Mysterious irritating problem 1997 Explorer

Don’t get me wrong, I love my 1997 Ford Explorer XLT with more than 200,000 miles.

Problem: When cold outside, under 40 degrees, and car has been sitting for more than 8 hours, when started up the power windows, the windshield wipers and interior lights do not work. It typically takes about 10 minutes of running the car, and then everything works fine. If it is really cold, below 20 degrees, even when the car warms up and heater is blowing warm air, these items, windows, wipers and interior lights will not work for at least 15 - 20 minutes, then they begin to work fine.


Please does anyone know what’s wrong?


It sounds to me that the switches that control all of these are frozen. They are all inside the vehicle and if the heaters is pushing out hot air, it will take a while to cool this down. I know, it sounds stupid, but I have seen this on airplanes in the past.

I have the factory diagrams for my 97 Explorer so I took a quick look far a commom point.

The interior lights & windows are both wired to interior fuse 27.

Interior fuse 27 is wired to the battery saver relay which is located behind the center section of the dash with 5 other relays.

I’d try changing the relay.

No idea on the wipers.

Weird. 87 Ranger has you going in the right direction. These battery saver relays have problems and cause a variety of odd-ball events.

Try cleaning up the engine to body ground, usually the body end is rusted or was installed over paint.