SureTrack Community Fix: Disco Dash

Real Fixes from the Snap-on SureTrack® expert information resource are documented issues from actual shop repair orders and community discussions. Read on to see how SureTrack can help you correct issues that are not easily diagnosed using OEM information alone. SureTrack is currently available free with the purchase of a current Snap-on® diagnostic software version.

Electrical gremlins are no fun to deal with and a lot of them are caused by power and ground issues. SureTrack community member joesal67 had a Ford Econoline van in the shop that had the dash lights flashing under certain circumstances as well as other lighting issues. They posed the question to the community, and with the help of fellow community member DAG1365 and others, they were able to resolve the issue.

The following Real Fix summarizes the interaction between them in the community that led to the solution.

Vehicle
2011 Ford Econoline E150 4.6L

Title
Dash lights flashing, broken ground at taillight.

Complaint
Customer complains that the dash lights are flashing in certain circumstances.

Diagnostic Steps Performed/Parts Replaced
Verified customers complaint and found the dash backlight, radio, other dash lights and parking lights are all flashing ONLY when you are coasting from 0-10mph. As soon as you go over 10mph there is no other symptoms except for the rear turn signals, reverse bulbs and brake lights are not working when the vehicle is running at any time. The third brake light is the only light that is working with the vehicle on. With the key off and all the lights off the brake lights do illuminate very dim. Additionally if the problem occurs and you step on the brake the problem goes away. You can hear multiple relays clicking from the underhood fuse box and as well from the BCM. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Best Answer from Community Member DAG1365
Check wiring along steering column. Correct any codes in any systems. Hook into BCM and see if readings normal or not and then check BCM connections. Would also check any trailer wiring if present and be sure all grounds/powers are good and clean.

Cause
The ground wire for the taillights was completely broken.

Correction
Repair ground wire and all returned to normal.


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About the Author

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor is the SureTrack Community Administrator and a Senior Applications Specialist at Mitchell 1 with over 25 years of experience with electronic repair data systems. Nick previously worked in the automotive dismantling and engine rebuilding industries.