Mechanics

MY HEADLIGHTS AND DASHLIGHTS HAVE DIMMED BEFORE WHILE DRIVING?

1988 Ford Cougar • 14,500 miles

Questions about a 1988 Ford Mercury Cougar lights dimming. Driving at 55mph my headlights and dash lights dimmed for about 2 minutes and then went back to normal.
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Rockonut
September 8, 2011.



Check to make sure body grounds are good. Check to make sure there are no battery or alt issues. Most parts stores will check both for free. Make sure the battery terminals are clean and tight.


SOON AS YOU CAN HAVE THE BATTERY AND ALTERNATOR (CHARGING SYSTEM) CHECKED OUT......THIS IS USUALLY DONE FOR FREE AT MANY POPULAR AUTO PARTS STORES

OTHER THAN THAT, IS THERE ANYTHING UNUSUAL THAT HAS HAPPENED, LIKE YOUR BELT SQUEALING...SOMEBODY IN THE BACK SEAT HOLDING THE WINDOW BUTTON CONTINUOUSLY, ETC?....GOTTA ASK STUFF LIKE THAT

BACK TO THE "WHAT IFs"...WHAT IF EVERYTHING CHECKED OUT FINE, AND THE PROBLEM OCCURS AGAIN, 'CEPT THIS TIME, IT NEVER "RECOVERED" AS BEFORE....PROBABLY NOT CHARGING, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS AT THE PARTS STORE.

SOON MR. BATTERY WOULD DEPLETE, AND YOU WOULD BE STUCK, UNTIL SOMEONE JUMPED YOU, AND THEN YOU WOULD ONLY GO AS FAR AS THE TEMPORARY CHARGE YOU JUST RECEIVED, RUNS OUT!

I'M SORTA A SURVIVOR TYPE...AND I KNOW "MY PRIMARY VEHICLES" WELL...IF I HAD THE ROOM, I'D CARRY A SPARE EVERYTHING! I DON'T, SO I CARRY MY REPAIR MANUAL, MORE TOOLS THAN I NEED, AND BASIC STUFF THAT HAS LEFT ME STRANDED, AFTER PARTS STORES HAVE CLOSED! MY 3 BASICS ARE A MECHANICAL FUEL PUMP ($18), A COIL ($15), IGNITION MODULE ($30), ALSO A ROTOR BUTTON AND DISTRIBUTOR CAP, A COIL TO DIST CAP WIRE, 2 LONG SPARK PLUG WIRES, RADIATOR AND HEATER HOSE SPLICES, 2 QTs OF OIL, ONE GALLON OF WATER, AND OF COURSE 5 GALLONS OF FUEL ON BOTH OF MY JEEPS!...THAT'S THE MAIN STUFF, THERE IS MORE!

SINCE I HAVE STARTED TOTIN' THIS STUFF, I DON'T NEED IT....BUT I HAVE BECOME A ROADSIDE ASSISTANT MANY TIMES!

NOW, BACK TO YOU.....THINGS THAT MIGHT INTERMITTENTLY MESS YOU UP, AND MIGHT "PASS THE TEST" AT THE STORE, IS THE CONTACTS ON YOUR CAR CONNECTOR TO THE VOLTAGE REGULATOR, IF YOUR REGULATOR LOOKS LIKE THE 1ST ONE IN THIS LINK

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/parts/1988-Mercury-Cougar/Voltage-Regulator/_/N-ii465Z9ci9t?filterByKeyWord=voltage+regulator&fromString=search

EVEN THE REGULATOR ITSELF COULD PASS NOW, AND MESS UP LATER, IT SORTA GETS TESTED WITH THE WHOLE SYSTEM

ON MY JEEP, IT'S A INTEGRAL PART OF THE ALTERNATOR, IF YOURS IS LIKE THE 1ST IN THE LINK, IT'S SEPARATE, AND MOUNTED ON THE FENDER/ FIREWALL/ OR EVEN NEAR THE RADIATOR.....BUT NOW YOU KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR, FEW TOOLS WOULD REMOVE AND REPLACE IT.

I CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT IT'S YOUR PROBLEM, BUT A "RETURNABLE" $30 INSURANCE POLICY IN YOUR DASH POCKET, WITH A FEW TOOLS, MIGHT NOT BE A BAD THING TO HAVE WITH YOU, IN THE NEAR FUTURE, IF EVERYTHING ELSE PASSES THE TEST!

HECK, LIKE I SAID, I HAVEN'T NEEDED MY SPARES....... ON INTERSTATE 26, I PULLED OVER TO HELP A MAN, WITH HIS CJ 7. IN LESS THAN 5 MINUTES OF DIAGNOSING, I TOLD HIM HIS FUEL PUMP WAS SHOT........PRICELESS! WAS THE LOOK ON HIS FACE WHEN I PULLED MY SPARE OUT OF THE CONSOLE!!!

KEEP ME POSTED...ANSWERING IS LIKE A SOAP OPERA FOR ME, GOTTA KNOW THE ENDING!

THE MEDIC


Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
Sep 9, 2011.
J&N,

I SORTA GOT CARRIED AWAY

THE MEDIC


Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
Sep 9, 2011.