Instrument Panel Freaking Out

questionablequestionable Member Posts: 6
edited October 2016 in Lincoln
HELP! My freaky instrument panel is driving me crazy. It started with the radio losing power and coming right back on. Then the gauges started losing power and coming right back on. Also the I/P lighting and temp. control display are now doing it. One at a time or all at the same time. When I turn off the car it will sometimes begin clicking loudly from under the dash near the steering column (not the faint turn signal relay sound), always rhythmically though sometimes very fast and sometimes the same slow speed as the turn signal relay. When it does this clicking thing it can sometimes take 3 or 4 turns of the ignition switch to start.

The loss of power problems seem to happen as I begin to apply the brakes and has happened when putting up two windows simultaneously, though it happens mostly when just driving along. The heater/AC blower motor will also slow down sometimes when I first apply the brakes.

Obviously an electrical issue, probably a bad ground, but does anyone know what else might cause this? The turn signal switch module needed replacing so I did that hoping that the problem was in there. Didn't help. Disconnected the remote start even though it was installed a year before these problems started. No difference. Searched forums and see there's apparently a major ground connection under the front passenger floor carpet which I haven't yet tried, just saw that. I did clean battery connections.

I sure would appreciate any help. It makes for interesting (ghostly?) drives but it is really starting to get to me.

Thank-you all for any suggestions!


  • questionablequestionable Member Posts: 6
    The Town Car is a 2001
  • questionablequestionable Member Posts: 6
    Just saw brake switches go bad, but which one? My car has 2 brake switches. I did get a code once that talks about a bad input from the brake switch. Everything on the car works perfectly, including the cruise control, but another symptom just came up for the first time. The security light on top of the dash near the windshield is flashing fast as I'm driving. I have gotten a code that says something like vehicle detected stolen - car disabled, but has had no effect either time.

    If ANYBODY can figure this out it would be a miracle. I just hope it's soon before the car (or I) completely lose it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Well whenever we see a car's electrical system going completely screwy, with all kinds of random symptoms, one has to begin with making sure the battery & charging system are functioning normally. So yes, that includes checking all the grounds (including both ends of both cables AND the engine-to-frame ground cable). Then you'll have to check the condition of the battery and the output of the alternator.

    That's what I would do before tearing into any wiring harness or paying a specialist to track this down.
  • questionablequestionable Member Posts: 6
    Thank-you very much for your help. I did check the alternator output when the radio first went out a few months ago, and the ground wire to the fender. I will check again and look for the ground wire on the engine. I will check the battery again too though it is relatively new.

    Thanks again
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    You might check for corrosion around or behind the fuse box(es)
  • questionablequestionable Member Posts: 6
    Will do.

    Thanks again and again
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    If none of that works, then get under there and do the "Wiggle Test"--see if the situation changes when you wiggle certain wires or harnesses. That might give you a clue as to the approximate location of the problem, if it is a loose connection I mean. If it's some kind of Can Bus problem then that's something else again and you may need expert intervention.
  • tammeralittletammeralittle Member Posts: 1
    I was recently having problems with my car dying all the time. I replace the battery. Then of course the alternator went bad a week later. Now my whole dad is messing up. I have an electric speedometer, gas gage everything. This morning my gas gage read that I had 2 gallons, with 33 miles to go. I stopped and put in 2 gallons. It continued to read that I had the same amount until about 5 miles up the road. Then it jumped to 3 gallons with 40 miles to go. Then about another 5 miles it said 3 gallons with 42 miles to go. This is a week to the day after replacing the alternator. While the car is in park the speedometer will jump from 5mph to 0mph back to 10mph. The longer it sits the higher it gets. If I heat it up and come out it will say 100mph. What could it be? All of this started after replacing the alternator. Any help would be appreciated. It's a 1995 Lincoln Town Car. It's in pretty good shape.
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