97 Taurus


Old 06-13-02, 05:29 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Cool 97 Taurus

Ok here we go again. 97 Ford Taurus GL - 3 liter. Several months ago I had an intermittent problem where at speeds above say 35 Mph, turning on a turn signal or head lights or interior lights and the car would downshift to second gear. This was really neat above 60 Mph… So I set out, metering in hand and chased this down to a relay on the fuse box that controls the delay of total power off. After keyoff and for 45 seconds or so the power would stay on allowing you to roll up a window. No radio just window, wipers. *Mind here that if this Taurus is like most that have power everything, the interior lights stay on for one minute or so. This car has never done that since it was new. It does appear to try to delay though. Both of the other two Taurus’s we owned had this feature and all three cars have been equally loaded power everything. When I asked the dealership about this lack of, he said some of this model received that feature and some didn’t… Here’s your sign.*
So this relay was sticking closed and had a constant keyoff/door closed current drain of 2.5 amps. After replacement of the relay and original factory battery everything was fine. *The relay showed quite a bit of high temperature discoloration to connection blades and on the contact points but no physical burn to windings etc.
Until yesterday… Now there is again a constant anywhere from 2.5 to 7.89 +- 1 amp draw at keyoff state. Intermittently, with keyoff the headlights are coming on and staying on but in a diminished state. I thought there might be another light on and assumed that it is a daylight safety light. A physical inspection does not find any other connections to the assembly. And also I had never seen a running light on. But it’s Ford, and a plastic front end… Remember the pain in the arse Corvette and lighting on them?
The headlights turn on and you can still see this diminished light, also with the bright's on it appears that a second light bulb on. This is impossible of course. As of the last few tests the lights are staying off but still have the 2.5 amp draw. All light bulbs in trunk, glove box have been pulled. Stranger yet everything seems to be working as it should. I can hear the relay disengage after about 45 seconds, the windows will work for that time but after the relay shuts off there is still a draw of 2.5 amps. Pull the relay and the drain ceases but so does the overhead lights, stereo backup and I believe the windows also stop working but would have to dbl ck that.
So anyone have any ideas? Have searched TBA’s for this and came up empty. I am going to take it to Ford Friday morning but wanted some input from the forums. We have let two good quality shops try their hand at repairing this and both have given up.

**10:12 PM 6/13** As of an errand tonight I have found that buy "Fiddling" with the dimmer, wiper, turn signal arm the head lights will turn off but not stay off. When they do come back on they seem to come on gradually and then fluctuate. This is from key off and full temp engine that has just been shut off. We noticed the lights almost pulsing within 10 minutes after the engine was shut off...

Last edited by bigmike; 06-13-02 at 08:15 PM.
Sponsored Links
Old 06-13-02, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
Well Bigmike if this was a GM I would take a close look at the body control module.But alas its not, see if they use one they cause strange problems such as yours.Ford may call it something else.
Old 06-13-02, 09:07 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up


Big Mike is our hero. Lol.

The second part of your post (the update) provided me with a clue.. I think you have a problem at your multifunction/turn signal switch assembly.

This controls headlamp beams, flash to pass, turn signals, and wipers. Lots of woes on Fords like that.

Take the steering column cover off (it's clamshelled) and have a look in there. A connection might be bad. If not, my bet's on a bad switch. As I recall, the part has been superseded by Ford a few times.

Go to www.motorcraft.com Look up your part, and find a Motorcraft distributor (aftermarket arm of Ford). They can order/stock the switch. Play around with it with the column cover off (watch the airbag).

If fiddling with it causes it to go out, I'll bet you've got a bad turn signal switch. Pretty straightforward to change.

www.autolibrary.org should have the R&R procedure.

Good luck and let us know Big Mike.
Old 06-14-02, 06:19 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Angry Switch

That’s what I will mention to Ford. I thought we were to take it today and it’s not till Monday. This disconnecting the battery crap is for the birds not to mention out in public! Embarrassing… Yea the turn signal thing was a fluke; I reached in the car while my partner watched the lights as I rotated the light switch thinking it was the culprit. I bumped the turn signal lever and the lights went out. Played with it some more and could duplicate the problem. No way am I going to pull that column off. It is still under a partial warranty so going to let Ford deal with it. I can see that air bag punching me in the nose because I touched the wrong thing! Never been in one of those before. Whatever happened to a car that you could actually work on? Thanks guys and I will post the repair as soon as I find out.
Old 06-14-02, 06:26 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Ok BigMike.

If it's under warranty, get them to eat the repair.

If not, changing the turn signal switch is quite straightforward and easy from what I recall on most Fords.

A couple of screws and it will be done. You can do it BigMike. Lol

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes