Question about 1998 Ford Escort

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Escort 55 van...lighting problems

Problems with lights on escort 55 van. headlights work on main and dip....side lights, taillights,dash light and petrol gauge don't....brake lights work o.k. though...checked fuses - o.k.......no obvious damage to wiring - bulbs o.k......its a mystery!......any ideas?

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Check Main power fuses in engine bay bolted onto front of battery. Some supply the central fuse box (drivers footwell). As the central box is sort of split into 3 main sections 80A 60A and 60A fuses supply the central fuse box Other fuses are 40A or 50A for cooling fan 50A heated windscreen (model dependent) and 50A glow plug (diesel). The central fuse box can be up latched from a metal clip right at the front above the narrow gap directly in front of the fuses themselves. With the central fuse box undone inspect all around wires for shorts. Also check to see if higher amp fuse had been put into lower amp socket and black arcing had occurred. Fuses may seem OK but connector is now fouled. F29 is 15A Interior lights, cigar lighter, Clock and radio. By the way Escorts were notorious for the stalk failing on the left hand stalk (Indicators and Headlights) Spray some good quality contact cleaner with the NEGATIVE BATTERY TERMINAL REMOVED as the substance is flammable and could spark while you carry our several on and off motions for penetration purposes. Got no idea of the year of your 55 van but wires to most Escorts which carry power to the instrument cluster illumination are as follows post 95 are Orange/yellow, Indicators (on stalk) Blue/Yellow and Blue/black, One side of fuel gage sender unit is Black/yellow and other is straight black to ground. Control Lights are Fuse 11 (10Amp) which supply most components in the instrumental panel this wire will be Violet/yellow and finally violet going into the instrument panel. .High Beam and indicators on separate circuit. Final illumination wire maybe Orange/blue. Check all sides for power is any of the wires have no voltage when lights on trace to faulty wire or fuse. Lastly in the fuse box there is a diode (well several) but if my memory serves me right it joins Violet/blue and violet/yellow which leads to the dip relay (standard check for short or open circuit) Cathode is side with silver stripe and black lead of multi tester. if1 or 000 is displayed on digital meter diode is faulty should read a figure eg 075 but that is not an actual reading but example. This is as accurate as I can remember and have some diagrams but remember there's a hell of a lot of wires some with the same colour there maybe 10 violet wires or 5 violet/yellow and not even remotely significant to one another. trace to fuse of control to be sure. Good Luck

Posted on Dec 24, 2008

  • SpencerT Dec 24, 2008

    Oh sorry I forgot to say that the diodes are in place to reduce the spikes associated with high beam switching of headlights etc. Basically they quickly dissipate or de-energize the coil voltage of the relays if the original problem lays with the faulty stalk then this may damage the diode/s again when replaced. Diodes used in this configuration are normally referred to as flyback diodes. It may help in getting a replacement if needed.

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Water ingress on top of fusebox above drivers footwell is common problem.

Posted on Aug 20, 2008

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