How to Fix the Electronic Compass on an F-150

by Cecil Fontaine
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Ford F-150 trucks made after 2000 have an electronic compass that is located in a console above the rear view mirror, attached to the ceiling of the cabin. The compass has an LED display that is controlled by resistors on a circuit board. The resistors are soldered to the circuit board, but can become loose with time. If your compass display is blank or intermittent, one or more of the resistors must be re-soldered to the circuit board.

Step 1

Turn off your truck and remove the compass console from the roof of the cabin. Depending on your model of F-150, the console can be removed by detaching the console's snap coupling from the ceiling of the cabin by hand, or by using a flat head screwdriver. Insert the head of the screwdriver into the grooves that line the console to force it out of its retaining structure. If you notice any screws lining the console, these must be removed before pulling the console out. Once you have removed the console, inspect it to find the circuit board, which is located in the middle of the console and is held in place by an electrical connector.

Step 2

Pull the circuit board out of the compass console. Use caution when doing this, so as not to lose any resistors. There may be one or more that have detached from the circuit board. Detach the circuit board's electrical connector from the console. Place the circuit board on a flat surface and inspect it for any loose or detached resistors; a loose or detached resistor must be re-soldered to its corresponding connectors on the circuit board.

Step 3

Position each resistor that you will re-connect in its appropriate location on the circuit board, then heat your soldering iron and have your solder ready in your other hand. Heat the base of each resistor. Place the end of the solder around the base to re-attach the resistor to its connector. Do this for each resistor that is loose or detached. Allow the solder to cool for five minutes.

Step 4

Place the circuit board into the compass console and re-attach its electrical connector. Position the compass console into its position on the roof of the cabin. Snap it into place and reattach the retaining screws. Once the console is back in place, start your truck to check that the compass is working properly.

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