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JuanS, Ford Master Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 135
Experience:  Ford employed certified master tech 10yrs. ASE certifications, Think neighbor, Escape/Fusion Hybrid
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2001 focus: dash tail lights and only running lights..blew

Customer Question

My 2001 focus has not dash lights, no tail lights and only running lights. I changed the fuse, new one blew. I changed the light switch, changed the fuse again and it blew again. I assume there is a short somewhere. What can I do now?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
HelloCustomer Thanks for using

I need some more info to help assist you. What is the fuse # XXXXX keeps blowing. It should tell you on the back of the fuse panel cover. Thank you!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you.
It is fuse #32 and I replaced it with a 10 which is what was in there. I found in the manual that that is the light switch one.
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
Ok thanks give me a few minutes I'm going to study the wiring schematics and give you some places to check. Thank you
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
Hi another question... you said when you switch your running lamps on they work, then when you switch to headlamps on then it blows the fuse. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX not going to be an easy one!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Because I'm in Canada (maybe) the running lights come on when I start the engine. I don't have to turn them on. It's when I turn on the headlight switch that the fuse blows.
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
The headlight switch has 3 positions Off, lamps and headlights, can you turn the switch to the first position without the fuse blowing?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, it blew this time as soon as I turned it to the first position. Only two more fuses left :)
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
Are any of your exterior lights damaged? or you get into an accident, damage anywhere on your vehicle?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, nothing like that at all. I'm now thinking though that there has to be a short somewhere, probably in the rear lights or the dash in order for that fuse to keep blowing. I think since the front lights work, it probably isn't there?
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
You definately have a short. The only problem is that this circuit ties everylight that lights your radio, instrument cluster, heater a/c controls, even the illumination around your cigarette lighter. Then this same power source runs your parking lamps and license plate lamp. There are probably some more that i didn't mention. So your headlights work?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
They work but only as daylight ones, the ones that come on automatically. The high beams work and everything else seems to be okay.
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
I have another test for you. Pull the #47 and 48 fuses. These actually get power from 32 but they lead all the outside stuff(except for the license plate lights. So with those fuses out if the fuse still blows then its gonna be a light or wiring in the interior thats causing the problem. You might run out of fuses with all these tests but unfortunately this one isn't ez.
Also is your focus a sedan, hatchback, or wagon. Also before you run this test open your trunk( or gate) and look for some wiring leading from the car to the trunk lid. It might be encased in rubber or plastic tubing, open it up and see if some wires are cut or broken or something, look all around that area with the wires. Let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My Focus is a wagon. I don't think there are any visible wires. Do you still want me to pull those fuses?
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
Not yet , look around the hinge area for the wagon, there should be a rubber tube with some wire inside. You might need to pull out the rubber from doors. This is the only place i can think that will short. Especially if you have no damage to the vehicle. You may have to pull the headliner down a little to examine there too.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
There is just a very short piece of rubber hose between the door and the car at the top. It looks like it has sort of caps at each end but I'm not strong enough to pull them off. It all appears to be intact.
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
Ok If you can, remove the headlamp switch and disconnect connector. (you can put a fuse in now it won't blow). Now you will have two orange wires with a black tracer. Using a test light see which one has power. The one that doesn't have power you need to pull it out of the connector. (you'll need a pic to release the tab holding the pin.) If you can't pull the pin then cut the wire a little ways back from the connector ( that way you have room to reattach it later.) Pull fuse 47 and 48. Now plug the switch back in with the one or/bk wire disconnected and see if the fuse blows. This will determine if the short is exterior lights or interior lights.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Okay, now this sounds like it might be a little too complicated for me. I know I can pull the switch out as I've already done this a couple of time. I can put the fuse in, not problem.
As far as the the orange wires and the black tracer, that's where you lose me. I don't know what a "pic" is. I'm thinking you want me to pull wires out of the plug that connects to the switch but I'm not sure. I think I may need to get some physical help. I might be able to get a friend to help me over the weekend but I'm not sure. One of my friends has a friend with a computer for cars. Is that what I need?
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
No unfortunately a computer is not going to help you with this. You need someone who is a good mechanic perferably in the electrical area. This one is not a common or easy problem. After this test, if the fuse still blows its going to get very complicated, more components are going to have to be removed. Unfortunately the only way to find a short is to disconnect circuits until the fuse doesn't blow anymore. Once you find that, then you trace the wire back until you find whats shorting. A person with electrical knowledge and can be at the car will be your best tool!

A pic is like a dentist tool.. you can use it to unlock the pins in the connector. And you are exactly right, you need to remove the wire from the connector.
JuanS and 6 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate your effort. I will now do the "Accept Answer" as you more than earned the money.
Thanks again,
Expert:  JuanS replied 7 years ago.
Wow I really appreciate that Mary. I hope you can get this fixed. If you can tell the next person to work on it you think the short maybe in the rubber tube in the hinge for the liftgate. That way they will look there first, they should know how to get the rubber off.
It was my pleasure working with you, and thank you again.