2003 ZX3 Lights flickering - Focus Fanatics
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Focus Fanatics > 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    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-17-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
ElementCo27
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Fan#: 104993
Location: PK, NY
What I Drive: 2003 Silver Ford Focus ZX3

Posts: 8
FF Reputation: 1 ElementCo27 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
2003 ZX3 Lights flickering

Hey everyone, new here and just signed up today, but I've visited the site before and it has been very helpful for me so thank you.

I have a 2003 Ford Focus ZX3 that I bought over the summer. It has been a great car and I love it to death. The only thing(s) I've been concerned with is mainly this issue of flickering headlights, tail lights, mileage display, and interior lights (like when I open the door). I've looked through a few pages on here and didn't see much come up so I thought I'd make a new one for those with this issue as well.

The flickering happens while I'm driving and when I'm idle as well. The strange thing is that my radio doesn't flicker, so that leads me to believe it shouldn't be an alternator issue, but I could be mistaken.

Also, while I have this up, I have another issue I can't pin point. When I bought this car I realized that when I brake it makes a kind of, slight pop and grind noise maybe? It's a little hard to describe, but I reckon it's the brakes or the bearings. I know the guy who sold it to me said he "resurfaced" the brakes, which if he did, it was a lousy job because it seems they may still be warped.

Any help would be great and I really thank you guys in advance and appreciate it.


ElementCo27 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-17-2012, 07:49 PM   #2
mikeeshaq
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Fan#: 72526
Location: Sugar Land,TX ex MN, TX
What I Drive: 2010 Transit Connect

Posts: 1,039
FF Reputation: 15 mikeeshaq Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
You need to do troubleshooting by purchasing a multimeter
Harbor Freight is your friend, They sell a multimeter from $0.0 to $10.00 [same one] Look in Popular Mechanics etc NRA magazine etc etc for their ad.

YouTube is your friend also. Type in battery alternator multimeter alternatively type in voltmeter in place of multimeter.
There you will find a multitude of videos of varying quality that explains how to diagnose your car's electrical system.

You want to find out the correct range of voltage on your battery when your car is...
Off
Running
Running with headlights on and heater going too

Also by placing the voltmeter on AC Volts you get to see if your diodes in your alternator are shot. Zero volts means at least your diodes are OK. This is something that a cluster turned into a voltmeter will NOT be able to do.

How do the cables on the battery look? should be clean and tight. Grounds are an issue too. The pigtail going to the alternator is a common problem.

Since you have a hatchback the umbilical going to the hatch is a common problem with wires inside the umbilical cracking, shorting or whatever.
mikeeshaq is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2012, 08:03 PM   #3
ElementCo27
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Fan#: 104993
Location: PK, NY
What I Drive: 2003 Silver Ford Focus ZX3

Posts: 8
FF Reputation: 1 ElementCo27 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Awesome thanks! I'll definitely get that multimeter soon. Anything you could think about with the grinding/popping noise I'm getting near the wheels?
ElementCo27 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
mikeeshaq
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Fan#: 72526
Location: Sugar Land,TX ex MN, TX
What I Drive: 2010 Transit Connect

Posts: 1,039
FF Reputation: 15 mikeeshaq Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
"""Anything you could think about with the grinding/popping noise I'm getting near the wheels? """

I am just electrical
mikeeshaq is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 10:30 AM   #5
zpellicone
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Fan#: 105007
Location: Charlotte, NC
What I Drive: 2001 Pitch Black ZTS

Posts: 56
FF Reputation: 1 zpellicone Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
I have an 01 sedan and I have had the flickering lights for over 2 years now, I've kind of gotten used to it. I had the alternator replaced soon after it started but that didnt help too much. I assume it is either the battery cables being corroded (they were recalled for 2001 MY's because they need to be rerouted) or its the pigtail for the alternator. It hasnt really caused any problems but its definetly one of the two things mentioned above. My dome light still flickers some after I cut the engine off which would lead me to believe its the battery cables.
zpellicone is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 11:37 AM   #6
PRSman25
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Fan#: 103893
Location: Rockledge, FL
What I Drive: 2001 Black ZX3

Posts: 104
FF Reputation: 1 PRSman25 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
If you can spare the time, SOME shops will do a free brake eval. Which would tell you everything you've ever wanted to know about your brakes.
Tires Plus in my area is offering it, and I've seen a few other national shops offer it too.
PRSman25 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 11:50 AM   #7
ElementCo27
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Fan#: 104993
Location: PK, NY
What I Drive: 2003 Silver Ford Focus ZX3

Posts: 8
FF Reputation: 1 ElementCo27 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRSman25 View Post
If you can spare the time, SOME shops will do a free brake eval. Which would tell you everything you've ever wanted to know about your brakes.
Tires Plus in my area is offering it, and I've seen a few other national shops offer it too.
Interesting. Do you know if one of those shops is Mavis? I've been looking around for nearby shops to go to.

I've looked around a little myself, and it seems that one of the cables attaching to the battery is a little loose, which could be the cause. I took my car to Autozone as well and had them check the battery and alternator and he said they were fine. He didn't seem like he was too interested in helping me either, but that's the result I got.

Thanks again guys, I appreciate the help.
ElementCo27 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 12:05 PM   #8
iroc34
Focus Fanatic
 
iroc34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Fan#: 69289
Location: Miami Beach, FL
What I Drive: 2011 Ford Taurus Limited

Posts: 2,177
FF Reputation: 18 iroc34 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (13)
YUP, make sure all you cables are clean and tightened. Especially the ground cables. Follow the black cable from the battery to the bell housing on the Transmission. That one sometimes comes loose. The alternators are a usual problem on the Focus. You can have them checked , and it will pass. But its an intermittent problem. The flickering is probably the internal voltage regulator.
Also the pigtail that plugs into the alt is a source of head aches. Ford actually sells a replacement . But start with the small stuff first ...

Follow what Mike said, he already covered most of this.!!!
iroc34 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2013, 11:20 AM   #9
luy.ga
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Fan#: 114041
Location: West Bend, WI
What I Drive: 2005 ZX4 5spd

Posts: 2
FF Reputation: 1 luy.ga Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
I have a 2005 zx4 with a similar problem. Intermittent flickering headlights, gauge cluster, interior lights, radio, everything electrical. Sometimes the enging will stumble or cut out. The local dealer can't find anything wrong. They checked the alternator pigtail, alternator function and grounds. It is getting so bad that i can't drtive the car out of town. Anyone have any ideas?????
luy.ga is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2013, 11:28 AM   #10
ElementCo27
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Fan#: 104993
Location: PK, NY
What I Drive: 2003 Silver Ford Focus ZX3

Posts: 8
FF Reputation: 1 ElementCo27 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by luy.ga View Post
I have a 2005 zx4 with a similar problem. Intermittent flickering headlights, gauge cluster, interior lights, radio, everything electrical. Sometimes the enging will stumble or cut out. The local dealer can't find anything wrong. They checked the alternator pigtail, alternator function and grounds. It is getting so bad that i can't drtive the car out of town. Anyone have any ideas?????
The only thing I've been told consistently that could be the issue is that the headlight switch is going out. However, that would not cause any issues with your engine. I'm no mechanic, but I would think that maybe its the starter or ignition causing issues.

I haven't gotten around to trying a new headlight switch only because I'm lazy and it looks like a pain in the ass to replace. I'll try this week and get back for the sake of the forum lol.
ElementCo27 is offline  
    Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not 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

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:44 AM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Terms of Use : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information : Site Map

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 Acura TLX or Fiesta ST. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area.