i have a 1988 ford f150 xlt lariat and when it gets driven for an extended period of time i wont start after i shut it off, any ideas?


Asked by Nov 10, 2013 at 11:30 PM about the 1988 Ford F-150 XLT Extended Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

13 Answers


Ignition module, distributor pick up coil, ignition coil, ignition switch, just a few things to check, of course they will have to be in failure to find them, but if they have never been replaced then that might be the problem.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

In the 1980's the ignition modules were known to do that when hot so replacing that might solve the problem. It is locate on the Distributor just below the cap area but not under the cap. If the engine turns over but turns real slow or just makes a "URR, URR" sound then it might be the starter getting hot from the exhaust manifold, removing it and replacing it with a remanufactured one might solve the problem too. You could also just wrap some aluminum flashing from Home Depot ,Menards, etc. around the starter with a big hose clamp to act as a heat shield to keep the starter from getting too hot. I would try those two areas first replacing the engine starter and if that doesn't work then the ignition module. Those are the most likely items that have those symptoms. Good luck, Kenny/ MrBlueOval

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

1988 F150XLT Lariat – When I drove my truck until it got hot, when I shut it off and tried to restart it, the engine would barely turn over and would not start... I replaced: starter, alternator, new serpentine belt, solenoid switch, distributor cap and rotor, electronic control module under distributor, spark plugs and wires, ignition coil, new 1000 CCA battery. Problem; Battery Cables… apparently the copper wire was breaking down inside the lead connection on the end of the cable at the battery posts. Solution; I replace both cables… Negative Cable from battery to block and the Positive Cable from battery to solenoid switch. Follow up; 6 months later still runs like a top!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I have a 1988 f150 extended cab lariat 5.0 5-spd I've had a problem with it turning off when it wants to sometimes it would fire up right after so I had to replace the fuel pump, ignition control module, steering column, and its still turns off. even my mechanic is puzzled I'm thinking maybe it's the coil pack or possibly ecu but I wonder if the battery cables are worn out I'm not sure if that would cause it to do that. Any info would help thanks

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

86ford_f150 - Battery cables are cheap and easy to replace. If you had the same type of battery cables I had (lead battery top post connector with copper encased inside the lead) and my cables looked clean on the outside but they were not making good contact on the inside of the lead connector. Because of the bad connection inside the connector it definitely could not carry a load when they got heated up. Just saying, I changed out everything else, and everything you mentioned and still had the same problem. Here it is a year and a half later and my truck is running great still. Make sure you are getting a good ground at the engine block, clean it up, wire brush it, put a new battery cable from there to the battery. 12 volt systems have to have good clean connections or things start to act weird... New Top Post Battery Cables! Worked for me.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Guys i had the same problem, today i went to go and check to see if i could find the problem. As i looked closely at the solenoid i noticed it had a small crack. As soon as i took it off, it broke in half. Went and bought me a new one and installed it, now truck runs fine, i just drove it 120 miles, turn it off and back on with no problems. Hope this helps someone.

I have 88 Ford f-150 lariat XL 5.0, had this truck about a year now, been driving great & I come home one night & had to go up too store & then truck wouldn't start, no crank, no lights, no dash lights, brake lights, nothing. At first I thought it was my battery, but its good, then thought it was relay, also Good. I'm not getting anything, no fire, no clicking sound, alternator is good too so what could it be now, I have looked all around this truck & can't understand why I have no lights, not even brake lights, what can make everything go dead with battery & alternator good, I'm stuck without my truck, please if anyone can help pin point what is going on feel free to share, thanks


Check your fuselinks, there are some located right at the starter relay on the inner fender on the battery cable side, they may not look blown so really need a test light too check.

TennissShoes Thanks, I did check around those, they seem to be good, I pulled, bent them to see if they were broken or lose, looks ok from what I check, I don't wonna break none if its not broken but I did look over those, now is there anymore fuselinks anywhere else cause if so I need to check out, what else could be problem to make my truck do this, I have never had this to happen, nothing is working, its all dead.


Recheck your battery cables, make absolutely certain that there is no corrosion on either the battery post or cable ends, that black corrosion can fool you, it looks good but in reality it is not, then run a voltage drop test on the main cables just to elemanate a possibility of corrosion inside the cables, if you haven't found the problem yet then you will need to start probing for power in the main harness to see where it is getting lost, there were a few Fords in your time frame that would burn out the main connector block from the engine compartment to body on the drivers side, but I hope that is not the case.

TennissShoe, that's what I have been doing today, I cleaned up battery cables & post now both battery post were black & ground post was nasty as well, after doing all that, it still doesn't have any power, not even a clicking sound, just got a new solenoid switch & new battery cables & still no luck, would ignition module make everything dead & would switch do same, I have a bad switch, but I have to play with it to even get it to unlock to crank, do u think its possible something broke inside switch & that's making everything dead, I don't even have brake lights, omg I sure hope that is not th case but its just my luck tho, I have put some money in this truck since I got it last year, thank you for taking time to give me some ideas, I was talking to Ford motor company but guy said same thing U said about fuseable links & battery cables plus solenoid switch, but no luck, I'm 41 & I normally do my own work on this truck but when it comes to wiring or anything to do with wires, I'm done, can't never figure it out.

TennissShoes, I just looked at ignition module & its broken where I can see inside plus cap & everything is turning, its not surpose to turn, don't know much about this either but don't think its surpose to be lose, so u think this module is my problem, not sure how it got broken, I'm done for the night let me know what you think tomorrow


The ignition switch will not cause even the headlights to quit, they are on a separate circuit all together, you may indeed have an ignition switch problem but that is not your total problem. I still think you have a missing main power circuit that is out of commission or like I stated earlier the connector block that runs through the firewall is burnt. The ignition module on this rig should be an aluminum box mounted on the fender, it has no moving parts it is all electronic, however the distributor has moving parts inside but nothing should be loose. A picture would help me in trying to figure out what your describing.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • if your truck cranks but will not start, what would be the problem? 112 answers

    STARTING PROBLEM I have a 2000 ford f150 5.4L the truck cranks but will not start some times. if i spray starter fliud into the booster in will start up. but other times the truck will start then just...

    2000 Ford F-150 Lariat Extended Cab SB


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1991 f150 2 answers

    I have a f150 that will start run and drive but once u give it more than quarter throttle it will loss power and start to spit and sputter after awhile it will shut off and u have to wait 30min o...

    1991 Ford F-150 XLT Lariat LB


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 06 f150 xlt 5.4

    Ok lets see if anyone can help me here i have a 2006 f150 xlt 5.4 trition the truck cut off while driving 2 times and today i started it let it warm up for about 10 mins it shut off as soon as i pu...

    2006 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCab Styleside SB


    Maintenance & Repair

  • no fire to the coil or fuel pumps 2 answers

    squirrels ate through the harness so a ford tech rewired it properly. but now it gets no power to coil, fuel pumps windows etc. he wont come follow through on making it run and says he needs to twe...

    1991 Ford F-150 XLT Lariat Extended Cab LB


    Maintenance & Repair

  • what kind of performance parts can i get for my 1987 Ford f150 xlt lariat 4x4 4.9L im looking to increase its horsepower, acceleration, Torque any ideas? 3 answers

    1987 Ford f150 XLT Lariat 4x4 4.9L V6 automatic transmission

    1987 Ford F-150 XLT Extended Cab 4WD LB


    Car Customization


Looking for a Used F-150 in your area?

CarGurus has 212,656 nationwide F-150 listings starting at $1,000.


Search Ford F-150 Questions

Ford F-150 Experts

#1 OJ
Reputation 6,900
#2 dandyoun
Reputation 4,180
#3 tennisshoes
Reputation 2,510
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used GMC Sierra 1500
931 Great Deals out of 62,271 listings starting at $1,395
Used Ford F-250
520 listings starting at $3,500
Used Ford Mustang
399 Great Deals out of 44,403 listings starting at $1,000
Used Ford Ranger
209 Great Deals out of 6,719 listings starting at $1,450
Used Jeep Wrangler
442 Great Deals out of 19,188 listings starting at $2,994

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Ford F-150 For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 100,942 listings starting at $18,940
2016 Ford F-150 For Sale
196 Great Deals out of 43,534 listings starting at $16,995
2015 Ford F-150 For Sale
200 Great Deals out of 7,337 listings starting at $17,480
2014 Ford F-150 For Sale
464 Great Deals out of 11,869 listings starting at $10,700