Top 3 problems with Ford F-150 GPS

Top 3 problems with Ford F-150 GPS System (Full guide on how to fix them)

The problems with Ford F-150 GPS System are a major area of concern for most Ford truck drivers. This article will examine the common problems with Ford F-150 GPS and the possible solution or corrections to these problems.

The Ford F-150 trucks are arguably the best-selling trucks in America. These trucks have dominated the truck sales market for more than 40 years running.The Ford F-series experienced its best-selling year in 2019. Ford sold a staggering 896,526 F-series trucks in 2019, according to Motor1.

The Ford F-series' sales number supersedes the best sales from Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models combined, 807,923. However, the ram ranked second in best sales with 633,694 trucks sold. These sales are directly proportional to the love that exists in most truck drivers' hearts for the Ford F-series.

The enormous towing capacity of 13,200 pounds, the robust engine choices, spacious cabins, and different bed sizes available, among other significant features, has made this truck the best. We have a well-written article that tells you more about these Ford F-150 features.

Furthermore, it will be unfair not to mention the decent fuel economy this truck has that is a lot better than the average you will find in the market. This feat is made possible because of its EcoBoost engines.


 Ford SYNC 3 Navigation Map

Ford sync is built to satisfy the needs of the driver thoroughly. By this, we mean the features it offers are more than satisfactory. Such features include its connectivity to google maps, hand-free calls, ability to receive audible text messages, and control your music settings effortlessly.

Furthermore, the driver is not left blind in scenarios whereby the truck has a fault. This system communicates with the driver as soon as it spots a problem onboard and calls 911 immediately after the airbags deploy. These amazing features are a great delight to many drivers as multitasking while driving has massively diminished in terms of the distraction it often poses.

However, some drivers have incessantly complained about this system, and arguably so, their reasons are bonafide. The problems with the Ford f-150 GPS and SYNC system are slowly becoming a nuisance. Most truck drivers are complaining about these problems and are in urgent need of solutions to them.

We span through problems like poor reception, incorrect music data, navigation problems, dropped calls, electrical problems, and a few others not mentioned. However, we will be taking a close look at the Ford F-150 GPS or Navigation problems, offering solutions and a quick-fix where possible. Without much ado, let's look at the common problems with Ford F-150 GPS System.

Here are the Top 3 Problems with Ford F-150 GPS

1. Frequent signal loss

No GPS signal in Ford F-150

This problem is a regular complaint from users of Ford F150. For instance, with less than 6000 miles on a 2016 F150 Platinum, the GPS often encounters interruptions for as long as 5minutes. Around 2 minutes later, the GPS no signal symbol is shown, and the voice command system is pretty much unusable.

It will not allow you to input an address while the vehicle is in motion, even if you are the passenger. People have complained that they even had to scream at it for it to pick up your voice. This report might sound like a joke, but it is not.

There is usually a delayed response when changing audio sources or channels, and at last, if any inputs are initiated to the SYNC 3 system, the system locks up. Other times, you could get a blue or black screen, and the GPS breakdowns and the other SYNC 3 PCs start locking up the reaction. This problem involves 18 different 2016/2017 Ford vehicles.

A possible solution to problems with Ford F-150 GPS System

Updating the SYNC 3 system might solve the problem if it is indeed software-related. The DIY update is very simple, though. It can take about an hour to download and move to a flash drive and another 25 minutes to run the update (Non-NAV).

It can also be a result of a bad APIM module. You can replace it, and everything will work well. The module is NOT a plug-n-play type replacement. It must be programmed (by Ford) with your vehicle's unique specs.

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2. Navigation Problems with Ford F-150 GPS System

Ford new GPS navigation system

This problem is arguably the most talked about in this truck. The navigation icon is often found drifting off the main road to the side road. The navigation icon's drift to the side road often continues for some miles, leaving the driver confused and lost on his location.

Another problem with Navigation occurs when you are clearly driving on the highway, but your navigation icon pops up on the feeder road. By merely reading this, you might think this isn't so much of a big deal. However, when you experience this personally while driving, it will piss you off your bones.

You will miss turns and find yourself several blocks away from where you are on the GPS. Nonetheless, it isn't always this way 100% of the time. Most drivers say you will experience this scenario about 50% of the time. Some say this problem can be related to the large tire size.

This conclusion is a valid point because Ford uses the truck's speed to determine the location. Therefore, the GPS is speed-dependent, maybe for faster acquisition of the location akin to how your mobile phone uses a cell tower triangulation to help GPS satellite location.

Lastly, Ford dealers cannot calibrate these Speedo because Ford does not permit them to do this like they formerly did. Therefore, the bigger tires equal an incorrect GPS and incorrect Speedo that dealers cannot calibrate. Thus, sluggish shifting and bad MPG comes into fruition because the dealers are not allowed to calibrate the Speedo.

A possible solution to problems with Ford F-150 GPS System

We advise that you use the Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) 12-11-01F150 Navigation as it corrects the known problem with the Navigation icon showing you off the road, ahead or behind, etc.

It also fixes problems with the system dropping the pairing of your phone The TSB includes installing a new Navigation card. The TSB will update the Consumer Interface Processor (CIP) to the latest (BB)/ (12285) suffix ISSUE level/Version V3.5.1 using a USB flash drive.

Step-by-step Process

  • Insert the USB drive into the computer.
  • From the Windows start button or desktop, select "my computer."
  • Right-click on the "USB drive/temporary NAVIGATION disk
  • Under File System, select "FAT32".
  • then, under Allocation Unit Size, select "Default allocation size."
  • Under Format Options, select "Quick Format."
  • Select "start" to reformat
  • Select "OK" for pop-up warning, "Reformatting will erase all data stored on this disk."
  • Close open pop-up windows once complete.
  • Click on the following link to download the software update. A hard-wired Internet connection is necessary. A pop-up will appear with selections to run, save or cancel. See this link here.
  • Select "Save"
  • A "Save-As" pop-up window will appear with a file named "Gen2v351build12285updatepackageRev3.exe". Choose a folder on your computer to save the file temporally.
  • Select "Save."
  • When the download complete pop-up appears, select "Open folder."
  • You will highlight a file named "Gen2v351build12285updatepackageRev3.exe". Double click on the file.
  • A download warning may appear. If so, agree to continue by choosing "yes," "OK," or "run."
  • A pop-up extract window will appear. The extract destination to the USB drive will need to be selected. To browse for the USB drive, select the "button with three dots" located to the pop-up's right.
  • Scroll down and select "computer."
  • Select the "USB drive/removable disk." USB previously provided for FSA 11A02 and 11A03 will be titled "SYNC."
  • Select "Extract
  • Confirm USB drive contents. Select the USB drive located under My Computer. A folder named "SyncMyRide" and two files (autoinstall.lst and DONTINDX.msa) will be present on the USB drive; it's now ready for the Vehicle Software Install procedure.

How to install the software on a Ford F-150

The installation may take up to 60 minutes. The vehicle must be running and in "Park" with the parking brake applied when you begin the installation process. `Do not remove the flash drive or turn off the vehicle until the installation process is complete. The re-flash process is complete after the "Installation Complete" message appears and "OK" is pressed on the center screen.

Step-by-step process

  1. Start the vehicle so the battery saver mode will not activate while performing the reprogramming procedure.
  2. Perform SYNC Master Reset:
  3. From the home screen, select "settings icon."
  4. Select "Settings."
  5. Select "System
  6. Scroll down and select "Master Reset."
  7. Remove any connected devices; wait for the system to boot up and the home screen to appear on the Front Display Interface Module.
  8. Install the USB drive into one of the vehicle's media hub USB ports. Refer to Workshop Manual (WSM) Section 415-00 for media hub location. The reprogramming procedure will start automatically.
  9. If the vehicle is equipped with Navigation, install an A4 level SD-card. Press OK when prompted for the SD-card.
  10. When the programming is complete, "Installation Complete" will appear. Press the OK, then remove the USB drive from the vehicle's USB port.

The procedures should not be performed by "do-it-yourselfers." It is for use by trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools, and equipment to do the job properly and safely.

Other solutions

You can also unhook the negative battery terminal on your truck and removed the SD card with the Navigation maps. Leave the battery unhooked for just over an hour, then put the truck back together and go for a drive around town.

The system will recalibrate and work as it should with no errors on your actual location. Just a small warning if you perform this fix, you may lose certain stored data for your stereo equalizer settings, presets, and power seat positions. However, that is a very small price to pay for the navigation system to be working correctly.

Ford's fix was to disconnect the POSITIVE Lead from the battery for about a minute (hold it in disconnected for 2 minutes to be sure).After reconnecting, you need to take it for a drive for at least 20 minutes, going about 40 mph, and try to make as many turns as possible. If you follow these instructions, it will not go off track.

3. GPS works in certain Areas

Ford navigation problems

The GPS annunciator keeps turning off, and it loses position. It works well in some regions and not in others. Even trying to find points of interest like restaurants along your way can be challenging. It can rarely even recognize where you are in certain regions.

For instance: A ford owner who took a road trip from Central Texas noticed that the Navigation kept drifting off, and he had to rely on the radio. The next day from Memphis, he noticed the system working fine, so he used the Navigation to continue to multiple cities on the east coast.

The system worked flawlessly without a single glitch or lock up for the next seven days. However, on his return trip, the system started acting up in the Memphis area again. By the time He got home, the system was just like it was before, consistently locking up and Navigation unusable. The truck seems to work so well in one region and not in another.

A possible solution to problems with Ford F-150 GPS System

Do a Master Reset (In the settings menu) first and then a battery disconnect for 5 minutes to let Sync re-initialize.

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