Ford Focus ZX5 - Rear brake lights stay on when car is running and in gear
My ZX5 has developed a problem with the rear lights. I discovered that all my center bulbs were burned out and the housing is somewhat melted as if the lights were on for a very long time. Replacing them has no effect as it seems there is no power leading up to the unit at all. That's when I discovered the bigger problem: When the engine is running/On and car is in PARK, nothing seems amiss. The brake lights (the ones not burned out) function normally. Step on the brake pedal and the lights come on. However, when the car is in Drive, Reverse, Neutral, or anything other than PARK, the brake lights are continually on without stepping on the pedal.Only use of the turn signal interrupts them.Any ideas? Thanks - TomR
Re: Ford Focus ZX5 - Rear brake lights stay on when car...
You are the MAN, Just like you said TRocky, there was a short in the center brake light wiring. Found the short in the rubber boot that connects from the lift gate to the car. Inside that rubber boot the wires were cracked and some were shorting.Repaired the wiring and everything is back to normal.
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Remove the tail light assembly screws, then the assembly.
Disconnect the twist lock socket from the lens housing.
NOTE: To remove the bulb, turn the twist lock socket (at the rear of the housing) counterclockwise 1?4 turn, then remove the socket with the bulb; replace the bulb if defective.
Fig. 7: Remove the tail light assembly screws, then the assembly - wagon shown
Fig. 8: Twist the socket counterclockwise to remove from the housing
Fig. 9: This type of bulb simply can be pulled out of the socket for replacement
Attach the socket assemblies to the back of the lamp unit.
Install the lamp assembly to the vehicle with the mounting screws.
Remove the mounting nuts, then unplug the electrical harness to the lamp assembly.
The lamp now should come out.
Position the lamp assembly to the vehicle, then attach the electrical harness to the lamp.
Install the mounting nut, tighten to 62 inch lbs. (7 Nm).
Attach the lamp cover.
Fig. 10: Exploded view of the center high mount stop lamp assembly - wagon shown
Fig. 11: Light bulb application chart for all models with non-European headlamps
Fig. 12: Light bulb application chart for Buicks with European headlamps
Fig. 13: Light bulb application chart for Oldsmobiles with European headlamps
First you have to take out the one and only screw in the rear hatch door - it's where the hand pull down is you use to close the hatch. Then you have to pop all the plastic clips all the way around the plastic door panel, trying not to pull them out from the frame . If you do pull out the white plastic plugs from the frame you better make certain you take them off the plastic housing and insert them back into their frame holes - or you will never get the housing back on.
Once you have the housing loose disconnect the inside tail gate light wire to remove the whole thing. Then you have to remove 7 to 8 nuts from the back of entire License plate, back up bulb housing using a deep socket to get in there. Work it loose from the rear of the car and it will come out just enough to work on the lights. This is tricky since the screw mounts don't give you much room to work with.
Once you have the license plate and back up bulb frame loose you will see the two housings for the license plate bulbs on top.
Slide out the license plate bulb lens and twist the bulb connection to remove the bulbs. Replace both of them - you don't want to do this again in a month when the other one blows. OPTIONAL: Once you take out the bulbs you might see that the housing is melted where the bulb wanted to burn through. Drill two small holes one is each end of the housing before I put everything back together to release some of the heat. Reverse the whole process to put everything back together. It's not easy. Make sure you insert the cables through the opening for the hatch handle or it will kink and not work properly.
probably one of the tabs on a light bulb heated up and melted, causes contact to be lost.just remove lights and check each bulb for oblivious melting and bend contact out,away from plastic on the bulb to get a better contact on the inside of the socket. happened too me in the rear tailights.
Hi, you have suffered a major electrical short here, and the car is telling you via the light signals that you need to take care of this in a garage. The original short burnt cables, which is why there is visible signs of melting, smell etc. I know it will involve a cost, but consider the value of your life if the car was to go on fire with you or your family in it? Another short will cause such a fire, get to a garage soon!
Open the rear tailgate There are 2 screws that hold light housing in place.. Remove the screws then pull the housing outwards till the clip behind it springs. You then need to knock the housing sideways (outwards) to free the 2 prongs that attach housing to the car body.
Unclip the rear housing from the back of the light unit & change the bulb.