F150 Radio Not Working Clock Flashing: 4 Simple Fixes!

Radio malfunction is a common issue for F150, and as an indicator of the issue, the clock also flashes.

So, why is your F150 radio not working clock flashing? 

Your radio may not work if you have recently replaced your battery. In that case, you will need to reset the radio. Also, it could be a blown fuse, simply replacing the fuse would be enough to fix it. Other than these, the ACM or APIM could be faulty. If that’s the reason, a replacement is needed to make the radio work again.

You will find detailed instructions for fixing the radio in the sections below,

F150 Radio Not Working Clock Flashing: Reasons and Solutions

If your F150 radio is not working, there could be several reasons for this. All the solutions are very simple and it’s possible to solve them on your own.

Battery ReplacementReset the radio
Blown FusesReplace the fuses
Faulty ACMMelt the Soldar
Faulty APIMReplace the APIM

Reason One: Battery Replacement

If you have replaced your old battery and did not reset the radio after the replacement, it may not function properly.


In this case, a simple radio reset will solve the problem. To reset the F-150 radio, there are three possible methods, depending on the severity of the issue. 

For a soft reset, hold down the power and skip forward buttons simultaneously until the Ford logo appears. This resetting process typically takes 10-15 seconds.

If the soft reset doesn’t work, lock the driver’s door and restart your car to see if the problem persists. 

If neither of these methods works, disconnect the negative terminal of the car battery for around half an hour. Reattach it after the time period and turn on the radio to see if the problem has been resolved. 

If the problem is still there, the issue may be something else. If the battery is not charging or is weak, the car’s electrical system will not work.

Reason Two: Blown Fuses

A blown fuse is the most common and easy-to-fix reason for the radio not working in the Ford F150. 


The first thing you need to check is your relevant radio fuses. For this, checking with the owner’s manual would be great. In the manual, look for which fuses are used by the radio. 

For reference, in a 2011 Ford F150, fuse number 9 is used for the radio display, and fuse number 26 is used for the radio frequency module. 

It is very important to swap the right fuses as every component needs a specific fuse to function. For example, the trailer light uses a separate fuse from the headlights.

Blown Fuses
Source: carfax

Now, you will notice from the fuse diagram, there are some spare fuses. Swap a spare fuse with the fuses that the radio use. Swap fuses with the same amperage rating.

If the fuses were blown, this should fix the radio. 

Reason Three: Faulty ACM

One or more solders in the ACM may go bad which will cause the radio to not work. ACMs are usually in the older models of the Ford F150. The newer models use APIM instead of it.

Faulty ACM
Source: Automotive Circuit Solutions


To fix the issue, you need to dig into the radio. The process is fairly simple, and here is how to do it.

Tools Needed: A 7mm socket wrench, wire brush, and a screwdriver

  • There are two side panels on both sides of the radio. You can loosen up these panels with your bare hands. Do not try to detach them completely.
  • Find the aux port beside the cigarette lighter. Take its cover out with your key or something similar.
  • You will find a wiring harness behind it which you will have to disconnect.
  • There is a small cover where your time display is, remove it to find two screws. There is also another screw near the aux cable. Unfasten all of them using the socket wrench.
  • With all these screws out of the way, you can remove the radio panel. 
  • You should notice a small white box that contains the ACM. This is attached with four 7mm screws. Use the socket wrench to remove them. There are three connectors behind the box, you will also need to disconnect them.
  • While you are at it, check the connections. Look for corrosion or lose connections. This can also contribute to the F150 radio not working.
  • After disconnecting the box, you need to disassemble it by removing all the screws. You can leave the screws for the CD drive. 
  • Use the wire brush to clean the ACM thoroughly. 
  • Now, place the ACM in a pan and bake it at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 mins. This will melt the soldering and make ACM connections stronger. 

When you are done baking the motherboard, reassemble the box and put it back in its place to see if it works.

Reason Four: Faulty APIM

The APIM or Accessory Protocol Interface Module controls the infotainment system in your Ford F150. APIMs may not be available in all Ford F150 models, some models may have ACMs.


To know for sure your APIM is not working, you can use an OBD-code reader. Plug the device into your truck and let it scan. If the APIM is faulty the code reader will show the U0253 error code. This means that the vehicle has lost communication with the APIM.

Or, if you find other codes like the codes P1131 or P1151 in F150, this indicates a bigger problem and requires immediate attention.

Faulty APIM
Source: infotainment

If this code shows up, you probably have a bad APIM. You will also face some other issues, like GPS not working, sluggish touchscreen, etc.

It’s better to contact the dealer for an APIM replacement because a new APIM will have to be programmed into your VIN. This programming part is sensitive, so it’s best handled by a professional.

Now that you have a programmed APIM, you can replace it. Here is the guide for replacing APIM. 

  • Turn off the engine and disconnect the negative terminal of the car battery to prevent any electrical mishaps.
  • Locate the APIM module, which is typically located behind the touchscreen display unit.
  • Remove the trim panel around the display unit using a trim panel removal tool.
  • Unplug the APIM module from the wiring harness and unscrew any fasteners holding it in place.
  • Take out the old APIM module and insert the replacement module into the same spot, using the same fasteners and wiring harness as before.
  • Reconnect the battery terminal and turn on the engine to test the new APIM module.
  • If the module works correctly, reattach the trim panel around the display unit.

How to Prevent Radio Malfunctions in Ford F150?

To prevent radio malfunctions in your Ford F150, here are some tips:

  • A healthy electrical system is critical for the proper functioning of the radio and other electronic devices in your F150. Have your battery, alternator, and starter checked regularly to ensure that they are in good working condition. 

Additionally, check the wiring and connections for any signs of damage or corrosion.

  • Power surges can damage sensitive electronic components, including the radio. To protect against power surges, consider installing a surge protector or voltage regulator in your F150.
  • Dirt, dust, and moisture can damage the radio and other electronic components. Keep the radio clean and dry by wiping it down with a soft, dry cloth and avoiding exposure to water or other liquids.
  • Overheating can cause damage to electronic components, including the radio. Avoid leaving your F150 in direct sunlight for extended periods or exposing it to extreme heat.
  • If you are installing an aftermarket radio or other electronic device, follow the proper installation procedures. Improper installation can cause damage to the radio or other components and void your vehicle’s warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What happens if I remove the radio fuse?

If you remove the fuse that powers the radio, the audio system will be disabled and the radio will not function. When you try to turn on the radio again, you will see a message on the display that says “Code”. To use the radio again, you will need to enter a five-digit code using the preset buttons. 

Why is F-150 so popular?

The Ford F-150 is popular due to its durability, versatility, towing and hauling capability, and reputation for being a reliable and powerful workhorse. It is available in a wide range of configurations, making it versatile for a wide range of applications. 

Which F-150 engine is better?

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine is widely considered to be the best Ford F-150 engine for longevity. The 5.0-liter EcoBoost is a close second if you prefer a 5.0-liter engine.


The Ford F150 radio not working clock flashing is a simple problem that does not require much effort to solve. However, if the diagnosis seems hard to you, you should contact a professional for help.

Also, taking care of your Ford F150’s electrical system will help prevent this problem in the future.

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