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I have a 2014 Ecoboost FX4 with about 100K miles. The rear…

Customer Question
I have a 2014...

I have a 2014 Ecoboost FX4 with about 100K miles. The rear diff is locking (on its own) on initial start up in the morning, then goes off (on its own) once warmed up. Assuming this is an electrical issue. Any ideas on what is causing it and how to fix?

Mechanic's Assistant: Will the headlights turn on? Is the battery fully charged?

Yes to both. Just started doing this, in conjunction with coldest weather of the season. Not sure there is a connection between the issue and outside temperature.

Mechanic's Assistant: What is the model of your '14 Ford?

FX4

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?

If it is something pretty simple, I will do it myself. Have only tried activating and deactivating the locking diff switch a few times.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

No, I think that should cover it.

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Ford
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Answered in 28 minutes by:
1/4/2018
Ford Mechanic: CTFordTech, Ford Technician replied 6 months ago
CTFordTech
CTFordTech, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 4,981
Experience: Ford Master School Certified, Kia Elite School Certified, ASE Certified, A/C 609 Certified
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Ford Mechanic: CTFordTech, Ford Technician replied 6 months ago

Please explain your issue with the diff locking in a little more detail if you could. What if any messages come up on the dash?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Just the dash indication of the locking diff being engaged. It went off once speed of 20 miles per hour was reached. Once the truck was run for a while (15-20 miles), the problem did not re-occur. This has happened the last few mornings.
Ford Mechanic: CTFordTech, Ford Technician replied 6 months ago

Has it been extremely cold the last few morning when the message cam on?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
well cold for us here in South Louisiana. Temps in the mornings from 18-20F. That's cold for us.
Ford Mechanic: CTFordTech, Ford Technician replied 6 months ago

Ok thank you. Give me a few minutes and let me do a little research on the problem and I will get back to you.

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Ford Mechanic: CTFordTech, Ford Technician replied 6 months ago

Just one quick thing first, The switch on the dash for the locking diff didn't get turned to the on position by accident recently has it?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
No, that's the first thing I checked. It was off. I clicked it on and off several times thinking the switch may have been the issue, but it seems to engage and disengage properly via the switch.
Ford Mechanic: CTFordTech, Ford Technician replied 6 months ago

Ok thank you. Before we dig into this too far, it could be something as simple as a faulty fuse. I don't suspect it but I have been burned by it before. In the engine compartment there is a fuse box in the front which is called the Battery Junction Box or BJB. I would recommend removing and inspecting fuses F20, F54, and F68 just to be sure they are not blown. If none are blown I would almost suspect an issue with the Electronic Locking Diff module. Now this is where it gets a little more difficult because a computer test would need to be performed to check and see if there are and Diagnostic Trouble codes in the computer that could better help us fix the problem. Without knowing if there are any codes I can only guess at this time the module is the problem. Another test that could be done is if you have an electrical meter you could test for power at the differential solenoid when the vehicle acts up. If you would like me to help you further with that testing I could.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Ok - looks like the fuses are fine. I'm going to see if it does it again tomorrow AM (another cold morning). If so, I have a cheap code reader I can plug in to see if any codes are present. Tough to bring it into the dealership as an intermittent problem. I suspect they would change the module based on what you are saying....not much else it could be I guess?
Ford Mechanic: CTFordTech, Ford Technician replied 6 months ago

Ok. Most generic code readers like the one you probably have wont be able to check the module for the locking diff. Most of the code readers only do check engine lights and sometimes ABS lights. A dealer might be able to retrieve a code even though it is intermittent.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Ok, glad you told me that. I guess I will bring it in if it does it again. Any idea what that module costs? And is it tough to get to?
Ford Mechanic: CTFordTech, Ford Technician replied 6 months ago

Off the top of my head no, I don't know the price for the module. I only have access to repair information. Price can vary depending on where you live.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I looked at a youtube video of someone with a similar problem just now. In that instance, it was actually a loose connection within the 4x4,4x2, locking diff selector switch in the dash. I wiggled the switch on mine and locking diff would come on if wiggled the right way. That indicated to me that it may be the problem. I will replace switch and see if that fixes it.
Ford Mechanic: CTFordTech, Ford Technician replied 6 months ago
Ok. It is possible that it is the switch. That would be the cheapest route to go at this point.
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