Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Town Car No Tail Lights

My 1998 Town Car has developed a problem. My tail lights do not come on when I turn on the headlights. Brake and hazard lights are fine. If I let it sit for some time and check it again, the lights work again, but go out again within minutes. Just starting to look into it. Wondering if it's something heating up somewhere and losing connection. Maybe the headlight switch? Lighting control module? Ground? In all cases, when the tail lights are not working, the brake and hazards still work. This problem just started yesterday and has never happened before. Any ideas would be appreciated!

Comments

  • edited November 2009
    It's not the headlight switch. I don't think that it is a ground issue to the lights in the back since the other light functions are working correctly. It could be the wiring between the LCM and the lights, but it is more likely to be the LCM itself.
  • edited November 2009
    Yeah, that's what I was hoping it isn't. New development now that I've started looking at it. I went to it today and everything was working. I ran it for 10 minutes with the headlights on and the tail lights were on. I then went to the fuse panel and rattled fuse #1, which is one of about 8 going to the LCM and the tail lights went off. I turned off the car, pulled the fuse and found that the fuse metal leads have a coat of tarnish. I replaced it with a new fuse, and tried the lights again and they're on. So I figure this MIGHT have been the cause. Time will tell. I dread the cost of replacing the LCM if that turns out to be the problem.
  • edited November 2009
    With that new information, I would now bet on the fuse and fuse socket. Leave the lights on for several minutes, then quickly pull the new fuse out and check if either prong on the fuse is warm. If so, then your fuse socket is loose and is probably the real problem. You should be able to bend the socket contacts such that the make better contact with the fuse and resolve this.
  • edited November 2009
    I had a problem with the plugs in the trunk on my '99 Grand Marquis. That was not the sockets, but some connectors near the lights. It could be time-consuming to rule out the LCM, but you have to do it considering they cost over $400. if you want connector and wiring diagrams, and connector locations, check over at www.crownvic.net.

    The biggest problems with the LCM in these cars is the headlight relays and they can be fixed. Your '98 should be better than some of the mid 00s in that department, but some people "help" them with an external relay anyway. As an added benefit, you get brighter headlights.
This discussion has been closed.