Car Doctor Q&A: Wait, a STARSKY AND HUTCH FORD TORINO!?

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Leave it to AAA Car Doctor John Paul: A guy writes in with his electrical problem on a ’76 Ford Torino Starsky & Hutch replica, and John answers the question professionally WITHOUT EVER MENTIONING HOW COOL THE CAR IS.

Q. Can you help me with my antique 1976 Starsky and Hutch edition Ford Gran Torino? The problem is that when I am driving at night the headlight flash on and off. I assumed it was a broken wire and checked all the wiring, connections to the bulbs and the ground wiring and even the ground from the battery and it all was okay. I did clean some rust from one connection but that didn’t solve the problem. What can it be?

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A. You were right to check all the basics first. Many electrical problems are caused by faulty ground circuits. Now that you ruled that out you need to replace the headlight switch. In many older cars that use mechanical switches there is a thermal circuit breaker. When the breaker gets hot it opens and the lights shut off, once the breaker cools it resets. As a side note if you have replaced the headlight bulbs, be careful some replacement bulbs require higher current and can cause circuit overheating.

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Here’s the Editor’s answer: Either your magnet mounted emergency beacon on the dash is interfering with the wiring, or maybe you should stop running across the hood. 

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John Paul

John Paul

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