'97 Taurus: HEADLIGHTS WON'T SHUT OFF

Hi All -- I have a 1997 Ford Taurus sedan (USA) with 55,000 miles, and my headlights won't turn off. The only way to kill the lights is by disconnecting the battery. I brought it to my mechanic and he played
with the fuses and wiring for quite some time, but couldn't solve the problem. Has anyone else in the forum had this issue, and how is it fixed? The mechanic said something about a daytime running lamp module, but the problem is he doesn't know where it's located.
Any help would be appreciated. I'd like to avoid bringing it to a Ford dealership if at all possible.
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Does it have the auto on/off headlamps or do you have to turn them on and off manually? If it is the auto type I have heard of the sensor that tells how dark it is outside going bad. If not maybe it could be the headlamp switch needs replacing.
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What kind of mechanic did you take it to? Why does he not have proper service information available to him?

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"hoopking33" wrote

Did you have DRLs before this problem showed up? If you have a DRL module, it's on the front bumper brace below and behind the driver's side headlight.
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If the car is, indeed, a US car, it shouldn't have DRLs.... If you can bring yourself to hire a real mechanic (one who fixes vehicles rather than "plays" with them), he would know to check for a DRL module near the left headlamp. He would also check his manuals (there is no way to effectively work on an electrical system without wiring diagrams) to see that there might also be a concern with the multifunction switch (flash to pass feature) or with the main light switch.
HTH.

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"Jim Warman" wrote

Unless it was a fleet vehicle, in which case DRLs are fairly common ... (The OP didn't mention whether or not he had DRLs before this problem appeared.)

Since only one or two percent of US Taurii have DRLs, I'd hazard a guess that there are more than a few "real mechanics" who've never seen one.
I'd also guess that hoopking posted here hoping for some useful information and not just to be ragged on for trying to economize on service for a second hand Ford.
"Stuck on" is among the failure modes for the DRL module. The fuse for the DRL is a 15A (blue) blade type in position 15 in the engine compartment fuse box. The cheap fix may be to simply remove that fuse. To get to the DRL module itself, you have to remove the splash panel under the front bumper. (about a zillion small screws) The module will be located under the battery area. It's a small box with an 8-pin connector on the bottom. If it's been on, it'll be hot to the touch. I believe a replacement is fairly expensive. ($100+) If you want to disconnect the module and do away with your DRLs, you'll need a jumper from pin 1 to pin 8 to make the high beam indicator work. You might be able to find an original jumper plug at a salvage yard.
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"hoopking33" wrote

Probably, but keep in mind that you still have an electronic device with some unknown fault in it on a parallel circuit with your headlights so you should stay alert for any signs of side effects. Your high beam indicator circuit passes through the DRL module, also.
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hoopking33,
Have you fond the problem with your headlights? I am experincing the same problem with my 97, also the Multi fuction switch is backwards... ie forward low netural Highs, and back flash. I had issues with my daytime running lights a few years back and pulled the fuse But now Im in the same boat.
I tried pulling the 30AMP i the engine compartment fuse box but nothing. Don't feel lost though I'm a aircraft mechanic apprentace and its got me in a think.
Let me know what comes of it and I'll do the same. And if anyone has options let me know.
C1Kid
hoopking33 wrote:

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Hi All
The DRL module or Daytime running lights module is placed just in front of the Drivers side wheel well. I had this burn out on me and I had to replace it for $70. Not the worst case. But if you cant, theres a mini fuse under the hood fuse box that you can pull and the daytime headlights on function will be disabled. I dont remmeber which fuse, but pull one at a time, with Ignition off and battery conected, til the headlights distinguish. My car was a 98 Taurus
Good Luck
Larry in NY

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errrrrr, extinguish

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The DRL module competes with the MACH radio display power supply board and the old TFI module for top honors of unreliable electronics. Different vendors, but I can't avoid noticing the common thread: notoriously poor thermal management. This is a beginner's mistake as far as power electronic design goes. Not to mention leaving design verification as an exercise for the customers. Seems that Ford can't afford any better.
By the way, another annoying mode of DRL failure is a brake warning indicator that stays on. I was almost certain that the switch on the parking brake control shorted out, before finding the real reason... Wife's Grand Marquis now utilizes a piece of black tape over the ambient light sensor for makeshift DRL. A 0.1 cent substitute for the $70 module. Bonus: tail lights on.
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