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F-150 Won’t Start: Common Causes And How To Fix It

F-150 Won’t Start: Common Causes And How To Fix It

You get into your truck, ready for a day at work, and turn the key, but it won’t start. This is the last thing you need to happen to you, but it does. But nothing seems to respond. This is more common than you think.

There are many common causes, anywhere from wiring to something a little more severe. It is always good to know what may be the cause of this, so you are better equipped to fix it.

Common Causes

When your Ford F-150 doesn’t start, it is best to understand what are the most common causes. This way, you don’t get duped, or maybe you can even fix it yourself. Here are some of the most common causes why your truck doesn’t want to turn over.

The Battery Is Dead

The battery might be dead. If you turn the ignition on and see the battery light, your battery may be dead. The best way to tell if the battery is the cause is if you may have left something on in your truck. If you did, the battery has died.

You can also determine the cause by checking the charge. If you can jump-start your truck with another running vehicle and it stays running, then the battery is the reason. You will need to get a new one.

The Starter Is Bad

Sometimes the starters go bad. It may seem like the battery is dead, but it is your starter. The best way you can tell the difference is your battery allows a few attempts to turn the engine over while the starter just causes a click sound.

If your battery is old and completely dead, it could cause a click sound. Check the charge of the battery to see what it is at.

If there is a charge and you only get that click sound when you turn the key, then most likely, your starter is bad.

An Alternator Problem

You may have an alternator problem. There are many ways you can detect if this is the cause. It looks a little similar to your battery is dead and can cause your battery to die, but here are ways to tell if it is the cause:

  • If your truck died while driving it.
  • If all your lights on your dash went off before your truck died.
  • Your F-150 will start but will not stay running.
  • If your battery is new and has been replaced.

When the alternator goes out, it will look like your battery has died. If you just had your battery replaced and it holds a charge, then your alternator is likely the cause.

It Is The Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is what tells your truck to start. If it is bad or has malfunctioned, then it won’t be able to tell the engine to start, and you are stuck with a truck that just doesn’t get the message per se.

Bad Wiring

Bad wiring can be the cause of many of your truck’s issues. Think of the wiring as the roads that you take to your destination. If your roads are blocked, then you can’t get there. Bad wiring does the same thing.

When you try to start your Ford, any loose or disconnected wire can cause the message to be lost in translation. So this means your truck doesn’t know to start or may not have the power to do so.

How To Fix an F150 That Won’t Start

So how do you fix any of these issues that may arise? Well, you can fix it yourself, especially if you have some basic experience with the tools and the basic anatomy of a vehicle.

Some of these problems aren’t too difficult, and you can do it with patience. But some of these issues are better off in the hands of a mechanic.

Replacing The Battery

Replacing the battery is a simple process; even those without mechanical knowledge or background can easily replace the battery. You just have to loosen up the wires to the battery, take the old battery out, get the new one, and set it in the space of the old one.

  • You will need a few tools, but you should be good to go if you have a basic tool set.
  • You can get a professional to replace it, but you can also ask the store where you bought the battery to replace it (only if you can get the car to that store).
  • They will replace it right there for you.

The Starter And Alternator

You can replace the starter and alternator if you have a mechanical background or know how to learn from a few step-by-step videos. The alternator will not be a fun task since it can be tricky to get to, especially when loosening up those belts.

The starter will be the easier of the two to replace, but still, it will take a lot of patience to replace it. Some of those places are tight to get to and can be very hard for someone who isn’t used to fixing their own truck.

Ignition Switch

The ignition switch will need to be replaced. You can do this one independently as it is a little simpler than the previous two, and you don’t have as many steps. But if you decide to go with a professional, the cost shouldn’t be more than $200 to $250 (source). This depends on where you go.

The Maze Of Bad Wiring

Bad wiring can be the simplest fix you have ever done, or it could be your worst nightmare. Surprisingly, one bad wire can cause your F-150 not to start. A little electrical tape can go a long way, but you must find the bad wire first.

The place to start is the wires to the battery or near your ignition switch. If you can’t find it, you might as well go to a professional. They will have the necessary tools and means to find that bad wire.


There are other causes for your Ford F-150 not starting, but these are some of the most common causes. Some are easier to fix, while others you will need a professional. Sometimes it is easier to go to a mechanic than do it yourself.

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