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If you’ve got a Ford pickup truck, you’ve probably run into Ford F-150 problems

A corroded fusebox is a common cause of Ford F-150 problems.

A corroded fusebox is a common cause of Ford F-150 problems.

If you’ve got a Ford pickup truck, you’ve probably run into Ford F-150 problems

By Mary Van Doren on March 08, 2018

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It could be the premise of a hit supernatural TV series.

One week in February 2018, around America, fuseboxes in Ford vehicles went haywire.

Was it aliens? A vast conspiracy? Or simply the most bizarre and random chance?

The answer is, it’s definitely the fault of Ford Motor Co. But it’s not a conspiracy – it’s a common Ford problem that, for some mysterious reason, suddenly cropped up among JustAnswer customers in a random February week.

The worst offender? Ford F-150 problems. To be even more specific, questions about fuseboxes and requests for diagrams. Why? A little digging may reveal the answer. Here’s how it looks.

Fuseboxes, Ford F-150 problems, and more

JustAnswer customers arrive looking for help for thousands of Ford complaints every month. But in one week in February, an interesting phenomenon appeared: Of the top 50 existing questions that visitors sought out, 15 were questions about fuseboxes and requests for diagrams. 

Think of it this way. Out of thousands of Ford models and years in the world, and the millions of parts they represent, Ford owners suddenly focused on a single part in the course of one week. Why fuseboxes? And why Fords, mostly Ford pickup trucks – specifically, the Ford F-150? 

  • F-150: 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006
  • F-250: 2002, 2004
  • F-350: 2003, 2004
  • F-450: 2008
  • Explorer: 1999, 2002
  • Mustang: 2005
  • E-350 Econoline: 2006
  • Taurus: 2002

It’s certainly true that auto fuses blow frequently. And as it turns out, F-150s are known for a specific problem: a leak in the firewall that allows the fusebox and attached general electronic module (GEM) to get wet.

Any corrosion around a fusebox could cause electrical issues in your vehicle.

Any corrosion around a fusebox could cause electrical issues in your vehicle.

Ford actually issued a special service message about this problem for 1997-2003 F-150s. However, as one poster on a Ford truck forum noted,

“So many people have this issue with not only Excursions but the entire F-series. When the windshield, window or body seams leak, your general electronic module gets wet. It’s located on the back of the fuse panel.

“This box controls almost everything in your truck and when it gets wet, strange things start happening. The fusebox corrodes pretty fast when wet and sometimes needs replaced along with the GEM. They can be tricky to find as with most GEMS you either need one from the same model with the same options or need to have it programmed at a dealership." 

This owner had been forced to give up on his Ford F-150 problem.

“Whatever you do,” he advised others, “fix the leak before doing anything to the electronics, or it will just keep happening. I never did find a new GEM for my ‘97 F-150, and ended up trading it.”

Of course, fuse problems can actually manifest themselves originally as a huge variety of electrical problems. If you’re researching 2006 Ford F-150 problems, for example, you’ll find numerous electrical issues that can be traced to the fuses.

And why February?

Given that these fusebox issues are related to water, you have to wonder what happened in this particular week to drive so many people to JustAnswer for answers to their questions.

As it turns out, of the visitors who were interested in Ford fusebox problems, almost all were checking in from southeast Texas. What was happening then? A major rain event swept through the area – after a prolonged dry spell – which was heavy enough to cause serious flooding.

In fact, southeast Texas welcomed four to six inches of rain over two weeks, which may have been cause for celebration in some ways, but could it also have provoked the fuseboxes in everyone’s F-150s to suddenly fizzle?

Correlation is not causation, but a major rainstorm might well explain the sudden interest by Texans in solutions to Ford fusebox problems.. And at the very least, anyone looking for answers to their Ford F-150 problems knows where to find them. When you don’t want or can’t get to your mechanic, you want a second opinion on whether to buy a used F-150, or you need fast access to a fusebox diagram at any time, day or night, Ford F-150 Experts and general Ford Experts are ready for you.

Have you ever had a problem with a Ford fusebox? Please share your experience with us in the comments below so we can all learn something!