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John, Gas & Diesel Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 53
Experience:  18 Years experience, Troubleshooting Expert
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1997 ford thunderbird: my headlights..indicator fuse box

Customer Question

hello i have a 1997 ford thunderbird which my headlights do not turn on. when i hit my headlight switch everything else turns on but my headlight and for some reason on my light indicator it shows my high beam indicator light is on and i my high beam switch is not even on. I have checked my fuse box in the engine which i think is the 7A fuse and tested the fuse and all is fine id like to know what other possible places i can look thank you
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  John replied 9 years ago.


Here are the diagrams you are asking for. Some other thingraphicgraphicgraphicgraphicgraphicgraphicgs to check if the fuse is good, the only possibilities are the dimmer switch(located on the steering column), or the headlight switch. For the wires with the corrosion you can pour Coke on them then rinse with water brush away any corrosion not dissolved by the coke, then coat the wires with grease to prevent the corrosion from returning. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
i have checked the fuse which was the 7 60a i got mixed up but that fuse works fine. as for the coke thing you said im not sure if thats safe cuz the wire harness i connect to the headlight which is the connector, inside is corroded same with the headlight plug so im not sure if that would be safe. also would it be possible since the lights use to turn off and what i use to do was wiggle the left headlight to get it back on, would it be possible that my wire harness connected to my headlights might of fried? and if so how can i test them? and why does my high beam indicator light stay on when i try to turn on my headlights at regular beam?
Expert:  John replied 9 years ago.

The high beam indicator staying on makes me think most likely that the dimmer switch could be bad, as for the coke, to be safe you can just make sure everything is turned off, or disconnect the battery first. If the harness was fried, it would have blown a fuse so I doubt that is the problem. If you have access to a voltmeter, you can test for voltage at the headlights. most likely the dimmer switch is at fault, but the corrosion could have caused the switch to go bad also, by creating too much resisatance in the circuit. I recommend that you clean up all the corrosion then check the dimmer switch.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
where is the dimmer switch located? and yes i can get a voltometer tommorow cuz i work at a part store i actually thought of doing that. but for the coke thing ill try it out and what kind of grease should i use on the wires? and what switch could of gone bad?
Expert:  John replied 9 years ago.
The dimmer switch is attached to the steering column under the dash it is most likely the problem, for the grease, a dielectric grease is the best to use(the packets that are sold for bulbs or spark plug wires will work perfect.)
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
i want to thank you for your input on this matter it is invaluable. but one more thing and ill leave you alone just in case i cant find the dimmer switch can you send me a diagram or picture where it is located just to be sure. Thanks alot.
Expert:  John replied 9 years ago.

After doing a little research, the thunderbird has a combination turn signal, dimmer, and wiper switch, the switch is actually connected to the turn signal lever. If you cannot access the switch by removing the trim around the column, you may need to remove the steering wheel to access the switch. Good Luck.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
is there a diagram or some booklet to show where this dimmer switch is? cuz it must be that
Expert:  John replied 9 years ago.
The dimmer switch is built in to the turn signal switch and wiper switch, all 3 switches are combined and mounted on the steering column, all you have to do is remove the trim that covers the column and then 2 or 3 screws that hold the switch to the column, the switch is where the turn signal lever is.
Expert:  John replied 9 years ago.
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

  2. Tilt the steering column to its lowest position, then remove the tilt steering column lock lever.

  3. Remove the ignition switch lock cylinder, as outlined in this section.

  4. Unfasten the shroud screws, then remove the upper and and lower steering column shrouds.

  5. Remove the two self-tapping screws retaining the multi-function switch to the steering column tube flange. Disengage the switch from the steering column tube flange.

  6. Detach the two switch electrical connectors.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 1: Multi-function switch and related components-1994-97 vehicles

To install:

  1. Install the two electrical connectors to full engagement.

  2. Align the multi-function switch mounting holes with the corresponding holes in the steering column tube flange. Install the two self-tapping screws, making sure to start the screws in the previously tapped holes. Tighten the screws to 18-26 inch lbs. (2-3 Nm).

  3. Install the upper and lower steering column shrouds, then secure with the retaining screws.

  4. Install the ignition switch lock cylinder.

  5. Install the tilt steering lock lever.

  6. Connect the negative battery cable, then check the steering column for proper operation.