Intermittent power or short to certain accessories

Tiny
LISOWENS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 MERCURY VILLAGER
  • 3.3L
  • 6 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
Power will go out to radio, cigarette lighter, wipers, hazards, mirror adjustments switch randomly. Has been to two different mechanics. First replaced an AC relay or Accessory relay not sure but I'm being the accessory, but that did not fix the problem. Took to auto electrical shop, they said the short didn't happen for them. Just purchased couple months ago and unable to pass inspection (and so I can't register it and am risking getting a ticket) because it always manages to short (then wipers don't work) when it's being inspected. Recently had new alternator, new engine and trans mounts and distributor. Spent a lot trying to get this van into good shape but this electrical issue is so perplexing. Read about grounds being dirty as a possibility? Help.
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Sunday, October 11th, 2015 AT 3:00 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
The hazard and radio get their power from the tail lamp relay so the prongs may be corroded or poor connection. Yu can try bending it a tad and use dielectric greas on prongs for better connection. Tailamp relay also sends power to ignition relay and accessory relay. Because it shorts on you I don't want to say it's that particular relay but it powers a few of the things you have wrong. However it could be a bad ignition switch as well. Check to see if anything has been added under the dash and any wires hanging or bare as they may short out at certain times hitting metal under there. Other than actually look at this it may be easier to start with the tail lamp relay by bending prongs a bit. It may also be a bad fuse panel. We don't have any diagram of the relay where it's located other than it says fuse junction panel but all I see are fuses and not relays.
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Sunday, October 11th, 2015 AT 5:07 PM
Tiny
LISOWENS
  • MEMBER
There are relays in the fuse box below and to left of steering wheel. I noticed that a lot of diagrams only show the fuses but there are five relays in a column to the right. The middle one is the accessory relay. Although I did notice something very unusual today. The short occurred, radio and other accessories were off, car running.I accidentally nudged my key chain and bumped the ignition and everything came back on. I've noticed three times since then when it has shorted, turning the ignition slightly towards me turns everything back on! Surely that means is the switch right? Please God let that be the answer.
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Sunday, October 11th, 2015 AT 8:24 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
I would kind of think so stuff like what you have is usually found by mistake. I'd try that as it has to be the switch or the other relay I talked about.
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Monday, October 12th, 2015 AT 7:00 AM

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