2003 Ford F-150 truck won't start consistently

Tiny
THEOG1970
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD F-150
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 80,000 MILES
Truck won't start consistently but trip/odometer gauge stays lit with dashes not numbers, under dash I can hear a rapid ticking/crackling sound. Fuel pump is new after same problem over a month ago. Battery is new. After-market auto car starter was installed before I purchased, could this be part of the problem?

Local Ford dealer did diagnostic check and found that the alternator was bad but my mechanic tested and it was fine.

My mechanic found shorted wires in the drivers door, and engine side of firewall, and along the frame rail under truck bed.
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Saturday, July 24th, 2010 AT 11:25 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
What did the shorted wires go to? Also, I want you to check alt output so we know for sure. Here is a how to. All you need is a volt meter. It is easy. Check it and let me know what you find.

http://www.2carpros.com/how_to/how_to_test_alternator.htm

Joe
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Saturday, July 24th, 2010 AT 9:55 PM
Tiny
THEOG1970
  • MEMBER
One shorted wire went to the fuel pump and the other went to the power mirrors. There were only two, I was mistaken on the third.

I unplugged the battery 7 days ago and left it overnight. The next morning I was able to start it and it has been running for a week. This morning I went out to start it and the door chime went off with out the key in the ignition. The truck started but when I put it in gear the 4x4 dash light was clicking rapidly, in Neutral it went out but came back on in Drive. When the light was on the power windows would not work, but when it went out the window would. I could smell something like hot wires under the dash when I got home from a 6 mile drive.

The last time the truck wouldn't start it had been raining all night, and this time was the same. Could moisture be getting in somewhere?
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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 AT 8:01 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Yes, water could be the problem and I know exactly where I want you to look. Under the dash, behind the fuse panel, there is module. It is called the GEM (generic electronic module). A very common problem with these vehicles is a windshield leak. The water leaks down onto the GEM and causes lights to flash, starters to engage them self.

Check that and see if there is any evidence that water was there. I feel really confident that is the problem.

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 AT 10:13 PM
Tiny
THEOG1970
  • MEMBER
I checked under the dash on the driver's side and the carpet WAS very wet. Has the windshield checked out at Portland Glass and they found that three quarters of the factory installed windshield was not properly sealed.

Thank you for your help so far, I had the truck washed today and have had no problems yet. More water was used on the windshield and seal to see if there was still a leak and there was none.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/553930_misc_023_1.jpg

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Saturday, August 7th, 2010 AT 2:34 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Nice truck. Glad you got it fixed. Listen, if you start having trouble in the future, start with the GEM. There may have been damage to it.

Let me know if you have questions, and thanks for using 2carpros. Com.

Joe
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Sunday, August 8th, 2010 AT 12:58 AM

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