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So I just barely bought a 2005 manual Ford Focus, ZX4.

It's been great for the past week until today. When taking a left turn in 1st gear, the RPMs shot up to about 5,000, and the car electronics turned off for a few and then back on. The engine was still running, I could still steer normally, but the RPM indicator didn't work anymore.

I thought giving it a rest might help, so I pulled over, opened the hood, and everything seemed okay. I got back in, and the next turn I took, the electronics freaked out again. Everything else kept working except the RPM indicator, so I got onto the freeway to get home. The RPM indicator worked just fine, and everything seemed back to normal.

Except now the headlights will not turn on. The small orange bulbs turn on, the fog lights turn on, the turn signals work just fine, its just the low beams that have stopped working.

I don't know what to do. Can the bulbs have been shorted? Do I just need new bulbs, or new fuses, or something entirely different?

  • Does your car has on your steering extra controls for other accessories, like radio etc...? Also the buttons for the lights and wippers are on their own controls further down the steering column, right? – Alimba Sep 25 '19 at 8:39
  • @Alimba Yeah, it does – AmateurHotShot Sep 26 '19 at 16:07
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So, according to the comments above, I would suggest to check if any of the cables attached on the steering column coming from the steering wheel is having a short. Especially when you move your steering wheel at extreme ends.

You could start to inspect for wear on the plastic wrapped tube that cables are tied together, and if that looks okay, you might need to go deeper to find the actual cable and see if they are damaged. A voltmeter can be handy in these kind of situations as it can help you tell if a wire is solid or lose on its connection.

Another thing that you have to check is the battery of your car, generally with a volt meter and the engine off you need to see about 12 volts but in your case with your engine running you must see 14 volts. If not, it means that the battery is not charging and there is some issue with the cars charging system that needs to be checked. In modern cars when the battery is close to the minimum voltage it can cause the cluster to flicker like crazy.

That's why checking for a short is important because it drops the battery's available voltage and the two issues described above could be corelated.

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