I recently replaced the combination switch in a 1998 Mercury Mountaineer, and now the CD player loses power and cuts off while driving. Radio continues to work fine, but CD player abruptly cuts off randomly. Also "door chime" (when door is open) only sounds at random times. Thanks.
By combination switch, I am assuming you are refering to the multifunction switch on the steering column. I need to explaine a couple things. First, the CD player requires more power than the radio. Thus, it has a seperate power supply and an additional ground. What could be happening is while you worked on the switch, you may have loostened a body ground under the dash. Now, what can happen is this. Electric will always find the easiest way out. In other words, if there is a weak ground or another circuit it can ground through easier, it will go to the other circuit. Thus, electric will pass through something like a light, chime. And triger it to find the easier ground.
Overall, I feel you disrupted a ground circuit and that is what is causing the chime to go off at times and the CD player to not work at times. Check for loose, damaged or disconnected ground straps under the dash. Also, if you can, remove the stereo and run an additional ground from the radio's chassis to a good solid ground under the dash.
January, 13, 2011 AT 8:18 PM
Thank you. Yes it was the switch in the steering column. Though I did not do any work under the dash. I only removed the steering column shroud and only worked near the switch. Is there a specific ground in that area that I should look for? Thanks
January, 13, 2011 AT 8:25 PM
Nothing specific in that area. However, (and I hate to say it) you may want to remove the shroud and double check all connections. Also, check to make sure the ignition switch wasn't distrubed. As far as the CD player, just for the heck of it, run an additional ground to the chassis of the radio, and take a look under the dash to make sure nothing has come disconnected. They use those clips for grounding to sheet metal. They move, come loose, come off. They can be a pain.
January, 13, 2011 AT 8:31 PM
Thanks again. I do recall that while I was re-installing the shroud before, and I had the door open, that the chime was coming on and off intermittently as if something on the steering column was being pressed as I was wiggling the shroud back in place. Unfortunately I need that special tool to remove the radio. This vehicle is always having strange electrical problems and grounds have been the cause before, so Im sure your right on this one.