1998 Mercury Tracer Electrical Issue - Tails Lights, 15A Fu

Tiny
AIDAN_80
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 MERCURY TRACER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 85,000 MILES
I'm having the 15A fuse on the "Tail Lights" fuse burn out, twice in just a few months. I've also had the break switch melt twice so far, IAC went bad as well. I just had the timing belt replaced and have had the A/C replaced last year.

The only electrical work I think was done before I bought this car (just over a year ago) was an aftermarket stereo was installed which was pulled and they replaced the factory stereo when I bought the car. I've since installed my own aftermarket stereo with harness and I don't see anything wrong with the harness or the wires behind the dash that connect to the stereo and no signs of a short or ground that I can see.

After I bought the car I did find some black electrical type tape stuck near the license plate light, actually right on it on the right? Don't know if that means anything or not?

Any ideas as to what is causing my electrical problems. I don't know if they are related or not but the 15A fuse blowing twice is telling something isn't right. I been told the IAC could be due to the bad timing belt but what about the break switch is that on the same circuit as the tail lights or could it be related to the previous stereo install. Amp, cd changer. Etc or just a bare wire being grounded somewhere?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 AT 9:46 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
The brake lights are on a diferent circuit than the tail lights. Check to see if you can find anywhere especially by where the black electrical tape is. What is sounds like is there is a wiring rubbing and grounding out near the tail lights. The brake light switch could also be from the bad wire. Remove ther bulbs and check the sockets and bulbs. Then check the wires, the brake lighs and tail lighs wires could be crossing or shorting out to each other.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 AT 9:56 AM
Tiny
AIDAN_80
  • MEMBER
Ok I got in there and thought I should start with looking at the stereo just to be 110% sure I didn't nip a wire in there or anything as I couldn't find anything obvious where the black tape was.

It was in the stereo, one or more (it was dark and I didn't get to finish) of the small wires that power the lights on on the heater, a/c controls on my aftermarket dash kit I think got caught when I installed it months ago. Every time I ground those small lights it burns out the 15A fuse.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 AT 10:32 PM
Tiny
AIDAN_80
  • MEMBER
Ok the black tape was a red herring. Wires looked perfect. Long story short I pulled the stereo just to be 111% sure it wasn't that as that really was the last thing I touched. I got it down to the small lights that light up the three fan knobs for heat and A/C! Every time I put that circuit back on the harness it pops the fuse right away. I touched both black wires together and in an instant it light up red then pop another fuse bit the dust! Lol I assume something on that circit is going to ground some where?

All that's on that circuit is the defrost button and those lights. I have a Tracer GS which has no rear defrost and the faceplate I bought had the button there for it but it's not connected to anything. I don't think?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, January 24th, 2009 AT 8:41 PM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
At least you have it narrowed down to the stereo. What did the wiring diagram say about the black wires? Wondering is one is connected wrong. Try running a separate line from the battery to the stereo, just to try to see if it works ok.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, January 26th, 2009 AT 9:06 AM
Tiny
AIDAN_80
  • MEMBER
Black wire should be ground, it's been connected like that for about a year now and only now has it given any problems. There is another black wire on the harness connected at the same point as this one that powers the stereo. It's doesn't seem to have any problems?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, January 26th, 2009 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
Do you have the wiring diagram for the stereo? If not let me know what kind it is and I will try to find out what it is
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 1:00 PM
Tiny
AIDAN_80
  • MEMBER
I do still have everything for the stereo, first stereo went bad and was replaced so kept everything just in case. It's wired correctly. That black wire runs into and out of the defrost switch I wonder if that switch went bad somehow? I'll pull it all out again and check everything again just to be sure. I may remove that defrost switch (not used anyway) from the circuit just to see if it does anything.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 AT 8:21 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides