Focus lights flicker - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > General Technical Chat

General Technical Chat This section is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
FocusFest

Like Tree2Likes
Reply




 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-09-2015, 01:32 PM   #1
Focus Enthusiast
 
Focus John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Fan#: 269577
Location: Richmond, MO
What I Drive: 2004 Black Roush Focus

Posts: 112
Points 668, Level 13
Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13
Level Up 36% Completed
Level up: 36% Level up: 36% Level up: 36%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 1 Focus John Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Focus lights flicker

Hi All,
I have recently purchased my first Focus (2004 Roush), and am slowly working thru the small(?) issues that it has.
I have got the IMRC fixed, and am working now on a flickering-lights problem.
So far, I have redone the grounds from the battery to chassis, motor to battery, and added a new 1.25" wide SS ground-strap, from the block to the chassis (just above alternator and running to the strut bolt). Right now I have 0 ohms of impedence from any of the above.
The car was running erratically, with sluggish throttle response, especially below 2,000 rpm, and surging at high rpms. The work I have done so far has dramatically improved the way that the car is running, probably because the computer is getting a better supply of electricity and maybe sensor input?
What I am still seeing, though, is a dome-, head- and tail-light flicker, at an idle. It was doing this before, which is why I started working on the electrical system. I hooked up my Escort Passport radar-detector, and changed it to 'sensing voltage readout'. I see that the voltages are moving between 13.9 and 15.3 volts, while the car is running, with lights and accessories on (combined city/highway driving), which explains the continuing flicker. It has IMPROVED from the original condition, since before the lights flickered at any rpm- now only below 1500-2000 rpm- but it isn't resolved.
So, my question for you experts is this: Where do I look next? Alternator? Voltage Regulator? HID headlight conversion (that the prior owner installed, including duct-tape around back of headlight/connector area)?
I have read a LOT about this type of issue on the Foci, and would love to hear from someone who has resolved this!


Focus John is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-10-2015, 01:47 AM   #2
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 96610
Location: Fort Worth, TX
What I Drive: 00 wagon, 02 sedan both zetec atx

Posts: 9,909
Points 5,821, Level 49
Points: 5,821, Level: 49 Points: 5,821, Level: 49 Points: 5,821, Level: 49
Level Up 36% Completed
Level up: 36% Level up: 36% Level up: 36%
Forum Activity 100%
Activity: 100% Activity: 100% Activity: 100%
FF Reputation: 54 amc49 Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
The voltages range from 14 to 15 all day long, the alt has variable output controlled by the PCM..................idle speed moving around too much can do it too.
__________________
Fix the driver first, then fixing the car becomes so much easier..........
amc49 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2015, 02:20 AM   #3
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Fan#: 89715
Location: San Antonio, TX
What I Drive: 2007 Black Focus SES 2.0 L4 4 Door

Posts: 559
Points 489, Level 9
Points: 489, Level: 9 Points: 489, Level: 9 Points: 489, Level: 9
Level Up 78% Completed
Level up: 78% Level up: 78% Level up: 78%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 21 Milton Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Good job on the grounds, now check the other side of the circuits, all the positive cables.
Milton is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2015, 05:18 AM   #4
Captain TMI
 
whynotthinkwhynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 18416
Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 Focus Wagon; 13 C-Max SEL

Posts: 20,891
Points 31,795, Level 100
Points: 31,795, Level: 100 Points: 31,795, Level: 100 Points: 31,795, Level: 100
Level Up 0% Completed
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Forum Activity 35%
Activity: 35% Activity: 35% Activity: 35%
FF Reputation: 274 whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
15.3v seems a little high. Usually I tell people that 15v is the absolute highest, but that depends on where you're reading from. If you're reading at the battery, 15 should be ok, but if you're reading from an accessory, then I'd say that's not good. You should check the alternator voltage at the battery.

Your engine should be a Duratec with coil on plug ignition. Those are not known to have the alternator wiring woes of the earlier Zetec engines. It is still a good idea to check that wiring, but IMO, you need to have your alternator rebuilt. Local rebuilds, Motorcraft rebuilds, or new Motorcraft are ok, but we have had some problems with lifetime warranty alternators. Several FF's have reported needing to change "lifetime" alternators every 3 months. If you don't know a local auto electrical parts rebuilder, need the car immediately and don't want to fork out the extra $100 for a new Motorcraft then I suggest purchasing the least expensive 2 year warranty alternator, keep your core, and then search for a local rebuilder with your OEM core. What happens is that the parts store rebuilder uses the least expensive parts on the market- most notably the voltage regulator. Local rebuilders don't want returns, so parts that cause warranty returns regularly don't get repurchased.
__________________
Be eclectic.
---The Complete How-To Archive--

Moderating everything now, let me know if I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the user formerly known as ZX3_Chick View Post
You're special aren't you.
whynotthinkwhynot is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2015, 12:56 PM   #5
Focus Enthusiast
 
Focus John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Fan#: 269577
Location: Richmond, MO
What I Drive: 2004 Black Roush Focus

Posts: 112
Points 668, Level 13
Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13
Level Up 36% Completed
Level up: 36% Level up: 36% Level up: 36%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 1 Focus John Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Thank you!

Thanks guys!
I called the local Ford dealership and they kindly informed me that the alternator for my car has been discontinued.
BUT, it turns out that there IS one in Wisconsin, for the original $490 price! ACK!
So, is there any reason that another alternator wouldn't work (say from another year?) as long as it too is 110 amp?
There is not a reputable rebuilder in my area, so is there one anybody knows of in the KC area?
Thanks again!
Focus John is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-10-2015, 06:59 PM   #6
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 96610
Location: Fort Worth, TX
What I Drive: 00 wagon, 02 sedan both zetec atx

Posts: 9,909
Points 5,821, Level 49
Points: 5,821, Level: 49 Points: 5,821, Level: 49 Points: 5,821, Level: 49
Level Up 36% Completed
Level up: 36% Level up: 36% Level up: 36%
Forum Activity 100%
Activity: 100% Activity: 100% Activity: 100%
FF Reputation: 54 amc49 Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
FYI, worn brushes can make idle flicker too. They are part of the regulator assembly.

And don't be surprised if that $490 alt is really a parts house 'lifetime' warrantied one, and what they do here.

I personally allow for the 15.3 volts number as many meters if cheap ones can vary that much. I see a variance of two tenths in the cheap crap and expensive ones I have. It seems pretty consistent.
__________________
Fix the driver first, then fixing the car becomes so much easier..........
amc49 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2015, 01:47 AM   #7
Focus Enthusiast
 
Focus John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Fan#: 269577
Location: Richmond, MO
What I Drive: 2004 Black Roush Focus

Posts: 112
Points 668, Level 13
Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13
Level Up 36% Completed
Level up: 36% Level up: 36% Level up: 36%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 1 Focus John Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Rebuild the alternator?

Good information guys!
So, both whynot... and amc think that I need the alternator rebuilt (or at least a regulator)?
Is there any way to verify this conclusion, or just try it?
BTW- amc, the voltage that I am reading is from the cigarette lighter, thru my $450 Escort/Passport radar detector. But, I am not sure how that equates to your questions...
Focus John is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2015, 02:05 AM   #8
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 96610
Location: Fort Worth, TX
What I Drive: 00 wagon, 02 sedan both zetec atx

Posts: 9,909
Points 5,821, Level 49
Points: 5,821, Level: 49 Points: 5,821, Level: 49 Points: 5,821, Level: 49
Level Up 36% Completed
Level up: 36% Level up: 36% Level up: 36%
Forum Activity 100%
Activity: 100% Activity: 100% Activity: 100%
FF Reputation: 54 amc49 Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
When dealing with alt you always read directly at battery posts.

If car has a low fan resistor (probably), it can melt at the connector to have the connection become high resistance, that can flicker lights too when the fans kick on, at least on the earlier models.

Too much idle drop from 15 other kinds of issue can do it too. Engine absolutely must be idling smoothly and evenly to minimize the issue.
amc49 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2015, 12:05 PM   #9
Focus Enthusiast
 
Focus John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Fan#: 269577
Location: Richmond, MO
What I Drive: 2004 Black Roush Focus

Posts: 112
Points 668, Level 13
Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13
Level Up 36% Completed
Level up: 36% Level up: 36% Level up: 36%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 1 Focus John Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
amc

Well, AMC, I only know that it does the "flicker" at ALL times, with the engine idling, at different rpms (mostly clears up above 1700-2000 though), and with lights on or off, hot or cold (which precludes the fan, right?), etc.
I am still looking for replacement headlights for it (lenses and bulbs), since I also suspect the HID conversion that the prior owner (cobbled-in) installed.
I think that I am getting closer, though, because it WAS running really poorly, but now runs (mostly) the way I think it should- although it DOES have a "dead-spot' at about 2000 rpm, at least in 5th gear, on the highway. Which is really irritating, since that is around 50-55 mph, where I HAVE to drive it (a lot) on the two-lane country highways that I take to-and-from work every day...
But that may be another issue?
Focus John is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2015, 12:14 AM   #10
Focus Enthusiast
 
Focus John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Fan#: 269577
Location: Richmond, MO
What I Drive: 2004 Black Roush Focus

Posts: 112
Points 668, Level 13
Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13 Points: 668, Level: 13
Level Up 36% Completed
Level up: 36% Level up: 36% Level up: 36%
Forum Activity 2%
Activity: 2% Activity: 2% Activity: 2%
FF Reputation: 1 Focus John Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
OK AMC, tell me about the idle issue, too. I pushed in the clutch, on the highway tonight, and it was idling all over the place (like 600-1200 rpms).
The reason that I did it on the highway was to be sure it had run long enough to reach full temp, and it still didn't idle well.
So, is there an idle-learn sequence for these cars (since I had the battery disconnected), or is there a common issue with the idle, or is the voltage variation perhaps causing the idle issues?
Thanks!
Focus John is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
What I Drive
Year, color, and model of your car. Example: 2003 Pitch Black ZX3
Name
Your real name.
City
State
Country
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may 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 On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:20 AM.


Copyright 2002-2015 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Mazda CX-3, Audi S3, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus, Focus ST and Focus RS related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area. If you own other makes have a look at Challenger Hellcat Forum, Charger Hellcat Forum, Cadillac ATS-V Forum, Cadillac ATS Forum, Cadillac CTS-V Forum, Lexus RC-F Forum, Lexus GS-F Forum, Mercedes GLA Forum, Mercedes GLE Forum, Civic Type-R Forum and Volvo XC90 Forum.




 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1