2003 Ford EXP - 2 electrical issues - could they be related?

40

Asked by Jul 14, 2015 at 12:26 PM about the 2003 Ford Expedition XLT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Are these two electrical issues related?

1 - Dashboard lights are too dim, rheostat switch seems to be about half powered at
full position.

2 - All 3 power points stopped working today and the fuse is not blown.

Is there a relay that controls both OR are they unrelated and they just happened within
in a day of of each other, chalk it up to coincidence.

9 Answers

63,205

Sounds like a bad ground. HTH. -Jim

40

How do I determine a bad ground?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
63,205

The center of the power outlets is hot, the outer "ring" inside the hole is ground. Use a test light and connect one end to a known good hot lead. Then probe the other end of the test light on the outer ring inside the power outlet. The test light should come on. If not, you have a bad ground. HTH. -Jim

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
40

Jim thanks for your insight. Forgive the "noobness" of the question, where would I find a good hot lead? Would I need to test all three power points for a bad ground or would all of them share the same ground?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
40

Would the bad ground also affect the dashboard lights?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
63,205

You're welcome. Glad to help. You could use one of the fuse box spots (from a different circuit) or the battery, if it's close by. I'd test all 3 power outlets to be absolutely certain. But they may share the same ground. Even if they do and only one has, say, a broken ground wire that might upset the apple cart. HTH. -Jim

63,205

Yes, a bad ground can make dash lights dim, come on when they're not supposed to, or even stay on after the switch is turned off. HTH. - Jim

40

How do I fix a bad ground?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
63,205

That can be tricky. You'll need to check all the ground strap and/or wire connections for the instrument cluster. If you have an aftermarket radio I'd look there first. HTH. -Jim

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