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  #1  
Old 07-24-2011, 04:02 PM
MrO MrO is offline
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Default My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off position

My roomate just woke me up to let me know that my lights are on. I walked outside as to remedy the situation only to find out that my light switch is indeed in the off position. My 'lights on' chime was dinging when i opened the door. I dont understand. It was fine earlier. My headlights arent on, just the lights beside them(maybe the turn signal lights) and the tail lights. Is there some fuse I can pull out to kill the lights until I have time to fix this? Any help would be much appreciated as I know you are all busy.
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2011, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

Sounds like the headlight switch may be shot
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2011, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

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Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
Sounds like the headlight switch may be shot
Thanks, I'm pretty sure you are right. I went out, fiddled with the switch, and alternated it to the on and off positions a few times and now the lights are off. Appreciate the help Clinton.
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2011, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

So yeah, guys I'm still having trouble and my problems have gotten worse. Let me give you a more explanatory rundown. My lights were pretty much all working fine then one day I found that certain lights would stay on even after cutting off the light switch and truck. These lights include: Tail lights, front daytime running lights and my instrument cluster lights... basically all of the lights that would be on if I had left my light switch in the middle postition(not to where my headlights come on but not to where all of the lights are off). Anyways, I freaked and posted here and after a suggestion by clinton I figured it was my switch going bad. That was fine, because I realized 2 stupid poor boy ways to fix my problem. I realized that if I put the instrument cluster dimmer dial in the off position my tail lights and front lights would go off thus saving my battery(For some reason, the actual instrument cluster itself wont dim.) After doing a little more research I found a more effective way to save my battery by removing the fuse for my 'park lights' under the hood all of the lights, even the instrument cluster. Now flash forward to tonight. I go to put my fuse back in and no matter what I do, what fuses I check, I cannot get the aformentioned lights to come back on. I had to miss work tonight because I am not going to take the risk of driving without tail lights. I really hope someone here knows the remedy to my problem. I've got to go in to work tomorrow night and I sincerely hope someone can shed some light(ha ha) on my situation. If it is the switch going bad what can I do to fix it myself?
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

go to a junkyard and pull the switch out, they will probably get ya for 5 bucks; and you would have to replace yours, are you good at taking things apart?
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

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Originally Posted by 00 FlareSide Ranger View Post
go to a junkyard and pull the switch out, they will probably get ya for 5 bucks; and you would have to replace yours, are you good at taking things apart?
I'm pretty decent at tinkering and what not. I'd just have to figure out how to even get to pulling the entire switch out because all I can see at first glance is the knob to move the switch. upon pulling that off all I see is the metal bar that the knob sits on. Maybe after looking a little more I can figure out how to get all that good stuff out of there.
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

Alright after inspection this looks a little more difficult than I first thought. Does anyone have a link to a tutorial on how to remove the switch or at least get the dash panel off?? I've got an 02 xl if that helps.
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

Heres how for an Explorer (same as ranger)

Here are the steps:
1. Remove two 7mm screws behind the hood release (behind the handle).
2. Remove two 7mm screws on the bottom of the panel below the steering column.
3. Remove panel.
4. Remove around 5 8mm screws/bolts from the big metal panel.
5. Remove 2 7mm screws that hold your radio bezel in place (above HVAC controls). Pull the bezel out about 1-2 inches and leave it there. No need to remove it all the way.
6. Remove 3 7mm screws above the instrument cluster.
7. Remove 2 7 mm screws at the bottom of the instrument cluster bezel (the same panel that has your headlight switch).
8. Remove headlight switch knob. Pop that panel off. You may have to fiddle with your automatic shifter (if you have one) or drop your column (if you have tilt).
9. Now you can unhook the switch and undo the screws holding it in. Just reverse the steps.

For the big metal panel you can really just loosen the bolts or remove some of them. You really just need to gain access to the screws in step 7.
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  #9  
Old 08-02-2011, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheltonfilms View Post
Heres how for an Explorer (same as ranger)

Here are the steps:
1. Remove two 7mm screws behind the hood release (behind the handle).
2. Remove two 7mm screws on the bottom of the panel below the steering column.
3. Remove panel.
4. Remove around 5 8mm screws/bolts from the big metal panel.
5. Remove 2 7mm screws that hold your radio bezel in place (above HVAC controls). Pull the bezel out about 1-2 inches and leave it there. No need to remove it all the way.
6. Remove 3 7mm screws above the instrument cluster.
7. Remove 2 7 mm screws at the bottom of the instrument cluster bezel (the same panel that has your headlight switch).
8. Remove headlight switch knob. Pop that panel off. You may have to fiddle with your automatic shifter (if you have one) or drop your column (if you have tilt).
9. Now you can unhook the switch and undo the screws holding it in. Just reverse the steps.

For the big metal panel you can really just loosen the bolts or remove some of them. You really just need to gain access to the screws in step 7.
Well I followed your instructions sir. Perfect instructions.


Instead of going to the junkyard I went to autozone for 20 bucks to save a little time. After buying some tools and having trouble getting one bolt directly above the insrument panel off I inspected everything. Upon inspection it turns out that the switch isnt the problem. Something must be wired wrong and the insulation on one of my wires is completely melted off, and one wire got so hot in one spot that it tore apart. I ghetto fixed it and ran a length of spare wire between the two ends, wrapped everything up nice with some electrical tape and did a test. BINGO. Anyhow, I changed the switch without too much trouble(besides this 110 degree heat) and tacked everything back on. I looked behind my radio while i had it pulled out and saw some of the insulation on those wires melted off also. But besides that everything is working for now.
I really appreciate the help guys
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  #10  
Old 08-02-2011, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

I would check all the bulbs that were remaining on...in the factory they put some conductive grease on them to keep them from getting rusted...if any do not have enough grease and have rusted, it can cause electrical problems...my 97 ranger kept blowing the reverse lights and it turned out to be the bulb shorting it...I cleaned the socket and relubed the bulb and evreything was fine after that...(its been a year)
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  #11  
Old 08-02-2011, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: My tail lights and front lights stay on after turning the knob to the off positio

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrO View Post
Well I followed your instructions sir. Perfect instructions.


Instead of going to the junkyard I went to autozone for 20 bucks to save a little time. After buying some tools and having trouble getting one bolt directly above the insrument panel off I inspected everything. Upon inspection it turns out that the switch isnt the problem. Something must be wired wrong and the insulation on one of my wires is completely melted off, and one wire got so hot in one spot that it tore apart. I ghetto fixed it and ran a length of spare wire between the two ends, wrapped everything up nice with some electrical tape and did a test. BINGO. Anyhow, I changed the switch without too much trouble(besides this 110 degree heat) and tacked everything back on. I looked behind my radio while i had it pulled out and saw some of the insulation on those wires melted off also. But besides that everything is working for now.
I really appreciate the help guys
I actually had to replace my headlight switch connector a couple of years ago. Since there is no relays for the headlights all the current goes through the switch and can cause a lot of heat. Especially if you pull back on the stalk alot to get the high/lows at the same time. The fix in the long run is to do the Autodim/Autolamps mod (with the rear view mirror from an explorer) this adds relays and takes a good amount of current away from the switch.

The also make heavy duty relay kits that takes current straight from the batter to the lights instead of having any of it go through the dash.

Check out the heavy duty headlight harness found here:
http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/fr/full.aspx?Page=133

From what I can tell its a pretty easy install. From what im thinking the plugs of the harness connect to your headlight bulb sockets and use the current through the sockets to activate the relays that then pull power straight from the battery. Usually relays only use about 40mA of current to activate.........a WHOLE lot less than what actually is going through your switch right now.
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Explorer Autodim Mirrors w/ Autolamps
Explorer Sport White Face Gauges
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