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It seems like a lot of Ford owners might have this problem, but I'm not finding any solid information about it being a bug. My 2016 with about 32K miles on it is showing the error message about 30 seconds after cranking up. I've got what looks like a brand new battery with tight contacts at the battery. AutoZone put the ODB on it and didn't find any problems with the alternator (or anything else.) I did some volt-meter testing before going to AutoZone and didn't find any problems with the battery at rest or under load (A/C, lights, radio, fog lights etc.). AutoZone also tested the battery. It checked with no problems, but the employee said he thought the cranking voltage dipped too low during the starter test. It went down to around 9.1 on the line graph. This alert box never appeared before updating from SYNC 1.0 to SYNC 3.0.

Does anyone know what components can trigger this warning? It only comes up shortly after cranking. When the alert is dismissed, the red battery icon light stays lit. The alert box hasn't reappeared once it gets dismissed. I'm going to take a ferry and put this truck on a remote beach later this month and want to nip any electrical problems in the bud.

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@rgbfoundry, if you're still in the 3 year/ 36K warranty period, then I would just make an appointment at the dealer and let them figure it out.
 

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I will have to do that. I was hoping people here might have some experience in the spirit of DiY. I've been able to save myself a lot of time by fixing things myself even though I have the dealer option for a few more miles.
 

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I will have to do that. I was hoping people here might have some experience in the spirit of DiY. I've been able to save myself a lot of time by fixing things myself even though I have the dealer option for a few more miles.
The charging systems in these trucks are complicated. If the battery icon icon stays lit after dismissal of the big one, then either the battery/ generator is having issues, or the ECU is not recognizing state of charge. Might need an ECU flash update, or hard parts.
Keep us in the loop.
 
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I will have to do that. I was hoping people here might have some experience in the spirit of DiY. I've been able to save myself a lot of time by fixing things myself even though I have the dealer option for a few more miles.
This is a copy of a reply I made in a similar thread, and I added a line about a failing starter.

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Battery diagnostics aren't rocket science...

A 12v battery has x6 2-volt cells, which actually hold around 2.113V per cell at full charge. A healthy, fully-charged battery with the key-off-engine-off (no load) should be around 12.7V.

A 12V battery at 12V is considered discharged.

12.2V with no load is low.

Here is the real test: attach a multimeter to the battery, set it to DC volts, and then watch what happens to the voltage when you start the truck - if the voltage goes from 12.2 and dips down into the low 10's or 9's, you have a bad battery.

Check some basic things, as well: battery terminal connections, look for corrosion, etc. A starter that is on its way out will have a high inrush current, and thus cause a large voltage drop during startup (even with a good battery).

Sounds like your alternator is working, but I usually check running voltage and current output (with an amp clamp).

Hope this helps. To measure is to know...
 

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This is a copy of a reply I made in a similar thread, and I added a line about a failing starter.

***
Battery diagnostics aren't rocket science...

A 12v battery has x6 2-volt cells, which actually hold around 2.113V per cell at full charge. A healthy, fully-charged battery with the key-off-engine-off (no load) should be around 12.7V.

A 12V battery at 12V is considered discharged.

12.2V with no load is low.

Here is the real test: attach a multimeter to the battery, set it to DC volts, and then watch what happens to the voltage when you start the truck - if the voltage goes from 12.2 and dips down into the low 10's or 9's, you have a bad battery.

Check some basic things, as well: battery terminal connections, look for corrosion, etc. A starter that is on its way out will have a high inrush current, and thus cause a large voltage drop during startup (even with a good battery).

Sounds like your alternator is working, but I usually check running voltage and current output (with an amp clamp).

Hope this helps. To measure is to know...
Is this your arsenal of equipment in your garage? LOL

 

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Is this your arsenal of equipment in your garage? LOL

Actually, I have a Fluke 28II multimeter 28ii.jpg and a Fluke 376 clamp meter 376.jpg - two tools that are indispensable when doing electrical diagnostics :)
 
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Keep us in the loop.
I finally got it to a dealership. The techs found a bad circuit between the alternator and the battery. Specifically, they repaired a "short circuit in SBB38 BN/RD Wire". No other damage was detected. The ODB Kicked out a diagnostic code P0625 which means "there is an issue with the generator field control circuit often due too shorted connectors or a defective CAN bus."

The tech checked fuse 38 in the battery junction box and found it to be blown, or "open". He found a short to ground between connector c102 and C146.

They looked for any associated technical service bulletins or SSMs, but none applied to this problem.

I'm happy the problem is gone!
 

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UPDATE: The symptoms re-surfaced 1 month later. I also noticed that the auto-start feature is disabled when this problem occurs. Ford ended up replacing the alternator assembly thought they could never find anything wrong with it. The problem has not returned.
 

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UPDATE: The symptoms re-surfaced 1 month later. I also noticed that the auto-start feature is disabled when this problem occurs. Ford ended up replacing the alternator assembly thought they could never find anything wrong with it. The problem has not returned.
Hello rgbfoundry. I'm having a very similar issue with my 2016 Ford F150 Lariat, 2.7 liter, 4X4. About 20 seconds after I crank the engine, a large red "Charging System, Service Now" light comes on the display. If you reply with "OK", the message goes away but a small red Check Engine light stays on for the duration the engine is on. AutoZone checked the battery, alternator and even the starter.....all checked fine. I took the truck back to the dealer that I purchased it from and they replaced the alternator...did not fix. They are replacing the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) now. I'm hoping this fixes the issue! I read your post and I'm not sure exactly what an "alternator assembly" is. My question to you is has this happened again since they replaced the alternator assembly? Has this been a reoccurring theme for you? Because I'm still within the 30 day return policy! Thanks for any insight you can provide.
 

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It seems like a lot of Ford owners might have this problem, but I'm not finding any solid information about it being a bug. My 2016 with about 32K miles on it is showing the error message about 30 seconds after cranking up. I've got what looks like a brand new battery with tight contacts at the battery. AutoZone put the ODB on it and didn't find any problems with the alternator (or anything else.) I did some volt-meter testing before going to AutoZone and didn't find any problems with the battery at rest or under load (A/C, lights, radio, fog lights etc.). AutoZone also tested the battery. It checked with no problems, but the employee said he thought the cranking voltage dipped too low during the starter test. It went down to around 9.1 on the line graph. This alert box never appeared before updating from SYNC 1.0 to SYNC 3.0.

Does anyone know what components can trigger this warning? It only comes up shortly after cranking. When the alert is dismissed, the red battery icon light stays lit. The alert box hasn't reappeared once it gets dismissed. I'm going to take a ferry and put this truck on a remote beach later this month and want to nip any electrical problems in the bud.

View attachment 145745 View attachment 145785

Had an issue with an 18mth old 2017 F150, battery kept draining. Took to ford, replaced alternator and happened again. Almost a week in shop and the wire harness was pinched and shorting out. They had to replace the harness, would have been a $2K job, but warranty covered. My concern is that it’s a design flaw and going to happen again without warranty. Anyone else experience or have an upgrade solution? I do have a level kit (2.5”)
 

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Had an issue with an 18mth old 2017 F150, battery kept draining. Took to ford, replaced alternator and happened again. Almost a week in shop and the wire harness was pinched and shorting out. They had to replace the harness, would have been a $2K job, but warranty covered. My concern is that it’s a design flaw and going to happen again without warranty. Anyone else experience or have an upgrade solution? I do have a level kit (2.5”)
PS, had the same error messages that you had.
 

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I've suddenly gotten this same alert 3 or 4 times in the last couple of days.

Once I hit "OK", the pop-up goes away and the red battery icon displays down next to the odometer for 2-3 miles and then suddenly goes away.

This happened a couple of times about a year ago too.

I have zero symptoms of any kind. Battery is strong.

I figure it's a waste of time taking it in unless it throws some codes or at least STAYS in warning mode. If neither happens in the next 6000 miles (3year/36k) I will just get my dealership to put on record and hope for the best if it finally reveals an actual problem.

These fully loaded modern vehicles have so many wires, connectors, sensors, and subsystems.

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Had the same issue in my 2016 3.5 F-150. The "Service Charging System Now" light would be intermittent. Battery and alternator tested ok. Finally the alert made the interior lights flash right after startup and I couldn't get the vehicle out of Park. 2 more restarts and then I needed a jump...
Long story short, it was a loose ground wire on the body control module (passenger door near hinge). The nut must not have been tight at the factory. Just fixed yesterday. Hopefully that was the issue.
 

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Had the same issue in my 2016 3.5 F-150. The "Service Charging System Now" light would be intermittent. Battery and alternator tested ok. Finally the alert made the interior lights flash right after startup and I couldn't get the vehicle out of Park. 2 more restarts and then I needed a jump...
Long story short, it was a loose ground wire on the body control module (passenger door near hinge). The nut must not have been tight at the factory. Just fixed yesterday. Hopefully that was the issue.
HA! Your profile pic looks like a youth Soccer Coach that lives in my area. Welcome to the forum.
 

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Yes, welcome to the forum.
That was my post you replied to and just FYI, as suddenly as those warnings appeared, they went away and I haven't seen them since.

Kinda creepy if you think about it.

Even creepier is the ONE morning a couple of years ago that I got 2 false alarms for low oil pressure. That'll raise your blood pressure!

Gone too, never to haunt me again.

Needless to say, there's COUNTLESS wiring harness connectors, sensors, and onboard computers on these new trucks. It's amazing that one could actually be functioning at absolute 100% at any given moment.

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Had the same issue in my 2016 3.5 F-150. The "Service Charging System Now" light would be intermittent. Battery and alternator tested ok. Finally the alert made the interior lights flash right after startup and I couldn't get the vehicle out of Park. 2 more restarts and then I needed a jump...
Long story short, it was a loose ground wire on the body control module (passenger door near hinge). The nut must not have been tight at the factory. Just fixed yesterday. Hopefully that was the issue.
I've ran into that loose ground strap causing that on three different trucks.The one I saw it on last week was a 2016. I don't remember what year the other two were, but they were 2015 up aluminum body trucks. Interior lights flash off and on, charging message in the dash, brake light comes on, sometimes you can't take them out of park and occasionally they won't crank. I finally made a youtube video to show it because apparently it's a probem.

 
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