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Old 09-15-2022, 11:10 AM   #1
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Ford F150 Letdown and warning

I've long joked that cars have gone from me being able to fix them at the side of the road with a screwdriver and vicegrips to vehicles that when I look in the engine compartment all I see is a bunch of stuff that I don't recognize. None the less I've considered that my 2.7, 10 speed to be the best tow vehicle that I've ever had and there's been quite a few.

Yesterday my opinion changed. Backed the truck and trailer into the driveway night before last using my mirrors. Hopped in yesterday ready to pull out and the first thing that caught my attention was that the seat back was angled forward! What the heck, how could that be! Anyway, adjusted it and headed off, got into heavy traffic and scanned my mirror for traffic. Crap, how did the bottom of the mirror get pushed in? Non-responsive to pushing the button. Drove on the highway like that, shoulder checking, until a rest stop. Pushed hard on the mirror and got it back into position.

While on the highway I got Cross traffic system faults, blind spot faults, TPMS faults, no heater or climate contols, no idle stop button, the list goes on.

At that point returning home seemed like the prudent thing to do and we did. I fully expected that when I connected my OBD2 reader I'd get some codes that would help pinpoint something. No codes and none pending?

Totally stunned that there could be a problem that would affect so many functions. Then totally shocked when I went to the F150 owners website and started researching the problem. There were folks in 2015 reporting the same list of malfunctions. And the complaints continue up through the years. Stories of folks leaving their vehicles at the dealers for weeks at a time, getting new ones under lemon laws etc. This situation has gone on for a long time and it doesn't appear to have a definitive cause.

So I have an appointment at the dealer for next week but I don't have high hopes. I hope this doesn't result in me throwing large amounts of money at a continuing problem. In the interim I'll continue researching the problem, checking connectors and the BLISS system etc.

But, again, what is hugely disappointing is that a problem can affect so many systems and also that it's existed for a long time and Ford hasn't eliminated the source of the problem.

Still best tow vehicle ever? We'll see.

Ron
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Old 09-15-2022, 11:54 AM   #2
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Gremlins

A buddy had a VW Passant. Leaves got into drain vents & plugged the cowling. Water drained into the cabin area. His electric windows would raise and lower randomly and on their own, He had other quirks occur. His carpeting started to mold.
This is a guy who buys the extended warranties, and uses them. He's light on maintenance and mechanical skills.

Some Mercedes model vehicle has more lines of computer code in it that what controls the International Space Station. Computers on wheels these days.
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Old 09-15-2022, 11:56 AM   #3
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I wish you luck. Your story reminded me of Apollo 12 getting struck by lightning soon after liftoff. The amazed astronauts stared as every warning light on their instrument panel came on at once. "We didn't train for this."
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Old 09-15-2022, 12:28 PM   #4
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I feel your pain, My 2017 Subaru Forester was 4 months and 500 miles over warranty. Dashboard warning lights up like a Christmas tree. $5,000 and still at the dealer waiting for parts. These automobiles are so complex and costly.
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Old 09-15-2022, 12:41 PM   #5
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I truly dread the day when I am going to need to buy a new tow vehicle.
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Old 09-15-2022, 12:52 PM   #6
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My friend had the entire wiring harness replaced in his 2021 3/4 ton diesel fancy GMC because of ghost electronic oddities. Once replaced the problems were gone.

Having rewired for taller handlebars on my recently sold Harley I found out quickly how one little loose connection can drive you insane. Fixed it but Holy Schmoly...
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Old 09-15-2022, 01:53 PM   #7
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Have a ‘98 C2500. Still use it all the time. I have a ‘21 Ford Ranger I use all the time. I bet the “98 will outlive my much more expensive computer on wheels.
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Old 09-15-2022, 02:43 PM   #8
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Have never bought an extended warranty before, however did for the Expedition. And mainly for all the electronics.

One can buy Mfg. Warranties for a lot less than what your selling dealer wants. For Ford ESP, either Ziegler Ford or Flood Flord seems to have the best prices.
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Old 09-15-2022, 02:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
....
At that point returning home seemed like the prudent thing to do and we did. I fully expected that when I connected my OBD2 reader I'd get some codes that would help pinpoint something. No codes and none pending?
if that was a generic ODB2 reader, that will only give the smog related generic engine codes.

what you need for a Ford is a 'ELM327' bluetooth ODB adapter, and the app ForScan Lite on a Android device (phone or tablet). This can read *all* the Ford specific subsystem codes, including body management. Alternattely, a laptop with a USB ODB adapter, and the Forscan Pro app which can do even more.
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Old 09-15-2022, 03:02 PM   #10
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btw, first thing I'd do with that set of random bunch of symptoms is check the charging voltages at the battery, and the main input voltages at the fuse and relay panel below the dashboard. My Ford is a 2002 Diesel, so I can't be more specific, but there should be a main power connection to the stack of computer modules that run all the interior stuff. On my Mercedes, that thing is called the "SAM"
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Old 09-15-2022, 03:27 PM   #11
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yes you need a pro level scan
for scan works quite well and is free if you get the right reader
otherwise there are 300 dollar scanners now that are excellent
I will hang on to my 2004 f150 with 92000 miles on it for a while very little electronics. Though mice did eat my wiring harness to the tune of 2300 dollars a few years ago.
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Old 09-15-2022, 04:13 PM   #12
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Just saying...rodents/vermin; rats, mice, squirrels etc., love to gnaw away at wires and electrical connections causing major electronic failures or glitching...has happened too many, myself included. Most vehicle insurance covers this type of damage.
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Old 09-15-2022, 05:07 PM   #13
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I will hang on to my 2004 f150 with 92000 miles on it for a while very little electronics. Though mice did eat my wiring harness to the tune of 2300 dollars a few years ago.
If that has the 3 valve 5.4L engine, watch out, it appears those have a bunch of weak spots like the variable valve timing, and camshaft lubrication, and such, and are known to randomly grenade. shame, because the original 5.4L 2-valve Triton was a tank of a motor. I had a 2001 E150 with the 2-valve version.
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Old 09-15-2022, 05:26 PM   #14
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Definitely FORScan is likely to point the way forward. I have a friend who'll be back next week and he's a pro with it. I'll probably wait for him as I don't need anymore learning curves.

I did find one video where the guy actually seemed to know the whole Ford electrical system and how one module can affect other seemingly unrelated modules. He also agreed with a lot of other sources that the source of this whole long list of faults is likely either water in the rear tail light housing or corroded connector terminals nearby.

So I removed the tail light. Pretty carefully but still had to use a prybar to pop it out. A little nerve racking given the BLISS sensor that it's a $1,000 plus item. Removing the sensor, all clean and dry, connector good. Then I removed the spare for better access to connectors that had also been mentioned as problem sources. All were clean and without corrosion. Didn't know whether to be happy or sad. Started the engine and no joy.

It's more F150 thread reading time. Only covered 2015-2018 so far. Hope I come to a post where a definitive cause is found.

Ron
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Old 09-15-2022, 05:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Just saying...rodents/vermin; rats, mice, squirrels etc., love to gnaw away at wires and electrical connections causing major electronic failures or glitching...has happened too many, myself included. Most vehicle insurance covers this type of damage.
I've found this stuff quite effective at keeping rodents out of the engine compartment at least. I've had several cars damaged in the past by nesting wood rats.

https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Cab-Bot.../dp/B00L236OMW

I put two under the hood of each car in opposite corners, and replace every month or three (2-3 months in cool weather, 1-2 in hot weather).
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Old 09-15-2022, 06:10 PM   #16
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I’ve not yet had trouble with the Ranger yet, but one oft used tactic on that forum is to disconnect the battery for about a half hour.
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Old 09-15-2022, 07:35 PM   #17
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I had something similar happen with my 2018 F150 with the 2.7L last winter. I had parked it at a furniture warehouse, helping my daughter pick up a piece. When I came out the truck would start but the heating system wouldn't respond, the dash display was dead, seats wouldn't move, etc. The radio turned on but would not turn OFF. With temps below zero that night, I disconnected the battery so it wouldn't drain. The next morning I reconnected the battery and everything worked. I haven't had any issues since then. I never did figure out what caused the problem.
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Old 09-15-2022, 09:34 PM   #18
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When I read the first post by Ron.........

I thought of my home computer issues and a full shutdown, disconnect and reboot has usually brought that stuff back to use.
Windows, Smindows!
It's worth a try to re-boot. Can't hurt much, other than losing the clock time and radio pre-sets.
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Old 09-15-2022, 09:39 PM   #19
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Very similar to my situation. Yah, crazy stuff. Things like the dial knob for volume on the radio won't work but the steering wheel volume works.

I did disconnect the battery but not for very long. I'll leave it disconnected for several hours tomorrow.

I found a TSB directive from 2018 relating to this problem. Disconnecting the battery is first on the list followed by several items I have to research more on.

The truck is fully driveable as is, bit of a nuisance but with colder weather coming the lack of the climate controls and the heater fan motor would be a problem.

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Old 09-15-2022, 11:18 PM   #20
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Hey Ron. I suspect you’ve already thought of this but how old is your battery? I’ve read a number of accounts online of electrical systems malfunctioning as a result of a dying battery. Hope you get it figured out.
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