How to Replace the Solenoid on a Ford F-150

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The Ford F150 relies on a starter solenoid to close the starter circuit in order for the starter motor to engage. When the solenoid fails, you can jump the connection manually with a screwdriver if you’re a trained mechanic, or you can replace the solenoid and start the truck the normal way. While the labor charge to replace the solenoid shouldn’t be much, you can still save that cash and simply replace the solenoid yourself if you have mechanical aptitude, a few tools and about 20 minutes of free time.

Things You'll Need

  • Battery wrench
  • Socket set
  • Open the hood on the F150 and disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery using the battery wrench. Push the cable end down along the side of the battery so it won’t accidentally contact the battery terminal during the replacement procedure.

  • Place the new solenoid next to the old solenoid on the fender well. Disconnect the wiring from the old solenoid’s right side, one wire at a time, using the socket set, and transfer the wiring to the same pole on the new solenoid. Repeat this on the left side until you have transferred all three wires to the new solenoid.

  • Remove the solenoid mounting bolts from the old solenoid with the socket set. Move the old solenoid aside and then move the new solenoid into place. Thread the two bolts in by hand and then tighten them with the socket set.

  • Reconnect the negative battery cable to the negative battery terminal with the battery wrench. Close the hood when done.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not over-tighten the solenoid mounting bolts or the solenoid casing may crack from the strain. Once the bolt heads touch the solenoid body, you have tightened it sufficiently and should not tighten it any more.

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References

  • "Ford F100 - F350 1980 Thru 1996: Haynes Manual"; Ken Freund; 1996
  • "Ford F150 1997 Thru 2003: Haynes Manual"; Ken Freund; 2003
  • Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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