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Ford Focus Electrical and Lighting Problems

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well I've been looking at the wiring diagram here, and I'm wondering if you tried disconnecting either the driver master adjusting switch or the passenger one. Maybe the switches are the problem in this circuit? You might also look for any signs of burning or melting.

    That's a 25 amp fuse that's blowing. That suggests a pretty obvious dead short somewhere---a live wire directly to ground.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    Unplug master switch, mounted on drivers door panel, turn on ign and see if fuse blows again. If it does not blow, you have a bad master switch, but you may also have a high amp draw in the driver's door window circuit, causing the switch to short out.
    hope this helps
    Cliff
  • olebikerolebiker Posts: 3
    Thanks! Will try the above and see what happens.
  • jdeitz66jdeitz66 Posts: 3
    The gauge keep going dead in the car. Battery was replaced and the alternator also was replaced. Any suggestions? I know a couple of people this has happened to. We live in Florida any place I can check for maybe corrosion problems?
  • jdeitz66jdeitz66 Posts: 3
    The gauge keep going dead in the car. Battery was replaced and the alternator also was replaced. Any suggestions? I know a couple of people this has happened to. We live in Florida any place I can check for maybe corrosion problems?
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    What Gauge ? All Gauges ? If all gauges, does the car start and run ok ? Was the battery and alt known to be bad or was this a guess ?
  • Same problem, different questioner. 2003 SVT Focus. Gauges affected in my case are tach, speedo, oil, etc. Idiot lights appear normal, but who knows. Handbrake indicator OK. All other electricals (radio, wipers, hatch, doorlocks, etc) OK. Glitch is transient, but dealer wants to replace entire instrument cluster.
  • olebikerolebiker Posts: 3
    Tried first disconnecting driver side switch, fuse blew. Tried disconnecting both driver and passenger side switches, still blew. I see in the schematic a "one touch relay". Could this relay be bad and where is it?
    Thanks
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    This relay is located INSIDE the driver's door. about 10-12 " from driver's door master switch, it is held to door panel with push connector. should be about 20-24" from bottom of door and 10 " from front of door.Check the relay connector for water intrusion and any sign of it turning green at contacts. ( not a common problem )

    Now check to see what other acc are on that same fuse, it may not be a PW problem.
    hope this helps
    Cliff
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    Ford hade a problem with inst cluster gauges. you may be able to remove cluster and lightly sand the electrical contacts where the looms plug in. if not, you MAY have to replace your cluster
  • Thanks, oldformech.
  • jdeitz66jdeitz66 Posts: 3
    Mine seem to be the same as poster crokett. This is the second time this has happened and once the battery and alt were replaced it worked fine for about 6 months then started acting up once again.The battery and alt I was told seem to be fine. Still being told by one guy it sounds like it maybe a ground isue but he cant tell me where to start looking.
  • I'm not the original one that asked that question, but kind of the same thing happened to me. My 01 Ford Focus got stuck in park and you can't get it out when putting your foot on the brake (you can do the manual override though on the shifter column). But also the other things that are not working too are no brake lights, no wipers, no heater blower, no power windows, no cruise, no headlights, but running lights and power locks and radio still all work. I check all the fuses and replace the brake light switch. Please help me with any ideas of what might be wrong.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    I'll try. Get a 12 volt test light, Check for 12 V on both sides if fuses. There should be fuses in a box under hood. Follow heavy gage RED wire from battery pos cable, make sure ALL fuses test good. Then go to fuse box inside and do the same with the key in run pos. Check for 12 V on 1 side of brake light switch plug on.. 1 side should be hot at all times. If not,and all fuses test good, drop your steering column down and test for power in and out of switch.Turn key to run pos and test for 12 V out of switch.
    Hope this helps
    Cliff
  • jmill12jmill12 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 ford focus that i just replaced the engine for less than three months ago. on my way to work, i lost all power-no hazards, no radio, no wipers, nothing. its done this before. sometimes itll start up again in a few minutes. no luck this time. two weeks ago i took it in and my mechanic cleaned and tightened grounding connections.this time when i turned the key all i got was tick tick ticking sound that sounded like it was coming from somewhere under the left side of the dashboard. i had it towed back home. when the tow guy drops the car, the blinkers are on. lo and behold, the car starts. the guy said sounds like other groundings could be loose. so frustrated. any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    Check battery voltage when this happens with a digital volt meter. If battery shows over 12 volts while you get this clicking noise . Have your battery load tested with a carbon pile load tester. It should hold 9.6 volts for 15 seconds with a load of twice your cold cranking amps applied with load tester.

    If battery and all cables are clean & tight, I would starting looking at the IGN switch, located on the lower half of your steering column.

    Make SURE you have a GOOD body ground. If in doubt, run a new 10GA wire from battery ground post to a clean metal (SCRAPE PAINT) on body sheet metal on firewall.

    Let me know what you find.
    Cliff
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    edited April 2010
    My daughter's 2004 ZTS keeps having its' alternator "burn up". Not with flames, but the interior of the alternator "melts down" and smells really, really bad. While she is driving the car, the batt light comes on, then the ABS light, then anything electrical goes haywire ( radio/wipers ), and then the engine stalls ( dies ) and cannot be restarted. The battery is completely drained. Jump-starting the car works, but when the jumper cables are disconnected, the engine dies immediately.
    To prevent a breakdown, I had previously tested the original battery on the 45K mi/31//2yr-old car and found it to be "weak', so I replaced it. Then 3mos later the alternator "burned up" while driving. The car started normally that morn, but then 2 blocks down the street, the engine died and could not be restarted. The above symptoms were evident. Now, we have had maybe as many as 4 alternators put on it in 2 different trips to the repair shop. 3 times that I know of, the alternator has "burned up". These are supposedly remanufactured genuine "Ford" alternators.
    There are just 2 wiring connections with no chance of error when reconnecting. The first replacement alternator lasted some 20K mi/1yr. But during that replacement, the shop needed 2 additional alternators to get the car "out the door". 1 was deemed to be "bad", the other was "incorrect", the 3rd one worked for a year. Then the other day the same symptoms - batt light on, ABS light on, slow wipers, then dead batt/no restart. We towed it in and when I went to start it to leave after the batt was charged/checked, and the alternator was replaced - a strange whirring noise followed by noxious smoke arising from the alternator area. The tech pulled the car back in and told me the alternator was again 'burned up". We bought the car new, and it has never been wrecked. The wiring at the alternator looks good, and checks good with an ohmeter, and cannot really be "crossed". There are no odd owner-installed add-ons to tax the electrical system. I can find no other posts with this type of problem. Other than this electrical problem the car has been without faults since July '04/64K mi. Can anyone out there offer me any insight as to what may be the source of this frustrating problem? Please?
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    I would say you may have have a ground problem, just a guess.
    1.st. I would find an Advance Auto Parts. 2. I would buy a NEW alt which has a
    LIFETIME warranty. 3. buy a cheap digital volt/amp meter. 4. have your battery charged and load tested with carbon pile tester. apply 2 times the cold cranking amps to the battery while reading battery voltage. It must hold 9.6 volts for 15 sec.if not replace the battery. 5. Moniter battery voltage while running, at NO time should it exceed 14.2 volts.

    If your voltage goes over this for any time it can cook the battery and cause all kinds of havic. Hopefully it did not cook your inst. cluster.

    Get this dine and let me know what you found out
    Cliff
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    edited April 2010
    That is what I was thinking ( ground problem ). Many, many years ago, I left the braided ground strap off of a transmission when I replaced the starter ring gear. When I started the engine, the alternator smoked itself to death in a hurry. I NEVER made that mistake again!
    The alternator on my daughter's car mounts directly to the engine block. There is a ground strap from the engine to the R-H frame rail. I checked it for tightness, corrosion, and a good, clean ground. The battery grounds at the other-side-of-the-car ( L-H ) frame rail. It checks out good as well. I still think there is a faulty ground somewhere. Thank you for your help. I am an old M-B mech.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    What you went over sounds good, also check the end of ground cable from batt to eng block, make sure it's clean & tight.
    After you find out voltage when running, let me know.
    ALSO - You can load test the ground circuit and pos. cable with a carbon pile load tester. You should NOT have over 1/2 volt drop in ground side or 1/2 volt drop in pos. battery cable.
    Stay in touch
    Cliff
  • hughihughi Posts: 3
    My 01 Ford Focus with 94000miles has until now been totally problem free but recently it has started to loose power to the lights, heater, wipers etc....
    I've been scrawling through loads of the answers & suggestions to the problem on here but have yet to find one that was a CONFIRMED repairer of the problem!!!
    The battery is perfect, fuses are good, earths are fine & even after the car recently got laid up for over 3wks in an airport carpark, it still started first time so am presuming alternator has to be charging the battery sufficiently!!!
    Any help or advice that HAS succeeded to date would be much appreciated????
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    Sounds like your problem is in your IGN SWITCH or loose,or burned wiring at ign sw plug-in. This switch is located on the top side of your steering column, under dash. Remove lower panel, below steering column. you will find 4 nuts holding S.C.
    to dash, lower down column, the ign sw wiring is held to the sw w/an 8mm bolt. the sw is mounted to yhe column w/2 10 or 11mm nuts. Lift switch up and pay attention to where the rod from the key goes into sw. Your problem is most likely the switch.

    Good Luck;
    Cliff
  • hughihughi Posts: 3
    Hiya Cliff.....as am new to this site, I just wanted to double check with you that your post #338 was in fact meant for me & my focus post #337, better safe than sorry before I start to examine the ignition switch.
    Much appreciated, Hugh.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    I received your e-mail, and YES the IGN repair was ment for you on your post #337
    Cliff
  • wspriggswspriggs Posts: 1
    Headlights work like normal DRL , However a ford focus does not have these!! The car was hit in the front end and drivers airbag deployed, I replaced bag and had module reset. There were no elec. damage to this car! I know this car was a rental car prior to purchase could they have installed DRL??? I checked the relays under the hood theychange nothing! The last ansewer was to check the stalk switch! What is a stalk switch??? Or a possiblepinched wire in the column!! None of these conditons fixed it!!
  • muttbunchmuttbunch Posts: 1
    Hey All:

    Recently I replaced my altenator/battery to discover the original alt was fine. Lights began flickering, instrument panel, headlights, etc. So I did some digging around the altenator area and determined same as described earlier, corroded red wire off the pig tail.

    Here's the kicker, I replaced the pigtail, not trimming the wires, just leaving them as is, hooked them up one-by-one to the corresponding wires matched on pins 1, 2 and 3. It solved the flickering, however, now, the lights surge, or pulsate rather and it's quite annoying. I took it to the dealership and they cannot seem to figure out what it is.

    Basically, at idle, even driving at a steady RPM, you can see the all of the lights, instrument, headlights and all, kind of pulsate like a heartbeat. Dim/Bright/Dim/Bright. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    Check battery voltage at the battery, with a digital volt meter, if it go up & down at stesdy eng speed, I would say to reinstall you old alt and retry.
  • kaben55kaben55 Posts: 1
    Did anyone ever resolve this problem? I am having the exact same issue with my 2000 focus. Everything works except for dash, licesne plate, parking, and buzzer. Also the fog lights will not work in the parking light setting on switch. I switched the relays and all fuses I could find associated. I swapped out the switch with a used one, but still has same symptoms. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • bgobronbgobron Posts: 1
    Dear Piglover,

    I am having the problem that you had i.e. the trunk on my station wagon opens when I start the car and press the brake. It first occurred last Friday night; then went away later that night. I had a Ford dealer look at it Saturday and they could not find a problem.
    Today, Sunday, it has reoccurred. How did you get the problem resolved?

    Sincerely,

    weg
  • I too had my clutch replaced and shortly thereafter began having issue with my electrical on my 2000 Ford Focus SE The dash board gauges go all sorts of crazy and the lights flicker and eventually go out . However I can get them to return for 10-15 seconds if I flick the high beams and/or the turn signal. Additionally when I brake I'm able to get back the dash lights and the gauges; they then will return to their appropriate places for the same amount of time. Upon turning off the car I'm garaunteed to just get clicking noises and dancing gauges on my next attempt to start my car radio and the clock also have these same issues. Please send back any info. your Ford dealer provided to you so i can share it with my mechanic. ">Anyone else care to respond?
  • 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.

    Cliff
  • 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 his......it 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.
    James
  • 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.
    [email protected]
  • 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 on.it 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?
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