1998 Ford Crown Vic-- Electrical Poltergeist

Thank you for taking time to look at my question.

I have learned to live with most of the odd quirks about my car’s electrical system, but recently one of my windows (rear, driver’s side) is stuck down and with Christmas right around the corner, I need to fix it minus a huge bill. Luckily, the holidays mean I will have some free time to fix it in.

For a long time now, my windows have worked on and off. Mostly it’s the driver’s window that stops working for a few months and then starts again. This time, it is the driver’s side rear window that is stuck down. Other electrical anomolies include the fact that sometimes my hazards and blinkers stop working, but if I turn my hazards on and off while my blinker is on, they will both usually start working again for the next few minutes at least and usually until I need them again. Also, in the past sometimes my headlights have turned off while I was driving, but using the blinkers or the hazards has caused them to turn on again for a period of time. If you want a laugh, imagine my dismay to discover this whilst driving alone on the back roads of virginia one night around 1 am after a 10 hour drive day from Ohio… these symptoms are generally accompanied by the occasional and unexplainable lighting of various warning lights on the dash (check engine, check engine flashing, oil, battery, etc). Multiple trips to Autozone to have the battery and the engine checked reveal nothing.

My electrical poltergeist comes and goes. Most of the time, the lights, blinkers, hazards, and even the windows behave well. Since it is cold, I can’t wait for my car to change it’s mind about the window. My daughter is 1 1/2 and must ride in the back seat to daycare every morning and home again every evening.

A co-worker of mine helped me take the switch out of the door panel this evening and play around with it. (I didn’t trust myself not to break the plastic irreparably, and I don’t have handy lengths of wire hanging around.) The switch seems to be functioning, and so does the window motor because the switch can make the window go down-- just not back up. Running a line from the battery and plugging it in trial and error style to various other wires put the front, driver’s window down but did nothing (up and down) for the rear driver’s side window. Pulling the window up with one’s hands, whether pushing the button at the same time or not, does nothing.

Thank you for any insight you can offer. I look forward to hearing your ideas and exploring them.


Was this car ever in a flood?? Have the alternator checked for A/C ripple (bad diode) That can make the control modules go bonkers…

www.crownvicnet.org is the place where the Panther people hang out…

With the door panel off, you should be able to manually close the window…

No flood. I had the alternator checked a few weeks ago, but I don’t know if a general test to see if there is current using a multimeter would also check for “ripple.”

I will try the manual window closing option, thanks for the suggestion! I will let you know how that goes.

More than likely it is a bad ground either on the chassis or motor. Remove them and clean them. This should fix the gremlins.

A multimeter will usually not spot a bad diode in an alternator. An alternator tester will…How does your radio sound when tuned to the AM band? You will hear a big buzz from a bad diode… It will go up and down with the engine RPM…