What could be the problem with my f-150 that it won't start because the gauges on dashboard for temp,oil,speed,rpm,and fuel they are locked they won't move at all when turnig on the key


Asked by Jan 01, 2015 at 06:54 PM about the 2003 Ford F-150

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

And because of that the truck won't even try
to start until playing with the ignition switch
back and fort and allowing it to cool off a
little then the gauges start moving again and
then truck starts but after it starts I turn it off
and the problem again over and over again
what could be my problem I already
changed the fuel pump thinking that was the
problem because it won't even come on
when the ignition key is turned on like it was
bad but it's not the problem so what could
be the problem what could be causing the
truck not to start until the gauges start
moving normal?

21 Answers


It's hard to make a decision on the problem your facing. Kind of sounds like your having Anti-Theft problems with the sensor inside your steering column, "If your key has a chip in it try another key." If you unplug the battery for a minute and plug it back up does that fix the issue? Another issue is you might just have a bad ignition switch that needs to be replaced, "I would start with the ignition switch." I would test to see if the truck is throwing any codes also. That is if you can get it cranked, "take it to Autozone or O'reily's Auto they should have a code tester you can borrow." If you have the money a decent Ford dealer would be recommended but they will charge an arm or leg but it will be done right most of the time. Last, I had an issue with the wires inside the fuel tank being corroded on my 2000 F150 5.4L and not making a good connection. I replaced the fuel pump and had to drop the tank again when the fuel pump would not turn on. I had to cut and splice the wires. If any one else has any other ideas go for it. Good luck

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I already did that disconnecting the battery and trying againg but it just doesn't respond the last time I got the gauges to move and started the truck the rpm gauge stayed stuck in the middle and it won't move at all and because of that its not letting it start and I did the battery deal disconnecting and reconnecting but nothing and the problem is that starting the truck to at least take it somewhere to hook it to a computer maybe it could point at me in the right direction but at the same time I can't take it to a ford shop because I don't have the money to pay them as much as they will charge me to fix it I also tried changing one of the relays that overheats while turning the key on and off and nothing but when it cools down over night it starts again in the morning at least one time till the truck it's turned off and the problem again and again I was thinking about the ignition switch but am trying to find the right answer so am not guessing only and end up spending much more money on other parts that probably aren't the problem but I really appreciate your previous answer it's helpful and makes my decision a little stronger about changing the ignition switch

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

From what I understand by your writing is you have a dead key, absolutely nothing happens when you try to start, period. If that is the case allow me to ask; when you insert the key into the ignition do you get the ding-ding-ding? If no, suspect the anti-theft system or the ignition switch.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

No when I put the key in I do get that ding/ding that any car usually does when the key is still in the ignition and the driver side door and all the lights on the dashboard come on the only thing that doesn't move are the gauges all of them even when I try to start the truck it makes the starting noise but never comes on like it's not getting fuel to the injectors and at the same time while turning the key on I should be able to hear the fuel pump pumping but it's not its just dead starting with the pump and then the gauges and the only time the pump comes on its when the gauges move and then allows the truck to fire up and if turning the truck back off right away it starts doing the same thing over and over again so yes I have a good battery and there's a relay that clicks two times as am turning the ignition key on and the lights come on but like I keep saying as long as the gauges don't move it won't crank up until they do after it cools off and no the switch it's not dead that's why it throws me out of line and then it's confusing because I have power to the board but gauges don't move and the fuel pump doesn't come on and that's why I changed the fuel pump because that's why it's acting like it's just not getting any fuel to the injectors but am back to the beginning changing the pump did not make any difference and that's why am asking you if you have any idea what it could be? Because am lost and all my regular fuses are good as well I don't know if it could be another relay other than the one that clicks when turning the key on which I already replaced and nothing

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

OK, you going to have to get ah Ohm meter and begin checking. Start the vehicle and let it run, turn it off. If it does not start turn the key to off. Set the ohm meter to DC volts and make the connection to the proper leads where the pump connects to the electrical pump. Have someone turn the key to the on position (not start) you should get power to the pump for a few seconds as it attempts to build pressure into the system. If no power, check backward. Test the same way while someone attempts to start the vehicle. If no power is supplied to the pump then also check backward for the problem. Question: Once the vehicle starts, will it continue to run until the key is turned off? Or will it eventually kill? If it kills after a while of running the problem is probably heat related. If you start the vehicle in the morning, then immediately turn it off, will it restart? If no, then the heat issue has been eliminated and your problem is probably electronic or possibly a ground issue. Could even be a cam position sensor, but you are going to need the testing procedure to determine.


If you are getting a constant click when turning the key it is the solenoid. It should not do that if enough amperage is being supplied to the starter. If you replaced the solenoid and still get the click then there is a good chance you have a bad ground from the battery. Trace the primary ground from the battery to the chassis for tightness and corrosion.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

When I get truck to fire up it stays on until I turn it off and then try to restart the problem is there it won't


After its turned off after getting it started it will start one more time but kill itself and after that it won't start at all until is left alone to cool off and try again so I think is an electrical problem the ways it's acting and I already changed the relay that clicks every time I turn the key on but still doesn't fix the problem yes it could be a bad ground or a short in my wires but there's to many wires won't know where to start that's why am trying to get your help question:if I take it to get plugged into a computer to try to diagnose the trouble would that be the best way to go without having to take it to the ford shop


I understand your problem as finances go. However, vehicles if this era test equipment must be used to properly diagnosis the problem. If you had a fuel pressure gauge the fuel system could be tested in about ten minutes eliminate the fuel pump. An ohm meter would also be of value is testing other electronic components for defects. Without basic test equipment and a manual explaining what to test and how, you're lost left scratching your head. I will state again, a constant click from the solenoid while trying to start the vehicle is the root of the problem.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I just ran into this problem today. I started the truck 3 times with no issues. Then all at once the gauges stopped working and so did the fuel pump. The starter is working fine being that the vehicle will crank over,,,and over and over, just no fuel to the cylinders. I checked all relays and fuses that have anything to do with the fuel pump and all are good. I don't understand how the truck was running just fine with the gauges working and now that the gauges wont work the fuel pump wont work. Any ideas?

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

My 2015 also at times wont start, I turn the key and nothing happens.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I am able to start the truck from under the hood when I touch the solenoid switch with a screwdriver. but trying to crank it from my key switch will not work, and it will continue to run at all time until I turn it off.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.


1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I had some what the same issues. Truck just die while driving. Sit for 20 minutes and it starts again. Been to a few mechanics, red a few blogs about the issue. Some say bad connections to module. I've had 4 diagnostic's done, replaced the battery and had connection redone to bony control module, just to have it die again 3 weeks later. Replaced body control module, still didn't start. Finally, they got it started by replacing a 25amp fuse which was corroded. They cleaned the fuse box up as well. Spent $1000's go get this thing running for a little elbow grease and a $1.99 cent fuse

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I've had the same issue. I go to start the truck and it cranks one time before stopping. Then nothing. Every service light will light up along with some stability control message in the info center. If i disconnect the battery it seems to work half the time I reconnect it. Then sometimes I just have to wait. My wife had it happen at a stop light once while it was running, but mostly just when you go to start it. Casey, do you remember which fuse you had your issue with?


Not sure which fuse, was a little one. But that didn't solve the problem. We found out the fuse wasn't blowing but arching in the fuse box. So they cleaned the fuse box out. I'm not sure if this is the final answer to the solution, traded it in 20 minutes later. I couldn't afford anymore repairs, diagnostic, or tow trucks.


Did you finally figure it out Mark? i have a 95 f150, it cranks and as you said, no power to pump, the relays and fuses came tested good, I am also stumped. the fuel gauge also does not move, but all the other gauges work normal.

We have the same problem. I turned the interior light dimmer switch on and truck stated up without any more problems.


Curious as to if this was ever figured out I have an 01 doing the exact. Same. Thing. Gem was replaced as well as the fuse box under the dash, I already have 8 grand into it don't want to cut my losses and get rid of it. We bypassed it by putting a toggle switch keeping the dash on but it's annoying and not a permanent fix....


any answers? 03 f150 4.6 same issue!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Mine turned out to be the cluster circuit board getting fried.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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