A lady brought her truck to the dealer on Friday complaining of some pretty bizarre issues. Granted, this truck was almost brand new with minimal miles clocked on the odometer. She explained that as she would drive down the road: the instrument cluster, radio control, front power windows, and some other things would stop functioning.
The first steps of any technician is to duplicate the concern. I must admit, the truck performed flawlessly at first. I had almost given up before I was able toI replicated the issue. All of a sudden it started acting up. I noticed that the rear windows would still operate and I could control the radio with the steering wheel but not the front interface control module (the radio buttons!).
Hooking up the scan tool revealed a bunch of communication codes. Having some past experience with these problems, another tech decided to peek under the dash and quickly spotted an aftermarket Ford remote start module. This particular vehicle remote start uses a piggyback connector that goes in line with the data link connector. I took the inline harness out, effectively unplugging the remote start module, and all the problems go away. We collectively decided to recommend she take it back to the original installing dealer to be warrantied by them - aftermarket Ford accessories are not part of the vehicle warranty and are a pain to claim.
It just goes to show you that you should always look for aftermarket installed accessories before attempting to diagnose a concern. Inspection and verification.