Head, Brake, Signal, Reverse/Back-up lights work, but Tail, Park and Panel lights don't


Asked by Sep 27, 2010 at 01:46 PM about the 1997 Mercury Sable 4 Dr GS Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I jumped the battery a while back.  i don't know if this caused the problem.  But, afterward, I started having problems.

The headlights work.  Brake lights work.  Turn signal lights work.  But, the tail lights around the reverse/back-up lights and the ones on the sides don't work.  Neither do the yellow parking lights on the front.  The instrument panel light has also stopped working.

I have tested every fuse.  I have tested and/or replaced bulbs.  I have replaced the headlight switch, but that didn't fix the problem.

The Haynes manual only identifies 3 points to check on the headlight switch.  There are 12 pins.  The other 9 pins go to various points.  I tested each of the 9 with a multimeter, and they were open.

I've reviewed the Haynes manual, but can't find any more clues.  

Now what?

John in East Tennessee

10 Answers


C00l bring it up I will take care of it :) ( Massachusetts ) This has got to have that dam auto lamp funtion right ??? Otherwise its pretty straight forward. Lets see if I can walk you through this. In the engine compartment make sure fuse 15,20 and 22 are good See Picture - make sure relay top right is NEW ( Cheap ) . Inside fuse box make sure fuse 12,22 and 30,31 are good and with power with key on and headlight switch on. Take notes and do these tests and let me know what was blown what is hot and what is not. We can go from there.

12 people found this helpful.

Thank you for the information. I tried the steps you said and still can't seem to fix the problem. What does the autolamp relays do? There is an Auto Lamp relay for headlights, and one for park lights. so what do they do? The Haynes manual shows that the relays are in the circuit for the park lights and it seems that the tail lights are part of that circuit. At the headlight switch, I checked the brown wire to ground and got continuity. If I'm right then that means the the wire to the lights in not broken. I checked the fuses in the engine comp. and got 2.37 volts dc at fuses 15, 20, and 22 to ground. How do I figure the numbers for the fuses in the Instrument Panel fuse panel? Any other ideas/ suggestions for me? Thank you again for all your help.

8 people found this helpful.

My problem is everything is working but the parking lamps and the dash lights. Bought a 250 fuse pannel (has controls in it) and replaced the switch. Also checked the system ground in the trunk. STILL not working. All relays and fuses good but keep blowing #18. Lost!!!!

4 people found this helpful.

Not a answer. My 1999 Merc Sable does not have auto lights. There is power on the fuses in engine compartment. There is no power on fuses inside in fuse box. The fuses in fuse box are not numbered. They are marked on the cover. The fuses with no power are marked, tail light and dash light. I put a power wire from cig lighter to dash light fuse and they will work. I also hear a relay kicking in. It sounds like its coming from behind toe radio/ heater controls. Can anyone help?

6 people found this helpful.

We are having the same issue with a 89 Grand Marquis - no running lights but have headlights and brake lights. When doors are closed we are getting a buzzing noise under dash between driver & passenger seats. Fuses are all good. Any ideas?

10 people found this helpful.

I have lost both Brake lights on my 2005 Grand Marquis Gl and since I no longer have the owners manual , I can't know which fuses control the Brake lights , can you help me ?

10 people found this helpful.

Where is the fuse for the tail lights

15 people found this helpful.

Light Control Module.

3 people found this helpful.

Where is the fuse for the power mirrors?

1 people found this helpful.

fuse box was buzzing until i took out the parking light fuse what does that mean?

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Sable in your area?

CarGurus has 581 nationwide Sable listings starting at $2,500.


Mercury Sable Experts

  • #1
  • #2
    Tom Demyan
  • #3
    Guy Outland
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford Taurus
186 Great Deals out of 15,917 listings starting at $981
Used Mercury Grand Marquis
19 Great Deals out of 1,192 listings starting at $1,200
Used Toyota Camry
761 Great Deals out of 70,900 listings starting at $1,200
Used Honda Accord
424 Great Deals out of 101,059 listings starting at $1,200
Used Chevrolet Malibu
480 Great Deals out of 49,315 listings starting at $2,000
Used Ford Focus
406 Great Deals out of 76,949 listings starting at $1,195
Used Chevrolet Impala
397 Great Deals out of 25,595 listings starting at $799
Used Ford F-150
2,344 Great Deals out of 215,477 listings starting at $1,300
Used Lincoln Town Car
24 Great Deals out of 1,358 listings starting at $1,995

Used Cars For Sale

2009 Mercury Sable For Sale
23 listings starting at $3,999
2008 Mercury Sable For Sale
77 listings starting at $2,500
2004 Mercury Sable For Sale
70 listings starting at $3,495
2003 Mercury Sable For Sale
72 listings starting at $2,695

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.