Auto stop/start function not working



New 2016 F-150 with 2.7 L EcoBoost engine

My Auto Start/Stop won’t work unless I’ve had the battery sitting on a trickle charger for a long time.
Otherwise, when I go to the Fuel/Trip menu and scroll down to the Auto Start/Stop function, I get the message “Not functioning. Engine charging.” Took it to the dealer & he found the charging system & battery to be in good shape.
Is there something draining the battery even when parked in the garage that causes the battery to be constantly too low to
engage Auto Stop/Start?


OK, so what did they do next to try to fix the problem?
Have they tossed their arms up in surrender or what was the outcome of your visit?
This must be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty…


Could this be a perk that you did not purchase? Has it ever worked?


Keep every receipt you get from the dealer for this problem. You must get a receipt every time you take it in. Don’t give up. If one dealer is stumped and refuses to look at it again, go to another. Eventually, you will accumulate enough visits to get a Lemon Law replacement. In MD, it used to be 6 visits and a notification to the manufacturer before the last visit. I got as far as the last visit for a Ford Taurus before they fixed it. This does not mean you will get a new truck, but it will make them work real hard on it.


Maybe you don’t drive it enough to keep the battery charged enough to make this feature work. If you have a short commute, it may not function at all. Did it ever work??


Stop by an auto parts store that does a free battery test, see what cranking amps for a battery for your car is recommended, and compare to what the test shows.could be a bad cell or something, but it sure sounds like a battery problem to me.


Ask your shop guys to do a phantom current drain test. That will tell you if there’s something draining the battery when the truck is parked overnight. Not an uncommon thing w/newer vehicles. When you park for the night all the computers should all go to sleep after a few minutes, but sometimes something keeps waking up the computer, and when the computer wakes up it uses much more current than when it is sleeping. One common causes is the wind is blowing on a door, which makes the computer think someone is getting into the truck to start it, so it wakes up. A door switch malfunction, same thing. The phantom current test would catch this. And make sure your cell phone or other personal accessory isn’t plugged into the vehicle overnight of course, as that could put a drain on the battery.

Not driving the truck enough or for enough miles, as mentioned above, could cause this. In that case what you are seeing is normal behavior. It’s saying it can’t properly charge the battery and do the auto start/stop function, so it is deciding to skip the latter and just focus on keeping the battery charged. New vehicles that have a lot of electrical gadgets in automatic use don’t work like those of the past; the new ones use a complicated computer-assisted battery charging algorithm to try to get the best compromise of a charged battery and the other gadgets working.


This is a flaw experienced with the F150 or did you make that up?


There are so many factors that can disallow auto start/stop operation you may not experience it during the first 10 minutes of operation and in extreme cold the engine may not shut off at all. How long do you drive the vehicle during each trip?


Does this site have a flag for nonsense ?


I’m curious what prompted you to have a new truck on a trickle charger. Is it rarely driven, or were you experiencing other symptoms before this?


All good questions, and all good responses.
Not being familiar with these systems myself, I have to wonder if cold weather causes the engine to not “auto-stop”, to run continuously. Anybody here know the answer?


Battery replaced…alarm keeps going…doors…the wind blows too hard


A 1996 Windstar has little in common with this F150, this truck does not has those old style door jam switches that are easily damaged.


"Alarm Sensitivity on my 2015 Platinum: I also had the truck outside my house on a windy day and the alarm when off again for no reason other than the sight motion of the wind. "


That alarm was set off by motion inside the vehicle or a distinct change in the vehicles inclination. The guy probably had the windows open when the wind set off the alarm, not from the wind blowing on the door.

How does an auto start/stop problem develop into an alarm problem?


OP asked in the original post if there could be something draining their battery. The paragraph of my post you originally questioned, seeming to bizarrely claim I made the whole thing up, begins “Ask your shop guys to do a phantom current drain test.” Since it appears in that paragraph, that’s the subject I was addressing. Whatever you speculate the mechanism to be, door or otherwise, if the wind blowing can set off an F150’s truck’s alarm system, it could also cause a phantom drain on the battery. Or do you disagree?


Thanks for the suggestions & the hypotheses. A little more detail–I’ve placed my Battery Tender Jr. on the battery when the voltmeter gives me a reading of less than 12.6 volts. I’ve returned home from short trips & got a 12.2 or 12.3 on the voltmeter–too much for a cell to be dead, but not like the 12.6 volts my '98 4Runner gives me. It could be a phantom drain, but it seems that returning from a trip, the alternator should have fully charged the battery.
After the battery tender has raised the voltage to more than 13 volts, the instrument panel’s Trip/Fuel menu, when placed on the Auto Stop/Start sub-menu, will say “Normal Operation”.
The battery starts the truck fine, but I think it is defective because the Battery Tender Jr’s monitor light stays red, never switching to green as it does with my other batteries.
I’m not near the dealer, but I intend to take it back to show them the Auto Stop/Start screen saying “Not functioning. Battery charging.”



That might be a marginal alternator. Unless by short trip you mean less than 10 miles or so. It should be charging the battery to 12.6-12.8. Try a good 20-30 mile drive and see how it looks. Might be some more info you can pass on to the dealer.


That’s lower compared to what I measure on my Corolla after a short trip, which is more like 12.6-12.8 volts 15 minutes after shutting engine off, and appx 12.5 volts the next morning. Not saying there’s anything wrong w/your f150. In fact, absent any evidence of phantom current drains as posted above, I think it is probably working exactly as Ford’s engineers intend it to work. Vehicles these days use a lot of electrical power, and so they usually have a computer decide how best to keep the battery charged. I think what is happening is that your f150’s battery-charge-algorithm computer is saying “Given the current battery state being a little low on charge, it’s more important to charge the battery and best not to use the high current demand auto start/stop feature until the battery is closer to fully charged.” That’s why the auto-stop-start feature works when you charge the battery overnight, you start your trip with a fully charged battery, so the computer is willing to use up some of that charge on auto-stop-start.

So there may not in fact be any problem at all. If there is, more likely it is among

  • marginal battery , to know for sure get it load tested
  • phantom current drain, to know for sure have it tested for overnight phantom current drains
  • alternator / voltage regulator problem – seems very unlikely on a 2016, and should be easy enough to test