Instrument Cluster Backlighting - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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I have had problems with the guage backlighting going in and out since around 20k miles. Brought it to three dealers before the warrenty expired. One replaced the bulbs even after I told him they all go out at once and come back on randomly. One dealer even said there was nothing he could do without a check engine light. Well, after 120k without backlights, I decided to look into it. Everything checked out with the wiring and dimmer output. When I looked close at the instrument cluster, I could see some tracking where the "flexible mat" comes in contact with one of the plugs. I adjusted the fold of the mat to match the plug contacts and I have lights again. Why couldn't Ford figure this out? Hopefully this will help someone with their light problem.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 09:47 AM
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
Chapter: Midwest
Year: 2005
Model: Ford Taurus
Engine: 3.0L 24v Duratec V6
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While there are many excellent techs out there (like Nidan who posts here often) I hate to say that there are alot of techs (and I use that word loosely) who couldent diagnose their way out of a paper bag. This isnt just a Ford problem.... lots of dealer personell can barely change oil, much less diagnose electrical problems.

Example: back in around 2003, the wifes 01 Vulcans AC wasnt blowing cold. It was still under warranty, so she took it in. Tech said there was no problem (AC not blowing cold = no problem????). I had to call the tech and tell him to replace the CCPS. Guess what..... problem fixed. Kind of pathetic that I had to tell the dealer tech how to fix the problem. Should have just fixed it myself in the first place, warranty or not.

Thats why I do all my automotive repairs myself.

05 Taurus SEL Duratec - my daily driver
04 Taurus SES Duratec - wifes car - TOTALED
06 Taurus SE Vulcan - wifes new ride
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter car
Toy #1 - 86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner) - LOTS of mods
Toy #2 - 88 Tbird Turbo Coupe - LOTS of mods
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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I got tired of dealing with the Ford garage before mine was out of warranty. There were many simple failures that took days to correct, but I guess they were free. Between 36k and 50k I had to change plugs and wires, cam and crank sensor, end links, (1) O2 sensor and I'm sure a few others I can't think of now. Now that the Taurus has matured a little bit, (160k) I don't mind the water pump, struts, etc. that fail now. It was a much rougher first 50k than my past gen 2 & 3 cars. They were both driven past 160k with nothing other than one ac compressor. Overall, pretty happy with the gen 4.
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