1999 Taurus - Quirky Electrical Issues

I purchased my car new and all-in-all have been very satisfied with it.

Although I am curious as to what may be causing the following two quirky things:

1) the car was not designed with automatic day-time running lights and has a manual switch; however, a month ago the headlights began illuminating whenever I started the car. In the mornings, in the garage, they come on and when I back out and stop, a few seconds later they usually shut off. There have been many times upon leaving work, that the headlights come on at start-up and stay on until I get home, yet the switch has been in the off position all that time. If they stay on until I shut the engine off, the headlights will go out after a few seconds.

2) a few years ago I began having a problem where the digital display for the clock/radio/climate control would go dark. The duration could be a few minutes, or the whole time I’m driving. The patterns I have noticed these past few years are that a) it is seasonal, meaning that when Winter comes, the display is on all the time, no problem; but the rest of the year it can be random as to how long it will illuminate, b) if I turn on the running lights, I will get a dimmer illumination if it was completely dark before, c) many times after it went dark, if I pressed the #4 radio station button, it would come back on, sometimes for a long period, sometimes for a short time (and pressing the other numbered buttons didn’t produce the same results).

I had it in to a Ford dealer for this display issue, but it was in the Fall, and was on that borderline between working/not working, so of course, once I got there, it was not acting up. But based on my description, they thought it was a some kind of switch under the driver’s seat.

It sounds like your are having trouble with the LCM (Lighting Control Module). It is common to all of the problems that you are describing. I assume that you don’t have the auto-lamp option? Even though you don’t have it, I think that all of the electronics for it (except for the switch) are probably still built in. Make sure that the ground connections to the LCM are good. If they are, you may need a new LCM.

Are you SURE you don’t have the auto lamp option that you just recently bumped the sliding switch for into the ON position? That would explain ALL of the symptoms you describe. IIRC, the Auto Lamp is a square sliding switch next to the light switch and rotating instrument panel dimmer.