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How to Remote Start a Ford F-150: Complete Guide

How to Remote Start a Ford F-150: Complete Guide

From heated and cooled seats to satellite radio to multi-size cupholders, today’s trucks and cars come with lots of handy features.  Remote start capability is another addition found in many vehicles, including the Ford F-150.  Take advantage of this helpful feature by learning how to start your F-150 before you even get in.

If you’re the owner of a Ford F-150, get your driving experience off to a good start by using the remote start feature.  Read on to find out how.

Does My F-150 Have a Remote Start?

Whether it’s a cold, wintry morning or sultry summer afternoon, being able to crank up the engine on your F-150 before you leave the house or as you walk back to the truck with a bag of groceries can make the difference in a comfortable ride.

Ford equips a number of its vehicles with the remote start option and the F-150 truck is no exception.  With remote start, you can turn on the vehicle from up to 300 feet away and get the interior temperature and conditions just like you like it before you ever get in.

Finding out if your F-150 has the remote start option is as easy as looking at your key fob.  If you see a button shaped like a curved arrow, then your truck can be started remotely.

Beginning with 2021 models, the remote start key fob became a standard feature on all F-150 trucks. (source)

How Do You Turn on the Remote Start on a Ford F-150?

Enabling remote start on your F-150 will allow you to use your key fob for a remote start and establish your preferences for what happens during a remote start, including:

  • Climate control
  • Front seat and steering wheel
  • Length of time of the remote start

To turn on the remote start option, follow these simple steps:

  • Use the Information Display Panel on the dashboard 
  • Navigate to the Settings tab
  • Choose Advanced Settings
  • Choose Vehicle 
  • Choose Remote Start to begin setting your preferences

How Do I Start My Ford Truck Remotely?

Once you know for sure that your Ford truck has the remote start option, it’s time to learn how to use it.  You might as well take advantage of the feature and get the AC or heat going so you don’t spend half your ride waiting on the interior to adjust to a comfortable level.

Enable Remote Start

Remote start must first be enabled by going into your truck’s information display console as mentioned above.

Lock the Vehicle

The first step is to lock all the truck doors by pressing the Lock button on the key fob once.  This is a safety feature to prevent anyone (think children or car thieves) from accessing the truck while it’s cranked but not occupied.

Start the Truck

The Remote Start button on the key fob looks like a curved arrow.  Press it twice to start the truck.  The exterior lights will flash twice when remote start is successful. 

If the truck fails to start, the horn will go off, unless you’ve chosen the Quiet Start preference.

Here’s a quick video walk-through of the key fob:

Extend the Remote Start if Necessary

In your settings, you chose a preferred duration for your remote start to last, usually  5, 10, or 15 minutes.  Let’s say you’ve started your truck remotely but you’re not quite ready to drive in 5, 10, or 15 minutes.  No problem.

You can extend the length of a remote start with just a few clicks.  While the truck is still running, repeat the first two steps:  Press the Lock button once and the Remote Start button twice.  The second remote duration will begin after the first remote start ends.

Sometimes you may need to extend the remote start duration multiple times.  This can be done for a maximum time of 35 minutes.  If your truck shuts off at any point, you should wait at least five seconds before attempting another remote start.

Get Ready to Drive

There are two types of transmitters used for remote starts and the one you have will determine how you actually engage your truck to drive.

  • Integrated keyhead transmitter:  You must actually switch on the ignition before driving.
  • Intelligent access transmitter:  You have to press the Start/Stop button on the instrument panel once while simultaneously applying pressure to the brake pedal before you can drive.

How Do I Turn Off My Truck Remotely?

If your truck is running and you want to turn it off remotely, simply press the Remote Start button once.  The parking lights will also go off.

Because of the engine noise and reflection of the lights on the ground, you may have to be closer to the vehicle to actually turn it off with the key fob.

Why Might a Remote Start Not Work on a Ford F-150?

A few things can happen that would cause the remote start feature to not work. Most involve relatively straightforward fixes. (source)

  • The remote start feature is disabled.
  • The car is already on.
  • The hood is open.
  • The car is not set to the Park (P) position.
  • The alarm system has been activated.
  • The truck’s battery voltage is insufficient.
  • The Check Engine light is on.


  • You should not use the remote start if your truck is low on gas.
  • Remote start should never be used for cars that are parked inside a garage or poorly ventilated area.

Final Thoughts

Remotely starting your Ford F-150 is as simple as hitting a button on your key fob.  You’ll need to set up personal preferences in the vehicle’s Information Display panel first to designate what happens during a remote start, but then it’s a feature that will make you wonder how you ever lived without it.

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