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2012 Ford Escape 12V Power - Fuses keep blowing

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jonesyxvii

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I don't have any pictures to post yet, but if someone can help me work through this problem I'm having with my two-day old Escape then pictures will definitely follow!

I'm curious about the 12V power sources in my new Escape. I plugged in a 12V splitter and tried to run two devices but the fuse blew as soon as I turned the second one on. It's a 20 amp fuse and the combination of the two devices draws 2 amps at most. This happened with both 12V power sources (front and rear, both 20 amp fuses).

In my old Chrysler Sebring (http://forums.radioreference.com/pictures-your-shack-mobile-setup/226060-my-mobile-home-shacks.html) I could run nine devices (seven 12V and two USB) from a single 12V cigarette lighter adapter, also with a 20 amp fuse.

What's the deal with the Escape's 12V power sources and what can I do to get around this problem?

Rob
 

mmckenna

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My wife has a 2010, but I think they are different beasts now.

Sounds more like an issue with that second device. Either that, or if it is arcing when you plug it in, sometimes the momentary surge while the arc occurs can blow a sensitive fuse. I'd eliminate a potential issue with the second device before doing anything else. If you have a multimeter, check to make sure there isn't a direct short between the center button and the outer contact. IF there is, there is an internal fault and it should be replaced. Whatever you do, don't upsize the fuse trying to keep it from blowing.

I doubt it's an issue with the Escape's wiring.
 

jonesyxvii

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I have plugged each device separately into the 12V power source (both front and rear) and on their own they both work fine. But come to think of it, the power cord on one is a bit frayed where it connects to the plug, so that may be it. I'll have to look into that further. That same device was plugged into my Sebring, though, with the same cord, and I had no issues. Still, it's worth investigating. Thanks for triggering my memory!

Rob
 

mmckenna

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Yeah, one or the other.

I'd expect that a fault big enough to blow a 20amp fuse would make itself known, either by spark, magic smoke, or visible signs of damage. Take a real close look at all your parts and see if anything looks like it's funky enough to make a 20 amp fuse cranky.

Also, if you have or can get hold of a multimeter, you can figure it out really quick.
 

jonesyxvii

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Also, if you have or can get hold of a multimeter, you can figure it out really quick.
I have a multimeter. It was given to me a couple of years ago. However, electricity is definitely not my strong point and I have no idea how to use the multimeter. Which probe goes where?

Rob
 

jonesyxvii

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Looks like the 12V DC adapter for my 396XT is the problem. That's the cable that's frayed. Turns out it also blew the fuse in the 12V splitter I was using. This morning I swapped in a different 12V splitter and tried two devices (one of which was not my 396XT!) and there were no issues at all. Thanks for helping me troubleshoot this, guys. Now I can go about installing all my other gear, taking some snaps, and sharing them with you!

Rob
 

mmckenna

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If I was local, I'd gladly give you a crash course in using a meter. Once you learn how to properly use one, there isn't much you can't troubleshoot electrically. There are likely some good tutorials on the web. I'd encourage you to sit down, read one and try out your meter.

There are a lot of tools I could do without, but I'd never be without a good meter. I probably own 5 or 6, including one I keep in each vehicle.

Glad to hear you got it working!
 

izzyj4

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Mostly likely the problem is running both rigs through the splitter. Those power splitters usually are cheeply made and can't handle running what ever you are running.

Besides, what two devices are you running anyway?

Best thing to do is to hard wire the devices to a power source or purchase a heavy duty multi port box and run a separate power lead to it. Then plug each device into it's own port.
 
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