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Discussion Starter #1
So on my way home from work tonight, my check engine light came on. Car sounded fine, driving as usual. I did not hear or smell anything unusual. Almost home, I could tell that my headlights were dimming BADLY, intermittently. Then all the sudden, both headlights went out without warning, fogs and ambers both continued to work. Also, I could use my highbeams. One final piece of information, as I increased my speed to the car, the fogs/ambers seemed to get brighter. As I slowed the car down, they dimmed down some. When I parked my car I put it into neutral and rev'd the engine, my fogs/ambers got brighter, and the reverse would happen as I let the car idle. I also hear a clicking somewhere within the dash area as I rev the engine and the lights go bright-dim.

I've been having a flickering light issue with my car since 2012, and it seemed to get exasperated with the newly added fogs, brighter halogens and led's. I just installed fogs a couple of weeks ago with a relay screwed to the engine compartment wall. I also replaced my alternator cable with a new pigtail (soldered and shink-wrapped of course) this past Saturday.

Can anyone help me out or have any ideas as to what I could start to look into? I can't seem to win lately with the car. The more I try to make her better, the worse she gets. I have my mod thread for a full detail of all of the additions I've made in my car. The link is in my siggy should you like to look through it (all changes are in the first post in a list for quick checking).

I'm very greatful for any help you guys can add. Please help me. This is my DD and rely on it to get me to work. I'm extremely upset over this.

I love this forum and you guys for all of your help and knowledge. Thanks.
 

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2004 Focus Wagon, Zetec DOHC, Auto
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Likely a battery or alternator issue. The clicking and light dimming would point to that.

If you can make it over to a parts store, they can run a battery and alternator check.

If you can't drive it, then take a multimeter and check the battery voltage with car running and lights on high beam. The voltage should be 14.x.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Actually, I grabbed a couple of voltages earlier this week concerning the flickering lights. Put meter across battery terminals, car off 12.95VDC, on with lights and heat 14.53VDC.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That was when it was abnormally warm out, about 70 degrees or so. I noticed that when I start my car in the cold since Wednesday, the display on my receiver was a bit latent or laggy with the startup characters and actions.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If it's the alternator why did the battery light not come on but the check engine did? I had my alt and battery go before due to a bad alt and the battery light came on, never the check engine?
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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I don't know. Maybe unplug the fogs and see what happens. Seems to be the fog install is causing it all, unless it was happening before it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No. I just wanted to get home. If my car starts tomorrow morning I will pull the relay from the fogs and see what happens. If my car doesn't start up I'll call AAA and get her towed somewhere. I pray its not my alternator. barely three years from the last replacement.
 

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You've just stepped over into the twilight zone. Getting enough varied troubles now that it is going to be pretty much impossible to solve over the web, there could be fifty things wrong there and easily more than one at same time.

You added additional things to load an already failing electrical system that won't help at all. The least one can do is to undo all that to begin to look at a pure stock OEM system to begin to try to find out what is wrong with it. Often the end result with 500 people putting in varied ideas at the same time.

In short, you need a qualified auto electrician now.............to go through things piece by piece to find out what's wrong. All this trouble means whoever that is will have to start at ground zero like it's never been touched. The problem may be simple but outside the normal battery/alt/pigtail/cable issues normally found. The cars have like ten miles of wire in them. A decent come and go small short or open could do any of that and not blow fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Shite..... I did not want to hear that. Can I disconnect the additions myself and see if that remedies the issue? Or is this a list cause now? All my connections were splices or soldered with heat shrink.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I need to buy myself a meter. I'll go out tomorrow, buy one and try to check for shorts with the new mods to my car. Hopefully my car will start in the morning. But I'm doubting it with this issue, let alone it being freezing out. If it starts I'll try to take it to an auto store to check my battery and alternator. I'm praying that it is just a short somewhere.
 

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Long shot here, but you could try wiggling your bat + cables (all the red ones) and see if any of them are shorting out somewhere. It will spark if there is a short!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
True. Good thought. I'm half tempted to try to start my car right now some it has been sitting for the past 3 hrs after the light came on.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Also, when I replaced the old alternator connection with the new pigtail, even though the wires were all black I made sure that the correct color wires of the current harness match up with the pins on the new pigtail (if that makes sense).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Do you guys think this will be OK to drive in its current state about 7 miles round trip to an auto parts store for a code check? I only ask because if the headlights went out meaning this is alternator related, I don't want to be a cause for backed up traffic and a lane closure, lol. I would ideally like to take it for them to check battery, alt and pull the CEL.
 

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Driving in daytime doesn't require headlights to be on. Should be good to go. Car stuttering?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah just worried about other electrical drains on the battery. That's all. Oh and no stuttering
 

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I think you will be fine honestly. It's not that far. As long as you start the car id say go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks free.
 
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