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bretwheat 12-07-2012 01:43 PM

ZX3, Dash light flicker, electrical

I've recently had an issue with my 2003 Ford Focus ZX3. About a month ago, a couple of lights on the dashboard would come on and flash when I'd press the brakes to stop at a light. The guages would also twitch, and the radio would cut out and back on, resetting the cd player. After this happened a few times, my car wouldn't start, just clicking over and over. Sometimes it would start when I wiggled the battery cables, and then it even stopped doing that. I took it to the Ford Dealership and they found my only problem was a dead battery, nothing else. All was well for about a day, and then the same problem arose. This time it restarts when I wiggle the cables. Any idea what the issue may be?

(Also, the factory speaker in the back trunk stopped working, I'm not sure if this is related)

Thanks for any help or advice.

BC_ZX3 12-08-2012 10:08 AM

Start by checking the electrical cabling that goes from the car body to the hatch. It's contained in an electrical "conduit" that starts in the sill (between the two hatch hinges) and goes to the deck lid. You're looking for broken or chafed wiring and exposed copper. The "red flag" symptom for this suggestion/diagnosis is you mentioning the problem occurring with the application of the brakes.

If no problems are found, check the alternator (alt) connector for loose or corroded wires. It's a problematic connector.

Finally, check the smaller diameter wires at the batttery, not just the big thick cables. Look for cracked insulation. Repair as needed. Clean the chassis grounds.

The clickinng noise you hear is simply your start motor relay not receiving enough juice to fully engage the starter motor; it's a classic sign of a dead battery.

Something is either 1) causing your battery not to receive a charge (alt or alt wiring problem) or 2) draining your battery of its existing charge (dead short). I think the cure of "cable wiggling" - providing the battery cables (and all the surrounding smaller wires) are tight and clean - may be coincidental.

Hope that helps. btw, welcome to FF.

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