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Old 01-19-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
mrtoolman
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2002 Focus ZTS

I have a 2002 Focus ZTS I've noticed my stop lamps went out so I replaced the fuse. Bingo they work again but now the hook!! With the key on ( car not started /running ) they work. I started the car, hit the pedal they went out, fuse is out again.
~ Everything works~ flashers,turn sig's,tail lights!! but no stop lamps.
~ Repalced the fuse & the same thing happened again.
Does anyone have any ideas


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Old 01-20-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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The fuse is doing its job by protecting the brake light wiring circuit which obviously has a dead short in it. A dead short is when the wire carrying 12V power to an electrical component is grounded unintentionally before the component. It's usually due to a wiring break, chafed wire or loose electrical connector/plug - anything that exposes copper wiring which can touch bare metal in the car body.

Common causes of shorts within the brake circuit would be a corroded bulb electrical connector, a bad bulb, water or condensation within the stop light housing or broken wire(s) in the wiring harness between body and trunk lid. Check all the brake lights including the center mounted light. Clean, repair or replace any suspect parts. Corrosion on copper wire appears as a pale greenish powder. Black soot or burns where the short is making electrical contact may be evident.

Until you repair the short, the circuit will continuously blow fuses. Do not be tempted to bridge the fuse receptacle with a piece of solid wire.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Remove and check out your license plate lights. Yes, I know it's not a brake light, but it does seem that most problems come as a result of corrosion in the license plate lights.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:45 AM   #4
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OH, a trick I keep around for just such an occasion is a self resetting circuit breaker. You can find these in the electrical aisle- get one with really long forks. There are some that are made with different break-off lengths. This is just a temporary thing to save you fuses because sometimes these circuits will show continuity when operating correctly. What I do is plug the circuit breaker where the fuse goes- the long forks make it stick out over the top of the other fuses- then trouble shoot the circuit. When the breaker trips, you can either unplug the breaker and plug it back in to reset it, or you can turn the power off with the key, and that resets it. I keep it in my "special" tools box. These cost about $3, but who knows how many $'s it's saved me in fuses.
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