5 Most Common Ford F150 Auto Start Stop Problems (With Solutions)

While auto start/stop is a nice feature to have in your truck, it can also be annoying when not functioning well. Especially, this has become a pain in the butt ever since Ford made it a standard across all models back in 2018. 

The most common issues that you might face with this feature are rough idling, stalling, power loss, restart failure, error warnings coupled with excessive battery draining. They have been here for a while, and you can solve it in no time. 

Today, we’re revealing the solutions to all the Ford F150 auto start stop problems by disabling the feature. We’ll talk about solutions, both free and paid. Let’s get you familiar with what it is, how it works, and how you want to deal with it.

F150 auto start stop issues Quick Solutions
Rough IdlingDisconnect the BMS Power Source
Mid-Traffic StallingDisconnect the dash connector 
Sudden Power LossTrick the Auto start/stop switch
Restart FailureUse an auto start/stop eliminator
Weird Warnings Use An OBD Tool and set it off

Auto Start-Stop: What Is It Anyway?

Ford, among other car manufacturers, are working to reduce fuel consumption. And auto start/stop feature is a big leap that Ford took to do that in the F-150. Ford didn’t have this feature on all F-150 models up until 2015. It’s 2018 when they made it available in all models.

Auto start stop button on Ford F-150 Raptor

You can find an auto start stop button on the dashboard, be it a Raptor, Ranch, XL, XLT, or other F-150. This feature essentially cuts off the engine when it senses that you’re on a complete stop mode. However, it doesn’t work if you have the truck in the towing mode. 

Let’s say, you’re in a red light and have your foot on the brake, this feature will kill the engine, but it will keep the essential electronics running via the battery. Once you let go of the brake, the engine will come alive, and you can keep on driving. 

What’s Wrong With Auto Start/Stop Feature?

Although it sounds economic considering fuel, it can also be extremely annoying in times. You can use the button to shut off every time you don’t want to auto start/stop. But that adds another box to your driving checklist, and you don’t want that. 

What’s the solution? 

Well, it’s been a topic of discussion for quite a while, and the NHTSA also has been receiving complaints on it. In fact, a class action lawsuit was raised regarding this issue, but to no results. 

You can just disable the feature altogether, for a very little to no cost, and there are a few ways to do that. We’ll talk about them in a bit. 

5 Most Common Ford F150 Auto Start Stop Problems (Signs And Situations) 

There are other issues that most people have suffered with this feature in F-150. These are the most common among other signs:

1. Rough Idling – Disconnect the BMS Power Source

The most common issue you’ll face with a bad start stop feature in your Ford F-150 is rough idling. It’s when your truck suddenly goes into idle mode, needing a full restart when coming online again. You’ll feel a vibration every time, and the AC will go down a little. 

2. Mid-Traffic Stalling – Disconnect the dash connector 

This is rather an annoying problem that you’ll get in a red light because of the auto start stop feature. In some cases, the truck will completely cut off the engine, and you’ll have to start it all over again. But don’t forget to check if it’s an empty gas tank because that confuses a lot. 

3. Sudden Power Loss – Trick the Auto start/stop switch

Talk about the most unhappy situation, you’re getting a sudden power loss because of a minor push on the brake! It’s the auto start stop feature that might have done this while it was supposed to trigger below 5 on the speedometer. 

4. Restart Failure – Use an auto start/stop eliminator

Restarting your ford F150 and getting a few consecutive failures? It might be the auto start stop button that’s causing it. If you’ve tried a few ways to find out why, it’s time to inspect the auto start stop button, and you’ll possibly end up disabling it.

5.Weird Warnings – Use An OBD Tool and set it off

Sometimes, you’ll get weird error signs on the dash caused by the auto start stop feature in your truck. F-150s have this bizarre tendency of conflicting with other functionalities, like the towing mode. It may show sign of putting on tow mode while you’re not towing.

To top these all off, you drain a lot of battery just by running this feature. That’s no good news, especially if you do a lot of short trips. 

How To Disable The Auto Start/Stop Feature? 6 quick steps

If you’ve had enough with the auto start stop problems and want a feasible solution, disabling it isn’t that hard! 

Man turning on the auto start stop button in Ford F150

There are a few ways to do this, let’s talk about them a little: 

#1- Disconnect the BMS Power Source (Free)

This method is an easy one, free of cost, but with a trade-off. 

Get under the boot of your F-150, and locate the battery. You’ll see a two-wire connector (typically red) that connects to the terminal with a pull tab. All you have to do is pull the wire from the terminal, and it will prevent the auto start-stop mechanism to draw power. 

Unplugged BMS connector from the battery in F150

However, this will also disable your battery monitoring system (BMS) which controls your car’s voltage monitoring feature. Another important feature it will affect is the intelligent charging, and you don’t want that since it regulates your battery and the entire electrical system 

#2- Disconnect the dash connector (Free)

Another free and easy method to disable the auto start stop feature in Ford F-150 is by disconnecting the dash connector. 

The BMS connector splits in the dashboard and pairs the auto start stop wire with the towing power source. Here, you can disconnect the wire and this will disable the auto start stop button and won’t work.

How To Deactivate Disable Disconnect Turn Off Ford F-150 F150 Auto Start Stop Permanently in seconds >> Check out the video below:

But this will also disable your towing feature because both the functions work together. So, do this only if you don’t tow with your F-150. If you have to tow occasionally, you can just put the connector back on. 

#3- Trick the Auto start/stop switch (Free)

You can turn the auto start stop feature off by pressing the button every time you hop into the car. The problem is, Ford-150 doesn’t remember the setting you had the last time you did. 

So, the trick is to jump the auto start stop button so that it stays turned off without having to press every time. For that, you need to access the back panel of the switch. Here are the steps:

  • Pry open the upper dash lid. Use a plastic pry tool if you need one.
  • Use a 7-mm torque wrench to unscrew the front dash right above the respective switch.
  • Then you’ll need a little jumper cable to do the trick. Jump them like this:
Man holding a jumped auto start stop switch

Note that this is a temporary solution and not the most secure option either. Well, that justifies its cost, which is FREE! All you need is a torque wrench that you might already have in your toolbox. 

#4- Use an auto start/stop eliminator (Costs $50)

If you want a permanent solution without using a jumper cable, go for an auto start stop eliminator tool. You can find it on autostartstopeliminator website. Before you go ahead and buy it, know your wiring harness design of the specific model of your truck. 

Once you have the eliminator in hand, use the same steps above and open up the back panel. Instead of a jumper cable, you will the eliminator this time and use it as the mediator between the switch and the power cable. 

#5- Use An OBD Tool (Costs $99)

You can also use an OBD auto start stop eliminating connector if you don’t like the idea of opening up the dash or don’t have the tools. You can get this tool from Their website here.

This is by far the easiest method of all, with very little trade-offs as well. You will need an OBD tool that goes into the auto start stop function and modifies the values for you. That way, every time you start the engine, the switch will be on “off” mode. 

OBDlink MX connected to the OBD port of Ford F150

However, if you use the OBD port for other uses like an always-online Wireless connector, this method is no use for you. In that case, jumping the switch is your best bet. 

#6- Shorting The Trailer Plug

As mentioned earlier, the auto start stop feature doesn’t work when you’re on towing mode. You can use that on your favor and always keep your Ford F-150 on towing mode. Jumping the tow plug in the back of your truck will trigger this mode. 

If you keep this that way, that will disable the auto start stop mode. However, note that this method will also disable your rear camera and all the sensors in the back. Thus, not my go-to option! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do All New F150s Have Auto Start-Stop?

Yes, all new F150s come with the auto start-stop feature from 2018 and onward. And unfortunately, there is no way you can get yours without this feature present in your truck. 

2. Can The Ford Auto Start Stop Feature Drain The Battery?

Yes, and that’s one of the reasons why people want to disable the auto start stop switch permanently. This feature draws a significant amount of power from the battery coupled with the towing actuator power cable.

3. Is There Anything Bad That Could Happen If I Disable The Auto Start Stop Feature?

You can’t possibly go wrong by disabling the auto start stop feature. Well, unless you’re using the first two methods mentioned above and the last one. If you disconnect the power cables or trick the towing plug in the trunk, that will also disable other features. Read them above. 

4. How Do I Reset The Auto Start Stop In My Ford F150?

If you’re using the auto start stop eliminator, you can turn the feature back on just by pressing the switch. For the OBD method, you can just pull the OBD tool off the port. The same goes for the other methods; you just reverse the procedure used to disable the feature. 


Regardless of the variation, the Ford F-150 is a great truck with no other issues, but the auto start stop feature. While this is annoying for most, I’ve also seen people also liking this feature! 

Apart from the mentioned methods, there’s another way by connecting your laptop through an OBD tool and editing the values for the auto start stop button. But that’s not really necessary unless you’re a super nerd about using OBD tools. 

Who Worked on This?



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Mahir Ahmed


I'm the guy responsible for ensuring honest, informative, accurate and helpful guide to the reader.

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