I’m getting there…

Not our car, but it looks just like it. 2004 Ford Taurus SES.

Not to be a slacker here, but I haven’t begun really chatting about disaster preparation equipment because I’ve been busy with other projects. One of those is the lack of functioning headlights on the wife’s car.

And it’s turned into a major mystery. A couple years ago I had the opportunity to salvage parts from a similar vehicle that had burned under the hood. One of those parts was a headlight switch, but it didn’t help in this situation. I also tried another multifunction switch on the column, which has the dimmer function built in. No go, but I’m glad I didn’t have to buy that $100 item…yikes!

Neither the low or high beams will come on. Not even with the “flash to pass” function. Every other light on the car, inside and out, works. The high beam indicator on the instrument cluster is on full time. I just don’t get it…yet.

We had gone to a local restaurant Monday night, and everything was working fine. Went in, ate, came back out, and I cranked the car. It sounded a little…different…when it cranked up, and the exhaust smelled weird. But it was running ok. I twisted the headlight switch knob, and nothing. I drove home, about twelve miles, with no headlights. Emergency flashers only.

I combed the internet, but so far every lead I’ve found has been a bust. I finally found a complete wiring schematic for the lighting system, and so when I have time and daylight I’m going to trace every possible circuit.

Right now my theory is a simple short between a power wire and the high beam circuit, because that’s the only way the high beam indicator can possibly be burning. This isn’t a very complicated wiring setup, and there’s no mysterious black box controlling all of it. Just switches and fuses and relays.

It’s frustrating, but I’ve just got to be patient and follow every possibility. Fortunately, my wife goes into work after daylight and gets home way before dark, so there’s no forced vehicular downtime. It’s just an irritation to my OCD that I’ve got a vehicle that’s not 100% ready for duty.

The boy scout in me is crying.