Mechanics

CROWN VIC POLICE, HEADLIGHTS SHUT OFF WHILE IN OPERA

2003 Ford Crown Victoria

Electrical problem
2003 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 103000 miles

I recently began having headlight trouble when my headlights started to shut off while I was driving. I own a 2003 Ford CVPI. A few days ago I took it into my local garage and had them run an electrical diagnostic test to make sure it wasn't my alternator or battery going on me and they checked out normal. The mechanic thinks that it most likely is my headlight switch failing or that the switch wiring harness is going bad. I've also noticed that my headlights seem to dim when I turn on my window defroster and heater. The battery was installed this past august so it is practically still new and is the proper size along with the alternator. I replaced the headlight bulbs at the same time as the battery with Silverstar Ultra bulbs. My question is, do you agree with my mechanic's concensus and or could it be something else causing my headlights to go out? Oh, and its only the headlights that go out, my parking lamps remain lit and the high beam momentary setting still works when the low beams go out. All the fuses are still good too. Got any ideas and what can I do before I spend a bunch of money?
Avatar
Zpolachek
January 16, 2008.



I'll offer several suggestions. My first instinct is that the hi/lo beam relay is going bad. But I cannot remember for sure if the CVPI had a relay for the headlights. My next option would be the switch, but be aware that the headlight circuit also runs through the miltifunction switch (turn signal, wipers, hi/lo beam switch). There were issues in the past with the electrical connections at the back of the multifunction switch. I would check all these possibilities before replacing the headlight switch. It may be the switch, but be sure first.

Dave

Tiny
Flexy5
Jan 17, 2008.
As it turns out, many people with the 2000 and newer CVPI's have had this problem. After taking advice from Dave and my mechanic, and running diagnostics, and checking with Ford Fleet operations, the concensus seems to be on the LCM or Lighting Control Module. If you have this same problem then I would recommend looking for a used LCM rather than a new one since they tend to cost between 400 and 600 bucks new. Ford knows of this problem and is still working on it but they have not as of yet fixed it. It seems to be happening with model years up to 06 and after that a different LCM was put in to the 07 and 08 models. I will be replacing my LCM soon and hopefully that will fix the problem. I will try to update this after I get it replaced and determine whether or not it is fixed.

Tiny
Zpolachek
Jan 21, 2008.
Its either my LCM or the Multi-function switch. Will be getting both replaced soon and will update this when I can. Stay tuned.

Zach

Tiny
Zpolachek
Feb 26, 2008.
I put in a new LCM which cost $442 and a new multi-function switch which cost $87. It took me about 20 minutes to replace them and since I have not had any problems with lights and I also noticed that the headlights are even brighter than before especially with the Silverstar Ultras I have. If you have the same problem with your CVPI, then you might want to think about replacing them both or atleast the LCM. But for sure get them both checked before spending the money. Don't take it to the dealer or mechanic to replace though, save your money and to do it yourself. All you will need is a phillips screwdriver, T20 star bit driver, and a 9/32 nut driver. Also a little patience when working with the plastic steering column shroud and the LCM connectors is a must! Good luck to all who have been following this posting in hopes of finding help.

Tiny
Zpolachek
Mar 9, 2008.
Thank you so much, I have been having this same issue and it is driving me CRAZY!
Where did you find the diagram on how to fix this?

Tiny
Jferrisrx
May 23, 2008.
I didn't find any diagram, but after conferring with numerous people and mechanics who work on the CVPI, those previous answers I gave were based off of my findings and repairs. I have had the new LCM and multifunction switch in since that last post and I have had no problems since. Even though it was a costly fix, it did the trick. And since I am a firefighter I recently put in a high beam flasher and found that there are still no problems, although I do have to switch on the headlights first in order for the flasher to work, but thats no biggie since I have numerous other emergency lights installed for calls. If I can I will try to get some pics of what the LCM looks like and where it is located. The multifunction switch is also part of the turn signal stick on the steering column so you shouldn't need a picture. If you have to replace it, then you will replace the entire unit stick and all. But if you still need some visual help I will try to include a pic. And maybe I'll throw one or two in of the car and all its bells and whistles blinging.

Tiny
Zpolachek
May 23, 2008.
Thanks a lot for the great information. Just a few questions and comments. I think it is BEEPED UP that FORD does not consider this a recall. Isn't your headlamps going out considered a safety issue?

Next, someone on another site posted that you need a scan tool (programmable module install procedure) to install this module. Did you need this when installing yours? Also, randomly I will hear a " tick" type noise, and my headlamps will work for a few minutes, then they just turn off again. If the module was out, wouldn't they not work at all? I am also confused about the windshield wipers not working properly. My mechanic tried putting on a new multifunction switch, but this did not help the headlights. I am not sure if I had this wiper problem at the time.

I read a quote saying, " We have had a bunch of 03's with intermittent and wiper problems, we have traced it to an improperly wiring harness from the distribution box under the right front near the from bumper support rod. The harness will rub the rod and will short out causing it to short out.
Also I know now that the headlight switch has a built-in circuit breaker which is most likely the click I am hearing. Says to start at the headlights, and work my way back to the switch. Wiggle wires, and look for loose connections )power and grounds. Check for pinched or rubbing points, or screw that may could penetrate the wiring harness, also look at any place the harness touches metal.

I have also (through lots of research) seen people complaing that they can not get there new headlamps to work with used LCD boxes. This is because if you use something like sylvania ultras, there may be to high of an amp load for an older LCM. You may be able to cheat and run an aux lighting relay and pull light power off the battery. This requires a bit of electrical know hoe, and is not for inexperienced.

So I am going to look at all these things tomorrow, and hope I do not need to buy a new LCD. I did find one online though (NEW) for $235 at WWW. Trademotion. Com/partloacator/index. Cfm?Action=getI. Oca.

Last, I now have a new issue. When I push the AC to
VENT, or any other head or air, it will only come out the defrost fans. Just another darn issue to figure
out, this is all driving me NUTS.

Tiny
Jferrisrx
May 25, 2008.
Lets go through your questions. I asked the service guys at my local dealership about using a scan module and they said it is not neccessary if replacing the LCM, though it is generally a good idea. They do alot of replacements for the cab companies and city police departments in the area so its not an uncommon problem. I did ask the ford fleet rep about the module being a safety issue and they did consider recalling but since the problem was spread out and not one single LCM number contained the problem they said it is more of a case by case basis. And it is not detectable until it actually occurs. About the tick, I had that too when the lights went out. According to my service guys at ford it was the circuit breaker switching, but that is what its supposed to do. As for the entire unit going dead it was not. I still had my dash lights and tail lights working. Apparently it is some sort of design flaw in the LCM and it only applies to the low beams and constant on High beam function. The flash to pass function will still work though when it was malfunctioning. As for the wipers I have no clue about that. Same with the AC. I'm not a mechanic, just a loyal P71 owner. As for buying a used LCM, I would not because you never know if that LCM will have the problem. I bought a new LCM from Ford which was produced for the newer model years and was supposed to be clear of any problems. It did cost me about 420 bucks but if it keeps my lights working for while then its worth it, especially in my job.


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Tiny
Zpolachek
May 25, 2008.
Thanks man. Mine is a 2003 Sedan LX, not a police version. Your car looks awesome. I want to paint mine black, it's champagne. I will keep you posted, and thanks for all the great advice!
Respect,
J

Tiny
Jferrisrx
May 25, 2008.
Thanks for the comps, I love driving my car, now if only gas prices would go down and I could get a new paint job. The only down side to my car is that it was a former black and white so my doors and roof have some small spots where the black is coming off and the white is showing. That and everytime I wash it some bird comes along and shits all over it.
Your welcome and good luck to you with your repairs.

Z

Tiny
Zpolachek
May 25, 2008.
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