1997 Ford F150, Power Windows Inop

This 1997 Ford F150 came in with three complaints. The power windows do not work. The wipers do not work and the interior lights do not work. Figuring that they were all related I decided to test the easiest system to access, the power windows. I pulled the driver’s side power window switch assembly up and checked for power at the light blue/black wire with the key on. No power.

I then went to the interior fuse box and removed the battery saver relay. It is the small relay second from the top left corner.

I checked for ignition power on the lower right terminal, 12 volts, good.

I checked for ground at the upper right hand terminal by first placing one lead of my voltmeter to a positive battery source, 0 volts, bad. That in itself is enough to show that the GEM module is faulty but I also looked at GEM data with a scan tool and saw that internal system voltage was 22 volts. Hard to do with a 12 volt battery. Diagnosis of a faulty GEM module. To see how to replace the module please click here.

This is the reading with a new GEM module across terminals 85 and 86. Just like it should be 12 volts. Another important note is that I asked the customer about water leaks on this side of the truck and also closely inspected everything as I disassembled looking for signs of water intrusion. Water leaks are a big problem with these modules.

Again with the new GEM installed there is now power on the light blue/black wire.

In case you have not already figured it out if the windows had to be operated to raise a downed window you could do one of two things if there is no power at the light blue/black wire. One, you could apply 12 volts to this wire with a jumper wire. Two, you could jumper terminals 87 and 30 together at the battery saver relay. The second will also test the wiring in the door jamb as well.

124 discussions on “1997 Ford F150, Power Windows Inop”

    1. Generally speaking there are two likely causes. A faulty GEM as mentioned in this article and poor grounds caused by rusted out metal and/or damaged harness connectors behind both kick panels.

  1. Sparky and community.
    I have an issue that I is baffling me. I have a 97 F150 extended cab with the power windows. Florida truck so rust is almost nonexistent. I have no power to the right power window at both switches, nothing nada! Original problem was no power windows working at all, wipers not working. I have checked all of the fuses and relays and they are getting power. Replaced GEM unit with a used one. Wipers now working and also the drivers power window. I have both door panels off and have pulled back the rubber boot on the drivers door wire harness figuring for sure there has to be a broken wire. Nope! Took a good look at each wire and pulled both ways on each with nothing to show up as a broken wire. I have tested for power at both door switches for the right window and there is nothing. Looking for an answer please. Thank you. Alan in Spring Hill

    1. The light blue/black wire supplies power to both window switches. Since the driver’s window now works we can assume there is proper power to that switch. The most likely cause of no power on the light blue/black wire at the passenger side switch would be broken wires in the door jamb harnesses. Since you stated you have already pulled back the grommets and pulled on each wire I would recommend pulling the passenger kick panel and checking the in line harness connectors for damage/corrosion. Also check for power on both sides of the connectors. There is another set of similar connectors behind the driver’s kick panel as well that you may need to look at. To be sure that you have power missing and not a ground issue make sure your chassis ground point is good for either your test light or multimeter. Don’t use the door as a ground point.

      1. Thank you. I was just checking the connectors at the drivers side kick panel. Pulled them both apart, looked them over and they were pretty clean. All grounds were without any sign of corrosion. I did check for power but did not check to see if it was the blue black wire specifically but several wires had power. I will go to the right kick panel next. I have these all apart as I was not sure if I would need to do any splicing with broken wires in either door jamb. I will let you know what I find. Thanks again.

        1. Sparky an update for you.
          Well this has turned out to be simple but let me explain.
          I bought this truck from a private seller. From the get go I should have backed away from it as it turned out to be perhaps one of my worst decisions ever when buying a used vehicle. The owner absolutely lied about the past history. In the sense that this F150 really had become a parts donor vehicle. I found out that the rear pumpkin assembly of a limited slip was robbed. Other parts were missing or replaced with bad parts. In the case of this right power window not working today I literally discovered the window motor was GONE! That had been removed. So that is now on my shopping list. I will get back to you later and hopefully will get this project completed like I originally intended. Thank you.

          1. Sparky?
            I have a different problem with this 97 F150 4.6 on I think the fuel system. But can not find how to submit a new question. Please help.

          2. You will need to “Login” first. Login at the top of the page. If using a phone you have to open the “Menu” to login. At the top of the page locate the “My Account” button and click it. After your account is open scroll down to the “My Questions” area and locate the green “open a ticket” button and click on it. Then ask your question. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Usually within a day.

  2. In the article I discuss testing of the accessory delay relay. Your problem would be with the one touch auto down relay. I am not sure right now but I think the auto down relay is the one above the relay that was tested in the article.

    1. Im sure your advice is right on,,,But I just fixed a 97 f 150 and tried all the test and I was just getting ready to pull the fuse box/Gem and replace both and something told me to hold off and check the kick panel on drivers side where the emerg. brake peddle is,,,That panel hides the wiring that go s over to the passenger window,,There is a wire harness plug are brown, mine were green with corrosion and some were rotted off out the plug .Reason was most trucks this old have rusted rockers and there was a hole where the emerg. cable went through floor. mud ,water , ice and snow had beaten its way up and soaked that plug.
      I replaced the plug with a good one from another parts truck that was like new ,,,,Problems solved all windows and locks work perfect, so before anyone runs any electrical test,,,,,Look for rusted rocker FIRST and save a bunch of time.

  3. I found this post a few days ago and I had no idea this window problem could be so complicated. I also have the problem with the driver window going up but not down. I also know the parking brake light will not come on and the tach does not work. As far as the window I have power to the switch, power coming out of the switch when I push the down button, and back into the cab but no power to the motor. The window motor will go down if I reverse polarity to it, however. I checked the power to the gem as you illustrated. I have power to it and I have the ground. Given I have voltage coming back I am guessing its not the switch that is the problem, but your checks on the gem are suggesting that’s not it either??? Would these other two issues be related as well?

  4. Yes the the system is supposed to turn off after about ten minutes of turning the ignition off regardless of whether a door is opened or not. yes the systems can be very confusing. You will need to decide if you are going to tackle the issue or take it to a shop. If you decide to work on it yourself, the decision needs to made about investing in diagnostic information, schematics and tools or to take an educated guess.

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