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my tail lights and cluster lights went out, but everything else lights up

Discussion in '2001-2005 Explorer Sport Trac' started by LONO100, September 14, 2011.

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    1. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      hey all,

      i was driving earlier tonight when out of nowhere the lights in my gauge cluster and the lights in my ac controls went dark. when i parked i checked to see if any other lights went out. my headlights, fogs, turn signals, and dome lights all work, but my tail lights are also out. i checked the fuses for the cluster and the tail lights and they still looked good, but i will check again in the morning when it is bright outside. if its not the fuses, what could be causing this?

      i did a little digging on the forum just now and what i found is that a few people who had 91-94 explorers experienced the same combination of lights going out and they solved it by replacing the headlight switch. could this be the same problem im having considering i have a 2003 sport trac? i read another thread where a guy was talking about his hitch light assembly was causing a short. how exactly would i go about diagnosing that?

      any help would be awesome, i wont have to do any driving at night for a few days, but id like to get it fixed sometime in the next day or so if possible.

      btw, if it is the headlight switch, do i have to go to the dealer to get a new one, or would an autozone or kragen have one? thanks fellas.
       
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    3. ncranchero

      ncranchero Co-moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      What about your front "parking" lights? Still work? Tag lights? Do you have Autolamp or not?

      I'm sending you the diagnostics.
       
    4. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      thanks ranchero. im going to go out there in a few minutes and checking the parking lights. what is an autolamp? i appreciate the help.
       
    5. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      The autolamp is like daytime runners, there's a switch on your rearview mirror for it.
       
    6. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      thanks rebel, no autolamp. havent been able to check on the parking lights yet, but once i do, ill report back. im thinking its the headlight switch, but hoping its a fuse i missed. i doubt it though since both my cluster lights and tail ights are out.
       
    7. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      No autolamp on your '03? mines an '03 XLT, what model is yours? There should be a sensor on the front of the rearview mirror and a slider swtch on the bottom of the mirror.
       
    8. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      its def an xlt, but no autolight. should i feel ripped off? parking lights and fog lights work, just instrument cluster and tail lights. i think its the headlight switch. im going to open up the dash and pull the switch.
       
    9. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Check the wiring harness in the cloumn. Maybe it was stretched from tilting the wheel up/down. Common problem.
       
    10. ncranchero

      ncranchero Co-moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      The column problem relates to the stop/turn lamps, was my first thought too, but his issue is tail lamps. Not in the column.

      Check the white/black wire for power when you pull the switch. No power, bad switch. If it has power go for the parking relay which is in the Aux Relay Box 2 under the dash to the right of the column..
       
    11. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      awesome, thanks fellas. hey ranchero i was telling rebel that either you or him should change your name to sport trac yoda. i thinks its fitting, you guys are geniuses. ill let you know what i find.
       
    12. ncranchero

      ncranchero Co-moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      There ya go Jerry, I mean MidnightYoda!:D
       
    13. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Aww no, you know and have way more knowledge about these trucks than I do, I am merely a jedi.

      :notworthy:wavey::bsnicker:
       
    14. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      ok so i checked the fuses, all good, so i got a new headlight switch for 20 bucks and replaced it. got my interior lights back but my tail lights are still out. any thoughts?
       
    15. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      ranchero, is aux relay box 2 inside the steering colum? i cant seem to find what you are talking about.
       
    16. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      check that, i found it! now which relay should i be testing? there are about 5 of them.
       
    17. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      ok, so tonight i switched the headlight swith, noticed that the fuse to my cig lighter/obdIi was out, replaced that, and after i hooked the batteryback on i turned the truck on and now my abs light is on. how the hell did i trip that!? well anyway, im going to try to get it all squared tomorrow morning. if you fellas have any more advice i could sure use it. thanks guys and have a good night.
       
    18. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Well since your OBDII port is working again then go to Advance, O'reilly's, Checkers or whatever you have out there borrow there OBDII scanner and check for codes, it should tell you why the ABS light is on.

      With the bigger tires I know of other members that have this issue with the ABS light but not sure where your sensor is on you 2wd spindle. On the 4wd the hub bearing assembly has it mounted to it.
       
    19. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      i think either the abs came on because my speedo is off because of the bigger tires. i might have to change out the speedo sensor which i think is on the diff. i just dont know why it decided to come on now. ive been driving with these wheels for a week and the abs light just tripped after i replaced the headlight switch. my main problem is that my tail ights are still out. everything else works now lighting wise. just my tail ights and my abs. im going to check the actual tail light bulbs to see if they blew out this morning. still not sure how to test the tail light relay being that ive never had to do it before.
       
    20. Clusterpup

      Clusterpup Elite Explorer

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      Maybe one of the ABS cables got stretched when you did the TT and now has become detached. I have 32" tires and the ABS light has never come on. Just a thought.
       
    21. ncranchero

      ncranchero Co-moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      A regular OBD II reader will not read ABS codes so be sure they have the newest combo OBD II/ABS reader
       
    22. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      as soon as i get this tail light issue resolved, by ABS issue is next!
       
    23. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Advanced does, atleast the stores by me.
       
    24. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      well fellas, i solved the mystery!!! i was sitting here at work racking my brain about why these damn tailights werent working, then i started looking at the diagram ranchero sent me for the taillamp harness. i didnt have my miltimeter with me but i went out to the parking lot, and started testing the lights again. the brake pedal lit the light up, and the turn signals were working, so i knew it wasnt the bulb. so i started following the plastic hose from where it connects on the rear left of the frame, to where it makes its way toward the front of the car.

      then i noticed a small dent in the plastic hose. it wasnt even severed, just a dent like if a rock hit it. so i cut the plastic hose and what do i see, the yellow, green white and brown wires passing through. guess which wire was severed!? the brown one! it was like a one in a million rock shot that hit that hose and cut that one wire because the rest of them were fine. so i pulled out my trusty leather mean, and reconnected the brown wire together and taped it with box tape so i can make it through the night. im going to fix it properly in the morning but at least i know what happened and now i can get home safely tonight.

      just want to thank everyone again who chimed in with tips, advice and help. you guys are awesome. the one thing i want to know is how this shorted out my headlight switch which i had to replace last night as well. now on to that damn ABS light!
       
    25. MidnightRebel07

      MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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      Glad to hear you found it. About the ABS light, does your abs kick in when coming to a stop going straight or when turning the wheels coming to a stop over a bump?
       
    26. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      i havent tried stopping hard yet. im going to test it out this morning. i will def let you know what i find out. thanks again for helping with the electrical problems.
       

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