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Old 01-17-2022, 03:23 PM   #1
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Ford F 150 Starting problems

Hello Folks,
This may have been covered before. However, I cannot find any threads related to this topic.
We have a 2018 F-150 with a V8 engine and tow a 2019 23' Flying Cloud
My wife and I are currently in Texas visiting friends. We ran into problems on our way down from Canada.
We stopped for gas after driving for several hours and the truck would not start.
When I turned the key, the starter hesitated like the battery was low.
We had been driving with everything turned on. Heater, heated seats, full lights and everything basically turned on.
First indication that all was not well was when we exited the I90 and I stepped on the brakes at a light.
The engine died and an error popped up on the display saying something about "check charging system"
This problem of not starting has plagued us continually for the past month.
I tried everything. Disconnected the trailer plug before hitting the start key. Turning off all the lights while driving during daylight.
I eventually bought a new battery and still the problem persists.
After towing, I disconnected the trailer and went out to visit friends and the truck would not start. After two or three attempts, it does start.
I am wondering if anyone else has this problem with their F-150 because I looked on the Ford F-150 Forum and discovered that several owners have described my exact same problem when towing a trailer.
My truck does have a tow package but not the max tow package as I did not see the need due to the relative light weight of the trailer.
I would appreciate any advice as we are approaching return trip time and with the bad weather that has gripped the country, I really am a little apprehensive about the truck
Thanks,
Keith Stamper
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Old 01-17-2022, 03:30 PM   #2
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Keith,

Are you going to dive in and get dirty?

Might be time to pull out the multimeter and start checking basics but one easy thing is to follow the ground connection and inspect it's condition. Most auto parts stores will offer parking lot testing of the charging system if you can get it to them.

Got a meter?

Gary
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Old 01-17-2022, 03:47 PM   #3
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Hi

Best bet: Your alternator as at least one blown diode (or the belt is really loose). It could be the "stuff" that acts as a voltage regulator these days. Yes, there is a long list of other candidates for "what's wrong".

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Old 01-17-2022, 04:04 PM   #4
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my 2007 f150 does the same thing.
it hasn't done it with trailer attached.
Mine acts like a dead battery. eventually it starts.
I had a much newer loaner f150 from Ford at one time & it did the same thing,once while I had it.
I'm sure this does not help you, but I hope you get back safely.
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Old 01-17-2022, 05:41 PM   #5
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What's going on with your truck is unacceptable. In your shoes I'd find a Ford dealer in Texas and make an appointment to get it diagnosed and fixed.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:20 PM   #6
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Someone had the same problem last summer 2020 or 2021 Ford, nothing to do with towing it was the truck only (well it might have showed up a little quicker because of towing). He also assumed it had to do with towing.

You need to go to Ford.
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Old 01-18-2022, 05:28 AM   #7
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I had the same problem this summer with a 2018 5.0 F150 towing a 23D to Wisconsin from Texas. First fuel stop the engine did not turn over on first attempt. Several other fuel stops the same happened. I was ready to get a new battery but did a google search and saw that others with same problem had installed new batteries with little to no success in fixing the problem.

I started to make sure truck door was closed and all lights to trailer were off and this seemed to help. That trip is the only time I have had problems starting.

Reading tonight I found a source that seems it might be the starter heat soaking. Here is a link:

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...le-towing.html

The starter, now that I think about it, could be the problem. The drag and hesitation is similar to what a starter for a Lycoming or Continental engine does when beginning to fail. There is a high amp draw and the starter drags or doesn't turn at all.
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Old 01-18-2022, 09:43 AM   #8
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I've had the same problem--intermittently--on our 2019. Generally happens after we've been traveling awhile and the restart is just a few minutes after turning the engine off; more so in hot, Texas weather.
My battery is also over two years old and that's starting to 'max out' for those that came with the vehicle.
Have your battery tested as well as a cranking amp test. I suspect yours, like mine, is a combo of aging battery as well as the starter beginning to fail.
Footnote: kinda peeves me as I usually turn the auto stop 'off' prior to driving to save wear and tear on the starter.
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Old 01-18-2022, 09:51 AM   #9
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'18 F 150 with Ecoboost. Haven't had an issue, first I've heard it discussed. Good luck with remedy.
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Old 01-18-2022, 10:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emelaich01 View Post
I've had the same problem--intermittently--on our 2019. Generally happens after we've been traveling awhile and the restart is just a few minutes after turning the engine off; more so in hot, Texas weather.
My battery is also over two years old and that's starting to 'max out' for those that came with the vehicle.
Have your battery tested as well as a cranking amp test. I suspect yours, like mine, is a combo of aging battery as well as the starter beginning to fail.
Footnote: kinda peeves me as I usually turn the auto stop 'off' prior to driving to save wear and tear on the starter.
Did your truck not come with an AGM battery? Maybe it's something they put in w/ the technology pkg or something like that, but my '17 is still on its factory AGM battery.

Overall this sounds like a heat-soak thing w/ the starter... resistance rises w/ temperature, I had a car in the 80s that ate starters because they stayed hot.
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Old 01-18-2022, 04:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saluda372 View Post
'18 F 150 with Ecoboost. Haven't had an issue, first I've heard it discussed. Good luck with remedy.
Sounds like a V8 problem not your V6.
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Old 01-21-2022, 08:35 AM   #12
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Alternator is most likely, IMO I'd suspect alt. ground and power connections, pulley speed, and software first, especially if the parts look fine later on.

If your alternator has a blown diode, then I'd check the ground to the trailer and put a multimeter around the trailer hookup wires and see what kind of current flows with lights, brakes & trailer charging going on.
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Old 01-21-2022, 08:57 AM   #13
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2015 F-150 V-8. I had similar symptoms intermittently that lasted a month or so before I took it to the dealership. Turn the key and there was a pause before the engine would turn over. Display notice showed the "check charging system" message. Mechanic replaced the starter and fixed the problem. He also noted that "it was broken into pieces when he removed it."
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Old 01-21-2022, 10:09 AM   #14
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In the original post, the vehicle stopped running when he applied brakes to stop.

Am thinking that points away from the starter for his case and points to an electrical load that exceeds the alternator's ability to keep up. But not seeing it girst hand, lots of things are possible.
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Old 01-22-2022, 10:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSHED View Post
In the original post, the vehicle stopped running when he applied brakes to stop.

Am thinking that points away from the starter for his case and points to an electrical load that exceeds the alternator's ability to keep up. But not seeing it girst hand, lots of things are possible.
Hi

It would have to exceed both the alternator *and* the battery. Running with a bad alternator will run down the battery. I have a lot of data on that ....

Bob
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Old 01-22-2022, 03:43 PM   #16
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Keith

Several days later just curious if you found the root cause?

Gary
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:47 AM   #17
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F-150 starting problems

Hello folks.
I apologize for my late response.
The Ford dealership in Dallas checked the truck and it had one code that showed a starter problem.
I have an extended warranty and we decided to replace the starter motor.
Today we are heading up north on our way home.
I can only hope things go well.
To summarize I replaced the battery and the truck was okay for 10 days then it failed to start again.
Then I took the truck to a friends home and we dropped it off at the Ford dealer where he has his vehicles serviced.
They replaced the starter.
Regards,
Keith Stamper
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Old 01-23-2022, 06:04 AM   #18
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Keith,

Thanks for the conclusion. Safe travels.

Gary
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Old 01-23-2022, 06:51 AM   #19
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Good to know if we all have something similar happen.
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Old 01-26-2022, 10:10 AM   #20
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My 2014 150 did the same to me a couple weeks ago. Started fine until it didn’t. Did a load test on battery, was good, cables clean. Got to looking closer, lot of connections on a 150, found one to be slightly loose. Took all apart, cleaned, reassembled with dielectric grease, no more issues.
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