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Old 12-05-2005
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Parking and Dash lights

Hi Everyone. This is my first post here and I was hoping someone could give me some advice.

I've got a 97 Ranger that keeps blowing fuse #3 disabling my parking and dash lights. I can replace the fuse and the parking lights come back on but if I go over any bumps the fuse blows and leaves me right back where I started.

I took the truck to an auto electrical shop and they found a ground wire they thought was the culprit but that didn't seem to fix it. I'm right back where I stared. Has anyone ever experienced this problem? Any ideas on how to fix it?

Thanks
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Old 12-05-2005
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sounds like you have a wire in there somewhere this bare and when you hit a bump it hits something metal and grounds out to fix it you will have to find that wire and put some electrical tape on it were it is bare
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Old 12-05-2005
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Would the wire be in the dash or could it be anywhere on the vehicle? Also, is it possible that the light switch has gone bad?
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Old 12-05-2005
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the wire could be anywhere that it goes after or before the fuse box it could be loose at the switch but the only time that i have a switch go bad it just stopped working altogether, im not saying it isn't the switch but i would trace the wire down first
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Old 12-05-2005
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Not necessarily a wire. I've had bulbs that had broken internally do that.

On an "older" truck, it could be anything. If the electrical shop didn't find it, I'm thinking one of the following:

1. Bad socket
2. Bad bulb

Any bulbs "out"?

Most stuff on the truck, you can "thump" (like the switches) -- but the bulbs are harder unless you pull the sockets out. If you're willing to do the work, you can take your bulbs out (in the socket) and give them a "thunk" and shake them and see if they cause the fuse to go.
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Old 12-05-2005
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Have to agree with n3elz; the most common places for electrical problems are at the sockets and the wiring going to them. Check for corrosion at the sockets or terminals inside and chafed wires going to the sockets.

OR 4x4
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Old 12-05-2005
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yeah now that i think about it i agree with those guys too
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Old 12-06-2005
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I found the problem! I wanted to thank everyone for the help. I had wrapped the wiring harness that you would connect to a trailer around the bracket for the spare tire. It looks like over the past few years it had rubbed through the brown wire for the parking lights and the exposed wire was making contact every time I hit a big bump. A little electrical tape and a zip tie seem to have fixed the problem.
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Old 12-06-2005
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Ha ha! Most of us geniuses were wrong (including me, lol)! Glad you found it!

Next time you might get some split loom tubing and put the harness inside it -- it's really good for abrasion resistance even if you don't need it to "contain" the wires.
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