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98 ford contour fuse issue

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New User

Mar 24, 2010, 7:06 PM

Post #1 of 6 (7559 views)
98 ford contour fuse issue Sign In

4cyl 2.0L

I recently bought this it from a used dealership (mistake I know) and on the way home frmo the dealership the interior lights/clock/power mirrors/radio stopped working. When I bought the car the power locks did not work either. I checked the all the fuses (in engine and dash) and a couple were blown (in dash). I replaced the fuse for the power locks and they now work. When I replace the fuse for the interior lights and etc. it keeps blowing. I'm assuming there's a short?

Also in the fuse box, where the fuse for the wiper motor is (the circuit breaker) theres a 20amp fuse in, but the manual says there's supposed to be a c10? I'm not sure if that's an issue, I don't know what c10 is? The red wire from the stereo (positive?) isn't plugged into anything (it wasn't touching anything either it was sealed). I tried to put it between the fuse and the fuse box for the wiper motor (which is circuit breaker) and push the fuse in, then replace the blowing fuse, that still did not work. If you have any suggestions I'd be very appreciative! I'm not much of a car guy unfortunately.

Also I'm not sure if this is related or not but the A/C stopped blowing cold as well. I don't know if that's an electrical problem or something unrelated like a freon leak.

steve01832 profile image

Mar 25, 2010, 2:20 AM

Post #2 of 6 (7553 views)
Re: 98 ford contour fuse issue Sign In

You may want to start by unplugging the wiper motor and replacing the fuse. If the fuse holds, plug the wiper motor in. If the fuse blows instantly, the wiper motor is shorted.
If you unplug the wiper motor and the fuse still blows, you will need to backtrack the circuit until you can get the fuse to hold, the last thing you unplug is the culprit.


New User

Mar 25, 2010, 8:36 AM

Post #3 of 6 (7547 views)
Re: 98 ford contour fuse issue Sign In

Hey thanks for the reply Steve! But the fuse in the Wiper Motor slot isn't the one blowing, the fuse for the interior lights/power mirrors is. The wipers work too btw. Maybe these details will help more? Thanks for the help though.

New User

Mar 25, 2010, 9:11 AM

Post #4 of 6 (7546 views)
Re: 98 ford contour fuse issue Sign In

Maybe this picture will help? the red wire was initially taped and covered, someone suggested i try to put it between the fuse and the fuse box then push the fuse in (for the wiper motor which is the circuit breaker) but that didn't work so now it's just hanging, if I don't need to put it anywhere else I'll wrap it back up. The fuse that keeps blowing has some brownish mark painted around it. At first I thought it was a sticker to remind them which fuse kept blowing or something but it's painted on or something. You'll have to forgive me I know nothing about elec. or cars. Thanks again for the help!

p.s. i replaced the 20amp fuse with a 15. It's supposed to be 10 but I don't have a 10 and figure 15 was better than 20


Mar 25, 2010, 4:26 PM

Post #5 of 6 (7539 views)
Re: 98 ford contour fuse issue Sign In

i worked on a ford contour once before it had a fuse blowing problem it turned out that the insulation on the wires under the fuse box under the hood was falling off well more like bio degrading it was the same year also it took for ever to tape up all the wires but eventually got it fixed for my neighbor Unsure

Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Mar 25, 2010, 5:43 PM

Post #6 of 6 (7538 views)
Re: 98 ford contour fuse issue Sign In

Tracing shorts can be a real PITA. One thing you can do that may help & save you some fuses is to get a test light. 1st hook the end to ground like normal & probe both terminals of the fuse holder to see which ones supplies the power. Then hook the end of the test light to power (batt + works good), touch any ground to make sure it lights up and then probe the fuse terminal that wasn't the power supply. If the test light lights up, that indicates there is a short in that circuit. Start unplugging accessories that are connected to the circuit. If the light goes out, the short is in that accessory or related wiring.

If the problem traces into a harness (now life really sux) you can start off by wiggling the harnesses & see if that will make the light go out (If this makes the light even blink, you're in the right area)

As far as that wire in the picture, that doesn't look like a factory wire. Someone has probably rigged something up at one time. Either a power supply for something or bypassing something. I would probably trace it down & remove it..............


(This post was edited by Sidom on Mar 25, 2010, 5:44 PM)

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