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Ford F-150 Throttle Body Problems You Should Know!

What kind of problems does an American-made Ford F-150 usually have regarding the throttle body? In this blog, we’ve outlined the most important things you should keep an eye out for when you’re in the market for a Ford F-150.

The 2014 – 2016 model years of the Ford F-150 are the only ones that have had structural problems with the electronic throttle body. The electronic throttle bodies in these vehicles became contaminated, which caused increased electrical resistance, resulting in malfunctioning.

In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss every single problem in detail. Furthermore, we’ll tell you how to identify it, repair it, and how much it costs to repair. Read on!

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1. Bad Throttle Body 

An integral component of your F150, the throttle body, regulates the amount of air flowing into the engine. A failed throttle body is a bad sign and can negatively affect the performance and efficiency of your Ford vehicle. 

Specific model years of the F-150 that have had problems with the throttle body are the 2015 – 2016 F-150 built between 8/1/15 to 5/17/16 in Dearborn, Michigan, and the ones made between 8/31/15 to 4/27/16 in Kansas City. Interestingly, the 2014 model year also experienced this problem, but Ford never issued a recall for those vehicles.

For the 2015 – 2016 models, Ford issued their own recall in which they stated the following:

In all of the affected vehicles, the electronic throttle body internal motor contacts may develop contamination resulting in increased electrical resistance.

If this condition is present, the malfunction indicator lamp will illuminate diagnostic trouble codes P2111 and P2112 will set, and the vehicle enters a Failure Mode Effects Management (FMEM) of default throttle position with fixed RPM.

In this mode, while engine power and vehicle speed are reduced, the power steering, power braking, lighting, and climate control systems remain fully functional.

Source

The solution to this problem involved having the electronic throttle body (part number: AT4Z-9E926-B) replaced under service bulletin 16B32B. According to Ford, this should take dealers half an hour and was done free of charge for owners of the vehicles.

This Ford recall was in effect from October 27, 2016, to September 30, 2017. Furthermore, there was no mileage or age limit on having the throttle body replaced. However, if you’re experiencing problems, you’ll have to pay out of pocket. Expect to pay around $150 for the throttle body and $50 – $100 for labor. Also, you can try and replace it yourself with the video below.

There are some common symptoms that you can check to identify whether your Ford F150 has a lousy throttle body like the one mentioned in the recall. WWe’vementioned five main symptoms below.

After that, wwe’lldiscuss other common problems with a throttle body and how to identify them. This is especially useful if your vehicle was not part of the recall, but you’re still experiencing problems.

Changes In Fuel Consumption

A faulty throttle body results in an odd fuel mixture. This can also increase fuel consumption. If you observe that you need to refill more frequently or less frequently, a defective throttle body could be to blame.        

Also read: Types Of Gas A Ford F-150 Uses (All Generations)                      

Engine Fault Codes

If you spot the fault code P2112, there is a throttle body failure in your Ford truck. Sometimes, the fault code would be accompanied by the sudden loss of power and an illuminated check engine light.  

Engine Dies Quickly After Starting

When you stop your vehicle, it may be noticeable that the vehicle’s engine tends to die rather than a smooth shut down.

The problem arises when you start it again, but the engine won’t start quickly, or it may start with some jerk with a sudden increase in speed which remains until it reaches the idle speed, which means the engine is in motion even when the vehicle is not running. Idle speed for Ford F150 is okay at around 1,000 pm. If more than that, then there is a problem.

It’s a good idea for you to check inside the throttle body to see if any filth has settled. It isn’t always the scenario that the throttle body is poor. It can be simply filthy, hence not responding well. Many indications of throttle body problems can be present in a bad throttle body. Therefore, it is advisable to make a habit of getting your vehicle’s throttle body cleaned periodically.

Irregular Idle Speed

Irregular idle speed can be caused by the throttle body not letting enough air in to stabilize the idle speed, clearly indicating a bad throttle body. You can check for any filth inside the throttle, which is hampering air intake.

Disturbed Airflow Into The Engine

Due to an imbalance in air circulation, vacuum escapes can disturb the air/fuel flow, causing throttle body pressure issues. A poorly adjusted throttle stop could be the problem’s root cause. This main entrance component provides a minimum and maximum position for a throttle body plate to open or close.

2. Sensor Failure

In general, a yellow wrench light on the dashboard of an F150 means a problem in the powertrain control module or the all-wheel-drive system. However, the sign also illuminates when there’s a problem with the electronic throttle body of your F150 and its sensors.  

In most cases, a failed Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) fitted inside the throttle body is the reason behind the yellow wrench sign appearing. If a problem is found with the TPS, then consider replacing it to solve the problem. 

It can either be caused by a manufacturing defect when mass-producing the vehicle which didn’t come to anybody’s notice, it may happen after service, or it may happen while maneuvering the car through very rough terrains. 

The various sensors in your Ford F150 measure the air flowing in and oxygen content coming out when the throttle body opens. If one of these sensors fails, this can sound like a bad throttle body. That is why it is critical to obtain the trouble codes. It can help you find exactly what you’re looking for, which can help in faster service.

The fact that the wrench light glows up is not necessarily bad. The trouble codes saved in the engine computer can reveal a great deal about what’s going on. This makes figuring out what’s wrong with the throttle body much easier. 

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Ford F-150

2. Engine Is Unresponsive

If the engine of your F150 refuses to start or becomes unresponsive, then the first thing you should do is check the spark plugs. If nothing is wrong with the spark plugs, you should clean the throttle body because any unwanted obstruction in the body can harm the airflow going into the engine. 

If any throttle body part is found faulty, then as a safety measure, it is a good idea to use only certified and durable ones, which will not wear out quickly.

However, if you have to change spark plugs, avoid using platinum-based or pure metal-based ones as they react and wear out quickly due to limited strength in individual metals. Try to get alloy-based spark plugs as their strength is good, enabling them to wear out quickly.

You can also check for the gas pressure as well as the fuel pump. If needed, you change that.

3. Wrench Light Glows And F150 Starts With A Jerk

The glowing of a wrench-shaped icon is one of the many characteristics of the Ford F150. This is one of the key indicators that your vehicle needs serious maintenance. When it glows, it means the Ford system has detected some car issues.

Symptoms can be the vehicle jerking when you take your foot off the paddle, or it can be a throttling problem in many cases. 

You can look for a burned wire behind the right side of the engine head, just above the o2 sensor. Check for the transmission lubricant in the plug on the transmission as the wire harness travels over it, which is quite close to the exhaust. Check for P1747 or similar ground codes while extracting codes from the vehicle.

If the throttle body is faulty, you will find a P2112 fault code. In this case, it is wise to tow the vehicle to the nearest service center rather than risk driving it down to any nearest service center.

4. Vehicle Suddenly Stops

Some owners of the F150 have complained about their vehicle unexpectedly stopping in the middle of their journey. This can be hazardous to the driver, passengers, and other motorists.

This problem can be due to either clogging of air in the throttle body or the power failure in the fuel pump. Sometimes, even when the wrench light doesn’t illuminate, there might be some problems in the vehicle.

First, check for the fuel pump and the wires attached, whether these are loose and entangled or tightly done. This causes power failure in the fuel pump. Another thing is to check the inertia switch. You can also check whether any dirt is accumulated in the fuel sock.

If all these are fine, then check for the throttle body. There might be a more significant possibility that the body has been clogged and there is no adequate air to pass through the flap of the throttle body.

In this case, clean up the throttle body after every ride if you use muddy roads. A better option would be to look for the nearest service center to repair the body.

5. Sudden Jerking Of The Vehicle

At times, owners of the F150 face a sudden jerk in the vehicle while driving. Usually, this indicates a problem with the throttle body. However, in some cases, this is due to a clogged catalytic converter, making it difficult for the fuel pump in the F150 to function correctly.

Another thing you can check out is for poor or damaged wiring in the vehicle. Sometimes, the wearing out of wires is inevitable due to excessive jerking and overloading in both plain and hilly areas. It is advisable to replace that part of the wire which has started wearing out instead of fixing it temporarily by applying safety tapes. 

6. High RPM

Issue of shooting up of rpm (revolution per minute) indicates a fault somewhere in your Ford F150. 

When this occurs, the vehicle will act as if it is being accelerated even when it is in neutral. Sometimes, this won’t happen once the driver turns off overdrive mode.

The most common cause of this problem can be a failed throttle body; thus, to resolve this issue, it is recommended to replace the throttle body or at least have it inspected. It might also be a problem with the TPS (Throttle position sensor) cable, where the inlet joins the engine on the driverside of the throttle body.

Another cause can be a faulty interconnection between PCM (Power-Train Control Module) and transmission. You will need to check the connecting wire if the PCM and transmission are problems. After fixing the wire, scan with the scanning tool and multimeter to check for the incoming codes if this is the problem.

If the problem is with the TPS, check the tube and the valve of TPS for any damages. If there are any damages, you will have to replace the TPS. The average cost for replacing the TPS in the Ford F150 is about $175.

7. Rough Shift In Gear

In some rare cases, a rough shift in gear can come from a bad throttle body. But, generally, it is caused by the low transmission fluid level. 

Low transmission fluid levels on your F150 can cause a rough shift in gear which can feel like a hard shift when it ultimately grips. To find the transmission fluid level, drive the vehicle so that the transmission fluid achieves a temperature of 206 to 215 °F (which can be visible on the dashboard) and keep the engine on. 

There is a dipstick that measures the level of fluid that is located in the transmission case underneath the passenger seat. Using a 19mm wrench, you can unscrew the dipstick in which readings are marked (1 -6 or A – F).

From the readings, the ideal level is between 5 – 6 or E – F. If more than that, use a suction gun to pull out extra liquid. If it is low, then add some fluid. 

After checking the fluid level, now check for the color of the fluid. Here, make a note of the colors for the fluid, which can be more helpful.

transmission fluid colors ford f150

If it is black, then it is time to change the fluid from the service center.

After checking the transmission liquid, check for the smell of the fluid. It should resemble that of a burning rubber tire. It might leak due to a sudden hit from some objects. In this case, immediately tow it down to the nearest service center without keeping the engine on and replacing it.

The transmission part can also make ranting noises apart from rough gear shift if you hear something strange other than a rough shift while accelerating or decelerating. It might be the internal damage in the transmission controller, which needs to be replaced. In the worst case, it may cost about $1400 to replace the whole transmission system. The cost would also depend upon the manufacturing year of your Ford F150. 

There may also be a diagnostic fault code saved in the memory if your F150 shifts forcefully and the wrench light comes on. If the code is P0700, you can utilize this data to figure out the problem in the transmission.

If throttle-related issues are accompanied, you can try to eradicate the problem by following the steps below –

  • Make sure the key is in the on position (engine off).
  • Lower the fuel pedal gently until it hits the end.
  • Lift the fuel pedal swiftly enough so that it could rise by itself.
  • Turn off the key and repeat the same process listed above three times.
  • Now turn the engine on.

It may come in handy to resolve throttle issues.

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