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2013 Interceptor Utility - flickering rear lights


Joined
February 22, 2015
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City, State
Portland, ME
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Police Interceptor
I have a 2013 Interceptor Utility that's experiencing an issue with intermittent flickering of all taillights.

Yesterday I noticed my left tail light was flickering on/off (the LED portion), until the lights died when the accessory mode timeout hit. My friend told me today when following me into town that my CHMSL (3rd brake light) was flickering and going dim.

At first I thought it would be a simple fix - to replace the taillight. Now it seems like it's a harness or relay, or short in the wires.

It's something I can live with if it's an expensive fix (or at least hold off on) but I would like to try a little DIY at home. Any ideas on where I could start before taking it into the shop?

Thanks!
 

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unixadm

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The brake lights flicker when applied? Does it flicker when stationary or only when driving?

Check your grounds. G301 located above the drivers side rear wheel well behind the large interior trim panel. Also check ground G400 which is located on the rear passenger interior quarter panel, sort of behind the storage cubby. You'll have to remove both interior trim panels to get a look at the harnesses. This would be a good thing for troubleshooting, since it will expose all of the rear wiring harness. You'll then be able to see if an up fitter mucked around with the wiring and/or did a poor job when removing the prior police equipment.

If the harness all checks out, it could possibly be the BCM or something in the forward harness.
 


Joined
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2013 Police Interceptor
It flickers when stationary and/or driving, but doesn't affect brake lights when those are applied.
 


unixadm

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It flickers when stationary and/or driving, but doesn't affect brake lights when those are applied.
Do the front parking lights flicker at all or is the issue strictly at the rear of the vehicle? Again, check the grounds and for hacks to the harness. You can access most of the harness to the rear lights from inside with the trim panels removed, but removing each taillight would be ideal.
 


Joined
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City, State
Portland, ME
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2013 Police Interceptor
Seems to only affect rear LED's and not the bulbs in the back or front. Also seems like it's just the CHMSL and driver side tail light. I took a video, just need to upload it.
 




unixadm

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My feedback would be, pull the drivers side taillight and probe the wires to see if you have a good ground and solid +12V coming into the stop lamp wire. Check all of them, turn signals, tail lamp and reverse lights. I just find it odd that you have two lights which are showing issues. The passenger side is solid with no problems?

BROWN = +12V Stop Wire
BLACK/GREY = Ground Wire

Again, pulling the trim panels in the cargo area would be a good idea because upfitters do mess with the wiring in these vehicles. Checking things over very carefully can pinpoint the issue. There is only one BCM output for the Stop Lamps. So if the right rear light is solid, then that means the BCM is OK. It could be defective lamp assemblies, but you need to check your positive and ground connections with a DVOM.
 


Joined
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2013 Police Interceptor
Is a DVOM the same as a multimeter?
 


unixadm

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Yeah. Digital Volt Ohm Meter.
 


Joined
February 22, 2015
Messages
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City, State
Portland, ME
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Police Interceptor
Update: It appears to be water inside the LH taillight. I've cleaned out all the water, and it started working, but after a day in the sun it's back to flashing again, this time causing all rear LED's to flicker (not good when you're driving a car like this on the highway!) I've ordered a new light and hope this will fix the issue with the circuit. If not I have enough information here to get dirty with wiring/grounds.

Thanks!
 


unixadm

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Moisture can do that for sure.
 


Joined
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The new taillight arrived and fixed this issue. Thanks for all the advice.
 


evader2k

New Member
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2013 Explorer Interceptor
I'm in the exact same boat. I have a ton of moisture in the light. I'm in Canada right now and most of the time the moisture inside the light is frozen and then its fine - as soon as it warms up it begins to flicker. 2013 Utility.
 


Joined
February 22, 2015
Messages
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City, State
Portland, ME
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Police Interceptor
Just replace the light - it sucks but it's the most effective way. Ebay is your friend. I got mine with one tiny blemish on the inside, unnoticeable, for 60 bucks.
 


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