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Flickering Headlights please help


13ondy
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I'm hoping someone could please help me as I'm really at the end of my tether.

A couple of weeks ago my alternator suddenly died on my 08 Focus, I managed to get it recovered back to a garage and had a new alternator put in.

Well since I've had the new alternator put in the headlights seem to keep flickering, I took it back to the garage, they have checked everything and can't find anything wrong, the battery is reading ok.

Im literally at my wit's end with this now, it's not only costing me in garage bills but I've also had to miss work a number of times now because I have been to worried to drive the car with the lights flickering. 

Any help would be really appreciated as I really don't know what to do.

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On 3/17/2010 at 6:48 PM, artscot79 said:

since so many ford oners have an issue with the lights flickering and interior lights etc ive been doing some searching and heres what i found.

the problem is well known to ford and the cause is that there is a high resistance in the battery wiring harness from the central junction box under the bonnet to the b+terminal of the alternator the high resistance from the 7.5amp fuse causes the alternator to pulse and this causes the flickering of the lights both insisde and out and on the dash fords technical service bulletin recommends an additional wire should be installed which takes a new feed direct from the main battery cable on the back of the alternator the bulletin number was TSB 053/2001 Part number for this cable - 1133503 from what i can gather people who have done it themselves say that you should unplug the multiplug from the alternator and pull it up to the top of the engine, splice into the red wire, then solder the new wire on and wrap it up in tape. Then drop it back down and put the ring connector on 'under' the thick red cable connector and reconnect the plug The multiplug is on the alternator, just around the side from where the thick red cable mounts.

The instructions say that the wire should be soldered on about 10cm from the plug, so you'll need at least a bit more than that.

this flickering has been blamed on alternators etc etc so as i said to many before it is common for the ford lights to flicker and this applies to all models basically its up to the person wether or not they do it yet ford never issued a recall just a technical service bulletin stating that should a customer show concern then they were to advise of this new wire otherwise say nothing.

 

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Hi thank you, I did spot this post, do you know if there is anywhere that shows a step by step guide as that would be really helpful. Thank you for replying it's greatly appreciated

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TSB 053/2001

Summary

Should a customer express concern about flickering headlamps, wavering illumination of the instrument cluster, interior lighting and audio unit the probable cause is an extremely high resistance in the battery wiring harness from the central junction box (under the bonnet) to the B+ terminal on the alternator. To rectify the concern an additional cable should be installed.

Part number for this cable - 1133503

Apparently the high resistance from the 7.5A fuse to the alternator multi plug causes it to "pulse" so the new loom does away with this by taking a new feed direct from the main battery cable on the back of the alternator.

The part, which is little more than a piece of wire with a metal terminal on the end, and a bit of protective sheathing has to be soldered into the alternator multi plug.

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So if you fancy doing the job yourself you will need 250mm of 1.5mm cable, and a 10mm ring tongue crimp terminal, a small amount of adhesive lined heatshrink tubing.

You also will need a good soldering iron, and a crimp tool.

The wire is fitted to the back of the alternator main battery lead and is spliced in to the positive wire on the 'Smart' plug fitted on the side of the alternator.

 

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Thank you so much. 

Im not brave enough to attempt this on my own so im going to go to a auto electrician near me in the morning and show them everything you have sent me, hopefully it will be simple for them i just hope its not going to be to expensive as i have already spent out a lot with no progress.

Thank you so much for all of your help i really appricate it, fingers crossed it gets sorted tomorrow

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Little update, I got a friend of mine to do this for me yesterday as i didnt fancy attempting it myself, I had planned to go to an auto electrician but they was all shut or fully booked as it was so close to xmas. My friend forgot his soildering iron so he used a connector instead. The lights arnt flickering every couple of seconds now. I do notice they do the odd flick every now and then. Could this be because it wasnt soildered or is this normal ?

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It's maybe be because the wire that was used was not of a heavy enough gauge, or that the connections are not good and have a high resistance. At least the work that has been done kind of proves that this is the issue. Just sounds like it needs to be done a little better.

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It's definitely 100 times better, before i couldnt even drive it and it was flickering evey few seconds so it looked like i was flashing the cars in front of me, now its only doing it every now and then. 

What sort of gauge would be best ? im unsure what gauge he used. Maybe i can get him to have another look at the connections .

The flicker now is only slight so i could live with it but it would be nice to get it 100% right.

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Wire size needs to be at least 1.5mm2 and the joint with the existing should in an ideal world be soldered, so as to have the least possible resistance. The crimp terminal on the other end of the wire that fits to the stud on the alternator needs to be properly crimped on with a special tool not just squashed on with a big pair of pliers.  Alternatively the ring crimp could be soldered on to the wire if a crimp tool is not available.

 

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I shall message him tomorrow and see if he can have a look again at it, ill check to see if he did use the 1.5mm wire size and ill ask him to solder it, he was going to but he forgot hiis soldering iron. He did use a special crimp tool for the ring and im pretty sure he used that same tool to join the wires where he didnt solder

Im working nights until Monday hopefully he will squeeze me in 1 day next week. Ill let you know how i get on. 

Thanks again for all your help, i really appricate it, i really like the car and im looking at doing quite a few things with it so getting this sorted would be brillant. 

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