Ford owners have been reporting a starting system fault message in their cars. What does this mean, and what can you do about it? In this article, we will explore the causes of this message and provide some tips on troubleshooting it. Keep reading for more information!
In a ford car, starting system fault message pops up on your dashboard when you replace an ignition switch. It may also be triggered by problems such as lousy ignition wiring, using a new key or another key fob with mismatched programming, or a bad fuse.
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How Does Starting System in Ford Work?
The starting system in a Ford car has three main components: the starter motor, the starter solenoid, and the battery. The starter motor is an electric motor that turns the engine over, while the starter solenoid is a large switch that supplies power to the starter motor.
The battery provides electrical energy to the starter system. When you turn the key to start your Ford car, electricity flows from the battery through the starter solenoid and into the starter motor.
This causes the starter motor to spin, which in turn cranks the engine. Once the engine is running, it provides power to run all of the other electrical components in your car.
What Does Starting System Fault Message in Ford Mean?
The Starting System Fault Message in Ford is a warning that something is wrong with the car’s starting system. This message may appear on the instrument panel or dash and can be accompanied by a check engine light or other warning lights.
If you see this message, it’s important to have your car checked out by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. The sooner you get it fixed, the less likely you’ll have major problems down the road.
Another light often confused with starting system fault message is the anti-theft light. But it is a separate feature present in a few cars only.
What Triggers a Starting System Fault Message?
Starting system fault message is a common problem in Ford cars. It may be triggered by several different issues, such as:
- Replaced Ignition Switch
- Using a Spare Key
- Faulty Starting System Components
- Lousy Ignition Wiring
- Bad Fuse
Let us discuss each of these causes for better understanding.
1. Replaced Ignition Switch:
If you have recently replaced the ignition switch in your Ford car, it is likely that the starting system fault message will appear. This is because the new ignition switch may not be compatible with the car’s starting system. A keyless start system issue can occur if you are using a new key fob in your car.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to reprogram your car’s computer to recognize the new ignition switch. This can be done by a qualified mechanic or dealership service center.
If you don’t want to pay to have your car’s computer reprogrammed, you can try using a spare key. If the spare key is programmed correctly, it should work just fine.
2. Using a Spare Key:
If you’re getting a “Starting system fault” message on your Ford dashboard, it could be because you’re using a spare key with mismatched programming. The security system in your Ford is designed only to allow a programmed key to start the engine.
When a mismatched key is used, the security system will trigger a fault message. If you’re using a spare key, make sure it has the correct programming before trying to start your Ford. Otherwise, you’ll need to have the key programmed by a Ford dealer or locksmith.
3. Faulty Starting System Components:
A car’s starting system is made up of several components, any of which can fail and cause the system to malfunction. When this happens, it usually results in a “starting system fault” message displayed on the dash.
The most common reasons for this message are a dead battery, a faulty starter, or a problem with the ignition switch. Sometimes the dash lights may turn on without the key in the ignition.
Any of these repairs can be expensive, so a qualified mechanic must check the starting system regularly to avoid costly repairs down the road.
4. Lousy Ignition Wiring:
If your car’s starting system displays a “starting system fault” message, it could be because of lousy ignition wiring. Over time, the wires in the ignition system can become corroded or damaged, which can cause them to short out.
This prevents the electrical current from flowing properly through the starting system, resulting in a “starting system fault” message displayed on the dash.
Sometimes, the wiring can be repaired. However, in other cases, it may need to be replaced entirely. This is a job that a qualified mechanic should do.
5. Bad Fuse:
If the “starting system fault” message appears on your Ford’s dash, it could be because of a bad fuse. The fuse helps to protect the starting system from electrical surges.
When the fuse blows, it prevents the electrical current from flowing properly through the starting system, which can cause the “starting system fault” message to appear.
Replacing a blown fuse is a fairly simple job that most people can do. However, if you’re unsure how to do it, you can always take your car to a qualified mechanic or dealership service center and have them do it for you.
These are some of the most common reasons why Starting System Fault Message in Ford cars appears on the dash. If you see this message, make sure to check these causes and fix the problem as soon as possible.
What are the Major Starting System Faults in Ford?
Most of the time, the reasons mentioned above can cause a starting system fault message in Ford. But many indirect yet major faults can also lead to this problem.
A few of them are discussed here:
1. Dead Battery:
If you have a Ford car or truck and it is displaying a “Starting System Fault” message, the battery is likely dead. This message usually appears when the key is turned to the “On” position, but it can also happen while driving.
The car will not start if the battery is completely dead. There are a few things that can cause a battery to die, such as leaving the lights on or if you kept playing the stereo on idle. You will receive a battery discharge warning in this case.
If you have recently jump-started your car, it is possible that the connections were not made correctly, which may have caused damage to the battery.
2. Starter Motor Spins But Doesn’t Engage:
If the starter motor spins but doesn’t engage, it is likely that the problem is with the starter solenoid. The starter solenoid is a small device that sits on top of the starter motor and helps to power the engine.
If the solenoid is damaged, it will prevent the flow of electricity to the starter motor, and this will cause it to spin but not engage. This is a common problem with Ford cars and trucks.
Another reason behind this can be damaged gear teeth. If the gears are damaged, they will not be able to engage properly, and this will cause the starter motor to spin but not engage.
No matter the issue, this problem will bar the engine from starting. And may also lead to the display of the “Starting System Fault” message.
3. Clogged Fuel System:
If your Ford car or truck is unable to start properly, it could be because the fuel system is clogged. The fuel must flow freely through the system for the engine to start.
If the fuel system is clogged, it will prevent fuel flow to the engine, preventing the engine from starting. The most common reason for a clogged fuel system is dirty or old fuel.
If you have recently filled up your tank with gas that has been sitting around for a while, it may be contaminated with dirt and debris. This can cause your fuel system to become clogged and prevent the car from starting.
Another possibility is that your fuel filter is dirty or needs to be replaced. A dirty or blocked fuel filter will also prevent fuel from flowing properly, and this is not letting your engine start.
4. Defective Spark Plugs:
Again defective spark plugs might not trigger the “Starting System Fault” message on the dash, but it will surely make your engine stall. And you will not be able to start it no matter how many times you try.
Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the fuel in the cylinders; if they are damaged, they will prevent the fuel from igniting properly. This will cause the engine to stall and not start.
Over time spark plugs can become fouled with oil and debris, which will cause them to misfire. If you suspect that the problem is with the spark plugs, it is best to have them replaced.
If you have recently replaced your spark plugs and they are still not working, it is possible that they were not installed correctly. Or there might be another issue, such as a loose wire or a bad connection.
5. Faulty Alternator:
The alternator is responsible for charging the battery; if it is not working properly, it can cause the battery to die. If the alternator is not charging the battery, it will eventually run out of power, preventing the engine from starting.
A common symptom of a faulty alternator is dimming headlights. If you notice that your headlights are dimmer, it indicates that the alternator is not working properly and needs to be replaced.
Another symptom of a failing alternator is strange noises from the engine bay. If you hear any strange noises, it is best to have your car checked out as soon as possible.
6. Faulty Ignition Switch:
This problem can directly lead to the display of the “Starting System Fault” message on the dash. If the ignition switch is not working properly, it will prevent the flow of electricity to the starter motor, and this will cause the engine to stall.
Ignition switches are known to fail over time, a common problem with Ford cars and trucks. If you notice that your vehicle is having trouble starting, it is best to have the ignition switch checked out by a mechanic.
How to Troubleshoot Starting System Fault in Ford?
Now that we know the various reasons that can cause the “Starting System Fault” message to be displayed on the dash let’s look at how to troubleshoot this problem.
- The first thing you need to do is check the battery. Make sure that the terminals are clean and free of any corrosion. If there is any corrosion, it needs to be removed as it will prevent the flow of electricity.
- Next, you need to check all the connections in the starting system. This includes the battery cables, starter motor wires, and ignition switch. Make sure all these connections are tight and free of dirt or debris.
- If everything looks good, but your car still won’t start, it is possible that the starter motor is faulty. The best way to test this is to jump-start the vehicle. If the car starts, you know the starter motor needs to be replaced.
- If your car still won’t start after troubleshooting all of these issues, it is best to take it to a mechanic and have them look at it. They will be able to diagnose the problem and let you know what needs to be done to fix it.
Cost of Fixing Starting System Faults in Ford
The cost of fixing a “Starting System Fault” in Ford can vary depending on the problem. If the issue is with the battery, it is possible to replace it yourself for around $100.
However, if the problem is with the starter motor or alternator, it is best to take it to a mechanic as these parts are more difficult to replace. The cost of replacing a starter motor or alternator can range from $500-$1000.
Let us see the cost of replacing some of the most common parts that are leading to the “Starting System Fault” message:
Replacing an ignition switch: The cost of replacing an ignition switch in a Ford can vary depending on the model of the Ford and the year it was manufactured. However, the average cost for this repair is between $200 and $300.
Replacing a bad fuse: If the problem is with a blown fuse or starter relay, it is very easy to replace it yourself. All you need to do is purchase a new fuse from your local auto parts store and replace the old one. This should cost less than $20.
Replacing a starter motor: Starter motors don’t come cheap. On average, most people spend between $150 and $200 on labor costs when replacing their starter motor in a Ford car. For parts, you can expect to pay around $350.
Replacing starter solenoid: The cost of replacing the starter solenoid in a Ford can vary depending on the model and year of the vehicle. However, on average, the cost to replace a starter solenoid in a Ford is between $100 and $300. This includes the cost of parts and labor.
The “Starting System Fault” message on your Ford’s dash can be caused by various issues such as a replaced ignition switch, using a spare key with a mismatched transponder code, or a faulty starter motor.
It is important to troubleshoot all these issues to find out what is causing the problem. Once you know the cause, you can take the necessary steps to fix it.
Have you ever had this message come up on your Ford’s dash? What did you do to fix it? Let us know in the comments below!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Which ford models are more susceptible to starting a system fault message?
Ford Edge, Fusion, Explorer, Focus, Taurus, and Escape models from 2011-2016 are most likely to show the message. More recent models have an updated starting system that is less likely to have this issue.
How do you reset the Pats on a ford f150?
PATS stands for the passive anti-theft system. It is a security feature that is found on most Ford vehicles. The purpose of PATS is to deter thieves from stealing vehicles by making it more difficult for them to hotwire the car.
To reset the PATS on a Ford F150, you will need to follow these steps:
- Insert the ignition key into the driver’s side door lock and turn it to the “Unlock” position. But not enough to unlock the door.
- Leave the key in this position for no less than 45 seconds.
- After 45 seconds have passed, turn the key again. But this time in the opposite direction.
- Again, leave the key in this position for 45 seconds.
- After 45 seconds have passed, turn the key back to the “Unlock” position and remove it from the door lock.
- Insert the key in the ignition and turn it to the “On” position.
This should reset the PATS system on your Ford F150.
What may trigger false starting system fault codes?
Possible causes for false starting system fault codes in Ford vehicles include:
- A loose or damaged alternator belt
- Faulty wiring between the alternator and battery
- Moisture in the start circuit (from either a bad weather seal around the ignition switch or a leaking coolant hose)
What can cause my Ford F 150 to not start?
There are a variety of things that could cause your Ford F 150 not to start. It could be something as simple as a dead battery or a loose connection.
Alternatively, it could be something more serious like a fuel delivery issue or a problem with the ignition system. If you’re unsure what the problem is, it’s best to consult with a qualified mechanic who can diagnose and resolve the issue.
How do you test for a bad starter motor?
You can test for a bad starter motor in a few ways. One way is to check the voltage at the starter solenoid. If it is low, then the starter motor may be bad. Another way is to check for continuity between the terminals on the starter solenoid. If there is no continuity, then the starter motor may be bad.
Where is the starter on the 2014 f150?
The starter on the 2014 f150 is located on the passenger side of the engine, near the firewall. It is a black box with two wires coming out of it. The positive wire is red, and the negative one is black.
How to avoid starting system failure?
There are a few things you can do to avoid starting system failure:
- Keep the battery terminals clean and free of corrosion.
- Check the alternator belt regularly and replace it if worn or damaged.
- Make sure the wiring between the alternator and battery is in good condition.
- If you live in an area with harsh winters, ensure the weather seal around the ignition switch is in good condition to prevent moisture from getting into the start circuit.
- If your vehicle has an anti-theft system, ensure it is functioning properly.
Following these tips will help you avoid a starting system failure in your Ford vehicle. You may find other information in google threads show posts.