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Need some fuse help...


New Member
March 23, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Upstate NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLT
New guy here... just bought an 02 Explorer XLT to replace my "bad weather" truck.

I've hardwired my Sirius and GPS units, and the install went great, and very clean. Just one problem... I can't find a fuse that is "off" when the car is off.

When I've done these installs in the past in other vehicles, I've spliced into the cigarette lighter- in most cars these are off when the car is off. In the Explorer it's on all the time. Hmm... ok, the radio goes off when the car is off, so I bought a fuse adapter and linked into the radio at the fusebox. No go... the radio goes off, but the fuse is hot all the time.

What can I tap into that will go off when the car is turned off? I don't want to forget to turn the units off and come back to a dead battery!

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The easiest way is to connect to the ignition accessory wire, which will turn on when you turn the key on or to ACC, and will always be off when the key is off.

You can do it by going through the steering column, or by splicing into the radio accessory wire, which should be the yellow wire (yellow/black stripe), assuming you have all the original wires.

Thanks. I was hoping for a simpler solution via the fuse box :(

As far as I know, all of the wiring is original.

Then you should be splicing into the radio fuse (fuse #3) in the fuse box inside the Expo. The #3 fuse is the Radio, Amplifier, Power Antenna fuse, which should be turning off with the vehicle. If the fuse is not turning off, then your radio will stay on.

You either have the wrong fuse, or the truck's wiring has been messed with. It is true the cigarette lighter / power points stay on all the time, so splicing into this will not work.

According to the Dead Link Removed (page 230), if you tie into Fuse# 3 (20A), you should be on the Radio, Apmifier, Antenna fuse.

If you have a test light ($5 at autozone) try this one while the car is off. It will not light up (Since there is no power). Another thing is that when you tie in, you need make sure that you do it on "output" side of the fuse relay. If you tie into the input, than you will still have power coming from the battery.

I am not that familiar with the setup of this model (Owning a 1st gen is to easy), but this one also shows a "Radio (Start)" 5 amp fuse in slot# 28. Might want to check that one out too.

After PandorasCustoms reply, I decided to look in my Owner's Manual, and my Owner's Manual states that fuse #28 (7.5A) and #29 (20A) are both radio, and the #3 fuse is the left turn signal (I have rear radio controls in my center console for the back passengers, and I think that is what fuse #28 is).

When I looked in the first printing ( on page 209-211, it states fuse #28 is Air Bag Diagnostics, and the sixth printing is in line with what PandorasCustoms stated.

You can find 2002 Ford Owner Guides here:

Look at the different printings, and make sure you are sure what your fuses are if you don't have a stock Owner's Manual. It would suck to splice into the airbags and have them deploy.

I forgot this: There is not a radio fuse RELAY. When it comes to the radio, both sides of the fuse will be on or off. Of course, you always want to tap into the side that is between the battery and fuse, not the side that is between the fuse and radio, or you compromise the fuse for the radio (the reason I always spice into the Accessory wiring).

Good catch adidas, Apparently, there are a few printings of the 2002 owners manual. I didn't consider that at first and just went with the first one.

(Edited, apparently it helps when i completely read the post before me, maybe then I won't double up on the info)

Thanks Guys. #3 is what my owners manual suggested, and it's the one I tied into. Maybe that one also keeps the presets, etc and that's why it's hot all the time?

After work I'll go see if #28 is also listed as radio-- if so, I'll try that one.

FYI-- I was tapping in with one of these if it makes a difference...


Okay... got in there with a multimeter, and I found a circuit that did what I wanted-- the one for the wipers (#4 in my fuse box).

Thanks again guys!