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Windstar NO REAR LIGHTS


adison6
06-14-2008, 07:23 PM
Hopefully someone can help me... I have read alot of posts and still no answer to my questions...

My rear lights are not working. (brake, signal, hazard, reverse)

I get power to the bulbs... showing 12V on 2 and 2V on one for each side.

Fuses are good, and front lights working (signal, hazard, daytime running, full lights)

Also, sometimes the gas gauge works, sometimes doesn't.

Also, power door lock will work on the first attempt only if I leave it for awhile... if i continuously keep pressing the unlock, if seems like the power drops each time to a point where all i hear is the FEM clicking... same if i do the lock part... every time i press it, the motor gets quieter and quieter...

One time the locks worked and I was able to get all the doors to open... then the back lights all worked... and then the next day, it quit again... just like before...

Any help is appreciated... email addy is adison@shawcable.com or reply tothis thread.

Thanks again for your time... I know the time it takes to post a reply when you don't really need to... so very much appreciated.

Scotty89
06-14-2008, 08:34 PM
To me it sounds like the problem could be a bad connection with a ground somewhere. But ive never seen the window locks and rear lights share a ground. If i can get the year of your windstar I may be able to help you better.

drzoidberg
06-14-2008, 09:13 PM
It does sound like a possible ground problem, since the locks work the first time and only weakly after that. An oxidized connection will often exhibit such behavior. The oxidized connection conducts enough to operate the motors the first time, but in doing so, the current causes heating which increases the resistance of the connection, reducing the ability of the motors to operate. Wait for it to cool down, and it can potentially work again as you described. I checked the wiring diagrams for the 98-2003 Windstars, and there were no apparent common components (relays, fuses, etc.) that I saw. Looks like the grounds are the only thing likely shared among all the things you're having problems with.

The Haynes manual suggests using a ground test tool to test ground connections. It seems to be basically a light bulb/battery unit that you connect between the suspect ground and a known good ground (after disconnecting the car battery). If the light bulb lights(and doesn't decrease in brightness gradually), then the ground is at least connected. If the light bulb doesn't light, then there is an open in the ground. A ground that tests "good" could still be oxidized and exhibiting the behavior described above, as the reduced effectiveness due to joint resistance changes may only show up at the high current levels used to operate the motors/lights and the few hundred mA from a test unit might not be enough to heat the oxidized connection to the point where it starts acting up. I've never seen/used such a tester, but perhaps they can be found at auto parts stores?

I recall reading in a post a while back about a troublesome wire run on the floor that is know for accumulating water or something like that, causing premature wire failures/corrosion. I can't remember the specifics, unfortunately.

Scotty89
06-14-2008, 10:22 PM
Your ground test tool sounds like a continuity tester to me.

drzoidberg
06-14-2008, 11:49 PM
Your ground test tool sounds like a continuity tester to me.

Sure. ground test tool, continuity tester, galvanometer, ohmmeter, etc. All pretty similar.

adison6
06-15-2008, 01:42 AM
First off... thank you all for replying so fast... this problem has been going on since we first bought this hunk of junk :-)... I think I know know why the guy sold it so cheap... anyways... like I said, I am very appreciative of the feedback.

It is a 2002 Ford Windstar. I bought a Hayne's manual before and also checked the diagrams... and there is not one common scheme... except the grounding out...

I get power to the connector to the bulb case and have also checked the power to the bulb casing... using an ohm meter I get 12V on two of the casings and 2V to the third casing (me thinks it is the reverse light?) Anyways, I am using a multi-meter to check... setting on voltage DC obviously.

I did notice that there is a rear electronic module... an expensive ($350) try to see if that causes it as they (ford dealership) won't do a refund once you buy it.

The other thing I did notice is that at the rear driver side panel opposite the tire jack/REM, there seems to be two relays that I don't know what they are for... they are black, square and look like the relays you would find under the driver's front side...

I kinda don't want to pull the entire minivan apart to trace all the wiring... but if that is the case, I guess I could do that... just wondering if there was a way to narrow down the search... once the wires go to the FEM or the REM, I don't have a pin-out of the FEM/REM to know which one I am testing.

The hayne's manual don't seem to give me the right wire coloring... so... now what..

Again, thanks for any time you guys/gals put into replying. You don't know how much it means to me. :-)

FFF (Frustrated Ford Freedom-Fighter)

tripletdaddy
06-15-2008, 03:14 AM
Have you tested for ground inside your bulb sockets or back probed them for that? Then as you know, keep going backwards till you figure it out. Your van may have gotten enough water inside it to cause the necessary corrosion at the ground screw to give you this problem. I'd seriously consider putting in a new ground and either cut the old one or leave it in place. It won't hurt to have mutiple grounds to the same ground wire. Just be 100% sure you are connecting to the ground wire. At the very least, if you do this temporarily, you can pretty darn sure determine if that is your problem. At which point, I'd probably give up on finding the bad ground connection especially if it is buried under a bunch of stuff and can't easily be found. I would also make sure your battery connections are really good and tight and all of the ground connections from it to the frame, body and starter are all clean and tight.

drzoidberg
06-15-2008, 07:58 AM
Have you tested for ground inside your bulb sockets or back probed them for that? Then as you know, keep going backwards till you figure it out. Your van may have gotten enough water inside it to cause the necessary corrosion at the ground screw to give you this problem. I'd seriously consider putting in a new ground and either cut the old one or leave it in place. It won't hurt to have mutiple grounds to the same ground wire. Just be 100% sure you are connecting to the ground wire. At the very least, if you do this temporarily, you can pretty darn sure determine if that is your problem. At which point, I'd probably give up on finding the bad ground connection especially if it is buried under a bunch of stuff and can't easily be found. I would also make sure your battery connections are really good and tight and all of the ground connections from it to the frame, body and starter are all clean and tight.

Going along with tripletdaddy, having 12V at the bulb does not indicate a good ground. A corroded connector will still present the correct voltage to a high-impedance load, such as a multimeter which when measuring voltage typically has an impedance of 1 million ohms or more, which would only place a load of about 0.012 mA on the circuit. Even an extremely corroded terminal would likely be able to pull that off. Once you start drawing several amps with the low imedance bulb/motor loads on the circuit's return path (common ground), that's when you would start running into problems with corroded connectors.

Connecting a new ground temporarily/permanently would definitely tell you if that's your problem. As tripletdaddy said, if you do this, be very certain you are connecting only grounds together...otherwise you could do some unpleasant things to your electrical system. Definitely cheaper to blow a couple bucks on some wiring to check the ground than a new $350 REM though, at least as a first step.

12Ounce
06-15-2008, 10:34 AM
As much as I like Haynes, and such, for general information ... they are all nearly useless for wiring info. There's just too much wiring stuff on a modern car to be included in a few pages.

The external lamps on your model are supplied power unlike cars of yesterday. On your model there is a rather "constant" 12v supplied, from fuses and relays, to one side of all the external lamps. On the opposite side of the lamps, ground is supplied by the REM only when the lamps are "on". So the REM supplies the ground path. (CAUTION: If a person were to mistakenly apply 12 volts to a grounding path conductor ... damage to the REM is almost gauranteed!)

Let's choose one set of lamps to work on and go from there. The license lamps are the simplest of them all. There should be 12 volts on the GY/RD conductor. ????

There should be zero volts on the DG/LG conductor when the lights are switched "on". ????

holesaler99
06-17-2008, 03:35 PM
Did anyone figure out a solution for this problem?

adison6
06-20-2008, 07:01 PM
Hi all... just an update for those who have helped me.

I figured that the Rear Electronic Module was busted... so I called around and found a price of $315... but the guy said that he could do a wiring diagnostic and checked the REM for $130... just in case it wasn't that. I elected to do that partly because the module cannot be returned once bought.

He did diagnose it...

Then he was going to charge me $700 ($455 part + labour)

I called Ford, they said that the part is only good for 2002, 2003 windstars... i went to pick your part and found one... a 2001... it was $6.15... thats right six dollars and fifteen cents... i figured it was worth a try... considering i can no longer trust the ford dealership...

guess what it worked.... i had to replace a bulb... they shorted one out on me, LMAO...

all the lights worked, dome lights work too, fuel gauge works, door locks work... except the driver door lock is still exibiting the loss of power bit...

How do I clen the connection to the door lock from it being "oidized"?


Thanks again to all those people who helped and hopefully it will help the post above mine... just go to pick your part and grab one... seven bolts... 10 minutes and you are good to go and save $700.

tripletdaddy
06-22-2008, 02:43 AM
Could you clarify? It's not clear to me if your REM was tested or not or even existed. You said it was tested but what were the results? Is it really a bulb that was the problem? Not even the REM? What did you mean by "they shorted one out on me, LMAO..."?

Glad you got that figured out so inexpensively, or did it cost you $130 to diagnose? I can't believe he gave you a freebie.

On your corroded connector, I use micro-files, emory or plumbers sandpaper, and miniature wire brushes. Out of desperation, a medium strength acid could be used, but you need to immediately nuetralize it with a baking soda water mix and then a water flush. Just a few drops of muriatic or car battery acid could work, BUT don't get it on anything you care about, car, clothes,... Then coat the pins with petroleum or dielectric gel to prevent more corrosion.

adison6
06-22-2008, 12:48 PM
Triple;

Sorry for the confusion, I was trying to post fast as I was late for an engagement. Here it is:

The ford dealership tested the REM for $130. I brought in the REM only to have them tell me that I needed to re-install it in the car and then they will only test it. While they tested, they burnt out a bulb. The results were that it was a defective REM... controlling the gas gauge, door locks, rear lights, dome lights...

I read a post in another forum that I you should check the SSP relays... two of them, SSP 3, SSP 4, are under the steering wheel, 2 are next to the battery... The FEM and REM, when the car is not running, will let the SSP know that it is not runing and in turn, make the door locks work. I checked the SSPs before I sent in the car for the $130 inspection.

The point of the story I guess is not to trust the Ford dealership... I called 4 different dealerships and each one gave me a different price on the same part... lowest was $315. Depending on which Ford dealership, they will tell you that the part needs to be programmed... (there is a sticker on the unit that "This is a programmable part". Funny thing is, when I open the bad REM, there are no IC's... just resistors, diodes, capacitors, and regulators... so how is this thing supposed to be programmed, LOL? ANother thing, some Ford will tell you that the REM is only specific to the year of the cars to a certain extent, there is a specific REM for the 2000 and 2001 windstar, and one for the 2002 and 2003 windstar. I took a REM out of a 2001 Windstar, that had more features on that windstar than mine, and was able to get everything working for my 2002 Windstar... for the price of part that the junkyard did not know existed... $6.15.... a large relay.

Where is the contact on the door locks? Is it the actuator that I have to clean?

Hope this helps...

fastvideo
08-14-2008, 05:29 PM
I have the same problem since last week, can anyone tell me where to locate the REM, thx.

adison6
08-14-2008, 06:47 PM
look behind the tire jack in the rear passenger compartment...

cartherapist
08-14-2008, 07:13 PM
What we have here is Contol Area Network CAN. If this isn't CAN it is a precursor of it. The body control module gets a signal that youv'e stepped on the brakes(microswitch) The body control module sends a specific signal to the brake lamp module via a wire loop that conects to everything (Think phone line) The brake lamp control module recognises the frequency and allows 12 volts to go out to the bulbs. When I first read your thread I couldn't figure why fixing the ground side wouldn't work; then you mentioned a module. This is the way it is going to be. Soon you'll have to have a CAN qualified scan tool for EVERYTHING. GM now has it so one part number can do many funtions from door locks to A/C compressors, all one has to do is prgram it for it's future purpose. The good news is the scan tools are available on E-Bay or Craig's list from retired mechanics or closed garages. Might be worth picking one up and taking the class so you can use it.

fastvideo
08-14-2008, 08:21 PM
look behind the tire jack in the rear passenger compartment...

I took out the jack and there is a metal bracket that holds the jack, I did not see any module.
Do I have to remove the plastic cover and this metal bracket?
Thx.

fastvideo
08-21-2008, 08:58 PM
Jumping voltage from fuse#15 to fuse#8, I can hear relay#1 click and everything works fine. But the same problem happen after an hour while the car is parked. Or while it is working, remove relay#1 and put it back, no power again.

Can anyone tell me what controls relay#1??

Selectron
08-21-2008, 10:10 PM
By 'Relay #1', do you mean the relay at the top left of the passenger compartment fuse panel? I believe the layout looks like this:

====================
Relay 1 - Relay 2 - Relay 3

Relay 4 - Relay 5 - Relay 6

(Row of fuses
(Row of fuses)
(Row of fuses)
(Row of fuses)
(Row of fuses)

====================

If you could let me know if that's right, I'll get back to you tomorrow.

fastvideo
08-21-2008, 10:13 PM
By 'Relay #1', do you mean the relay at the top left of the passenger compartment fuse panel? I believe the layout looks like this:

====================
Relay 1 - Relay 2 - Relay 3

Relay 4 - Relay 5 - Relay 6

(Row of fuses
(Row of fuses)
(Row of fuses)
(Row of fuses)
(Row of fuses)

====================

If you could let me know if that's right, I'll get back to you tomorrow.

Yes, that's right.

Selectron
08-21-2008, 10:21 PM
Ok thanks. I have to go out right now, even though it's after 4am here in the UK. I'll have some information for you tomorrow though, and it would be handy if you have access to a multimeter or a 12V test lamp to make some voltage checks.

fastvideo
08-21-2008, 10:25 PM
Ok thanks. I have to go out right now, even though it's after 4am here in the UK. I'll have some information for you tomorrow though, and it would be handy if you have access to a multimeter or a 12V test lamp to make some voltage checks.

I am an electronic repair technician and have all basic measuring equiqments, thx.

Selectron
08-22-2008, 10:27 AM
Oh that's good - we might be able to make some progress on this one then. I didn't join the thread earlier because when I checked my sources for wiring diagrams, the external lighting diagram wasn't available from either of them.

When you mentioned jumpering voltage between the two fuses though, I was curious about what might be happening so I checked the power distribution diagrams and discovered that one of those contains a useful amount of information on the Rear Electronic Module and rear lights, including fuse #8 which you mentioned, and the two Switched System Power relays - SSP#3 (Relay #4 in the interior fuse panel) and SSP#4 (Relay #1 in the interior fuse panel) - with a bit of luck it will prove to be just enough to enable you to track down the fault, so fingers crossed. I've sent you a PM with a link to the diagram.

If you work in electronics repair then you won't be needing my help in interpreting the diagram but I'll follow up later with some brief thoughts on the circuit.

Selectron
08-22-2008, 12:38 PM
Quick version:

The Rear Electronic Module (REM) appears to be divided internally into separate sections. Amongst the many switching actions which it performs, it will at some stage switch a voltage source to feed a different portion of itself via the switched contacts of SSP Relay #4 and fuse #8.

It will of course be unable to do that unless it has initial power to begin with, and the source for that appears to be fuse #11 (10A, Central Junction Box - on page 3 of the diagrams which I sent you a link for). I think there might be a problem in that area, which is why it is later unable to switch the other voltage source via fuse #8, which you already mentioned, so I'd start by checking fuse #11.


Longer version:

If your front lights are working then we can assume that voltage conditions are normal as far as point Q in the top right-hand corner of the diagram on page 5. Now scroll down the page and pick up point Q again at the top left of the lower section of the diagram. You should have voltage at fuse #114 (40A, located in Battery Junction Box) and fuse #103 (also 40A, Battery Junction Box).

Fuse #114 feeds voltage to the switched contacts of SSP Relay #3 (Relay #4 in the interior fuse panel), and fuse #103 feeds voltage to the switched contacts of SSP Relay #4 (Relay #1 in the interior fuse panel).

If bridging voltage from fuse #15 to fuse #8 brings the circuit to life, then that's probably indicating that fuse #8 isn't receiving voltage via the normal path, which is via the switched contacts of SSP Relay #4, so let's look more closely at the switching of that relay.

When the REM wants those two SSP relays to operate, it will ground the low end of both of the relay coils, which are tied together on a common connection. Current will then flow through the relay coils, and the switched contacts within SSP Relay #3 and SSP Relay #4 will both close and pass current to the circuits which they each feed. Those circuits are:

SSP Relay #3:

Courtesy Lamps (via fuse #1, 10A)
Left Reversing Lamp (via fuse #7, 15A)
Right Reversing Lamp (also via fuse #7)
Left Rear Turn Lamp (also via fuse #7)
License Lamps (also via fuse #7)
Right Rear Park/Stop Lamp (also via fuse #7)
High-Mounted Stop Lamp (via fuse #12, 20A)

SSP Relay #4:

Left Rear Park/Stop Lamp (via fuse #13, 10A)
Right Rear Turn Lamp (also via fuse#13)
Rear Electronic Module (portion of - via fuse #8, 20A) - see note below
Glove Box Lamp (via fuse #2, 25A)
Left Footwell Courtesy Lamp (also via fuse #2)
Right Footwell Courtesy Lamp (also via fuse #2)
Video Cassette Player (with Rear Seat Entertainment System) (also via fuse #2)

The most significant thing on that list is that the REM receives voltage via the switched contacts of SSP Relay #4 and fuse #8, and that voltage will almost be certainly missing, which is why the circuit only comes to life when you provide voltage to fuse #8 via a jumper.

Of course though, it's the REM which is responsible for switching SSP Relay #4 in the first place by grounding the relay coil, and it wouldn't be able to do that unless a section of it (the REM) already had voltage available from another source, so that's why I've noted above that SSP Relay #4/Fuse#8 only supplies voltage to a portion of the REM, which must be divided internally into separate sections.

The only other voltage feed I can find for the REM is via fuse #11 (10A, Central Junction Box) so I'm assuming that that feed needs to be available to power the REM before it will capable of switching another voltage feed, to feed a different portion of itself, so I'd start by checking fuse #11.

fastvideo
08-22-2008, 07:34 PM
Thank you for the very useful info. I study the wiring diagram already.
REM is via fuse #11 (10A, Central Junction Box) have voltage on both end of fuse, will do more test on the REM side later.
If leaving the car on park for a certain time will put SSP3 and SSP4 to sleep is normal.
My question now is under what condition SSP3 and SSP4 pin86 (C3070D) to REM will wake up and pull to low. Where is the wake up signal coming from??
Need more info of I/O diagram from REM.

Selectron
08-23-2008, 07:57 AM
Unfortunately, we don't have that information because the exterior lighting diagram is not available (not from my usual sources anyway) so we have to glean what we can from the power distribution diagrams.

I'm not at all familiar with this system but so far as I can tell, the lighting switches do nothing more than route data signals between the various electronic modules. Some lamps are supplied with a constant 12V whilst others are supplied with 12V via the SSP relays. In all cases though, it appears to be the relevant electronic module (front or rear) which completes the individual circuit by grounding the required lamp.

I don't know where the initial wake-up call originates from, but I'd guess it would be triggered either at the instant of ignition switch-on, or if not then, then at the first request for a lamp operation - pressing the brake pedal for example.

Your lighting system appears to be basically healthy - when you provide fuse #8 with power, everything works just fine, so the switches are all clearly routing the control data correctly, the lamps are being supplied with 12V either directly or via the SSP relays, and the control modules (front and rear) are both able to complete all of the lamps' individual ground circuits. It might not be the logical next step, but I'd try replacing Relay #1 (SSP4) with a new relay or, if relays #1&4 (SSP4 & SSP3) are identical then I'd try swapping them and see if the fault clears or the symptoms change.

If that didn't reveal anything then I'd try to access the low end of the relay coils - you might have relatively easy access on the yellow/light blue wire leading from the fuse panel to the REM - pierce the insulation with a sharp pin if necessary, to get a voltage reading, and then seal it afterwards. If the REM is making no attempt to energise the relay coils then I'd expect it to be at 12V, but if it is making an attempt then I'd be looking for 0V.

Swapping the relays is quick and easy though, so I'd try that first in the hope that it might reveal something.

fastvideo
08-23-2008, 08:46 AM
I already did swapping the relays around, so it is not a relay problem.

When I say wake up signal, Let say I push the unlock key from remote, driver door lock will unlock (this is working, no problem), push it twice will unlock all other doors (but it doesn't with this problem now). So first push should wake up SSP3 And 4.
Or when I push the keyless entry pad from the driver's door SSP3 and 4 should wake up, (this is not working with this problem).
Or when I push the open door from remote on either of the sliding door should wake up SSP3 and 4 (not working with problem).
Or when open one of the door should wake up SSP3 and 4 ( it doesn't with problem)
This is what I am missing now.

fastvideo
08-23-2008, 10:57 AM
Jumping voltage from fuse#15 to fuse#8, I can hear relay#1 click and everything works fine. But the same problem happen after an hour while the car is parked. Or while it is working, remove relay#1 and put it back, no power again.

Can anyone tell me what controls relay#1??

While it is working.
Remove SSP4 will not effect C0370D to low. put it back the relay will click.
Remove SSP3 will result C0370D back to high. (even with fuse1, fuse7 and fuse 12 removed) put back the relay and both relay no click. Have to to the jump to make it work again.

Remove SSP3, I will have to apply constant voltage supply to fuse#8 to keep SSP4 C0370D to low.

What is wrong with SSP3 here???

Selectron
08-23-2008, 06:42 PM
That last post is really interesting but I'm struggling to understand why that's happening - based on the power distribution diagram, I just don't see any reason why the relays would behave that way. A diagram for the REM would be a big help, because I suspect there's something else happening which we aren't aware of because only a part of the circuit is shown on our diagram. Have you made any new discoveries?

fastvideo
08-29-2008, 02:03 PM
That last post is really interesting but I'm struggling to understand why that's happening - based on the power distribution diagram, I just don't see any reason why the relays would behave that way. A diagram for the REM would be a big help, because I suspect there's something else happening which we aren't aware of because only a part of the circuit is shown on our diagram. Have you made any new discoveries?

Still waiting for the factory wiring manual to go further.

windstarchris
06-05-2011, 01:22 AM
I had this same problem. No rear lights at all. No dome lights and locks would try to work on first try and then just click. I thought for sure fuses,relays, or that blasted REM. Turns out though that its was two plugs that go into the back of the (cabin) fuse box. They were corroded (from moisture I guess) and I had to buy a new fuse box and adapters. I did a junkyard fuse box and adapters though because as with all dealer parts it was a MUCH cheaper route. Hope this helps. Be well.

abdulraouf
08-27-2011, 08:14 PM
I have the same problem now , what can do to rectify? when bring 12v directly from battary to any bulb it is working , which means no grounding problem.

windstarchris
08-28-2011, 07:22 AM
I would pull the cabin fuse box by drivers left foot and check the plugs in the back. Be careful getting them out, they can be a real pain, and just make sure they are not green and corroded looking. If that all looks good I would suspect the rear control module which is located behind jack in rear right hand side of vehicle. If you have same symptoms as me I would think you'll find your problems in fuse box. Mine was (if I remember correctly) the bottom 2 plugs, one on left and one on right, smaller then the other plugs. Be well and good luck.

windstarchris
08-28-2011, 07:26 AM
Your in Ohio I see. If your fuse box is bad I would check these guys out. I got fuse box and plugs from them.
J & J Auto Wrecking Inc



8558 Black Diamond Road
Marshallville, OH
44645

fastvideo
09-08-2012, 10:56 AM
Finally figured it out.
Switched system power relay drive on pin 4 of Connector C343 of REM missing.
Connector C343 pin 3 battery feed (+) was missing. Open wire somewhere between the front to the back REM.
Jump 12V from rear rear cigarette jack to connector C343 pin 3.
It is working now.

tjvjr
09-19-2013, 03:50 PM
I have a 98 , does it have the Rear Electronic Module ? I cant find it behind the jack......

fastvideo
09-20-2013, 12:19 AM
It is behind the foam cover

tjvjr
09-20-2013, 03:56 PM
I have looked extensively for it. I read elsewhere that some 98s don't have it. Mine was made 2/1998 . Dark Green Wire coming into brake switch has voltage , Light green wire has Voltage going out when switch is made. All fuses and relays are good. I'm not sure what to do next......Thanks for any and all help.

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