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Ford Focus Electrical and Lighting Problems



  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
    The forums cannot be used to buy and sell items, so if you want to continue please use email.

    I figured the post was a rhetorical question rather than an actual offer for sale myself.
  • dwhitlockdwhitlock Posts: 1
    I'm having a similar problem with a 2000 SE wagon. Changing the range sensor (tells the ignition that you're in park) didn't solve it. The dealer and my usual mechanic are stumped (the mechanic is looking into that relay switch you mention.) Were you able to find a solution?

  • Whiners?

    Do you realize you are in a "focused" (pun) discussion? We are just looking for help and advice about electrical problems with the Ford Focus.

    You should understand that you sound like the whiner here. :cry:
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    You say your charging about 14 v. You should be charging 14.4 under a load with your blower mtr on Hi and headlights on and your battery charged. Find the rated cap of your battery and have your battery load tested with a carbon pile tester at 3 times the rated cap. the battery should hold 9.6 V. for 15 sec. Batt ground circuit can be load tested w/the same carbon pile tester and should not have more than .05 V. drop. Find someone in your area that knows how to run these tests and you may find your problem. Hope this helps you.
  • Since my original post a year ago, I've had a Ford mechanic friend hook up a computer to the car. He said it was either the GEM module, or a short to the back wiper, or some other short. The GEM was checked and is fine. No short was found. I have yet to check and clean the grounds.

    Where do I find a user-friendly diagram of where my grounds are?
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    I worked as a ford tech back then and had to replace a few gem modules This unit supplied the grounds for a wide array of acc,s We also had a recall on deck lid wiring to lights in the rear.
  • Does this sound familiar? Any suggestions?
    My lights dim on their own when I'm driving in the dark, my battery light has been going on and off for two years now, it stalls and idles real low when I'm at a stop (always enjoyable during rush hour), I've had 3 alternators, and 3 batteries put in in the 3.5 years that I've had it, it just overheated this past weekend, my dashboard has been clicking away for the past month or so and today, the ABS light flicked on and off. I'm taking it to a Ford dealer on Monday because Firestone has replaced all the electrical on it and can't figure out what's going on. I am tempted to trade it in this weekend instead of pouring more money into it. Would this be a wise move?
    I bought it to save gas money, but I guess the Ranger that I had before would have actually been a better money-saving option in the long run. The Taurus I had before the Ranger was a pile, too. I'm pretty sure I'm done with Ford cars after I unload this gem...
  • Hey girl; I don't recall if the side flash w/the turn signals on that year or not, but if they do, your brake lights go through your turn signal switch first and then out to the correct sides in use. you may have a short in the switch or 1 of your stop light bulbs could be shorted to the tail light side or you could have a pinched wire anywhere in between. Now that your totally confused hope that helps you.
  • This sounds like the issue I have been dealing with the past 6 months. Did you ever find out what the problem was?


  • Are you still having the same problems? Make SURE your battery cables are clean & in good shape, if not, replace them first. MakeSURE you have a good ground to the engine & from the engine to the body. If you have a good mechanic he should be able to load test the cables with a carbon pile tester. Test both + and - cables, you should not have over 0.5 volt drop in either side. If he needs to know how to do this, just send me an e-mail.
    Cliff MacCartney
    [email protected]
  • Some kid in my neighborhood owns a Ford Focus. He was replacing the battery when he put the terminals on the wrong post. (positive on the negative and negative on the positive) Now the headlights brake lights door locks and windows no longer work. Nobody knows what's wrong with it. can somebody please tell me what might be wrong with it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    First off check the "fusible link" or links which come right off the battery and usually run along the inner fenders. I know there is definity a fusible link in the wire going from the battery to the starter and I'm sure there are others.

    Also check the regular fuse box in the car.
  • I did look at all that already. everything is good. Someone told me to look at all the wires coming off the battery. But i am going to go look agian and what you said to check. maybe i over look something.

    Thanks for the reply Mr Shiftright ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Yeah there's more than one fusible link. Best way is to just trace the wires off the battery post with your finger and look for that "bulge" which is the fusible link.

    it's either that or a few burned fuses or (gulp) damaged relay/box or wiring harness. I think it's fuses though given how it's acting and what he did.
  • Well I checked the fuses and that's not it. what happened, he was taking his old battery out and putting a new battery in. but he put the battery in wrong. he put the red cable on the negative side and put the black cable on the positive side. when i went up to him he had just put them on. I said sh*t dude you put the cables on the wrong post. I didn't know that he didn't know nothing about cars I thought every guy did. anyway we put it back the right way and now he has no head lights, brake lights, power windows and the transmission go into lock mod. I hope that will help. but that's all I know what happened. I already checked the fuses and they are all good. Can you think of anything else.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Does the thing run?
  • Sounds like the same issue I have been fighting , any luck?


  • My radio in my 2004 Ford Focus will not play. It says mute. The clock does work. What's going on?
  • 2005 Focus: Runs ok, but lights on insturment panel coming on; battery, seat belt, etc. lately we hear beeping,doors don't lock immediately anymore. Took it to mechanic where we bought the car-he couldn't find 'anything wrong'. Took it to another mechanic-same answer. Could there be a short somewhere? What now? :confuse:
  • That is why I have not taken the car in, I figure that thwy would want to change the battery or alternator, which both of these have been replaced. I disconnected the Alternator from the computer(PCM) and I thought for sure I had it fixed, but the problem came back. My next step is to clean up the grounds wire connections and see what happens.
  • Sandy;
    Have your battery cables load tested, this means to disconnect cables from battery, place load tester between batt post and pos cable and load up to rated cap of the alt. should not have more than 1/2 volt drop in pos side or neg side, I have found more problems on the neg side than the pos side. also check ALL body grounds. You are getting a feed back causing your goofy problems,a # of these items go through a thing called a GEM module, check the ground to this module.
    Hope this helps you out,
  • OK ! Will try ! : )
  • About the screwed-up instrument panel: One poster suggested we try a load tester-can you buy one? How much is it? We asked a Ford mechanic about the problems, he wanted to replace the alternator. We'd like to try every available option b-4 going that (spendy) route.
    Suggestions ? :cry:
  • :lemon: Ok; we needed to have the alternator replaced in our '05 Focus. After shelling out $$$ for that, we bring it home & have the same problems..beeping, speedometer not working, etc.!!! The mechanic who installed it said it must be the computer. The warranty is no longer effective, but doesn't the consumer have some recourse here? Anybody out there with Focus problems, & what did you do? This is running into serious $$$$$ !
  • We had the same problem with our 05 Focus too! and we too dished out big bucks for a new alt.& battery! and then a new $60.00 ECM computer but the problem was still happening! we ended up shelling out another $1,100 for a new instrument panel and that fixed it!. Then 2 months later the car caught fire and burned to the ground.
  • I cleaned up the battery post connectors for probably the 2nd or 3 rd time, but also cleaned up the ground connections . So far , so good, but it has only been 1 week so I'm not holding my breath.

    I will keep you posted
  • Alright,

    I have a 2002 SVT (it just hit 77k) About 10,000 miles ago, i had some crazy hesitation at 2800-3200 rpm. the rpm would not surge or drop the car just would pull against me, and be get a little jerky. well i changed everything i could afford in way of the fuel and electrical system (plugs and wires, altenator, battery, fuel filter) no help...well after visiting some forums, i figured out that it was an issue with the MAF and that all i had to do was have the computer updated at the dealer. i did and tada!!!! problem gone.... well about 1000 miles ago, this problem seems to be returning...but the hesitation is not nearly as violent as before and comes in more between 2800 and really i don't know if it's the same issue or not, it is not nearly as consistent as before either,,,it won't always do it. I really can't afford to pay $100 every 8-10k miles if it is the computer again. i love the car and hate to give up on it.

    I just want to know if anyone has any suggestions as to what this may be, or if they have had similar problems...if it is the computer again, should the dealer flash it for free since it's been such a short time? (if it matters, i have random dash lights on too, they've been on since i purchased the car at 48k, my traction control and brake light) :confuse:
  • :cry: Someone just told us about checking out the computer---why didn't we do that right away..? So, that's what we will do soon, & keep our fingers crossed also. I'll post results; maybe it'll help someone else.
  • I have been having a problem with the drivers side door not locking either with the key or the remote on a 2005 Focus. All the other doors lock, but not the drivers side. The car went dead the other day and I had it towed to the dealer. The car wouldn't start, but all the gauges would be flashing,interior and headlights worked. The dealer said there was a bad cell in the battery and replaced it. When I asked about the door lock situation, they said it was working . When I picked the car up, the first thing I checked was the lock. Not working. Waited around 3 hours for them to run a diagnostic but finally had to leave. Any ideas?
  • g2bg2b Posts: 7
    Has anyone found out what causes the fuse to the headlight switch blow out? This cuts power to the dash lights and to the running lights.
  • g2bg2b Posts: 7
    I had a problem with the fuse for the headlight switch (f32)blowing. Cuts power to the running lights and instrument lights. replaced headlight switch assembly (includes relay) and problem seems to be fixed. :)
  • g2bg2b Posts: 7
    Headlight switch did not fix the problem. Blew the fuse again. :confuse:
  • robnor1robnor1 Posts: 12
    My daughter has owned an 04 ZTS for a couple years now. Several months ago the car started bucking or missing every now and then. She says while this is happening there is a clicking noise coming from left front dash, probably the fuse/relay box and the radio cuts off. This only happens maybe a couple times a month for about 20 or 30 seconds. She says it feels like the car is going to quit. After the surging stops, the car runs perfect for the next week or two. I have driven the car each time after this happens and I can never re-create the problem. Any ideas?
  • I had a similar problem that I battled for months, intermittently the lights, radio would go off for a second or two and the lights on the dash would all light. I was cleaned up all the ground connections under the hood including the battery and problem has went away. Knock on wood.

  • Yesterday I was rear ended, not any apparent physical damage. That night it was noticed that the tail lights (running and parking) and license plate lights were not working. All other lights (headlights, dash, directionals, etc) were working o.k.

    I replaced all of the bulbs for the running lights and license plate lights. Still did not work. All the fuses were fine.

    Not sure what to do next? Would appreciate any suggestions. Keep it relatively simple... I do not have a lot of auto electrical experience...

    Thanks in advance
    1. get a 12 volt tist light. Hook the ground clip to a good clean metal ground, touch the other end to BOTH sides of the fuses w/the park lights on. If only 1 side of fuse lights the test light you have a bad fuse.If all fuses ck ok go to next step.
    2. Remove rear bulbs.ground clamp end of test light again to a GOOD body ground. now touch other end to bulb sockets contacts (w/park lights on) and one contact should light test light, if no light follow wiring to plug in connector, poss-under L.R. corner of car. Unplug and ck for a hot wire there w/test light.
    3. If you have power at light sockets,ground the test light to the other contact in socket,may need to use a paper clip to get into bulb socket, if your fuses are good,WITH TEST LIGHT, my money is on a bad ground.
    4. Do this and send a note to let me know what you found
  • I have a 2000 Focus SE wagon that my daughter drives. She said recently, the dash lights will go out completely with no warning or seeming cause. And then they come back. She said sometimes, turning the lights off and on several times brings them back.

    Any ideas? :confuse:

  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    It is the rheostat in the switch a very common malady. I have had rheostats in cars do this often. The environment that the car exists in is very difficult. In your case 9-10 years is about right for failures to be evident. It should not be expensive to fix. :)
  • Might also want to try spraying the rheostats with contact cleaner, which is available through Radio Shack or Frys. I had simular issue on the radio volume control and was able to fix it with contact cleaner. Also check the the connector for loose wires.

    Fix Or Repair Daily

  • Okay, now I am going to sound like a complete idiot in public *bow*

    You mean spray the outside of it (like where you toggle it) and roll it back and forth to work it in? Or take the panel off and spray something in there?
  • Spraying into the the device is the best,
  • g2bg2b Posts: 7
    After reading the problems associated with lights not working and suspect grounding issues, i thought it would be wise to look there.

    visually the battery connections looked good(no corrosion). Cleaned the connection to the auxillary ground wires to the negative post, loosing them and cleaning the ring terminal with a wire brush. I then looked for the chassis grounds. there were two wires with ring terminals (grounds) attached to the inner fender close to the battery but under the air cleaner box. I cleaned these using the same method. The headlight fuse has not blown since, it has been a week.
  • bwa01bwa01 Posts: 2
    Hi, I have a 2000 focus in the last year my signal lights and hazard lights stop working from time to time, well they have not started working again and my inspections up in 2 weeks. Could it be the relay switch and if so does the one relay conrol both the signal lights and flasher?
  • bwa01bwa01 Posts: 2
    and I forgot, if so where is this flasher relay excate location?
  • Recently, my 2005 Focus SE died on me while I was out-of-town. It acted like it was a bad alternator when it conked out. The garage said the alternator was not charging, but when they got a new one from the parts store, THAT one didn't charge either. Finally, they got another to charge and I went on my way - $634 lighter.

    This was the third time in about seven months I've had an auto-electric issue with this car. First time, the car wouldn't start and it appeared my battery was just bad. Atlernator tested fine, but this seemed odd.

    About a month later, the car died again while I was driving. Couldn't find a problem, but the dealer said there was a blown fuse that caused the anti-theft function to lock-up. They also said there was a wire loose, but the evidence showed THEY had fouled that up. Last time I'm going to them.

    Anyway, three instances since last summer. Very odd. I recently talked to a buddy who had similar problems. He said it turned out his idiot light had a short in it, and was causing his issues. He had the light and the whole circuit replaced and has had no more problems. When I think back, NO IDIOT LIGHTS HAVE COME ON!!!! This could be the problem with this car, and I'm going to have that checked out.

    Has anyone else here heard of this? Sounds plausible.
  • gaborsgabors Posts: 5
    Hi!I'm really -really need some help.after years....My battery get discharged every second or third times during the night.does not idleing well, sometimes the engine cut off on low rpm.The headlight blinking,if its on,the vent rpm. changeing always.Changed battery,and alternator ,did not help!I took to the local dealer after a long time they could not find the problem.tryed other forums but notthing happened.Please help!Thank you for your effort!......Gabe
  • Have the GEM module checked! the GEM module controls all the electrical devices in your car as well as the lights in your dash, heating ect. when these go bad all kinds of problems happen!. You will be happy to know, that you can change this module yourself its not a hard job. GOOD LUCK!
  • gaborsgabors Posts: 5
    Thank you for the respond!Is the GEM still under current even if i turn it the key off?I asking because the battery get die sometimes if i live it the car for a few hours.something has to pull it the current bad and fast(sometimes just 1-2 hours enought to kill the battery)even if notthing is "ON" .Thank you!..........Gabe.
  • Info only, The GEM is a ( generic electronic module ) that only supplies the ground to many electrical items in your car but not all items.
    To find a short that would drain a battery in 2 hrs, do the following, disconnect the batt ground from the batt, if you have access to an amp meter (not volt meter) connect it in series between the neg batt post and the neg cable, unplug under hood light if you have 1 . every thing turned off and doors closed, your amp meter should not read over 0.5 or 1/2 amp. If it going to run the battery down in 2 hrs it will arc like a welding cable,if it does arc,start taking out fuses 1 at a time and test cable for arc, if strong arc still remains after all fuses removed, then remove the pos red wire from the alt and test for arc at neg post again, You may also have a fuse box under the hood with high amp fuses in it. If you do start there. let me know what you find. Cliff
  • gaborsgabors Posts: 5
    Thank you Cliff!Look like on the weekend i gonna have time to do it!I keep it post!
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