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Ford Focus Electrical and Lighting Problems



  • cccpcccp Posts: 1
    I had the similar problem, but I checked my battery and it was fine. I'm going to get my ignition relay changed and hopefelly that fixes the problem. Well if anyone knows about ways that could help please let me know. My car just wont't start sometimes. I let it sit there for about twenty minutes and it suddenely starts. What could cause this problem? My transaxle/Z-tech warning light went on and it tryied to make my car die while im driving. I don't know wat to do please help
  • Check yur brake fluid level. Make sure yur parking brake is completely released.
  • My 2003 Ford Focus with 35,000 miles ">is charging just about 14 volts and currently has a new battery. If the car sits for 24 hours the battery goes dead. I've had an ammeter between the neg. battery post and the neg. cable and come up with a draw of 12-26 milliamps when car is at rest with nothing on. The book says anything 50 milliamps or less is o.k..
    I'm at a loss finding the problem, but Ford can check my charging system for $90. pretty funny huh! I'm supporting a family on a tight budget and my wife has become frustrated going out to the car with our baby in her arms only to find out the car is as dead as a door nail. The Ford Motor Company is hurting my marriage. Please help. Thanx
  • First of all, I absolutely love my car but it has a problem. It is a 2002 Ford Ford ZTW (wagon). Here are the symptoms and I am trying to make sure we don't burn up a battery before we have another installed:
    1. Car won't start, won't turn over, radio display won't come on (although after a few minutes it started to).
    2. I've had the radio display problem several times - always fixed itself. Our car remotes sometimes won't open all doors when pressed twice (although I am not too concerned about that.)
    3. Just remembered the other day I had a hard time starting the car (it is rainy - not real cold here 40s) but it started after 3rd try or so.
    4. I've read that from reviewing internet sites that it may involve either the alternator (too expensive), voltage regulator, battery (its foaming - way corrodated - looks like it happened fast), or the starter.

    My uneducated intuition says it involves the voltage - getting the juice to the engine because of the radio display problem, the remotes, and engine starting problem). So I think that would effect the battery and maybe burn it out but is not the cause?? My further guess is that replacing the battery is only a temporary solution but I don't know what the causes may be and we have a big trip coming up. Any ideas like the voltage regulator?? I need some ideas to feed to the repair guy (may be my husband).

    Thanks in advance. I absolutely love my Focus wagon - wouldn't want to be without it.
  • It sounds as if we have a similar problem with our ZTW's and I'm still looking into it. Let me ask you does your battery go dead if the car sits for two days untouched? ">
  • I had the alternator replaced several times in my 2002 ford focus zx3, I would get it replaced and a week later it would go out again. Finally after doing this about 5 times at Pep Boys, I decided to spend the extra cash and have ford do it. They said the incorrect alternator was being installed. Take that for what it is worth, I have not had the problem since, but I now have a new electrical problem where my instrument cluster pegs out and then shut off then starts working fine, mainly at start up.
  • Did you ever get this problem fixed? I am having the same problem I have 50,000 miles on a 2002 focus zx3, and the instrument clusters will peg out at max, then shut completely off, then go back to normal repeatedly. The battery light will illuminate then go out. Interior light will go on and off, headlights will dim but not go out, and I can hear a clicking from what I think is a relay in the fuse box. Mainly happens at start up but has happened while driving for awhile. Took it to ford but they could not find anything. I just recently had alternator and battery replaced, but before this problem came about. Any suggestions would be helpful.
  • Here's the continuation of the problem. Battery was replaced and got the car started - appears to be working. However the clock and stereo will not display or work at all. Is there any way to reset it to get the display and radio working again? Or, is this just another sign that something is still wrong with the car?
    Thanks in advance.
  • No. But I did it take 3 times or so to start - perhaps 2-3 different occasions. But we use the car everyday. Now with the new battery the display on the clock and radio is gone and radio of course does not work. This is consistent with what was happening prior to the battery change and it would fix itself - suddenly reappear. The repair shop (non-Ford) said that it just needed to be reset because of a anti-theft system but I don't believe that's true. I understnad that I would need to reinput the time and stations etc but the display itself should come up--just another mystery. Please let me know what you find out. OH - the repair shop said that the battery was getting charged - no problem there.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 128
    I have had the same problem. It occurred rarely until my extended warranty expired of course. It seems to occur the most when the outside temp is below freezing and the car is a cold start. All 4 gauges peg max for approx 1-2 seconds, go to zero, then function normally. Mine is a 200 model w/47,000 miles. HELP!
  • I just took the car to an electrical specialist they noted there is a short in the dash (unknown whereabouts) and the alternator is overcharging, needless to say this is the 5th alternator in less than 2 years. They wanted $500 to remove the dash and find the short, but I'm am going to raise hell with Ford. I took it back to Ford because the alternator is still under its 1 year warranty and I'm having them look into the short while they are at it. I will see what they want to charge and then start the paperwork trail to Ford Corp. If they charge me less than $300 I will not complain, I'll just take it as a learning lesson and not buy another Ford. They almost gauranteed they could find the short in 2-3 hours. We'll see, they will be looking at it in the morning. I'll post what I find out.
  • Well I got the car from the Ford Dealership, and much to my amazement my alternator was replaced free of charge due to it overcharging and because they just replaced it in June so it was still under warranty. As far as the gauge problem goes they noted some corrosion on the positive battery post below the surface of the battery top, cleaned it and as of now it seems to be fixed. I drove it home about 15 miles and the problem was gone or at least did not repeat. Best of all NO COST AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully this may give you an inexpensive point to start at.
  • Thanks for your reply

    I forgot to mention that the guages peg to full upon start-up. I just lost my job and the car problem is just not helping. I'm pretty confident that if you did'nt drive your car for a few days you'd have a dead battery also.
    I've replaced the battery, but it makes no difference.
    I was pretty excited when I bought the car its fully loaded and offers good interior space and economy. A major let down is what I'm feeling now and of course I'm just out of warranty. You know I've purchased American cars all my life, but I'm just not feeling any kind of love for Ford anymore. It is my hope that with all of our resources we can find a solution to Fords inadaquit engineering.
    Take care and much luck!
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 128
    My original battery had a lot of corrosion around the terminals that I was constantly cleaning. I finally replaced the battery 10/04. I put those "colored" felt pads on the battery which seems to stop the corrosion. When I checked the battery recently I found the positive cable loose and tightened it. I don't know if it was a coincidence or not, but about two days after tightening the terminal the gauge pegging problem has stopped. It has not pegged in three days. The weather is still cold(0-15 degrees). Thanks for the tip. Mine is a 2000 SE with the zetec engine. Yes I too loved the car through all the record setting recalls. I plan on passing it on to my son in 2007 or 2008. I just hope it holds up without a major "meltdown". I found a TSB listed at the NHTSA web site dated 4-1-2005 which claimed to address a gauge problem. I will probably look it up at the FORD dealer or buy it from ALL DATA. I'm hoping it deals with the "pegging" problem.
  • It is a goofy problem, I did not think it was the battery since I had just replaced it with a new one in June 2006. It appears the battery was the root of the problem, I have not had any recurrences since Ford cleaned the battery post. For some reason the battery seems to corrode really bad and fast, but the thing I noticed also is when I tightened the terminal the post would spin also (Do not know if that is supposed to happen or not) but some how the corrosion got down the post and caused the gauges to freak out. I would have thought if it was a battery problem it would have affected everything but it did not, just the gauges and interior light. So if this problem persists i suggest starting with a cleaning of the battery posts below the surface of the battery if possible and then replacement of the battery.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 128
    Gauges still working normally. Please post if yours starts up again. I will too. While the gauges were freaking out my air bag light decided to come on. On start up it cycles on and off, but comes on and stays on. I tried disconnecting the battery over night, but it still comes on.
  • Hi! I've got a 2000 ZX3 that's had very similar problems, and I'm surprised to find that I'm not the only one. Most recently, I've had the alternator replaced twice - the most recent being for free. All the symptoms - the dim lights, the battery light coming on, weird revving/mixture and idle, guages that flip to the max and then zero and then back - seem to be tied to the electrical system and, especially, the alternator. Each time they've replaced the alternator things have been fixed, but it seems to be pretty fickle overall. It's a standard with close to 100K miles and I love it, but it's getting frustrating.
  • Is the driver's door supposed to chime when it is opened and the key is NOT in the ignition? All my other cars did this only if the key was in or the lights were on. Mine is chiming and didn't know if it was supposed to.

    Also, every time I start the car, the radio and clock reset themselves. The clock goes back to 12:00 noon and the radio goes to AM. It doesn't matter how many times I've programmed in the radio stations or set the clock either. Sometimes the radio won't even work until the car gets heated up and when I push the ON button, the words "Low Battery" display on the radio panel, why?

    I am taking it to the dealer on Monday cause it is still under warranty. I've had it a week and the previous owner said it did NOT do these things to her.
  • Ok I Have a 2001 Focus LX sedan. Now the middle brake light, the on that is on the back of the trunk door, works and the turn signals that use the same bulbs as the brake lighs also work so I am stuck with figuring out what the problem is. I Originly thought it was the bulbs, then the wiring, but seeing as how the turn signals work..???

    Does anyone have an idea what might be the problem?
  • The gauge problem came back slowly, so i went and replaced the battery, but the battery was fine. My stereo started to fade in and out, check engine light came on, gauges were maxing out and then zeroing out, digital display disappeared. All the same signs as before, so i took the car back to Ford since they had replaced the alternator twice already and Pep Boys 3 times, and yes the alternator was overcharging again. So now for the 6th time the alternator has been replaced and the problem is gone. I'll keep taking it back to Ford as long as I have to or until they figure out the problem. It is not costing me a thing since since the alternator has like a 12 month warranty and they do not seem to last 90 days.
  • lizzy07lizzy07 Posts: 2
    I became the owner of a 2001 ZX3 focus last november, my boyfriend bought it for me, we both pay for it, but i didnt drive until a day or so after we bought it. Lately I have noticed a few problems. It isnt a stock focus, a ground effect kit was installed, an alarm system was installed turning the locks from manual to automatic-problem is the driver side door doesnt lock. The alarm system was faulty so, my boyfriend disabled the alarm, my key pad goes off to let me know if something is setting it off. Now, when i go to unlock my door, it shows on my keypad that the driver side door is open(which it isnt) and when i'm driving, the door sensor goes off letting me know that the driver side door is open(which once again it isnt). The car was owned by a 19 year old kid when we bought it(first mistake). I'm so fed up with it. I had a 2002 ZX3 before this one and i'm really regretting selling it. Does anyone know anything about the car??? Please help. If i have to put a bunch of money into it, i'll trade it to a dealership and get another ford(i'm loyal to ford, what can i say), but i'm so irritated with my car right now.

  • lizzy07lizzy07 Posts: 2
    I had a 2002 ZX3 and my car wouldnt start once in a while, it would turn over and the dash and radio would come on but no noise from the engine, im not sure what it is, my 2001 is starting to do it too, i think these cars were made poorly. I'm not sure though. Good luck with whatever it is. I'm getting ready to get rid of my car.
  • hello all, first time posting here, i have a 2002 ford focus wagon se (wagon), havent had it all too long, maybe about 20-25,000km (110,000km total, bought it used).

    got the car in what seemed to be good shape, until one day the electric side mirrors stopped functioning along with the interior lights (front and back sets).

    i consider myself pretty handy so i decided to take a look into this myself, turns out both items are on the same fuse (the only thing on that fuse, fyi), when i checked the fuse it looked fine, i put a continuity tester on it and i was right (the fuse wasn't blown), changed it anyway and nothing still.

    so i got the haynes manual for this car and checked out the print for the car and all that, i checked the relay it went through and even swapped it out with the one for the horn to check the relay, nothing still. checked for voltage on the actual socket for the fuse and the relay and thats 12volts. i then went to the light itself and there was no voltage there or on the mirror switch.

    from there i left it for lack of time and build up of aggravation. then a few days later the darndest thing happened, the door open light (on the instrument panel) stayed on when all doors were closed, then it went out after slamming them all shut a few times, now it wont go out at all.

    then i realized that the fuse had blown for the rear wiper about 3-4 times randomly over the previous 2 weeks or so.

    so in reading a post here i saw that someone mentioned that they had the entire wire harness to the wagon back door replaced by ford for about $600 bucks

    to avoid going to the repair shop i tried to figure it out still and realized that all of the problems in some way were related to (or so i currently think) the back door wiring harness. i took the interior rear door panel off and found the rear liscence plate bulb terminals (and wires) had corroded, i cut and taped them individually and then ran out of time today.

    thats where i am. oh and i replaced the fuse for the rear wiper and used it for a while today and it worked fine so far.

    my next step would be to trace the wires back manually. any tips or ideas? sorry for the long winded rant, im just a bit frustrated currently and trying best to convey exactly whats going on.

    thanks in advance for any help
  • sue31sue31 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 ZX3 with about 60,000 miles on it. About a month ago the power locks, including the trunk, stopped working. It is not the inside fuse and I haven't had the other fuse checked yet. Tonight when I tried to turn the lights on, the trunk popped open. Even if I turned the lights on first, the trunk would not latch. Any ideas before I spend a fortune at the dealership? Thanks!
  • spicy1spicy1 Posts: 1
    Hey my name is Ryan I have a 2002 ford focus se sport. I have had this problem with my lights and guages going all crazy on me, I had the problem before and then it stoped and worked fine know problems. One month later its back now Im not sure what to do any advice for me on where to look?...thank you Ryan.
  • pigloverpiglover Posts: 25
    Hi Sue,
    Sorry that this reply is so late but I only searched this message board on May 18. Please look at my posts 226,229 under Ford Focus maintenance and repair. Whenever I pressed the brake pedal the trunk would unlock. It turned out to be a short. I suspect that you might have the same problem.

  • Hi, I have a 2000 focus sedan and I love the car. It is auto. A few months back the transmission light started coming on for short periods so I got the auto serviced. Much smoother changes but a few months later I have serious problems with the gauges. For no apparent reason and always at low speed the ABS, hand break engaged, and transmission service lights will come on, radio goes off or fades, transmission light comes on and there is sometimes a rough gear change. All earth connections have been redone, all fuses cleaned and or replaced. The car has been gone over from top to bottom by 2 auto electricians as well as the ford dealer but it still has this annoying intermittent fault. Still runs well but loses power while "performing". Any ideas would be greatfully received.
  • cynickcynick Posts: 2
    I've got a 2001 Focus Zetec engine,
    When the AC has been on for like 20 minutes, the 20A fuse is blown.

    I'm looking at the diagram, and there are 3 relays connected to that fuse.
    It's something like that:

    HOT AT ALL TIMES --> -- fuse 20AMP --->---- (goes through a power hold relay, which is turned on when the ignition is on) -----------> splits into 3:

    1---> Engine Cooling Fan Relay -----> PCM ground
    2---> High Speed Engine Cooling Fan Relay ----> PCM ground
    3---> A/C Wide open Throttle (WOT) relay ---> PCM ground

    So, I guess, when the PCM decides to activate one of those 3 relays, the fuse blows.

    The fuse has never blown so far when the AC wasn't on (although it hasn't been too hot outside yet, like more than 25C)

    I suspect the High Speed engine cooling Fan relay, what do you think?

    I went to the dealer, and they, playing stupid, said that the fuse was connected to a few places, so they didn't know which one it was.. They charged me $200 to clean up the grounds and temporarily install a circuit breaker.. This didn't help though..

    So, do you think it's a connection problem or a faulty relay?


    Should I just try to remove that High Speed Engine Cooling Fan Relay? :)
  • cynickcynick Posts: 2
    It turned out.. that the m*** f*** "High Speed Engine Cooling Fan Relay" was not original Ford, but a Bosch one.. And it actually had different specs.. not just different specs, but completely different wiring..hahah

    i.e. the 20amp fuse wire was supposed to just control the relay (on/off), but instead, the relay fed it into driving the FAN..

    The fan was supposed to be driven by wire with 50 AMP fuse.., but instead this wire was the one driving the relay......

    gee, I wonder why a mechanic would put the wrong relay, without even looking whether the diagram on the relay matches on what's expected..
    it was all on the relay, written very clearly, which wire does what... and the relay he/she put in was obvious some old one since it was all dirty and oily..

    then I wonder.. for 2 hours, the ford mechanics couldn't figure this out? All they know is - connect to the computer, see if any codes and that's all.. no thinking at all..

    cross your finger I'm right.. we'll see on Monday if this works out...

    even if I'm right, I wonder why the relay had to be replaced in the first place? Any ideas?
  • ouradmanouradman Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 ZX3 that sometimes won't start immediately. Every 1 or 2 days it will act as though the battery is dead, but then after a couple trys or sometimes after a couple of minutes the engine turns over, as if nothing was wrong. When I try to start the car no sound whatsoever comes from the engine. The battery is new and I've replaced the $5 starter relay that's under the dash. Could the problem be a neutral safety switch and if so is that difficult to change?
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