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Headlight or wiring problem - 96 Explorer Limited

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Old 03-26-2011, 10:48 AM   #1
johnwartjr
Columbus, Indiana
'96 Limited
 
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Headlight or wiring problem - 96 Explorer Limited

Have an issue I need to troubleshoot with my wife's 96 Explorer Limited.

It's known for going through a set of headlight bulbs once a year. Under some condition (have not figured out what it is), moisture gets inside the headlight itself, and the bulbs explode. It's usually when it's cold and wet out, and we always get told by the little information center in the console that a headlight is out.

Yesterday, after loading the kids in the truck for their trip to daycare, I walked around the front of the truck to get in my car, and noticed the drivers side headlight is out. This is strange, as we just replaced it a couple weeks ago! I figured it was bad as usual, and told my wife to be careful, and I'd get a replacement and install it after work. She told me that the truck didn't tell her a headlight was out.

When I got the replacement bulb, and pulled the one in the truck, it was fine. I replaced it anyways, and it's still out.

So, logically, I think we have a wiring issue somewhere. Perhaps a pinched or broken wire, perhaps a bad socket that plugs into the bulb, etc.

I am challenged right now because we both work during daylight hours and I don't have space in our garage to get it inside to work on it. I do have all day Sunday if needed, however.

I have a multimeter and know how to use it. My plan of attack for tomorrow is to check the socket for voltage and see if it is at the socket, and if there's no voltage, to try and trace the wiring back, looking for a break.

But, having worked on all of my own vehicles in the past, I know they all have their own distinct problem areas - perhaps someone has had this problem before, and can suggest I look in a certain area.

Does each headlight have its own power run? Does it daisy chain from headlight to headlight? If so, I would think my problem is between the 2 headlights - the passenger side works fine!

Any tips, tricks, hints, pointers etc are appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:48 PM   #2
budwich
Ottawa, Ont
96 XL
 
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you might want to check your fuses first... then search here and you will likely find your solution as there are tons of posts dealing with EB's (and other models) with the dreaded LOM problems.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:55 PM   #3
blenton
Idaho Falls, ID
'96 Limited
 
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I agree with budwich - search for the Light Out Module problem. There is a module that sits right between the center console and the trip function computer (if you have one), underneath the cupholders and cigar tray. I had the same problem a few months ago and it turned out some of the resistors in the module needed to be resoldered. It was really quite easy and didn't require much skill to locate and fix, just a cheap $7 walmart special soldering iron and some solder. Or you can replace the module if you want. I think they are about $20.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
johnwartjr
Columbus, Indiana
'96 Limited
 
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Thanks for the info. It turned out to be a cold solder joint on the LOM. Since I do my own circuit level repair on my collection of pinball machines, I already had everything I needed to do the repair on-hand. Took maybe an hour to disassemble, fix, reassemble and test!

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Old 02-04-2014, 11:45 AM   #5
wpmaceri
Northridge, CA
1997 Ford Ekplorer E.B
 
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I agree with budwich. It's right where he says it is, and easy to replace. I had the same problem, and interestingly enough, it will take out the left low beam, but the high beam will continue to work. I used a Motorcraft replacement... It was a bit more.
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