2004 Ford F150 No Crank No Start- Explained & Fixed

A no crank no start situation is one of the most complained about Ford F150 series. And everyone gets it fixed some way or another. However, a real reason as to why it’s happening and how to get rid of it is yet to surface. But we’ve got just that here.

Why is it happening, 2004 Ford F150 no crank no start?

To know the real reason we’ve to go through a detailed diagnosis. In most cases, the Engine Controller, PATS, or CAN codes are faulty. But the solution has nothing to do with codes. You have to ensure power is being relayed to the Engine Controller. Which is also known as the PCM.

This is only the summary of the entire repair process. If you want to know more, you’ll need to follow us to the end!

Why wait? Let’s start right away-

2004 Ford F150 No Crank No Start: Diagnosis

They say the diagnosis is part of the cure. We couldn’t agree more! You can’t blindly poke around your engine, can you? Rather than magically getting rid of the problem, it might just create more.

So we need to find out which part is causing the situation at hand. For that, you’ll need some tools-

Tools You Need

These tools are not hard to use at all. The guide to using them is included in the details as well. Just get these first, and we’ll get started.

  • Data Link Connector
  • OBD-II Scan Tool
  • Flashlight
  • Owner’s Manual

The crucial tool here is the OBD-II. It might be difficult to get your hands on these ones. Here are a few we recommend you use-

OBD-II Scan ToolPrice
ANCEL AD310 OBD II Scanner
FOXWELL NT301 OBD2 Scanner

Now that we have what we need, let’s get to the diagnosis.

Step 1: Fire Up the Scan Tool

In your truck under the steering wheel, look for a spot that has ‘OBD’ written. Under that will be the OBD port for you to connect the Data Link Connector (DLC). But wait! Remember to have powered off your truck when connecting the DLC. Once you have the DLC, OBD-II, and the port all linked up, power on your truck on idle mode. 

By idle mode, we mean the truck is powered, but the engine is turned off. Once you do that the scan tool will power up successfully. On the screen, go for a code scan and wait for it to finish.

Step 2: Which Codes Are Faulty?

Let me guess what you’ll see as a result. You’ll see the CAN, PATS, and PCM codes are faulty! But this screen won’t tell you exactly which parts are faulty. For that, we need to go back to the main screen.

There, you’ll see all the parts of the truck are listed. You’ll need to click on each of them and try to read the data. Click on ‘Data display’ for each of them. See if the scanner can communicate with the vehicle.

You’ll most likely face a situation where there is no communication with specific parts. The engine, PATS, and the transmission in particular. Guess what? They’re all related to the Engine Controller, otherwise known as PCM.

Step 3: Find The Fuse Box

We found out the problem is with the PCM. Now let’s see if power is being relayed to it. Which most likely is not happening, is the root of the problem.

On the passenger’s side, on the right side of the foot, you’ll see the fuse box. It has two covers, both of them need to be pulled open. Once you do that, you’ll see a very complicated series of circuits.

But hey, don’t worry. We got you covered. Grab your owners’ manual and find the fuse box layout. That will tell you which relay and circuit are connected with what. If you don’t have the manual, don’t sweat it! The internet has it all. 

The relay number 203 is the PCM relay, pull that out and look at it carefully. Most probably, you’ll see some corrosion. How do we know that? Because this is one the most complained about. This is why Ford has manufactured better relays to replace them with. Which takes us to the repair part.

2004 Ford F150 No Crank No Start Situation Repair

Great! We know what to fix now. Just to be sure replacing the relay will fix the problem, let’s do a quick test. Unplug the relay number 201 and plug it in place of 203. Your truck will probably start working again. Not probably, most definitely! So there’s your answer.

Go get yourself the replacement relay, and plug it in place. Soon, you’ll have your truck running the miles as it used to. 

Tips To Avoid Such Problems

Here are some tips you should follow. They’ll ensure a healthy fuse and condition for your truck.

  1. Always do a routine check on the central board components. 
  2. Even though the board is covered, make sure you don’t get any liquid in there. It can happen during cleaning.
  3. If you see some green substance on the board where the relay was, clean it with a q-tip. Try with a dry one first. If that doesn’t clean it, try isopropyl alcohol.
  4. Even if a relay plugs and clicks, that doesn’t mean it is relaying power. So check on your relays regularly.
  5. Scan for faults using OBD-II as frequently as you can. This is a very handy tool and can detect problems in the early stages. 

These will save you a lot of trouble. For example, even this no crank no start problem could have been troublesome. If the corrosion reached the board there would’ve been no way back at that point.

Hope these tips will help you prevent future problems with your truck. In case you’re still wondering about some, take a look at the FAQs below-

FAQs

Question: How to tell if the relay is corroded or not?

Answer: To do that first you need to take the relay off. Check for green substances leaking out from the relay. Those are the corroded particles coming out of the relay. If yes, then the relay is corroded. Don’t touch the corrosion with bare hands.

Question: Will corroded relays damage the mainboard?

Answer: Yes, it will. But only if it has been there for a long time. If you are lucky, the board should be intact since there’s much gap in between. But if replacing the relay does not work, you should get the board checked by a professional.

Question: I don’t know which code is which. What should I do?

Answer: The code initials are made of 4 letters. B, C, P, U, refer to the body, chassis, powertrain, and network respectively. So, if you see faulty codes for a code starting with U, you could say the transmission is faulty. But to be sure you should try to read the data for transmission.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you’re not confused anymore about the 2004 Ford F150 no crank no start? Surely not! Be careful if you’re planning on poking around inside the engine. Also, clean the fuse board of corrosion leakage before installing the new relay.

Now that your truck is up and running again, happy driving!

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