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Ford Focus Electrical and Lighting Problems



  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    edited July 2010
    I would first look for a ground wire not reinstalled after clutch was repl. or a loose or dirty ground. Make sure your battery cables are CLEAN & TIGHT, on BOTH ends of cable. It sounds like your gauges and dash lights are trying to ground through your other lights when you flick your switch. You may also have a bad inst.cluster, but I would have ALL grounds checked FIRST.

  • I have a 2000 focus and when I either speed up or slow down, the radio will shut off and come back on and lights flicker and the transmission seems to skip for a second or two and then drives fine. Does it every time now. Someone mentioned it might be a ground problem. Any help would be appreciated.
  • We did replace the battery a month ago because the car died while in the parking lot. Starts every time now. Also had the alternator rebuilt a couple of years ago.
  • hughihughi Posts: 3
    Three seperate garages told me that they tested my alternator, they said it definitely needed replacing & was the cause of all the electrical issues!!!
    I went to a breakers yard looking for a 2nd hand alternator & was told by the manager to bring the car to a mate of took him 1hr & he charged me 45euros. He simply replaced the wiring into the alternator, the three smaller wires inside the one larger cable had partially corroded inside without any visible signs on the outside of the wire casing. The car's electrics are ALL now back running perfectly & I saved a small fortune not having to replace a perfectly good alternator. Hope this helps.
  • I have been looking for a bad ground and while the car was running, I put my hand on the positive battery terminal and it was pretty hot. Does anyone know what the problem might be? The car radio and engine seems to shut off for a second and comes back on when I slow down to make a turn. Also noticed that when I turn the head lights on, the radio whould shut off and come back on. Any help is appreciated.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    Heat is caused by resistance. Your pos cable could be loose or dirty at either end of cable. Your cable could have broken wires or the ends of cable may not be crimped tightly.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    Also, if you have to replace the cables, be SURE the wire is a good heavy gauge.
  • godleyegodleye Posts: 2
    Driving home the other day my radio quit. I thought the chan had died so i went to change it and the lcd readout said low battery. At the same time i noticed that my Speedometer/fuel gauge/ and heat gauge were all off and on 0. Also no lights worked or blinkers. I took it to a local auto zone and they said it was the battery. I replaced the battery but today i am having the same issue. After the car is turned off it will not immediately crank back up, but If i leave it sitting for 10 to 15 minutes it fires up fine and will run another 20 mins or so before it happens again. During this whole time the car still drives but i have no electrical components that will work. Auto Zone tested the alternator and said it was fine but i have no idea what it could be at this point. Help me please.
  • mklndmklnd Posts: 1
    My daughter has an 06 Ford Focus and just experienced exactly the same problem. Have you found out anything?
  • My 2006 Ford Focus has been a great car but the battery light came on suddenly as I was getting ready to park a week or two ago. It went off but I cleaned the cables anyway. This morning the radio, lights, and air conditioner went off but car was still running. Low battery light came on so I drove to auto repair store (Auto Zone). They said the battery was good but they are charging it and said it is probably the alternator. Had this problem with an older Ford Tempo several years ago and it was the fan belt. It would come loose or wear out and the battery was not getting enough power. I changed the alternator once when all I needed to do was change the fan belt. Has anyone else had this problem with this model? Would appreaciate feedback.
  • A good place to look for this problem would be the plug-in at the alt. Unplug from alt and take a good look at the connectors for any sign of GREEN corrosion where the wires connect to the plug on fittings. Give a slight tug on the wires to make sure you have a good connection. If you find the problem there, you should be able to find a new pigtail with a new connector plug at napa or auto-zone or on the internet. If this all looks good, get a cheap digital volt meter, connect at pos. & neg batt post, with eng running about 1000 rpm, meter should read about 14.2 volts if battery is charged up, if it is not charged up, voltage may be in low 13's but should climb slowly up to 14 to 14.5 but not over. if meter only showa battery voltage,( same as when ing is not running ) then I would take off the alt. and have it bench tested. Make sure BOTH ends of battery cables are clean & tight.
    Let me Know what you find out.
  • godleyegodleye Posts: 2
    I finally did find a solution and should have posted it back. When the Instrument Panel, radio, lights, and other non essentials all go off in unison it is a safety precaution built in to let you get where you need to go while not draining the battery further. The problem is 1 or 2 things: 1. Battery 2. Alternator according to the mechanic. My Solution: At first I bought a battery from auto zone since it tested as (Bad Cell). That cost me 116 bucks. Come to find out It wasn't the battery; it was the alternator. The auto zone guy said he tested it and it was OK and that it was the battery instead (Dont trust these guys). So i took the alternator off and carried to a another parts store (O'reilly) which had a bench test unit and it was in fact bad. Now i have a 2006 Ford Focus 2 Door Hatchback and i can tell you it was not easy getting that sucker out! Mechanic said he would do it for 600 bucks! I ended up having a uncle help me and we got it out and a new (Refurbed) alternator put in. Now the alternator is located in the far back of the hood behind the engine kinda and it's not easy. Altogether costed 160 bucks, about 6 hours removal / install time, and no labor fee except lunch bought at my expense to get it on. Technically I ended up spending about 276 bucks since the schmucks at auto zone sold me a battery i didn't need.
  • I noticed that my odometer light was on tonight when the car was turned off and locked. Would like to know how to tun it off.....thanks
  • Tried to reply yesterday but it would not go through. After the battery was charged they were able to test the alternator and found it was getting no voltage at all but they said the belt was good and tight. I called different places and this alternator is expensive - nearly $200 and as I read in the Chilton's manual this alternator is EXTREMELY hard to change. Most places wanted nearly $500 to change it (which would have included the alternator). Took it to a friend of mine who has a garage and he said he would change it for $329. However, as I expected when he got it apart, he said the belt seemed okay but there were several teeth missing so the alternator was not getting a charge and that is what ruined it. That brought the cost up to $410 because it is a serpentine belt. (still cheaper than anyone else wanted for just the alternator.) Problem was they brought him five alternator before they found the one that would work. They all fit and the mounts lined up but the holes didn't line up. He thoudht it was because the car was made in a state that has extra emission laws so that is a lot of engine in a small place. Told us the total was $479 but after complaining that we were quoted a price and never told it would go up, he only charged the $410. If anyone has this problem I would definitely advise double checking that belt since it runs everything. PS - there is also a problem with these small Ford's around this year that sometimes the key will not turn off. The problem is a ring at the bottom of the shifter and a piece breaks off so the car thinks it is still in Drive instead of Park. Don't push that ring down - pull it up and the car will go into park and the key will come out. Have been told Ford knows of the problem but has not issued a recall. Also been told they said they have to replace the whole shifter. Only had the probem twice so going to put off changing that as long as possible.
  • 2000 ford focus engine hesitates after slowing from around 50 MPH to 20 MPH and the radio shuts off and and then comes back on. All of this takes around 1-2 seconds. Sometimes hesitates when I get up to speed when starting out but normally only when slowing down. Doesn't really feel like the engine shuts off. Anyone know of a solution. I have check grounds and cleaned and seemed to stop for a week but came back.
  • You may want to speak with the Ford Dealer regarding a possible problem with the soldering of the connection to the Instrument Panel breaking off which will cause these exact symptoms. While it is not common it happens and very often people will spend $$ "correcting" or finding solutions to problems that don't exist!
  • 2002 focus,battery saver clicks,instruments go crazy,advance trac,abs and brake lights come will set code po460,fuel level sensor,circuit A. i cleaned the 2 yr. old battery terminalsand the alt. puts out 14.6 volts at idle. any ideas???
  • I posted the below message on the Transmission Forum, as well. I am reposting here as I believe my problems with this car are rooted in electric:

    "I don't know if you found any of my posts about a similar issue that I have yet to resolve. My car is a 2005 Focus SE. OverDrive light flashes some, I have a check engine light on. Transmission is rough when I start up and it has a hard time going into drive when I first start. The code on the engine light shows a grounding problem with the speed sensor for the trans (this has been "repaired" several times and keeps popping back up).

    I have had numerous wierd problems over the past two years with this car. Mysterious dead battery; blown anti-theft fuse; alternator shot, new alternator gone bad before the car even left the repair shop; alternator just tested bad diodes, even though battery had just tested 104%; turn and brake lights gone out, although they came back when the engine codes were cleared. I had a new trans put in a year-and-a-half ago. Problems started before that.

    The repairman who drove it when the brake lights went out said he had someone else run codes and it showed the GEM was bad. I took the car to another shop for another opinon and they said they didn't think that was the problem. They found no code showing anything wrong with GEM (actually, two places have told me that). The tranny people say the car has an electrical problem. The auto electic guy I went to this summer says it needs to go back to the transmission shop.

    I have a feeling I may try to find a new GEM and have that put in and see if it takes care of the problem. I heard they used to only be available through a dealer, but they may now be available aftermarket. I guess I could also find one in a junk yard. Anyone have an idea on the cost of a GEM? "
  • I have had the ground wires checked and changed the battery 3 times the alternator replaced 3 times, one guy even changed out the computer module; what ever the hell that is. And the spark plugs were even replaced. The car will drives for about 4 days with some night driving included, then POOF! it starts all over again and i have to get it jumped and back home to put it on the electric battery charger overnight.Any other suggestions you might have are truly welcomed.This has been my life since early March.
  • Randomly my 03 Ford Focus's dashboard gauges will go back and forth and all of the dash lights/radio will flicker on and off. Only sometimes will you hear a "clicking" under the dash when this happens. If you turn the car off while it is in the middle of this electrical storm you can guarantee that it will not start up after turning it off. But it will safely start upon being jumped. Sometimes when it does this electrical thing it will try to stall the engine. Initially we were told it was a bad ground to car body...seemed to help for a while, but then it comes back again. Also, sometimes when it does this it will keep the check engine light on for at least 5-8 start ups then it will turn off on its own. I have seen others complain about this but haven't seen a reply with a fix? I was told by a tire dealer that the ford focus engine mounts stink and that they causing all connections to loosen over time?? help?
  • found my problem at the alt. plug , the red wire was broken at the plug and was making intermintent contact. if you are having alt. or battery problems check the wires comming out of the plug on the alternator
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    If you don't have unlimited funds to continue "fixing" the problem install a battery post on off switch. They cost about $3 at Walmart. I have a 2000 Focus since new. My only electrical problem so far "battery drain" was solved by cleaning battery terminals and wrapping them with aluminum foil. Apparently I got a better ground out of it and never had the problem again. Rear license plate light goes out when brakes are applied. Oh well good luck with the electrical issues. This site is loaded with electrical issues, but no golden fixes.
  • My husband and I own a 2007 ford focus and yesterday I noticed that the reverse lights did not come on when we were backing up. then the horn stopped working when we set the alarm on the car. and now the left turn signal and break light stopped working. all of this happened in less than 24 hours. can anyone give me ideas?
  • ? does your horn work if you press the horn button ? I retired as a Ford mech. in 2001. Having satd that, Ford had a recall on the 2000 Focus for the wireing loom that ran through the trunk. It would rub a hole in the loom and short out. You did not say what body style you have. That loom had a connection in the trunk, up under the L. side of the rear glass. You may also have a few bad bulbs.
    Purchase a 12 volt test light ( $5.00- $10.00 ) unplug L.R. stoplight socket and check for a flashiing 12V with the ign turned ON and the L. turnsignal ON,and the bulb removed. If no power there, find connector, unplug and test there.
    let me know what you find.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    I think old ford mech had a good idea to check the wire harness from the brakes to the front. I would find a good electrical person to trace the problem. A good shop has a machine that "checks" the circuits. Of course check the bulbs first. Sometimes a power surge can burn them out. That is a different issue. Kepp us posted on your progress.
  • eaheah Posts: 1
    2003 focus zts has been good used car w/very few problems - neg post on battery corroded terribly; replaced all cables couple yrs ago but that kept happening. This past summer replaced alternator which died while driving on highway. Trunk would not latch sometimes causing door ajar light to come on; about month ago it would not go off no matter how much slammed trunk closed. Then this past wk came out after 5 mins in a store to a completely dead car. Could not jump it. Replaced battery. Fine for 3 days, then completely dead after being parked for 6 hrs. towed to garage where discovered trunk not completely shut and light on - presumed draining battery. Got trunk latched and car starting no problem, til I got in to leave garage and dead car. Found trunk had come open again. Removed light bulb in trunk, got trunk latched & locked, jumped car, ordered new latch. Drove to work and after 3 hrs car completely dead again. This time the anti-theft light on dash going crazy (everything else dead - no lights, clock, etc.) flashing & clicking. When hooked to another car lights came on, anti-theft went normal, but could only get click, click, click from engine. So - what is it? Alternator tests fine, battery is brand new - could bad trunk latch be causing anti-theft instruments to be draining battery? that quickly? should I ask garage to check alternator wires? and grounds? as a side note the heated seat element on drivers side also went out this week and they have one of those on order too - does that play into this? Help!!
  • #1. Get a cheap digital volt-amp meter. ( Harbor Freight about $3.00 ) #2. charge battery on slow charge and test voltage across batt post ( with neg cable removed ) next day batt should have 12 to 12.5 volts. If it does, hook up neg cable and start car, with meter across posts, while cranking over the voltage should not drop below 10 volts. When running the batt voltage should rise to 14-14.5 volts.
    Run these tests and let me know,
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
  • I received this at but there was no Message ?
  • 1: horn does not work
    2: cigarette lighter does not work
    3: dashboard light go off when driving sometimes. I have to turn off and back on again , sometimes they stay on, sometimes not.
    4:door locks and trunk lock only work manually

    Not sure where to begin~fuses?
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