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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone, I'm wondering if anyone can help me with the sunload sensor pinpoint test for the 051 "solar radiation sensor open" EATC trouble code. I have a 2000 duratec taurus.

First, in the test that has you check the resistance between pins 1 and 5 of the sensor, they're asking you to verify if the resistance is greater than 0 and continuity is present. In my experience, continuity usually refers to a solid connection between 2 points electrically, so these specifications seem to be conflicting. If the test is using continuity in the broader sense of there being any sort of path for current to flow between the pins, then at what resistance do they draw the line? I'm reading on the order of MegOhms when I measure the resistance - what is the typical range for a functioning sensor?

Second, and maybe this doesn't matter if I'm just interpreting the first test wrong, I'm curious about the test that has you measure the voltage between pins 1 and 5 on the sunload sensor's mating connector with the car on and EATC set to auto. The test says that if ~5V is measured, the RCC module should be replaced. This seems confusing to me, since from what I can tell in the wiring diagrams, pin 1 should be a 5V power supply to the sunload sensor/amplifier and pin 5 should be the return/ground. If the voltage isn't supposed to be 5V, then what is it supposed to be?? Can anyone check a functioning system for a correct spec on this voltage?

To make a long story short, my autolamps are always on when I switch to auto mode, and my A/C isn't working either. I'm trying to knock one problem out at a time and hopefully I'll get lucky with some collateral repairs. However, I don't know if I should be replacing my sunload sensor, my RCC module, or both, because I'm getting failing results on both of these tests. Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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I have similar sunload sensor codes and my vehicle is supposed to have the sensor replaced. That little thing on the dash is nothing but a phototransistor in a plastic connector piece to the EATC. It's made in El Salvador and retails from Ford at around $70 . The production cost of that piece of crap would be about $3 !!. Not even that! I am an elecronics person and that sensor sends a current signal to the EATC to raise or lower the A/C output depending upon sunshine. It has no real retail value , so visit the junk yards for them , not worth 50 cents and tell Ford to FTS.
 

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Some folks have had luck reflowing the solder inside the sunload sensor.

I have the same issue on my 2000 SEL....lamps always on, AC wouldn't work. Before I knew about solder, Ford stealer installed a new sunload sensor, and voila. Check out Topic Finder, more info in there :)
 

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The Sable we have (2001) has the same problem, lights on all the time with switch in auto. However, our A/C continues to work as advertised. I actually keep an eye on the salvage yards looking for a sensor, but there isn't one to be had in the Tulsa are. Makes me wonder how many Fords/Mercury's actually ha the auto lamp system. I'm thinking that just about any Ford product from 2000-2002 would have the same sensor.

My local Ford dealer gave me this P/N for the sensor YF1Z-13A018-AA. This is supposed to be for a 2001 Sable.

Bull Geek -- Thanks for the headlight switch. Son changed it out and is much happier :thumb:
 

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Good luck on the JY switches, I'm guessing not a lot of folks bother to change it, so you may be in the same boat/issue.
Glad to hear the switch works AOK Mike. Saw a 2000 Taurus at the yard, the knob had fractured off. Good 'ol plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies, guys. I guess I was too worried about the problem being bigger than it really was with the tests pointing to the RCC module being bad. Found a local U-pull place (first experience with that! it was pretty interesting actually), found an '02 sable with one still in it, popped it out and boom! Autolamps are back. Cost me $2.50 :)

Unfortunately, the AC still doesn't work, so I've been digging around on here looking for possible causes. Clutch gap is within spec and it's getting voltage to the coil circuit from the relay, so I'm thinking it's either a wire harness problem between the relay and compressor clutch (how the hell are you supposed to get to the coil connector on the compressor anyway??) or the coil's burnt out. More learning opportunities!

Anyway, as a suggestion if you're not able to find a taurus/sable with this sensor at local junkyards, I know I read in another thread here that the same sensor is used on other models as well. I believe recent F-150's use it, and I'd imagine any other autolamp-equipped Ford in the last decade probably does. Worth doing some digging, and if you're at the yard it's easy enough to walk up to the front windshield and see if the little dome is there. Good luck!

UPDATE: Did a little looking around to find where I read that the sensor could be found on other vehicles, and it turns out that Bull Geek was the one who shared this originally in this post. To quote:

All 2000-2007 Tauruses and Sables with AutoLamp use the same sunload sensor. The new (current) number is YF1Z-13A018-AA . This part is used on 03-6 Expeditions & Navigators, as well as 04-08 F-150s (and the Mark LT). This must be a revised part, as the part number on my old sunload sensor (factory) is: YF1T-14A597-AB .
 
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