2003 Ford Crown Vic Police - headlight problem continues!

Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD CROWN VICTORIA
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 125,000 MILES
Hello! I have imported a black P-71 2003 Ford Crown Vic Stealth Class "B" former California Highway Patrol Interceptor to Vienna, Austria - EUROPE - yeah, right Arnold Schwarzenegger ´s ex homeland. But please, don ´t make me responsible for his political behavior ;)

Anyway, it ´s fully loaded (strobes, siren, radio, bars, Motorola Workstation, radar etc.) and I ´m using it as a show car. Beside it is my daily driver. The people love it at U.S. Car Shows which are very popular in Europe (photo).

About one year ago the headlights started to go on and off as they liked together with a "Click" noise. First I ignored the problem and put some extra wires to the headlights together with fuses and a seperate switch.

That helped for several month but then one evening I couldn ´t switch off the instrument cluster lights anymore. They went off by themselves over night. Shortly after that I had a total shutdown of the lighting control module (LCM) - no turning lights, no parking lights, no dome lights, no instrument cluster lights, even the key reminder signal was dead - only the brake lights were working - and so I replaced it using a brandnew LCM (I think it was a 2006 manufactoring date).

From then the headlights stayed on but after 3 months, when I started the car in the morning, the headlights went on at the same time - but just for a moment - and went off again when the car was running. Once the horn honked and the headlights flashed for a sec during the starting process.

Shortly after that I had a total malfunction of the new LCM as I had had with the old one: Suddenly all the lights were dead - no turning lights, no parking lights, no dome lights, no instrument cluster lights, even the key reminder signal was dead. Only the brake lamps were working - so I replaced the LCM once again, this time I used a 2008 module.

But some days later there was the problem again: I heard a "Click" during daylight driving and then I realised that the headlights were on - then they went off after some time. Two times at night the LCM went double "Click!" and the instrument cluster lights went off and on within a second. Twice, without the lights on it went double "Click!" and the horn honked by itself - nothing but trouble.

The best thing happened two days ago: The dome lights stayed on, then they started to glow and suddenly the airbag lamp flashed and stayed on! After starting the car once again the airbag lamp went off and the dome lights stayed also off.

I have also realised that the brake lamps failed from time to time. I don ´t know if this has anything to do with it, but this problem started at the same time together with the LCM / multifunction switch (MFS) troubles.

I thought that it might be the brake switch but I ´m not so sure anymore...

I know that the brake lamp cable goes through the MFS.

Here in the forum you can read that you should change the LCM and the multifunction switch. So I did so, I exchanged the MFS (by using a used one, with generation 2 serial number) yesterday, but this didn ´t help either!

On my way home I heard the familiar "Click" again and the instrument cluster lights flashed once within a second as usual. The brake lamps are working normal at the moment. Now I ´m waiting for the total blackout which is going to come, I ´m quite sure and I ´m afraid of night driving.

Do you think that I should buy a brandnew multifunction switch or is this a different electrical problem?

The unmotivated activation of the horn is maybe a hint.

Does the horn cable go through the multifunction switch as well?

Could it be a short circuit somewhere in the steering column?

This really makes my sick, because I have spent already a lot of money and I still can ´t trust my lighting system during night rides.

I have been driving old Fords (1971 Ford LTD Sedan, 1971 LTD convertible, 1978 Ford LTD II, 1977 Ford LTD Hearse, 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis) since 1994 but this is one of the most annoying problems I have ever had. Seems that the newer Fords don ´t have the same quality anymore...

So one question comes in my mind: Have you driven over a Ford lately? I think in that context this would be the right solution...

So I really need some good suggestions - thanks a lot for reading my long text and best regards from Austria!


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/348741_Ford_Crown_Vic_bearb_6.jpg

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Sunday, April 26th, 2009 AT 3:21 AM

20 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
The only self test you can do on the cluster is this:Instrument Cluster Self-Test To enter the instrument cluster self-test press E/M and SELECT buttons simultaneously while turning the ignition switch from OFF to ON. If the instrument cluster flashes on and off continuously, INSTALL a new instrument cluster. For additional information, refer to INSTRUMENT CLUSTER. If the instrument cluster displays: Only the top and bottom two coolant temperature gauge display bars, diagnose the coolant temperature gauge system. " Only the top and bottom two fuel gauge display bars, diagnose the fuel gauge system. " Only the bottom engine temperature gauge display bar, diagnose the engine temperature gauge system. " CS or CO, diagnose the fuel level sender input circuitry. " Error in the odometer display, diagnose the speedometer/odometer circuitry. " Page 1 of 1 INSTRUMENT CLUSTER-ELECTRONIC -2003 Ford Crown Victoria 4/26/2009
If this doesnt show a fault, then you need to scan it with an NGS(New generation Star) Tester.
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Sunday, April 26th, 2009 AT 9:24 AM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
Hmm.

Do I have to buy special diagnostic tools?
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Sunday, April 26th, 2009 AT 10:08 AM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your reply!

Sorry, I had already a bad experience with a repair forum.

I m going to follow your advice!

Where is the HEC with the E/M SELECT buttons located?
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Sunday, April 26th, 2009 AT 12:06 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Info sent. Too much to post.
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-1
Sunday, April 26th, 2009 AT 1:33 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
In addition to the info I sent, inspect PCM and engine grounds.
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Monday, April 27th, 2009 AT 4:18 PM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
With the headlights on:

I have noticed that the "Click" and the short flashing of the instrument cluster lights both appear at the same time when I step on the accelerator e.G. During passing maneuvers or traffic light starting.

Maybe it has something to do with the sudden
increase of amperage in connection with
higher rpm?

Unfortunately no time to follow the advices yet.

Tomorrow I m going to drive to The Tyrol.

The total distance is over 600 miles.

Let s see what happens.
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Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 AT 12:52 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Is the a/c blower motor affected when you hit the gas? Headlights have flash to pass and the brake light wire both go thru the MFS. Test MFS like this:


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_MFS1_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_MFS2_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_MFS3_1.jpg

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Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 AT 1:47 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
While your in there test ignition switch.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_IGN1_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_IGN2_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_IGN3_1.jpg

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Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 AT 1:52 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
I aslo need you to check and see if the passenger rugs are wet, front and back?
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Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 AT 2:05 PM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
I m back from my trip to The Tyrol.

No big problems.

On the way to The Tyrol I had the lights on all the
time (about 4 hours).

I noticed a couple of "Clicks" during
acceleration periods but all the lights stayed on.

The brake lights worked all the time.

Once it made a "Click" right after starting during
the first acceleration. That happened during
the daytime with the lights off.

On my way back to Vienna I had the lights off.
I also noticed a couple of "Clicks" during
accerlerations but thats all.

The ac was off.
The rugs are not wet.

I think I have to go into detail and I m going to
follow merlin s instructions step by step.

This is going to take some time.

I ll keep you informed.
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Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 AT 10:56 AM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
In addition to the heavy sputter problem with
the "check engine" light on I had another nice
experience on the way to the mechanic with
my headlights off yesterday:

I heard a couple of "Clicks" during accelerations and
suddenly the airbag lamp went on again.

At the mechanic while testing for bad fuel
injectors the "Clicks" occurred again and again,
sometimes 3 times per minute, even during ideling
not only during acceleration periods.

So the mechanic replaced the used MFS by a new
one which I had already bought just in case if the
used one wouldn t do the trick.

Everything seemed normal but then on my way
back home with the headlights on it went "Click"
once and the instrument cluster went on and off within a second.

This is how the whole thing started the last time
when I had replaced the original MFS by a used one:

First some clicks from time to time and then they
start to occur more often and finally the airbag lamp
goes on.

I have arranged a complete electronic check
based on Merlin s instructions for the next week.

The mechanic said that it could be the headlight
switch or the clockspring because of the airbag
lamp...

I ll keep in touch.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/348741_Ford_Crown_Vic_bearb_1.jpg

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Saturday, May 16th, 2009 AT 1:41 AM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
I agree with Merlin, Before I reired I was driving a 1998. The county workers installed most of the emergency lights along with the radio. I remember in one occasion that someone was in pursuit and the engine started to sputter, The lights would go on and off. What they found after all the testing was a ground wire the mechanic had taken loose to put in new light was loose. The ground wire was a problem that a lot of workers could not find until one did by accident when he moved a wire and found the ground loose that was close to the fuse pannel. Most of our work was done by Department of Public works, I am just passing this along to let you know that Melin is on the right track. Me myself had little to do with installing the extra lights and radio's.
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Monday, May 25th, 2009 AT 10:13 AM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
I discovered today that my brake lights have started
to go off again, even when my foot is on the pedal.

I thought that I had already solved the problem
by exchanging the MFS and since this time I haven t
had any problems - until today.

Somebody on the net has got the same problem:

2005 Ford Crown Victoria

"When you reach a point that you ease up on the pedal pressure, (even so slight that you don't feel the pedal move), the brake lights go off.

The vehicle is actually still braking. If you proceed to apply pressure again the brake lights come back on and once again as soon as you ease up on pedal pressure the lights go off.

I found myself sitting at stop signs, red lights, even in the middle of the road waiting to turn left with my foot on the brake, but no rear brake lights on. A new brake light switch was installed with no change.

I checked a one year newer vehicle, same make and model, and it was doing the same thing. I called a local ford dealer and he never heard of the problem. He checked with one of their similar vehicles on the lot and discovered the same problem.

He called a factory rep who knew nothing of the problem. That's all the further it went."

I think I will install my own brake switch and connect
two seperate wires with the brake lights. Maybe
this would help.

It s like in an airplane, you can t trust the installed
electricity system, it s better to make it double.
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Monday, June 8th, 2009 AT 1:08 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Only TSB for anti-lock brakes covers water in the connector at the module, open that up and check for any water or corrosion, if there is water, you can spray brakkleen into the female end and blow dry with shop air, and just dry the male end. If corrosion is present, you must replace the module. Let me know what you find. I will post the TSB if you need it so you can see the repair steps. Some tape needs to be rmoved and RTV appied at the connector.
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Monday, June 8th, 2009 AT 6:03 PM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
Yesterday the airbag lamp went on again.

The horn honks also sometimes together with a
double "CLICK" which you can hear under the
instrument cluster.

When I have the lights on only the instrument
cluster lights flash one or two times together with
the "CLICKs". The headlights stay on.

I have also noticed that somethimes a single
"DING" sound from the seatbelt reminder appears
together with the "CLICK".

The seatbelt reminder is not working properly,
sometimes, when I buckle off for parking manoevers,
the red cluster light doesn t come on.

I know that the LCM produces the "DING" sounds.

I m not able to locate the problem:

Is it the LCM (I have changed it already two times)

OR

the clockspring (because of the Airbag light and the
horn)

Does the LCM electric cables go through the steering
column?

Where can I buy a clockspring for a 2003 Crown Vic?
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Friday, June 12th, 2009 AT 11:28 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Did you check the abs module connector yet> Also some major problems occur due to bad connections and grounds, where this is an old cop car, there are probably a few double solenoid setups under the hood, one of them could be defective by now. If you can find no poor connections or loose or cut ground wires, it really needs to be scanned with the Ford rotunda NGSII
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Friday, June 12th, 2009 AT 3:32 PM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much for the wiring diagrams!

It seems that everything is caused by a malfunction
inside or outside the LCM, because horn, airbag lamp
and seatbelt reminder are all controlled by the LCM.

I don t think that it is the LCM itself because I have already changed it.

It seems to be a ground problem or something like that.

I m going to check everything next weekend.

By the way - what is the Ford rotunda NGSII?
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Saturday, June 13th, 2009 AT 5:06 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
It's the hand held and electronic scan tool for FLM cars. New one costs 3000.00 dollars or so. Check ebay. This tool reads and writes to all FLM modules. That is with the right software! NGS= New generation star tester.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2009 AT 12:01 PM
Tiny
FRONTPUSHBAR
  • MEMBER
Finally I have followed your instructions step by step.

1.) "Clicks", headlight flashes, airbag lamp & horn
problems:

I have checked all the grounds with the help of your
wiring diagrams.

Some of them were in a poor condition (covered with paint).

I cleaned them and I think this did the trick so far:

NO "CLICKS" ANYMORE!

2.) Braking lamps failure:

There was no water or corrosion in the connector
at the ABS module - I cleaned it just in case - but I
found a cracked cable which was connected with
the brake light switch.

I mended it.

NOW THE BRAKE LIGHTS ARE WORKING FINE!

The only thing what is left is the darn "Check Engine"
light - please see my other post.

All I can say now is that you folks have given me the
right instructions to solve my problem.

The donation was the money worth!
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Sunday, June 28th, 2009 AT 3:56 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Whew! Finally.I answered the other post, we will need that "P" code.
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Sunday, June 28th, 2009 AT 5:24 PM

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