occurred on the way off the beach. I hit a few good size ruts and it felt like the shocks bottomed out on the rebound. As soon as I went through the ruts the warnings went off. Everything seems fine and I’ll try to clear the codes at the local automotive store but was wondering if there has been any consensus on what is causing the issues to arise while traveling on the beach.
Didn’t the OP also drive on a Caroline Beach? That may be the problem! Not than likely a faulty speed sensor.
 

JimW

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Just got back from Hatteras and had the same issues as the OP. Happen twice when in deep sand. I wish OP would respond with what the fix was or if there is a fix.

Here is another Expy stuck. I guess he didn't let his air down. This was the 4th truck that tried to get him out. 4wd tow truck was called in.
 

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apex96

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After about 20 hours and multiple short trips around town the warnings cleared. I spoke with an independent shop about the issue, they indicated that sometimes when a vehicle is suspended in the air (tires off the ground struts fully extended), while they do maintenance work, this will cause such warnings to appear but that they clear themselves after awhile. I know there were several ruts/low areas where I fully extended the front struts... The techs could not find any stored codes and it's driving fine now and has been on the beach since the initial occurance without any further issues. I did take it easier though with less speed, on my second trip out on the beach. Both trips I had it aired down to 25 psi.
 
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