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Old 11-18-2005, 11:01   #1 (permalink)
explorer_man
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Headlights won't go off!

I have a 97 Explorer XLT 5.0 V8

This is a strange one. I can't turn off the headlights (or rear lights
or dash illumination). Even with the keys out they all stay on,
however much I play with the headlight switch on the dash, the stalk
and the autolamp slider. Now I have to remove fuses when I park to
avoid the battery running down, and put them back in when I drive off
(if it's dark, obviously...)

A friend suggested it was a fused relay. But according to the manual
there is no relay for the headlights. Is that really true?

Help! I want to avoid hours and hours of diagnostics at the workshop.

Thanks.

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Old 11-18-2005, 20:01   #2 (permalink)
Jim Warman
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Re: Headlights won't go off!

Is this a Canadian vehicle?

"explorer_man" <alexandlol@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1132338476.684598.215470@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> I have a 97 Explorer XLT 5.0 V8
>
> This is a strange one. I can't turn off the headlights (or rear lights
> or dash illumination). Even with the keys out they all stay on,
> however much I play with the headlight switch on the dash, the stalk
> and the autolamp slider. Now I have to remove fuses when I park to
> avoid the battery running down, and put them back in when I drive off
> (if it's dark, obviously...)
>
> A friend suggested it was a fused relay. But according to the manual
> there is no relay for the headlights. Is that really true?
>
> Help! I want to avoid hours and hours of diagnostics at the workshop.
>
> Thanks.
>



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Old 11-19-2005, 10:01   #3 (permalink)
explorer_man
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Re: Headlights won't go off!

Very funny. Actually, as it's now winter, wouldn't the lights stay off
rather than on?

In case you're not joking...no, it's an American vehicle.

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Old 11-19-2005, 13:01   #4 (permalink)
Si
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Re: Headlights won't go off!

I had the same problem back in July with my headlights only. I ended up
replacing the DRL module.


"explorer_man" <alexandlol@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1132338476.684598.215470@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> I have a 97 Explorer XLT 5.0 V8
>
> This is a strange one. I can't turn off the headlights (or rear lights
> or dash illumination). Even with the keys out they all stay on,
> however much I play with the headlight switch on the dash, the stalk
> and the autolamp slider. Now I have to remove fuses when I park to
> avoid the battery running down, and put them back in when I drive off
> (if it's dark, obviously...)
>
> A friend suggested it was a fused relay. But according to the manual
> there is no relay for the headlights. Is that really true?
>
> Help! I want to avoid hours and hours of diagnostics at the workshop.
>
> Thanks.
>



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Old 11-19-2005, 14:01   #5 (permalink)
Happy Traveler
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Re: Headlights won't go off!

Jim wasn't joking. All Canadian vehicles are required to be equipped with
DRLs (Daylight Running Lights). One common failure of the DRL module results
in the headlights being on all the time (another, as I learned from recent
experience with one of my cars, causes the brake lights to turn on). DRLs
are seldom installed in the US.
Nevertheless, the DRL module only operates the headlights. If tail and dash
lights stay on as well, it's probably not it.

Does your Explorer have the Autolamps option (lamps that turn on and off
automatically by sensing ambient light and are controlled by a little switch
on the rear view mirror)? If so, there is definitely a relay module, and its
failure could cause what you are describing.

"explorer_man" <alexandlol@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1132423208.583441.220110@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Very funny. Actually, as it's now winter, wouldn't the lights stay off
> rather than on?



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Old 11-19-2005, 20:01   #6 (permalink)
Jim Warman
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Re: Headlights won't go off!

As Happy pointed out, it's no joke.... FWIW, we aren't even near our cold
part and sunrise is already well after 8:00 AM and sunset happens before
4:30. Headlights are needed more than ever.

DRLs make approaching vehicles much easier to see....


"explorer_man" <alexandlol@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1132423208.583441.220110@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Very funny. Actually, as it's now winter, wouldn't the lights stay off
> rather than on?
>
> In case you're not joking...no, it's an American vehicle.
>



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Old 11-21-2005, 10:01   #7 (permalink)
explorer_man
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Re: Headlights won't go off!

Happy Traveler - thanks, that's useful. Any idea where the autolamp
relay module would be? It's not listed in the manual, though the car
does have that feature.

I'm guessing it's not DRL as the tail and dash lights stay on too.

Alex

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Old 11-21-2005, 17:01   #8 (permalink)
Happy Traveler
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Re: Headlights won't go off!

According to my '98 EVTM book (hopefully not much different from your '97),
the relay module is behind the instrument panel, roughly to the left of the
radio.

HOWEVER, upon a closer look, I don't believe that its failure would turn on
headlights, instrument and tail lights simultaneously, because there is a
separate relay there for each of those circuits. The main lights switch is
probably your first suspect, followed by the autolamps control on the rear
view mirror. I would disconnect each of those and see what happens before
going any further.
If that doesn't help, I am afraid that you'll need the EVTM (or its CD
version) for a more methodical troubleshooting. The Workshop Manual (vol.
II) is also very handy, as it has a detailed, step-by-step procedure. It's
way too long and complex to quote in an NG posting. Sorry!

"explorer_man" <alexandlol@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1132592479.567404.113980@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> Happy Traveler - thanks, that's useful. Any idea where the autolamp
> relay module would be? It's not listed in the manual, though the car
> does have that feature.



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Old 11-22-2005, 09:01   #9 (permalink)
explorer_man
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Re: Headlights won't go off!

I have a final outcome! I am an idiot for not working this out sooner,
but there was one obvious diagnostic check I missed. Apologies to
those earlier in the thread who suggested this.
The autolamp is faulty. I pulled the autolamp fuse and, hey presto,
the problem is fixed.
Thanks to all for the help.

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