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Ford Focus Electrical and Lighting Problems



  • sucofsucof Member Posts: 1
    Two years mine, no problem except ignition locked up a year ago. But tonight... tried to start it... ignition key turned, but engine wouldn't turn over... very faint click, no dash lights but map lights and dome light worked (bit faint). I wanted to push car out of parking spot to get a boost, but couldn't even get the transmission (auto) into neutral (locked in park). CAA arrived and used an "Eliminator" to boost, car started fine. I headed home (20 mins, highway speed). Everything seemed fine. About 2 mins from home, some of the dash lights came on, car seemed to sputter a bit, but didn't stall. I pumped the gas a bit, car responded. At a stop light, I put into neutral and rev'd, car responded. Dash lights went back to normal (none on). Once home, switch off, and tried to restart... nothing. Remote Key Entry will unlock driver door, no other doors... and won't lock anything. I had to use the key to lock doors. Hatch (stn wgn) won't lock. Tomorrow, I'll check cables to battery for corrosion, check connection to alternator and check ground. Any other thoughts? Where is the GEM ?
  • littleslicklittleslick Member Posts: 3
    The front and rear nearside side lights have stopped working!!! any ideas what could be wrong?

    At the back the same bulb is also the break, the break light work but not the side light.

    the bulbs are good (checked), front and back. any thoughts
  • janestahljanestahl Member Posts: 1
    Two weeks ago, my daughter took my 2006 focus zx3 to the local ford dealer to replace a right rear turn light bulb. The next day the battery light came on. The problem seemed intermittent, so she neglected to take it to the garage. Last Friday she picked me up from work and during the 25 mile drive, the lights gradually dimmed, the cd player quit and then the radio came on by itself. We made it home just as everything died; power steering, brakes, everything. I had it hauled to the dealer who took two days to replace an alternator and battery, but that's another issue. My question is this: Is the fact I started having electrical problems right after they replaced a bulb coincidence or could the service department have caused the problem, either accidentally or deliberately?
  • littleslicklittleslick Member Posts: 3
    sorted my problem out. did nt know about the 2nd fuse box at the back of the glove compartment!!! where the light fuses are..
  • littleslicklittleslick Member Posts: 3
    that is some thing you could never prove. it is some thing that must be put down to coincidence unless you could PROVE otherwise which I think would be impossible.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Don't think so unless the car was jump started incorrectly at the dealership (crossed battery cables) for some reason. But if the car was started and running normally, they would have had no reason to do that. You can't damage an alternator by replacing a bulb.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    2 things to check, 1. both ends of battery cables must be clean and tight. 2. grab wires at alt plug-in and give a slight tug and look for any signs of corrosion at the wire ends in the plug-in.

    Also, changing a stop light bulb in no way had anything to do with your other problems, just bad timing.
  • jonoorjonoor Member Posts: 1
    Hi all.
    My passenger side and rear lights would not work in my 2000 focus estate,checked fuse,blown. replaced and again blew. plugged out connecter in boot for lights , front lights both sides came on. next i plugged back in large brown connecter .Now both sides have stopped working and fuses have not blown and bulbs seem to be ok. removed licence plate lights and noticed they were very wet inside . Dont know what to do next. Hope someone can help. thanks.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    Hi jonoor;

    OK, it's been awhile but I may be able to help. To test your bulbs use an ohm meter.( you can find a small-cheap volt-amp--ohm tester at Sears, Auto Zone, or anyplace like this ) see if you can pass current through each bulb with your ohm tester, if you don't get a reading you have a bad bulb. Now back to wet lic plate bulbs. Are the sockets clean (with bulb removed) or corroded ? they must be clean.
    as for water getting in, it can come in around trunk handle, around light lens. take out the lic lifht bulbs and see if other lights work. FLASHBACK I was working at a Ford dealer in 99-00 and we had a recall on 00 Focus to replace the wiring loom that goes to yhe lic lights,they would short out & cause havic. The connector is located in the trunk, on the L.side high up under the back glass. unplug it there and see if you can get your other lights working. If they work with that loom disconnected, go to a Ford dealer and see if this recall is outstanding.If it has been done. Thank them and see if you can find 1 at a bone yard.Get a 4 ft chunk of mechanics wire, take your old loom loose in the trunk, hook the wire to the old loom and pull it out from the L top corner of trunk lid. Tape wire to new loom, spray down with soap water and pull back through trunk lid with mech wire and reconnect to connector. hope this helps. Cliff
  • mike_bemike_be Member Posts: 1
    I have a Ford Focus Ghia Estate 1989CC V reg (2000) which all of a sudden

    developed electrical faults as follows: rear and number plate lights don't work

    at all; parking lights and side lights don't come on when the light switch is

    moved to their respective position; the warning buzzer that sounds when the

    lights are left switch on doesn't sound; and the instrument panel illumination

    doesn't come on. All the other lights work OK (headlamps -low and high beam-,

    indicators, break, fog and reverse lights, interior lights) and the screen wipers

    work OK (including intermittent mode). The horn works OK and all the warning

    lights in the instrument panel come up as expected. The fuses appear to be OK

    in both the engine fuse box and the central fuse box. Any ideas?
  • brattishbrattish Member Posts: 1
    have a 2001 Ford Focus SE Manual Transmission. The brake lights don't work yet the fuse, brake switch, flashers and running lights funtion properly. What could be the cause of the brake lights not functioning?
    I did check the power to the brake switch, the switch is good.

    What could be the problem?

    Thanks in advance,
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    Do your brake lights & flashers use the same bulb ? I've slept since then. If they do, your brake lights go through your turn-signal switch. check for power from brake light sw going up into ts sw & back out to the rear. Hope this helps
  • mecncmecnc Member Posts: 3
    I'm curious to know if you found out the problem. I've a 2001 focus that is doing the same thing and I'm thinking it's the starter. I hope not though as the starter looks like a bear to get off.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    get a cheap digital volt meter, test battery voltage, should be about 12.5 or better. next make sure BOTH ends of battery cables are CLEAN & TIGHT. Next have another person turn key to start pos while you read for 12 volts at small wire at starter relay. this relay may be mounted to the inner fender well or it may be mounted to the starter.If you have 12 volts on big red cable at the starter and the small wire has 12 volts with key in start pos, and nothing happens, replace starter. If no voltage on small wire, this could be 1. ign switch 2. neutral start switch if auto trans or 3. clutch depress
    switch if standard shift. Hope this helps. Cliff.
  • grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    Our 2005 Focus SE sedan has 97,000 miles on the odometer. Recently the door ajar light on the dashboard has been staying permanently lit, even after we make sure all of the doors are shut. The car is scheduled to go in for service this coming Monday, but we don't want to mention this to the service people until we have an idea of what is causing it. Thank you.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    You have a small switch that attaches to each door latch, it could be ft. or back if 4 dr.
    this switch has a plunger that is not returning all the way out when door is closed. This switch was available for 2000 modles so I would think it still should be for 2005. Sometimes they could be an SOB to replace, getting your hand at the right angle and still be able to turn it to get it out and then reverse. It goes into a mounting hole in the latch then you must turn it to lock it in. If it;s a 4 dr. a computer scanner can tell you which door latch is the bad one. Hope this helps, Cliff
  • martinezv123martinezv123 Member Posts: 2
    hello i was just wondering if u found out what was going on with your car because mine is doing the same thing!!! :confuse:
  • martinezv123martinezv123 Member Posts: 2
    helo did u ever find what wrong with your focus i am having the same problem which i will be taking my car to a dealership to diagnose but i dont wanna pay the 100 bucks they are charging me and then they will tell me im crazy!! hehehe please help i get that big jerk then my multi-function transaxle light turns off then turns back on! and thats when my car goes off.. .help help!!! :blush:
  • topdog4157topdog4157 Member Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problem and i'm looking for answers before i take the car to the dealership for the diagnostic check. can anybody offer answers?!?!
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    Please explain in detail just what is going on, also what are you calling a multifunction light ? is this an auto trans or not ?
  • jdmoorejdmoore Member Posts: 2
    I have a 04 focus zx3 133,000 mi. when driving the car after it has warmed up the radio will turn off along with dash lights for a sec or two sometimes loss of power to engine. when this happens i can hear a relay clicking up under the left side of dash. also sometimes when trying to start the car there is no power to anything. the alternator is good and battery is new. any help would be appreciated!
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    Drop your steering column down when this happens and check for power coming into switch ( large yellow wire ? ) if ok, you should have 1 or more wires that get power when you yurn the key to start, if no power is found, replace your IGN switch.
    Do this testing with a 12 volt test light.
  • superhwebsuperhweb Member Posts: 1
    my battery light came on, but I checked the battery and its at an almost full charge and, I've checked all the connections. Now it won't start. :( what could it be?
  • jdmoorejdmoore Member Posts: 2
    i took my car into the dealership today and they found it was the alternator. it was fluctuating from 14 amps to 8 amps so i will see if it is the cure.
  • rune123rune123 Member Posts: 4
    I drive a 2004 ford focus zx5 2.0L When I go to turn on the headlights and such when it gets dark, my passenger side tail light and parking light, and the turn signal flasher light will not come on. However if I use the breaks or turn signal to turn right, those lights will light up.When I click on the remote to lock the doors also all the lights light up correctly.
    I have checked the bulbs and the fuses and they all appear to be good. I've checked over the headlight switch and the direction signal switch and they appear to be ok, but its possible I missed something.
    Any ideas on what could be wrong are appreciated!
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    Does your R.side turn signal and brake light work properly ? Your question does not make this clear.
  • rune123rune123 Member Posts: 4
    Yes, they both work correctly.
  • rchanninrchannin Member Posts: 5
    It sounds like you may have an open ground wire in the harness of that side tail light. Maybe look for a damaged wire where the harness runs into the door of the hatch.
  • rchanninrchannin Member Posts: 5
    has any of the bulbs on the car recently been replaced?
  • rune123rune123 Member Posts: 4
    Yes, I replaced the tail light (mostly because I thought it was burned out) and I replaced the bulb for the R. side directional light, which was burned out. The parking light bulb was ok as was the tail light, however I left the new bulb in for the tail light anyways.
    I haven't had a chance yet to go over the grounds, however from what I recall, I think they were ok. I will have to check to make sure once I'm off work.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    use a 12 volt test light, turn pk light on, remove bulb, ground test light to inner surface or where bulb tangs park, then touch pointed end to bulb contact, it should light, if not, move ground clamp to a KNOWN good ground, if it lights then, you have a bad ground.if it doesn't light, you have an open in the power feed side, pos a bad socket. let me know
  • rchanninrchannin Member Posts: 5
    OK it may sound degrading but check the bulbs and compare them with the opposite side. if there is a single filament bulb in a dual filament socket it with cause a short and loss of power to certain components. some bulbs look very similar. You wouldn't believe how often I see this happen being a technician for four different car lines. Let me know what you find.
  • rune123rune123 Member Posts: 4
    Well, I feel a bit silly, aggravated/frustrated and all those wonderful feelings. Now keep in mind I had previously gone over the fuses. And I had thought I had checked them all. So I either just missed one, or just didn't see it. because the problem turned out to be the fuse. Thank you rchannin and oldfordmech. I really appreciate the suggestions you both have given me. I still don't know how I missed the blown fuse, but somehow I did. I guess I do need my eyes checked or something. Anyways, thanks again.
  • btksjl22btksjl22 Member Posts: 2
    I am having this problem with my 2002 focus se. it sit's for a few day's and its dead as a door nail. I am on my third alternator, new starter and 5th battery. have you figured out what the problem was with your's?
  • monkeybrainsmonkeybrains Member Posts: 6
    I solved the same problem by disconnecting the radio fuses. I guess the radio coils in the focus are known to drain power, especially when it gets cold.

    A mechanic suggested I disconnect the main radio fuse, plus the instrument cluster/radio fuse. However, he told me to put the cluster one back in if I experienced any driving/shifting problems because of the cluster's effect on this. But I've had both fuses out since, and no battery death.
  • btksjl22btksjl22 Member Posts: 2
    What do you mean by taking the fuses out? Take them out when the car sits or take them out for good?
  • rchanninrchannin Member Posts: 5
    you can connect an amp meter up in line on the battery at the highest setting so you dont blow the fuse in the meter, and check the amount of amps being used while the car is off, then then you can remove the fuses one at a time and see if the amps drop drastically after each fuse is pulled. whichever fuse causes the amps to drop thats where the problem is. check the components on that circuit by disconnecting the components on that circuit one at a time with all the fuses in then again whichever causes the drop in amps thats whats causing the problem check the wires and connection before assuming the component is faulty. This is called a parasitic draw test. Sounds like there is something being grounded that shouldn't be when the car is off. You can pick up a cheap amp meter at most parts stores for ten bucks or so.
  • clarkejoeclarkejoe Member Posts: 5
    Hi OFM, I just joined edmunds after reading your reply to this problem:
    I have a 04 focus zx3 133,000 mi. when driving the car after it has warmed up the radio will turn off along with dash lights for a sec or two sometimes loss of power to engine. when this happens i can hear a relay clicking up under the left side of dash. also sometimes when trying to start the car there is no power to anything. the alternator is good and battery is new. any help would be appreciated!"

    I have had similar intermittent problems with a 2002 Focus ZX5 where I hear the clicking under the dash, and once turned the car off, and then attempted to turn on - but no power (even radio memory lost). Waited a couple of minutes, then turned motor on, clicking returned but when I turned on headlamps, engine promptly died. Started back up after turning the key. Got home, no clicking no dying when turning lights on. ??????? What's the clicking, etc.
  • clarkejoeclarkejoe Member Posts: 5
    I am a newbie on these forums so this may be a double post. Still figuring how to use Edmunds.

    But, I just noticed that my front right bright filament is out in this car. Is this related to the below problem?

    Orignal post:, I just joined edmunds after reading your reply to this problem:
    "I have a 04 focus zx3 133,000 mi. when driving the car after it has warmed up the radio will turn off along with dash lights for a sec or two sometimes loss of power to engine. when this happens i can hear a relay clicking up under the left side of dash. also sometimes when trying to start the car there is no power to anything. the alternator is good and battery is new. any help would be appreciated!"

    Clarkejoe: I have had similar intermittent problems with a 2002 Focus ZX5 where I hear the clicking under the dash, and once turned the car off, and then attempted to turn on - but no power (even radio memory lost). Waited a couple of minutes, then turned motor on, clicking returned but when I turned on headlamps, engine promptly died. Started back up after turning the key. Got home, no clicking no dying when turning lights on. ??????? What's the clicking, etc.
  • rchanninrchannin Member Posts: 5
    It sounds like a bad relay in the fuse box panel that is causing the clicking and possibly the electrical malfunction. You can tell which relay it is by touching the top to see if you can feel the click.
  • bear_fanbear_fan Member Posts: 8

    It's has been 1 year and the problem has never came back. It cost zero dollars to fix this issue. Thanks to the old Ford Mechanic.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    Glad to help, thanks for the feed back
  • mmarianommariano Member Posts: 1
    help...............my shifter button , would not go in.......I have to do it manually........fuse appears to be fine.............is there a relay.............dealer is trying to sell me a shifter assembly...............HELP!
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    ? are you saying that when you have your brake applied and you try to come out of park you have use a screwdriver through the access hole and hold the paw ouer to get it out of park ? If this is the case,check and see if your brake lights are working. If they work, check to see if you have 12 volts to paw solinoid under shifter cover.If you have 12 V. there I THINK you can get the solinoid by it's self or at a junk yard. Hope this helps.
  • newdriver7newdriver7 Member Posts: 1
    my car ford focus se 2002 cannot start after overnight rest. I changed old battery last november and it happen again. I asked car technician who replace new battery to check again. he said there in no problem after check. When I went to pick up car, it lost power again in his place. I feel some wrong with electricity. electrical leakage by somehow. could some one give me some clues to find out mycar problem?
  • monkeybrainsmonkeybrains Member Posts: 6
    Take your radio fuses out. The radio is probably draining, like mine does in cold weather.
  • persistancepersistance Member Posts: 5
    edited February 2010
    i had a focus wagon fully loaded and loved to drive it fun car but.........
    the car is made by ford and is a piece of under engineered crap
    tried to have it fixed several places and tried to fix it myself also I got rid of the piece of wallet sucking undependable junk and got a toyota It was my 1st [non-permissible content removed] car 2 years later just change oil and put in gas and it keeps going
    see when your an adult with kids you need dependability
    another problem with the wonder six disc cd change junk and 600 for new one from ford and o yeah all my cd's were stuck inside nice huh car only had 20,000 miles on it
    get ready for a leaking windshield when it rains and its not the windshield seal
    guy at ford said they had problems with water coming in the heater inlet and I said "your telling me" started shifting like crap too (automatic trans.) good luck
  • haulthault Columbus OhioMember Posts: 130
    I have a 2000 Focus since new. My solution for the battery drain problem was to wrap aluminum foil around the battery post prior to putting the cable on. It solved my connection/battery drain problem except for long periods(more than a week) of inactivity. Focus has numerous battery drain issues. I have read several solutions that have worked for different people. Countless hours and $ spent. If you are on a tight budget you can also install a "battery cutoff switch." They sell it cheapest at "Walmart." It goes on the negative side of the battery. You twist a knob for ON/OFF. The only drawback is items with "memory" may lose their memory. The switch worked perfect on my wifes older car that had a slow battery drain problem. You can use it over night or all the time if you want. Good luck!
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Member Posts: 124
    Many thing can cause batt drain. 1. is the batt KNOWN to be in very good cond.?
    2. if so batt muct be dry and CLEAN, Cables & Posts clean & TIGHT at BOTH ends. 3. If #2 is good, disconnect neg cable, put a digital volt-amp meter between post & cable end, set on the 10 amp setting,key out,doors and ALL lifgts & acc OFF. read meter, if over 0.5 TO 0.75 amp draw, start removing fuses 1 at a time until amp reading falls back, when it does, you have found the bad circuit Repair that circuit and you have repaired your battery draw.
    Hope this helps.
  • olebikerolebiker Member Posts: 3
    I have a problem with blowing a fuse for the front electric windows. At first, a fuse would blow ocassionally..now it has progressed to where the fuse blows the instant the power is turn on, even before activating any switches. I have traced the wiring as much as I can see and there is no apparent damage to any wiring. Any ideas?
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