2003 Crown Vic Police, headlights shut off while in opera

Tiny
ZPOLACHEK
  • 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?

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Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 AT 8:31 PM

17 Replies

Tiny
FLEXY5
  • MEMBER

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

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Thursday, January 17th, 2008 AT 7:01 PM
Tiny
ZPOLACHEK
  • MEMBER

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.

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Monday, January 21st, 2008 AT 10:50 AM
Tiny
ZPOLACHEK
  • MEMBER

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

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Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 AT 10:41 PM
Tiny
ZPOLACHEK
  • MEMBER

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.

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Sunday, March 9th, 2008 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
JFERRISRX
  • MEMBER

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?

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Friday, May 23rd, 2008 AT 1:13 PM
Tiny
ZPOLACHEK
  • MEMBER

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.

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Friday, May 23rd, 2008 AT 11:41 PM
Tiny
JFERRISRX
  • MEMBER

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.

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Sunday, May 25th, 2008 AT 12:22 AM
Tiny
ZPOLACHEK
  • MEMBER

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.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/144284_Interceptor_pics_001_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/144284_Interceptor_pics_003_1.jpg



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http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/144284_Interceptor_pics_004_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/144284_Interceptor_pics_006_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/144284_Interceptor_pics_012_2.jpg

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Sunday, May 25th, 2008 AT 12:09 PM
Tiny
JFERRISRX
  • MEMBER

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

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Sunday, May 25th, 2008 AT 5:03 PM
Tiny
ZPOLACHEK
  • MEMBER

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

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Sunday, May 25th, 2008 AT 10:16 PM
Tiny
JFERRISRX
  • MEMBER

Tell me about it, I just paid $69.00 bucks to fill my tank!
I thought I was going to cry. Lol

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Monday, May 26th, 2008 AT 2:42 PM
Tiny
BROOKEBABY
  • MEMBER

So why is it that police use CVs? What makes them so special?

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Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 AT 4:24 PM
Tiny
ZPOLACHEK
  • MEMBER

Police departments tend to use the Crown Vic for numerous reasons. Heres a few that I came across:
- The CVPI is rear crash test rated at 5 stars for ability to survive a rear crash from a vehicle traveling 75mph or more. Its the only car in the US that is tested at that high of a standard.
- The size of the CVPI is ideal for transporting people to jail or whatnot, which is also why cab companies use them.
- The engine, drivetrain, suspension, frame/chasis, and in later models the body, is beefed up to handle the extreme stresses that police departments put on vehicles.
- It has great top-end speed pick up. The car tends to fly above 60mph.
- Tradition. Most departments have been using Crown Vics since the late 70's and have never had a need to get a different vehicle since the CVPI tends to get remade every 8-10 years or so.

Crown Vics are overall great vehicles. Unfortunately Ford is no longer offering the Crown Vic for sale to the US public since it is somewhat of a gas guzzler and sales have been low in the public arena. But, the CVPI will still be produced for fleet sales for a while longer yet since it is still doing very well there. Also it will be sold overseas, especially in the middle east, since it sells better over there and there is not a lack of demand over there.

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Friday, October 10th, 2008 AT 12:53 PM
Tiny
ZPOLACHEK
  • MEMBER

Its been a little while since I got on here, and since then I've learned alot about the CVPI. I still have mine and I love driving it, probably more now than in the past because I use it to respond to fire calls alot more. I've also had to repair it a few more times. Since I last updated I put in a new fuel pump, got new tires, installed a GPS module and some new LED's for fire calls. I also learned a few tips I'd like to pass along.
- If you have been using 5W20 in your CVPI, switch over to 5W30, it will help your engine last longer. 5W20 is what fleets put into the interceptors to help save on gas mileage but in the long run it tends to damage the engine more because the engine runs harder.
- Ford will not fix any recall issues with a CVPI which is a former law enforcement vehicle unless you intend to pay for the fix out of pocket. They will only fix recalls for LE crown vics if they are active LE vehicles.
- If you intend on installing cold air intakes or fuel injection performance kits like the ones K&N makes, plan on using disposable filters. Reusable filters are nice and save money over time but they tend to have a cleaner/preservative solution which must be applied after cleaning. That solution will set off most CVPI mass air flow sensors and can be damaging to your cylinders if not properly dried before running the car. Cold air intakes are great for increasing HP and can get you better gas mileage depending on how you configure your ECM, but stick with disposable filters, it will save you a headache and a half.

If I have any more updates I will try to get them on here and help any of you that I can with your issues. Since getting onto this site and going through all types of issues with my CVPI, I have learned alot and I'm no mechanic but I do talk regularly with two mechanics (one of which is a local police fleet mechanic) and if anyone has any questions I can try to help you find answers if the mechanics on here can't help you.

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Saturday, April 11th, 2009 AT 9:39 PM
Tiny
GINOLENA
  • MEMBER

I have a solution for this problem.
If anyone expiriensed headlights or corner lights problems - email me at ginolena@sbcglobal. Net

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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 AT 12:32 PM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER

Hello there!

I also have got serious problems with the lights of my 2003 Ford P-71 police Crown Vic.

I have tried to follow your advices and I have
changed the LCM and the multifunction switch
but nothing helped.

It s getting worse.

I have also problems with my engine.

So please check out my postings - maybe you can
help me!

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Sunday, April 26th, 2009 AT 12:12 PM
Tiny
MTAZ4260
  • MEMBER

If you have a 1999-2011 Mercury Marquis, Mercury Marauder, or Crown Victoria, and your headlights and or tail lights don't work, Ford just finally extended the warranty on your LCM (Lighting Control Module) for free - both parts and labor and will install a new one for free! Ford has extended the warranty to 15 years/250,000 miles. It must be done at a Ford Dealer and the fix is free. Call your local ford Dealer and tell them you need to make an appointment because your headlights don't work and Ford has extended your warranty on the LCM. Tell them it is the Customer Satisfaction Program 14N01. Have your Vin number ready as they will ask for it. You don't have to be the original owner. If they act like they don't know what you are talking about ask to talk to the manager or tell them to call Ford Motor Company and ask them, or you can call Ford yourself. We had ours done at a Ford dealer in August of 2014 in Scottsdale, AZ. It is a 15 year warranty and if you have a 1999, the deadline might have passed, but call them and ask them to see if it has. Maybe it hasn't."
Repeat: You don't have to be the original owner.

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Friday, February 12th, 2016 AT 6:12 AM

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