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Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 26233
Experience:  ASE CERTIFIED TECHNICIAN ADVANCED LEVEL SPECIALIST. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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2001 Ford f-150 intermittent problem with starting.

Customer Question

2001 Ford f-150 intermittent problem with starting. Sometimes have only dash lines across odometer and engine won't start. Sometimes it starts and runs for a while then dies. Sometimes it starts and after turning it off it won't restart.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I have replaced the small fuses for the fuel pump relay, PCM relay, fuel injectors, and heated oxygen sensor. Also changed the big square relays for the PCM power and the fuel pump, after changing those 2 the truck started about 15 times before it failed again. Also, the truck has died on me twice while driving it. Jim
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Ford Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $28 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I can assist you with your question. Are there any codes in the computer? Can I start by getting your VIN? Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No codes. Vin: 2FTRX18L61CA81460
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the VIN! Based on my experience, this probem is either a bad PCM, instrument cluster or a shorted out sensor (shorting the PCM out).

Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.

I bet there is no communication with the PCM when this happens.. and this is why the engine does not start. I would start by checking for a 5 volt reference from the PCM to the TPS with the key on when this happens. If the PCM is not sending out 5 volts, then check for any shorted out sensors and check all powers and grounds going into the PCM with the key on. If all checks out good, the PCM is bad and will need to be replaced.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The bad PCM you refer to, is that the PCM relay in the fuse box that I replaced with a new one? If not, where is it located and look like? I replaced the PCM power relay and the fuel pump relay with new parts already. I don't know what or where this TPS thing is, I don't see it anywhere in the wiring diagram.
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.

Hello and sorry for the delay! The TPS is located on the side of the throttle body. It should have three wires going to the TPS

Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.

Here is a picture of the location of the PCM. It is on the left side of the diagram. Passenger side of the engine compartment

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I got the diagram printed out, will check for 5 volts tomorrow. Jim
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.

Sounds good! I do work tomorrow during the day but I will be on line tomorrow night after work. Talk to you then.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Amedee, I was gone all day, had Dr. appointment and helped a friend with chores while in town. I didn't get anything done
on the F-150 today, will work on it tomorrow. Jim
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.


Sounds good! No problem! Take your time and let me know when you can.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I worked on the F-150 today, still can't solve problem. The odometer was showing numbers this morning, so I started it up and drove around the block. It died after about 1 1/2 miles but 5 minutes later it started and I got it back home. I took the battery out and got to the PCM, pulled the harness out but can't figure out what wires to check with TPS for the 5 volts. The ground wire right above the PCM showed a little resistance when checked to ground so cleaned the threads on the bolt and it checks good now, but where does it go? It disappeared into the PCM bundle of wires but looks like it runs all the way over to the fuse box. I found a couple more green bolt ground wires in the engine compartment and cleaned them up too. Hooked everything back up, odometer still shows dashes instead of numbers and it cranks but won't start. Also, when I reconnected
the battery I heard a whole lot of clicking going on - and I mean a lot. Is that normal? Jim
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.

The clicking you are hearing are relays. If the key was on when you reconnected the battery, then the relays will click.

Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.

The reference voltage going to the TPS sensor should be the brown wire with white stripe

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, I tried all the things I could that you suggested but they did not solve the problem. The odometer still had dashes on it instead of numbers and it would not start. A friend of mine was looking on an internet page where bloggers write about their problems. One of the bloggers wrote that he had the same problem and 90% of the time it is the anti-theft system that keeps the engine from starting or kills it when the odometer is not working right. So, I followed that guys instructions to deactivate
the anti-theft system. The truck started right up and is running normal so far after driving it yesterday, sitting overnight and
starting it several times today. I am surprised that you have never heard of this before, from the bloggers statements it seems to be a somewhat common problem with Fords these days. I thank you for trying to help and for your patience. Jim
Expert:  AMEDEE replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jim! Thank you for the reply. I'm glad to hear vehicles up and running. However I have never heard of a recent procedure for the antitheft system for a ford. Otherwise a car thief would just reset the antitheft system and would be able to steel your vehicle.