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Old 06-01-2005, 01:14 PM
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tuarus electrical problem. very wierd

1996 taurus
when I shift into reverse the radio shuts off. not the lights just the sound.. then when i shift out of reverse it comes back on.. But before this started it would shut off for a few seconds at random even while in drive. I was starting to think it was only during a turn.
About 1 year ago the wipers ( car only has front) would just quit at random and then come back on but now they won't work at all. THe wipers will twitch on occasion with them turned ON or OFF.

any help please..

I searched the internet and one person says the controls in the column but I don't think that would affect the radio ( no controls for radio in Column). and another person says check the reverse switch ( i have not done that yet). So these may be related or unrelated incedence...

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Old 06-01-2005, 05:39 PM
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intermittent

Doc here,

Sounds like you have 2 separate problems..

First your column may be worn (the harness & Plugs) and shorting out, I think, there was a recall on those, because the ignition switch & Harness was inherently weak...caused fires, and ultimately Ford got investigated by 60 minutes, and Sued by the decedent's family (handicapped person died while trapped inside a Tauraus when the column Melted and caught the interior cloth on fire)

Do an Internet search for this, I don't remember all the details years etc...it was late 90's though..See if yours falls within the recall..and If so get a new harness!

As for the radio, Look for a loose ground, or wire caught in the shift linkage under the dash...This could be caused by the linkage snagging a wire from the radio harness when the column is shifted into reverse..around or near the reverse switch.

OR EVEN the Stress of the body flex, may cause the radio to lose what little body ground it may have in reverse...Find the stock ground wire and Ground it to a hard ground source.

Doc
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:36 PM
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Interesting problem! Is the shifter on the column or on the floor? Are the radio lights that stay on just button illumination or truly all lights (like the station frequency digits)? If just the backlighting stays on (powered by the lighting bus), I agree that there might be a radio ground problem. If the station ID and such stay lit then the radio has enough of a ground to work to some degree and it should not cut out the speakers without affecting the display as well. If it is a column shift I would bet on a frayed harness especially with the reference to the wipers running even when off. If it is a floor shift I think it will be a lot harder to locate the trouble. For an easy ground test, use an alligator clip lead to connect the radio chassis to a good ground. I doubt this will be it though - the column harness sounds like a more likely culprit. If a power lead is shorting TO a speaker wire, this may cause the radio to shut down the amp section and keep the display running. This would explain the panel staying lit and the speakers going out. If you find the problem please post it, I would like to know what you found...
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:36 PM
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thanks. I will take a look into those things in the morning..
I appreciate the help..

the car is a 1996.
the shifter is in the center console..
The wipers don't work they just twitch ( move maybe 1/2 inch) and very random.
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:11 PM
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Radio

Doc here,

Another thought comes to mind, is the radio remote mounted, (Control head only in panel) or have an exterior amp? You could be losing remote power to the remote unit OR if aftermarket, some one may have hooked it up incorrectly.

If you had a power wire shorting to a speaker wire, you'd have a god awful buzz or thump shortly before it died...and the speaker wouldn't last to awfully long...

On most radios, the "Memory" line will keep the clock in the face plate Illuminated...making it look like it should actually be working, but the main radio is powerless...Check BOTH fuses, and wires for intermittent operation.

To test the radio for ground, Isolate The main Power Ground, (should be heavier Black wire) and find a Known good ground source.Ground that there...Some radios have plastic Cases or the case is "Above" ground (on really expensive units) and may not give you a proper ground..In addition to that dash is like 90% plastic...Ground in a newer vehicle are at a premium!Sometimes, In a really poor installation, the only ground a radio sees is the antenna shielded wire...and that is subject to wind loading and moving a bit while traveling down the road...

What I would do, Is get a good electrical Cleaner, and a small brass acid brush (about toothbrush size) and around the steering Column, under the dash, unplug each plug one at a time, and spray and carefully burnish the pins ...and remember to disconnect the battery before you do it..and re~attach all the clean plugs (and don't forget the ones at the firewall either) I'll bet you'll find most of the trouble to be corroded power, signal and ground pins...

Don't forget to check on that harness recall to see if it applies to you...Several have caught fire because of this...that info should be on the INTERNET.

Doc
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Old 06-03-2005, 03:06 PM
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If it is a factory stereo,the dash has a panel that contains radio controls.If the harness meets under the dash togather for your wipers and radio it may have chaffed somewhere.
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Old 06-03-2005, 03:32 PM
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Radio Wiring

Doc here,

Your Factory Radio wiring harness should be similar to this...

Constant 12V+ Green/Yellow*
Switched 12V+ Yellow/Black *
Ground Black/Light Green **
Illumination Light Blue/Red *
Dimmer n/a
Antenna Trigger Orange/Blue
Antenna Right Front
Front Speakers 6 1/2" Doors
Left Front (+) Orange/Light Green
Left Front (-) Light Blue/White
Right Front (+) White/Light Green
Right Front (-) Dark Green/Orange
Rear Speakers 5" x 7" Rear Deck
Left Rear (+) Pink/Light Green
Left Rear (-) Dark Blue/Orange
Right Rear (+) Pink/Light Blue
Right Rear (-) Tan/White

The ones with the asterisks are the most likely suspects to cause an intermittant..Although a whole corroded plug can cause the same problems.

Doc
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