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Ford Focus Electrical and Lighting Problems



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480
    Well that pretty much leaves the multi-function switch on the steering column I guess....or some bad wiring/loose connector somewhere.

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  • my girlfriend has a 2001 ford focus wagon SE 2.0L we were having troubles with keeping the battery charged so we went to canadian tire and got it tested. Failed. We bought a new one now were having the same problem i think its the alternator. the symptoms are we will be driving and the lights will go off and the check engine light will come on also the airbag light.
    then the car will putt and sputter then die, then the ticking and it wont start again. massive loss of power.
    what should i do???
    i checked the wires on the back of the alternator they seemed fine, ill check again in the morning.
    the big red wire that's connected to the battery was loose and frayed so i cut it and hooked it up better. i gave the car a boost and same thing. lights, dash, and dummy gauges will flip all the way up then back to 0.

    please help we don't have much money and replacing the alternator 5,6,7 times will kill us like the story's Ive been reading about.

    also there's a humming sound my girlfriend says "It sounds like a RC car accelerating" it sounds like its coming from the passenger side under the hood, sometimes you can hear it threw the stereo.
  • I posted on this thread some time back, had the same issue with my 2003 Ford Focus. But if my car was in the middle of flashing dash lights on and off and I turned the car off, it never turned back on. So, I traveled with jumper cables and when it was in the middle of this chaos, I just drove it until it stopped (because once it started didn't mean it wouldn't stop at some point), especially if I didn't want to be stranded somewhere. We replaced batteries, alternators, had the post factory alarm system removed, changed the avail. Even Ford Mechanics could not figure it out. Finally, a mechanic found that there was a "ground" loose and created a new ground for it. Initially, that seemed like the fix, we went a good 4 months without issues, however, at some point, the issue came back. We drove this car for 3 years with this issue, never was able to fix it. We called her Christine and just dealt with it until we were in a place to buy a new car. I was so happy when we sold that car!
  • That's funny, Christine is my girlfriend...
    we just took out the alternator and it was extremely loose like the brushes were done, we didnt have time to put the new one in tonight but it should be a hour or so to put everything back in place hopefully she starts! and runs properly! also i think i have to do the aliment on the rear end. when im on the high way and hit a pot hole it the rear end swerves all over the place. i changed a lower control arm ( dog bone) and the sway bar linkage kit.
    i didnt know it was a 4 wheel alignment. does anyone know if that is the problem or is it a sway bar problem?
  • it worked! car runs awesome!! battery is charging perfectly, and even more power at the wheel it seems! the humming sound is gone! must of been the old alt.
    it was a BIT*H getting out. took off the motor mount, moved the motor ( took 4 guys to pull it over far enough to take it out and put a new one in. i would defiantly hate to do that again.
  • gigi87gigi87 Posts: 1
    Okay so I drive a 2002 Focus Wagon
    the problem started a month ago with the back lights and dash lights stopped working
    but the brake lights and turn signals were fine
    Checked the fuse; everything looked good
    Then we took out the back lights and just kinda wiggled the wires and they came back on
    ..So then i drove over a bump and they were off again
    ..then the rear turn signal stopped working
    and now when i brake the left back light doesnt turn on at all

    Could it be a fuse or a bulb or wiring??

    OH and today I found the F30 fuse burnt...
  • bueybuey Posts: 1
    I have a Ford Focus 1999 1.6 zetec, When you turn on my lights the Drivers side indicators stay on! But if the lights are off!! the indicators work fine, could someone please tell me how to fix this?
  • Remove L side parking light bulbs, front & rear. Then turn on your lights and see if your indicator light is still on. If not, you have a shorted out bulb.

    If it is still on you have a wiring problem. Good luck.
  • The brake warning panel in the trunk lid of my 2006 sedan has a couple of burned out bulbs. How do I remove the light panel from inside the trunk, so I can get access to replace the bulbs?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480
    On the sedan, it looks like you just remove the trunk lid inner panel and expose the bulb sockets. The 3 or 5 door has screws for the lens to remove the bulbs from outside the car, but I guess the sedan doesn't.

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  • How do I remove the trunk lid inner panel?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480
    Unfortunately, the "book" doesn't tell me that part. Generally they are snap-ins. Look and see if you see little "buttons" around the edge of the panel--if so, those snap out by gently prying.

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  • cluster is the part where the speedod,gas guadge are easy to remove can get at salvage yard,it has to be same modle engine trans as yours.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480
    No, don't attempt to 'reset' with the battery on an OBD-II car. It doesn't work and then your car might have to relearn its driving map. Not good advice!

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  • I am a courier and I drive a 2002 ford focus ZTW wagon. I am having power surges after 2 alternator repairs (O'rielly's exchanged twice). Now the dash lights and headlights flicker when I idle in park or at a red light. The power surges are worst after a long drive (almost wants to shut off but doesn't).

    When I accelerate their are no surges and all the lights are bright and steady. I took the car to ford dealership and they ran all sorts of diagnostic tests. They so-called checked the electrical wire cluster but they could not find the problem. The alternator, battery, etc are fine. No one knows what the problem is.

    The dealership did screw up one thing. When they received the car my cruise control worked but when I picked it up it no longer worked. They claim it wasn't their fault and the part costs $500. I am pissed cause I need my C/C. I am thinking about protesting in front of the dealership.

    But anyway I need help with this power surge issue.

    HELLLLP! Please.
  • Before I go into the dealer with my month old Focus hatchback, I thought I would check to see if anyone else noticed the rear defroster is pretty weak. Fog on the interior barely clears after 15 minutes of driving and not clearing due on the outside at all when the car is warming up in the drive in the morning.

    This was built in Michigan where I used to live and it wouldn't pass the muster at all in any winter. Not especially happy to have to take this in already.
  • goheyjogoheyjo Posts: 2
    I have a 2004 ford focus se 90,000 miles on it, been a perfect car. out of the blue, my wind shield wipers go on by themselves, at the same time the a/c shuts down and the power windows don't work. (fun in 112 degree sunny Arizona) this happened a few times last summer then didn't happen for a long time but now it's summer time again and it's happening almost daily, and very very randomly, the only thing i can correlate with it happening is the fact that it's HOT out, I've been running my a/c for 3 - 4 months already this year but now that the temps are over 100 and the a/c is really working it happens a lot more - this would seem like the big trigger but to throw an anomaly in, it happened during a trip up north about an hour and a half to two hours into the drive - we had the a/c on the whole time it happened twice on that car ride and not again for about a month - temps were in the 80's.
    I noticed this afternoon I was stopped at a light, the a/c quit but the wipers didn't go crazy, I gave the engine some gas and viola! the wipers went on.....
    the wipers also either make one swipe or stay on for a mile. twice now they've gotten stuck in an up position instead of the regular resting position. This is driving me NUTS! -
    mechanic looked at car last summer, didn't find anything but did a lot of rewiring under the hood that was looking bad (baking in the AZ sun) - I don't think he did any under the dash though.
    any thoughts, any ideas, anybody ever hear of anything like this?????
  • We have a :mad: 2003 Ford Focus that has had numerous electrical problems. The best thing I can tell you to do b4 the problem gets worse is to get an electrical analysis performed at a dealership. This helped us out. It costs about $110-150. They can pinpoint the actual problem then. Check numerous dealerships first as they are not all the same.
  • Ok, so from numerous hours of reseach I'm posting this.
    Hatchback-if back lights are out check wire at harness coming out of roof to hatch. This is a common area that gets moisture wicking &pinching in the wire clu
    Focus Sedan-Altenator code after replacement. Sometimes the regulators in rebuilt & store bought altenators do not match the pcm codes. So, the car rejects it like us getting the wrong blood type.
    Next the wiring harnesses are crap in these cars. Expect shorts.all over the place.
    First problem is the battery cables. That is the first thing you want to replace. And older models, I want to say 2001 & older(you can check with Ford) replace in-line fuse going from battery to altenator.
    That same wire goes bad on all focuses-replace it.
    The next bad wire is the one that goes from the altenator plug to the computer. This is what was bad on our car.
    Hope this helps all. :)
  • power101power101 Posts: 6
    I have a 2001 FORD FOCUS LX with 199,871 miles on it and its my first Ford car. I have owned many of Ford Trucks in my life and always fixed problems with them myself. But with my Focus, every time in the past 4 years when I turn a corner roughly around 15 mph or over, it cuts out and the car bogs out and jumps like the engine is going to jump out then I get a bad smell almost like sulfur coming from the car. All fluid levels are good with a full gas tank. This happens whether the car is hot or cold. Usually I can just punch the gas pedal to the floor and it will eventually gain rpm's again and go with no problems until I turn sharp again. I have recently replaced Spark plugs and cables, Alternator, transmission and clutch plate, fuel pump and various pcv valves and hoses. Had the fuel pressure tested and it was fine. This problem has been consistent like this for the past 4 years with no other problems. I have always been a Ford guru but this car is making me think twice. I have 2 small children that go with me almost everywhere with me and just today as I turned a corner getting on the highway ramp, it bogged out worse then ever with many angry drivers on my tail. I thought I was going to crash the car into the guard rail. I hit the pedal to the floor like I usually do and it started going again, but in fifth gear it kept jumping and cutting out. I turned off the side of the road to turn the car off then back on and it ran fine all the way home. I have read many forums with the same issues on my make and model and tried many solutions with no luck. With your expertise, do you have any ideas why this is happening. I see this problem allot with focus's but never any working solutions. I am a college student with a very limited income, and any information would be a great help to get my car driving like it should. Please feel free to forward this to anyone who you may know to be able to help me out and sorry this is so lengthy.

    You can e-mail me back at
    Thanks for your time and consideration.
  • What did you do to solve the problem? I have Clicking in dash with diming lights and radio come on and car misses really bad while it clicks. It is very intermittent.
  • power101power101 Posts: 6
    Well I came to the conclusion that it is my catalytic converter. I didn't fix it because I don't think that it is worth it. My car is already on its last leg.

    With your problem, It sounds like you may need to clean and tighten your wires going into your alternator and the battery cables. Does this happen every time you start the car or like once in a while?
  • It is intermittent. Sometimes it will not do it for weeks. The battery cables are tight. I have had it to 4 mechanics and it won't do it when I take it in. I am very frustrated. It clicks in the dash on the left side of the steering wheel and the lights dim in the dash and the headlights. The radio just come on by itself when I start the car. When its clicking and I am driving the car cuts out really bad and seems like it is going to die then surges forward. It has never completely died but if you turn the car off while it is clicking it will not start right away but will start later. I NEED HELP.
  • goheyjogoheyjo Posts: 2
    thanks to a very seasoned mechanic, he knew right off the bat by the cars symptoms that it was my BCM, body control module, couple hundred $$$ and we're back in the game :)
  • power101power101 Posts: 6
    Well I never heard of anything like this before. My guess would be that there may be faulty wiring somewhere like a short or something. You may be able to hook an OBD (On-board diagnostics) to it if you haven't already and possibly find out what it is.
  • matsukesmatsukes Posts: 21
    I am sure the Ford Dealer can find out what's wrong they charge only $350.00 to check and extra to fix.
  • jseesjsees Posts: 1
    I am having the same problems with my car. I had to replace the alternator twice. Thank you for the advice. I am going to try it.
  • remove the melted in piece as best you can. Yes damage will occur. Get a new bulb and place in the holder that is still mostly intact and with just a dab of silicon or RTV, glue the bulb to the holder and then, with silicon, glue the whole assembly together.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    Try an LED bulb. They cost more, but create less heat. It worked on a Ford Freestyle I had.
  • charley954charley954 Posts: 1
    edited October 2013
    Brakes lights stay on whenever they feel like it. Most of the the time they get stuck on after 10 seconds. This is only when car is running and in D, 1,2, N or R ( auto trans ) Will not do it if car is in park or ignition key on. Only when engine is running. This started about two weeks ago, and I started replacing parts. I've read lots of posts involving the brake light/hazard problem and chewed up or chafed wiring in tail gate. Several too about the 3rd brake light. I've also read literally 100's on other forums with no resolution. The 2000-01 Focus is the only year that uses the hazard switch to also work the brake lights, tails only not the 3rd brake light. I changed the stop light switch twice, no change. I have used two different hazard switches, problem returns no matter which one I use. One less then a year old, and one brand new. All are Ford parts, no aftermarket. So those two items are fine. Not a fuse problem because I do have working brake lights when in park. Check wiring going into hatch, peeled back rubber boot and checked any exposed wires. This is quite common in the Focus hatch, so that's the first thing I did. No change. The directional's will flash when lights are stuck on until last night. I went for a 30-40 minute ride and the lights got stuck. I can see the glow from my side mirrors, of course only at night. I never know during the day. The only way to shut them off is to unplug the hazard switch, but that's only cutting the power source. If I wait for 15-20 minutes and plug it back in they will stay off. The switch does get warm but that's because the lights are on, it stays cool when lights not stuck. Back to last night. When I got the car home I put it in neutral and tried the turn signals. I put the right turn on and the left side was blinking. WTF ! I got out and checked, the lights were flashing like a school bus. Each side flashing opposite of the other. Is something heating up after awhile ? I have no clue. This year Focus does not have a separate flasher unit that I could try. It's all through the hazard switch.
    New stop light switch(2)=nothing
    New hazard switch(3)=nothing
    Hatch wiring repaired=nothing
    New multifunction switch=nothing
    All fuses good
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