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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have a 2003 Focus 1.4 LX, and in the last week or so the dashboard seems to have developed a problem. Intermittently, the dashboard lights will start flickering on and off, and all the dials will lose power, come back on, lose power, come back on etc...

There doesn't appear to be any other problems with the car while this is occurring. The car seems to drive fine. Other electrics (ie lights, indicators, radio etc.) seem to be working, but seeing the dashboard dials and lights going crazy gives me a serious case of the willies!!

Does anyone have any idea/advice on what might be causing this? Is it the first tell-tail sign of larger problems down the road? [???:)]

Thanks,
John.
 

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Sounds like the rheostat for dimming the interior lights might have a loose component. Try driving until your problem occurs and adjust the dimmer, if it stops, then just replace the switch. If not you need to do some serious trouble shooting.

Do you have an aftermarket stereo per chance?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As it happens, I do have an aftermarket stereo, and the problem was less prevalent when I switched it off, but it still does happen.

I'll try your suggestion with the dimmer. Thanks!
 

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Old Phart
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Umm - do you have an actual voltage problem with the car's electrical system?

This thread related to an instrument panel dimmer switch issue that JUST affects the instrument panel lights.
 

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The author of this thread mentions the dials lose power and the lights flicker. I'm having the same problem. Sometimes the power for the radio cuts off as well. The car runs fine while all of this is happening. Doesn't the dimmer just affect the brightness?

I dont know what the problem is. The items that were replaced were done by the dealer cause thats what they thought was the problem.
 

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Old Phart
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Might be a tough one to find, asked about voltage problems because that's what the items replaced would be a guess at repairing.

The OP from Ireland with an '03 1.4 tried cleaning cluster connection first, then was going to check the dimmer for the dash lights, no further posts.

Grounds for the harness under the panel near the fuse box is another place to check. With no running issues or mention of dashes in the Odo. the grounds near the battery under the hood are less likely.
 

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We had what we thought were random electrical issues with our Ford Focus 2005. The dashboard lights would come on, the radio would whirr and the headlights would blow. After 6 different mechanics the culprit turned out to be the Turbocharge had a split in the hose. It went out on a mountain road. Once this was fixed no more ‘electrical’ problems.
 

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The old school mechanic I go to when I can't figure it out myself told me "Change the alternator" when I had my focus instrument cluster acting up despite alternator/battery voltage being apparently normal.
It solved the problem immediately, a fix that has lasted five years and still does.
If, as commonly happens, one phase of the three phase internal output of the alternator goes bad, this may affect the quality (smoothness) of the rectified dc waveform of the alternator's output, causing misbehavior of the cluster's electronics.
Might be worth a try. Good luck.
Monoblanco
 
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