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Interior Lights Not Coming On! Please help.

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Topol_86, November 17, 2010.

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    1. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      Been searching these forums to no avail. Seems this problem hasn't happened to anyone else? Or maybe i'm just using incorrect search terms. In any case, '98 Explorer XLT 5.0L Awd. My problem is that when I open the door, my interior lights don't come on. I know they work because if I turn the dimmer switch up, they come on. Checked all fuses, none blown, all good. Was thinking it may be the switch activated by the door, but none of the doors turn the light on, and it still chimes with the door open if the key is left in the ignition. Also read that pushing any given button on the keypad should turn them on as well, but it doesn't either. (and yes, the keypad is functional, use it to open and lock the truck due to the alarm and no key fob as of yet.) As previously stated, I tried searching for a couple days, so if it is already posted here somewhere, could someone direct me to it, if not, please help!
       
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    3. pickupman6

      pickupman6 Active Member

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      under the dash right above the gas pedal there is a relay box with 7 relays in it i believe. one of them is for your interior lights. start swapping them out til u find the one thats bad
       
    4. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      Ok, so I located the relay box you mentioned, as well as a third fuse panel (under dash, basically above the e-brake pedal) With a dying flashlight and it already being long past sun down, i'll have to have another go tomorrow..A couple more questions (with some added info) arise.... any idea what the other 6 relays do? 6 are the same size with the 7th being larger, also, forgot to mention that the previous owner did an engine swap (from a 5.0 to a 5.0) I have 2 switches there that don't seem to do anything, one being a black rocker switch, and the other being a little red tipped toggle switch. toggle switch is mounted at the front of the center console....thinking it may be a valet switch? any more info is greatly appreciated.
       
    5. OneLever

      OneLever Active Member

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      Your Interior lamp relay is likely blown. It is in Relay box #4 which is underneath the left side rear trim panel where the spare tire jack and RAP module are located. It is a micro relay of at least 10 A rating based on the upstream fuse (#27 Interior fuse panel), but I don't know the exact specifications for it. Below are pictures to help you find Relay box #4 and the Interior lamp relay. Links are provided to higher resolution images in which you can read the part numbers.


      DISCLAIMER: The information given by me in this thread is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. I am not liable for any actions you may take due to them. Additionally, the information given applies only to the year 1997. It may apply to other years as well but that is not guaranteed.


      1. Picture 1: Left rear trim panel with access cover in place.
      [​IMG]

      2. Picture 2: Left rear trim panel with access cover removed.
      [​IMG]

      3. Picture 3: Relay box #4.
      [​IMG]

      4. Picture 4: Detaching Relay box #4. It is held in place by two 5.5MM bolts. You need a six inch adapter to reach them. Be careful to catch them as they fall or you can easily loose them.
      [​IMG]

      5. Picture 5: Relay box #4 loose.
      [​IMG]

      6. Picture 6: Relay box #4 with cover removed. The relays are shown in the picture from top left to right: Door unlock relay, Unused slot, Interior lamp relay, Door lock relay, Trailer tow park lamp relay, Driver's door unlock relay.
      [​IMG]

      7. Picture 7: Relay box #4 with the Interior lamp relay removed for clarity.
      [​IMG]

      Installation is the reverse of removal. I recommend only hand tightening the 5.5MM bolts as they strip easily. I was able to replicate your exact symptoms by removing my Interior lamp relay to test the function of the interior lights.
       
      Last edited: November 19, 2010
    6. pickupman6

      pickupman6 Active Member

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      i dont know what all of them are, but one is the batterry saver and one is the acc delay relay. i had the same problem as u and this is what i did to fix it, but my x is a 2000. since one levers is the same year as yours and he has pics and its easier to chech i would try that first.
       
    7. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      Thanks for the help from both of you, I think OneLever may have solved ALL my problems...I had others, just not posted yet....now that they seem all in one spot, If i hit unlock on the drivers door, nothing happens, yet unlocks from the passenger side, so relay #1 in the pic should solve this, and my trailer lights don't work, even though it has the factory adapter, and fuses are good, so relay #2 should solve this one, and for the interior lights, relay #4 in the pic should also solve it, in theory anyways, correct? (locks work from any door, just drivers door doesn't unlock.)
       
    8. pickupman6

      pickupman6 Active Member

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      maybe. if that relay doesnt fix your locks, there is a splice under near the door jam at back passengers door u should see 3 wires spliced together. i think they r pink and yellow.
       
    9. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      I should clarify, keypad on the outside of the drivers door is fully functional, from the drivers door, you can lock all doors, put down, and put up all windows, along with the window lock working, only function from the drivers door that doesn't work is the unlock function. Which is why I thought relay #1 in the pic should solve this. Btw, Instead of the ratchet, I use the screwdriver with a 1/4" drive socket, better control I find, may just be me though.
       
    10. OneLever

      OneLever Active Member

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      The Driver's door unlock relay shown in Picture 6 above is used by the Remote anti-theft personality module (RAP) to unlock only the driver's door when you press the key fob unlock button once. The driver's lock switch activates the same relays (Door lock relay, and Door unlock relay) as the passenger's lock switch. Which means the relay is not at fault. The driver's side door switch probably needs to be looked at.

      Yes, that sounds likely.


      Edit:
      Unlocking only the driver's door via the external keypad is also triggered by the RAP using the Driver's door unlock relay. This information points to a loose or bad connection in the driver's door lock switch. The wire which controls unlock function for the driver's door lock switch is Pink/Light Green in color.

      That's better way of doing it. I ended up using just the extension by hand because the ratchet was cumbersome.
       
      Last edited: November 19, 2010
    11. pickupman6

      pickupman6 Active Member

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      the pass and drivers side switches are interchangable u could swap em out to see if it is the switch
       
    12. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      onelever and pickupman, you guys are awesome. i'll have a look at all of it sometime tomorrow and let you know how I fair, thanks for pointing me in the right direction (no manual as of yet, so without your input, i'd be lost)
       
    13. bobflood

      bobflood Elite Explorer

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      I have the exact same problem with my driver's door lock switch - it locks doors but does not unlock them. Before you buy a new switch, test to make sure that is the problem. It was not for me; new switch still did not work. I am tall enough to reach the unlock button on the passenger door, so I have not chased any further, but I suspect a broken wire in the driver door-to-body bundle.
       
    14. swetrid

      swetrid Well-Known Member

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      Sounds like broken wire in driver door jam to me.
       
    15. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      Hey guys, thought I'd post an update. I know it's been awhile, got side tracked with the holidays and all. So far I've found all the relays in the rear relay box to be good. (trailer lights now working, was missing a 20amp Maxi fuse under the hood. Looked at the wrong diagram/explanation in my digital/downloaded manual...I feel dumb!) to test the relays in the rear relay box i simply swapped them into my trailer lights relay position, and low and behold, they're all good. Interior lights still not coming on when opening the door. I have yet to try swapping out relays under the dash above the pedal, but now that I know I have good relays to swap in/out of positions, I'll be giving that a try. I'll also be looking for that wire splice. Thanks for all the help so far, when I have more info/updates I'll get back on here. Once again, sorry for the delay in updating.
       
    16. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      Further update. Got out to look at the relay box under the dash above the pedal as pickupman had suggested. Took a known to be good relay from the rear relay box (in my case i used the relay from the trailer lights) swapped through all of them, and still no interior lights :( Had a thought though, the light above my rear seat (so interior light #2?) is burned out. Any possibility this blown light is preventing the others from being triggered on?

      While i was laying under the dash I noticed the handle for the back of the drivers seat to recline was broken and I remember reading an easy fix to it on this site so i'm working at that (or was until it started snowing) while i patiently wait for some more input. Thanks, and look forward to some more suggestions =]
       
    17. pickupman6

      pickupman6 Active Member

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      i doubt it bu yours is a 97 so i couldnt tell u. mines blown now and the rest of my interior lights are still workin. have u checked the dash dimmer switch it controls ur interior lights. all the way down no lights all the way up light stays on and in the middle they should be on when your doors are opened. ill check to see whaty color wires to test when i get off work.
       
    18. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      OK... I'll use my "broken record"... get a meter.... and check to see why the relay isn't working. You need voltage and ground to make it operate.... AND further you need "switched voltage" that it will "send" once it has operated. From there, you can quickly narrow down your actual problem.... OR you could just blind keep replacing parts with a hope that something will "heal" your problem.
       
    19. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      Pickupman, Yes, i've checked the dimmer switch. With it all the way up, the lights do come on inside. It's at the highest point without being "ON" (brightest illumination of the dash/guages) Although, it just dawned on me that while I was swapping the relays, I only had the drivers door open. If it's also a bad sensor, I could have fixed it, and not known and moved on, replacing the original relay back into position.

      Budwich, where would be a good place to start, which relay box? front/rear? I'm all for your "broken record", I believe i've read about it in other posts. I'm not blindly replacing parts either, just moved a working relay throughout different positions in the under dash relay box to rule the relay out.

      I'm unable to go and continue working on it at the moment, due to snow flying, and no garage. I'll likely get back out to take a crack at it tomorrow, as long as the snow isn't coming down still...doesn't bother me if it's just on the ground :) ...on a side note, I was able to fix my broken recliner handle today, so it's not a loss in my books. I'll keep you posted with my progress.
      Thanks again guys!

      Ps. anyone know where to find a wiring schematic online? I'm one of "those" guys/gals that don't have a manual. Thinking it wouldn't hurt to purchase one on payday. Any arguments with a Haynes? or is there a better one?
       
    20. pickupman6

      pickupman6 Active Member

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      haynes leaves out a lot. they skip over a bunch of useful information. other than an actual ford service manual id say maybe chiltons i have a few for other vehicles and they are way better than haynes.
       
    21. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      I think people have already indicated that there is a lamp relay which you have already changed "blindly".... use the meter and find out why it isn't doing what its supposed to do which I outlined. Those conditions have to be there otherwise your lights won't work. Of course, the reason that your light switch works the interior lights is because.... it doesn't use the relay... :)
       
    22. OneLever

      OneLever Active Member

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      No. My second row interior light has been blown out for a long time and it does not affect the other lights.

      Get a multimeter and remove the Interior lamp relay shown in Picture 6 of Post #4 above. On the underside of the relay each pin should be labeled with a number. From this you can deduce what the numbers for the pin receptacles are. The Battery saver relay needs to be activated for the following test. It can be activated by simply placing the ignition in RUN. It will remain activated by the GEM after the ignition is placed in OFF for around 30 minutes if the doors are not locked and shut if I recall correctly.

      With the Battery saver relay activated check the voltage across Interior lamp relay Pin 3 & Pin 5. It should read battery voltage of around 12.3 V. Shut all of the doors, the rear hatch, and the rear hatch glass. The Door Ajar lamp on the dash should be off and there should be no chime.

      Open each door, the rear hatch, and the rear hatch glass by itself one at a time. The Door Ajar lamp on the dash should light up for each one. Check the voltage each time across Interior lamp relay Pin 1 & Pin 2. It should read battery voltage of around 12.3 V only when a door has been opened. It should drop to 0 V when the door is shut.

      I highly recommend getting a service (shop) manual. Haynes and Chilton are good for fluid capacity specifications and that is about it. The original paper service manual is a two volume set which you can get off ebay. I also got the Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (wiring manual) with mine as well. Here is a general link of what you are looking for, and a specific link to an EVTM. I believe I paid about $60 for both volumes of the service manual and two copies of the EVTM as a set. These hard copies are worth their weight in gold.
       
    23. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      Onelever, thanks for the valued insight of where to actually start checking. I've got a multimeter, and the snow seems to be letting up, so hopefully I'll have a chance to get back out tomorrow and give it a shot. Thanks for the advice on the shop manual. Hopefully the budget allows for that purchase, I'm sure it's MORE than worth it's weight in gold.

      Budwich, I also see what you're saying, while I didn't actually replace anything (just switched around as previously suggested) I completely understand what you mean. Without actually checking any voltage, I was going at it blind. And yes, I knew that the switch didn't use the relay =), thanks though.

      Once again, thanks all for helping and offering your insight, knowledge and suggestions, GREATLY appreciated. This site is #1 on my list of favourite forums.
       
    24. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      Had a chance to get out with the meter... with the key in the "on" position, doors open one at a time, doors all open at the same time, doors all shut, made no difference. I had a reading of 0v from pin 3 to 5, and 0v from pin 1 to 2. So, the relay for the interior lamps is not getting power, correct? Next step would be to check the source it receives power from. I'd love to. Where is it?
       
    25. bobflood

      bobflood Elite Explorer

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      Certainly sounds like the battery saver relay may be staying open and not delivering power to activate the interior light relay. Did you check to see if you had voltage at any one of the pins in the interior relay socket by measuring between each pin and an external ground?? This might tell you if your issue is with the hot side or the ground side of the circuit. (This is unencumbered by knowledge, I'm afraid, as I don't have a circuit diagram handy.)
       
    26. Topol_86

      Topol_86 New Member

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      Yes, tried each pin with an external ground, still 0v across the board.
       

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