Explorer used to be an Emeergency vehicle? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Explorer used to be an Emeergency vehicle?


New Member
June 4, 2014
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City, State
East Granby, CT
Year, Model & Trim Level
I bought my 2007 explorer xlt last summer. Bought it on a day it was raining, so did not look at it closely. I suspect that it was used as an emergency vehicle (fireman or whatever), since I found signs that a radio had been installed under the passenger seat and tell tail signs that a microphone had been connected to the dash. Rear compartment also was well worn.

A couple of times, while driving with the lights on, suddenly the headlights would start flickering and the console backlights would go off and on. I could hear a clicking behind the headlight switch when this would happen. This happened twice in a 2 month period.

I have changed the headlight switch, easy to do. I notice that the switch gets warm when I have been on the brakes for a while, with the lights on.

Should I be further concerned about this or is it normal? Should I suspect worn brake lights bulbs from possibly having a flasher been used?

Is there anything I should be looking for, in addition?


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if you have access or know of somebody with a decent scan tool i would definitely have them scan it. a good scan tool might give you some insight on where/if there's a problem. you might be on the verge of melting some stuff down. i have seen service vehicles with wiring left behind. be looking for jumper wires underneath the dash into the fuse panel and also look in the master fuse box in the engine compartment. you might have a short to the headlamp relay. put the back side of your hand across the relays and check for heat. it may point in the direction of a problem.

I'd remove the headlight and tail light housings (both very easy to remove) and look for a wiring mess to clean up on the factory harnesses. Spliced wires, taped up twist-n-prays, butt connectors, all that stuff. Solder and heat shrink tubing is the best solution. Your headlight switch should not get noticeably warm from using the brake lights, so your suspension that something isn't right is valid.

I despise cleaning up others wiring work, best of luck to you.

you might also check for an aftermarket alarm usually the dash wont flash being a emergency vehicle

This may be an alternator? On the way home from work, headlights and instrument lights started flickering but stopped when I accelerated, even just a bit. The light switch got warm, also. Checked the voltage at the battery with the motor running, headlights on, was 14V.

Later, I found a red wire under the dash, under the steering wheel going into the console kick plate. Was too cold and dark to look further. There are cut off black and red wires under the passenger seat where it appears a radio was installed. My guess that is the other end.

Also found a cut off wiring harness on the passengers side, under the dash.

For General Principals, I decided to look at the brake lights. When I removed them, they spelled burnt and were blackened on the inside. When I checked the bulb type, they were not the type that fit the Explorer!!!! So I have a put the proper type bulb.

Further update on the problem

After several months , I have finally come down to the circumstances that cause the interior and exterior lights to flicker.

It seems to be a voltage drain coming from the ABS system. The ABS light and traction control lights will flicker on for a moment, usually after a sharp, slow speed turn. Within a couple of minutes, the clock and console lights with go off and on. Then the headlights will start to flicker. It will also happen in daylight, with only the clock going on and off, naturally.

If I pull over and turn the explorer off, then on, it will straighten out.

I have read that ABS pumps will stick on and draw power rapidly.
Would this situation cause an ABS pump to go crazy? I have heard a high pitch whine coming out from under the hood after a few occasions.

Should I just pull out the fuses, # 6 and #33 ?

If something is drawing excessive amps it will cause "overload" symptoms. I would make sure to find the source and correct. You do not wires burning under your dash. It happened to me once on my way with Family to Mexico.

I would also look for "extra" wires that were not factory installed and no longer in use.