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HELP electrical gremlin.....


New Member
September 25, 2007
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City, State
Lima, Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT
I have a 98 Explorer XLT 5.0 AWD that had a battery light come on. My wife was driving it at the time, she called me and told me she made it less than a 1/4 mile and it lost power (would only idle). Checked it out the battery was bad so I put in a new battery and the light was still on so I checked the fuse it was blown (#14 PDB) replaced it. Took it to Auto Zone to get it scanned and they said the alt it not working in range it needs replaced (it was the original) so I put a new alt on, so far so good. Later on the next day the wife was at her girl friends and I get a call the X won't start, so I grab the battery charger and go check it out. The battery is dead checked the fuse and its blown again, replaced fuse(#14) and charged the battery go back to the zone the alt tests bad. I go home pull the alt exchange it/replace it and the battery light is on again, blown fuse again. Check all the wiring for any chafing, everything looks good do an electrical test with my multi meter everything checks out okay but it keeps blowing fuse #14 in the PDB. I have had 2 techs over whom work on auto electrical and there both lost. I had a remote start put on last x-mas for the wife and we were thinking just maybe but thats not it and to even make things crazier the front wiper washer wouldn't spray for the longest time it just started working again and I also noticed a blown fuse in the cabin #15. I have done automotive electrical in the past and my 2 buddys do it for a living but we are lost and I really just don't want to start replacing parts to guess what maybe wrong....I may replace the ignition switch and the multi function switch but i'd really like to find the source first.... ANY HELP WOULD GREATLY BE APPRECIATED....


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...just for thought i would definately change the 2 battery cables with new, propper, cables...this should resolve the battery/alt problem...the remote start might be something but the wiper fluid, i would do a good trace on that as i'm thinking it is probably pinched with another wire somewhere creating another short...:scratch:

Dumb question but what do you think is connected to fuse 14 in the PDB????? and $1 bet that fuse 15 in the interior is for your sprayer ... :)

...sorry, i don't have an owners manual for that year...if you have one it will be in there...;)

fuse 15 on the driver side is for the air bag system and the instrument cluster, fuse 12 in the driver side is for the wiper washer so you owe me $1 budwich. fuse 14 in the PDB is for the ignition so maybe the ignition switch is bad and causing all those problems.

here is the easiest thing. take a test light place it in series with the fuse terminals so it lights(this will also add a load to the circuit so the wires will not fry. find out every part in a service manual that fuse feeds and start to un plug those devices one at a time. when the light goes out the you have found the shorted part. if it continues to light then start unplugging the harness connectors working from the devices back to the fuse block. this will prevent blowing multiple fuses.

...:) ... $1 sent... :) .... assuming those designations are correct for his vehicle .... you know how documents especially automakers "seemed" to vary.

Anyways, those appear to the same as those "documented" for my 96.... hmmmmm. BUT my PDB #14 doesn't go to the ignition... :).... another $1 says its your rear defroster that the "heart" of your problem.... :-O

is there any corosion on the terminals of the battery or the cable ends?...if not they can still be bad. I have had to clean my terminals a couple times due to corsion.

...the corrosion would be inside the cable jacket, about 6" in from the opening...;)

funny things about having a blown fuse #15 (interior fuse box).... if you can believe drawings and hope that 96 (mine) are similar.... is that the fuse powers the alternator light on the dash... so if the fuse is gone, no light.... :) so something is "different" cause it appears that this gentleman has had a alternator light for a while with or without fuse #15. Again, I ask, in a 98 v8, what is PDB #14 powering and now also what is interior fuse box 15 powering????????

...i would find someone with a 98 owners manual....they do tend to change year to year....;)

fuse 15 on the driver side is for the air bag system and the instrument cluster, fuse 12 in the driver side is for the wiper washer so you owe me $1 budwich. fuse 14 in the PDB is for the ignition so maybe the ignition switch is bad and causing all those problems.

Fuse 14 in the power distribution box is for the alternator--you have a short--

Once again-I will say--
Do not trust Autozone's electrical diagrams--at all--

well... that helps.... at least that explains what #14 is.... (it appears to #17 on my 96).... anyways, my "new guess" (forget the bets... I don't have anymore money... :) ) is that you have a shorting condition (on again off again) in or around your starter relay terminal area.