Electrical - 2005 F250

I have a 2005 F250 Super duty. At random times when i start my truck the circuit controlling the radio and windows fails to activate. This lasts up to a few minutes. It always happens after the truck has been parked overnight. It is parked in a garage. It happens in winter or summer. These occurrences are usually widely separated in time, from weeks to months. The a new thing happened the other day. After having been driven for about 45 minutes and parked for a couple of hours, the climate control failed to activate. This lasted for the trip home. Once there I checked the fuses. They were fine. I then turned on the ignition and the climate control was functioning. The next day the radio and windows again failed to operate for a couple of minutes. Any ideas?

Well known fact; electrical Gremlins. An invasive species unleashed from an obscure university research lab in its electrical engineering department, so the story goes. It has wreaked havoc on most domestic car makers. Possibly a mutant strain from the European sub species otherwise known as Lucas Electric. Interestingly, wherever you find one of them, you will also find a co-dependent species such as Mr.Goodwrench or its equivalent. They make a good living together.

I don’t know if radio and windows share the same circuit, but I bet they share the same wiring harness. Is the vehicle parked for days at a time? If so, do you ever see mice in the garage? Those critters love to sharpen their teeth on some harness and wires.

These problems may be due to a bad switch connection in the ignition switch, relay contact, or possibly a faulty wire connection in a connector somewhere near the main power panel under the hood.

One of the best investments you can make for your truck is to purchase a service manual for it. Preferably a factory service manual since they have the best details in finding things in the wiring system. That and a test light probe or a DVM meter will help you solve the most difficult troubles and save you a lot of money in service bills. Ebay is a good source for new and used manuals at reduced prices. But even ordering a new factory manual at full cost is worth the money in my book, especially if you plan to keep the vehicle for some time.

I’d be looking for a sticky relay that powers up the accessory circuits. A flaky harness connection seems possible, also. It might even be the ignition switch is going bad. That’s the 3 most likely things I can think of. A service manual would help in finding the relays.

Ford’s key switches are notorious for going bad. They aren’t that hard to change unless it’s a chip key set up.

Have you noticed a lot of play in the key switch, key or sticking when you turn the key? It’s not that expensive to change it before it completely goes out. If you wait till it gets stuck, it has to be drilled out and that’s expensive.


It’s an electrical issue inside the ignition switch ( not key switch, the lock cylider is not the switch ). My old 80 bronco did the same and while knowing this yet prior replacing it I would wiggle the key after starting it, back towards the off position, JUST A TINY BIT and the contacts inside the switch would touch enough to bring the cicuits to life. When you engage the starter all the other cicuits are inactive and ,theoreticaly, when you release the key after starting it is supposed to spring back to connect the running circuits. As the wear slightly they may need a little help. In your case sometimes the spring-back works and sometimes not. Try the wiggle and the get a Motocraft # SW-6158 ( aka Ford # 5C3Z-11572-AA ) “ignition switch”…NOT key switch, The key and the switch are two different things and you don’t need the ignition lock cylinder.

I replaced them on a 94 F150 and 95 F250, the switch and cylinder came as a unit, $50 or so for the switch. You can change it with an 8 penny nail.