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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys this is my first post on this site and I really need some help. I have a 2001 focus ZX3 and it seems to have an electrical problem. When driving the lights, and everything just starts to blink.. Almost like a relay kicking in and out. It seems to randomly happen. The one time it happened when I had the high beams heater and radio on .. Made everything just kick in and out.. I replaced the alternator and my battery is only 1 year old.. The system is making like 14.6 volts when it's running properly. I'm not sure the voltage when it starts dying. It will drop down and if you're not on the gas it will stall... All of my grounds are good.. I replaced a loose battery terminal.. Still I have this problem.. The only thing that I found was one of my fuses in the power distribution box under the hood was ever so slightly melted.. like it got hot. It was the Big 20 amp engine management fuse.. Has anyone else had this problem or do you have any idea what it might be? I'd really appreciate any help I can get.. I really don't have the money right now to take it to a shop.
 

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First I'd want to monitor the voltage all the time to see if that was a problem...symptoms like that happen when the voltage gets too low, like below 11v. The melted connections on that big fuse are a bad sign, but the problem may be something else. You don't have a monster amp do you?

The one strange problem similar to that I worked on a few years ago....Bosch platinum plugs. Were misfiring under load, and the current was jumping back into the into the main harness, causing the ECU to shut down, and other things also. If you let up on the gas, everything was ok. [wrenchin]
 

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Intermittent problems like this are difficult to diagnose and repair when the car is in front of you. I'm sure we can come up with some more suggestions of things you can check. There is some one in a million problem with your car.

First off, aside of the grounds the only other place that nearly everything in the car runs through is the ignition switch. It's not an expensive part, and a novice can change it out in a couple of hours to 15 mins depending on how many times they need to refer to the manual or how many tools they forget. I don't recommend just throwing parts at a car to fix it, but in this case there's not a way to test an ignition switch for an intermittent problem.

A melted fuse is an interesting problem, is there a relay nearby that fuse that might be screwed up like the EFI relay? I'd consider replacing a nearby relay if it was a high current circuit.

This is not something I'd want to have to go to a shop about. I can see big labor bills.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was thinkin it was possibly one of the relays.. Seems like when the lights blink really bad it pops in and out at a steady rythm. I figure i'll maybe throw in a couple of junkyard relays see if anything changes. Also i'll wire up a volt meter for driving around.. I guess we'll see what happens.. I almost wish it would do it all of the time so I could trace it.
 
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