Car Doctor Q&A: 2001 Ford F-150 Battery Woes

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If there’s anything worse than an intermittent electrical issue, we don’t know what it is. Seems like something mysterious is going on with this 2001 Ford F-150, but Car Doctor John Paul’s got a few suggestions.

Q.   I have a 2001 Ford F-150 pickup truck and recently on a long trip the truck had a problem.  I pulled into a gas station, filled the truck with gas and when I tried to restart the truck all I got was a “click”. I tried a jumpstart and still nothing but a click. I pushed the truck out of the way and walked to a restaurant for lunch. When I came back the truck started up with the only issue being a squealing fan belt. Do you have any idea what happened?


A. Once you have determined the battery and connections are good there are two other possibilities. The first is the starter; it is possible the starter is faulty and the starter drive hung up and wouldn’t release after it engaged the engine. The second possibility is a component driven by the fan belt seized up. I experienced something almost exactly like this with an old motorhome when the air conditioning compressor seized up and wouldn’t allow the engine to turn. We took the belt off and the engine started up. In this case we installed a smaller belt and got back on the road, we had no air conditioning but we were able to finish the trip.

John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England. A certified mechanic, Paul tests dozens of new cars each year and also hosts a radio show on AM 950 and 550.