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Old 04-14-2021, 02:36 PM   #1
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New 2021 F-150 Dead Battery

After being away for 6 days, my 3-week old 2021 F-150 would not start, in fact there was no electrical activity at all. After contacting the dealer they told me to call road side assistance. It turns out that the battery had almost completely drained in just 6 days. The tech from roadside assistance said this is common on newer vehicles, and that I should expect it to happen in 4-5 days, he said that Land Rovers will drain in 3 days. I know that the batteries are not really matched well with the demands put on them in newer vehicles, but never expected this. I asked him what I was supposed to do if I left it in an airport parking lot for a week, his response, call us! He did have a portable jump starter that did the trick. I guess I have a number of options: I could buy one of those and keep it charged and always in the truck or I could disconnect my battery cables from the terminals. When left in my garage for more than four days I could connect a trickle charger to the battery. Has anyone else had a similar experience, and if so, what solutions have you found to work best.
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:50 PM   #2
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Something isn't right with your F150. That truck should be able to sit for a week and still start. If it were mine, we'd be heading to the dealership for sure.
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:00 PM   #3
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Take it to the dealer and get it fixed. That drain down is not normal. The simple explanation is that there is something wrong with the truck. And as a result of this drain down you may want to buy a new battery also. After the truck is fixed.
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:01 PM   #4
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Something just doesn’t sound right about this. I cannot imagine what static load is on that would drop a battery in 6 days. I have parked mine (2016 Nissan Titan) at the airport for 15 days and hopped in and driven off...

It is a real problem — pull a cable off on mine and I lose trip odometers, time to oil change, fuel miles until empty, radio presets, power seat presets and my transmission forgets how it has adapted to my driving style. I imagine you will lose a lot of the same if you do it to yours.

On the other hand, running your battery down that far seriously degrades its longevity.

I would put an ammeter on it and pull fuses until I found out what the energy hog was. Subwoofer? Alarm? Rear camera stays on?
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:05 PM   #5
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My Tundra will sit for weeks with no problem and my wife's Mini Cooper will sit for up to 6 months while we travel. Never had a problem with either. Does the F150 have one of those new refrigerators in it?
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:39 PM   #6
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I had two experiences very similar to you, first was on an F-150 a number of years back. Are you sure none of the lights were left on ? I had a new F-150 and the "chime" that warns you of lights left on was defective, so I had no warning, and that was the reason for the battery decline. This is one reason I agree with the other posts that say have your dealer check it out.

The second was I had a new Acura MDX a few years back, and had exactly the same experience. It went dead in my garage after sitting just a few days. It turns out the vehicle in question had been on the dealer lot for a few months (new), and the dealer acknowledged that this kind of idle time with no charge can damage the battery over the long term. They immediately gave me a new battery, no questions or hassles. I still find that if that same vehicle sits for a few weeks idle, I have to jump start it, but with all the electronics on these cars now days, I can see where the electrical draw is constant, even if small.

Have your dealer check it out ...
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allenkelley View Post
It turns out that the battery had almost completely drained in just 6 days. The tech from roadside assistance said this is common on newer vehicles, and that I should expect it to happen in 4-5 days, he said that Land Rovers will drain in 3 days.

I think that bit about the Land Rover has grown down the line; there's a kernel of truth to it, tho'....

Didn't have such problems w/ my Series, or my older Discos (nor would Defenders, or RRC's); but when the P38 Rangie came out.... my understanding is, LRNA didn't allocate the best bands for its key-fobs. (They'd forgotten to, had a rush moment to get some for use.) So, the way these things are wired, there's this 'octopus' of a body harness, and the antenna for the key fob, the frequency used was too close to garage-door-opener frequencies. So, someone in the neighborhood would open their garage, and the Rangie's octopus would 'see' it, and prep to get ready to unlock and start the vehicle. Which, then didn't happen, because it wasn't 'you' doing such... and, they'd have a battery go flat in a day or two, or sometimes overnight.... sheesh.....

Brand new Land Rovers, hopefully don't have that problem anymore, or for the past several years... but, it's true, they did have that problem for awhile...
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:24 PM   #8
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There is definitely something wrong with the truck. If the battery would drain in 4-5 days they would never be able to get them from the factory to the dealership.

Plus they often sit for weeks on the dealers lots.
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:33 PM   #9
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Good feedback so far . . . insist on a free new battery no matter what IMO.

Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:37 PM   #10
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According to this, a software upgrade will resolve the problem, your dealer should know.

https://fordauthority.com/2021/02/so...battery-drain/
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:40 PM   #11
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Great link . . . software patch plus new free battery . . . just the ticket.
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:20 PM   #12
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azflycaster for the win!
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:52 PM   #13
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Thanks so much for all of those who have weighed in on this.....the diversity of expertise on this site is priceless. I'm going to follow the advice to take it back to the dealer, request a new battery and have them do the software update that
azflycaster recommended. If the dealer cannot verify that this was the source of the problem, they will need to find the source of the battery drain.
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:58 PM   #14
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If you haven’t already, I recommend downloading the Ford Pass app. They send updates on vehicles issues and recalls to your phone. They sent me a notification soon after I purchased my ‘21 F-150 about the battery issue and recommended preventative action to take before the update rolled out.
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Old 04-15-2021, 08:28 AM   #15
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Thanks so much dsgreen20, I will follow that suggestion!!
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:47 AM   #16
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This can't be normal. I would also find a new dealer for future purchases. Seems like he blew you off. I have a 2019 F150. I noticed on the Ford App that I check from time to time that if I haven't started the truck in a couple of weeks the App will give me a message that the truck has gone into hibernation mode because it hasn't ben started. So the App will not give me any truck info because the truck won't communicate with it. I wonder if this hibernation mode also protects the battery if the truck is not started for long periods of time. Might be something to explore. Looking forward to what you eventually learn and solve this. This can't be normal!
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:00 AM   #17
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My F-150 sits for a couple of weeks at a time without being used and always starts up like it should. I stored a car in a shed for 18 months when I was overseas in the Navy and it started up when I turned the key. Your brand new F-150's battery should NOT be dead after less than a week.
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:47 AM   #18
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If your dealer has no clue after receiving the Ford notice about the issue and the software update, find another dealer. Obviously they do not keep up with information and updates from Ford. You are not obligated to have your F-150 serviced at the dealer you purchased it at.

And if the software update and/or a battery replacement (under warranty) does not solve the issue, then you have a parasitic battery drain and that is also a warranty issue (unless you make a change to the electrical system). Ford is aware of the problem and has moved to repair it. If your dealer doesn't have a clue, find another dealer to service your truck. A dealer who isn't up to date, especially 2 months after being sent a fix to a problem , is a dealer I wouldn't trust with any of my vehicles.
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Old 04-15-2021, 11:02 AM   #19
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I would also just double-check what "things" might be left ON. I remember someone left the makeup light on the passenger side up which kept that light ON, which killed my battery.

There could be something wrong, but you will find something wrong if you go looking for it. For now, I would just double check and triple check nothing is left ON when it shouldn't be ON. Glove compartment light, check the position of your light switch/knob settings, tailgate light, etc. Do you see where I am going with this?

Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2021, 11:13 AM   #20
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owners manual sez...

The F250 is a close cousin, and my owners manual discusses a battery management system that monitors battery state of charge and has a supposed fail-safe routine in the software designed to isolate the battery from some detected loads if needed. Also says needs up to 8 hours of "sleep time" (their words) for the system to relearn the battery SOC - and the vehicle must remain locked and ignition off. Might find a similar section in your manual.

As azflycaster found - the software update should fix it. God help us.
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