2010 Ford F150 rear lights are not working

850

Asked by GuruW1MC Mar 31, 2017 at 07:58 PM about the Ford F-150

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Rear lights, brake lights, turn signals,
reverse lights and hazards not working.
Also license plate lights. The only light in
the back of the car that works is the
cargo light. All front lights work including
hazards. The fuses look fine I checked
lots of them anything having to do with
lights. I checked electric connections as I
followed the wire bundle up to the fuse
box I didn't see any that seemed lose or
in poor condition. The only one that
looked warn was above the spare tire,
but it seems to make connection and the
pins look OK. I checked most of the
bulbs they're fine so far but could one
faulty bulb cause this? What am I
missing?

44 Answers

68,650

No, one bulb would not affect the rest of the bulbs. Could be a ground problem in the back.

15 people found this helpful.
68,650

Also check for the fuse number which controls the rear lights. Use a multi meter and check for voltage inside the fuse box where the fuse plugs into.

6 people found this helpful.
850

So there's power at the rear lights, and all the bulbs we've checked are good. I plugged the lights into the front fixtures and they work there.

4 people found this helpful.
68,650

Use a multi-meter or a 12 volt circuit tester with a light to check for power to the light sockets in the rear. Check inside the socket (where the light makes contact with socket and also at the rear of the bulb sockets where the wires enter the socket. Sockets are known to go bad. Although since all the lights are out I believe the problem may be with the ground. Find the ground location for the rear lights and check for a good contact. You can also check the ground with a multi meter. The new will have a video to show you how.

14 people found this helpful.
68,650

Correction, the NET will have a video to show how.

10 people found this helpful.
850

Thanks, the ground seems to be the next most likely option. Argh I did use a multi-meter it red a bit over 12 volts at all the light sockets, it also confirmed that the blinker relays work fine.

2 people found this helpful.
68,650

If you're reading 12 volts at the socket with a multi-meter, then the problem is with the ground, if you touched a metal part of the vehicle while contacting the lead inside the socket. If you have problem locating where the tail lights ground, let me know. I have a color coded wiring diagram around the house somewhere for the 2010 F 150.

11 people found this helpful.
850

I cleaned the two grounds in the back, although they seemed OK to me. One was above the spare tire, the other was near the drivers side rear tire, it was connected to a electrical connector with six other wires out of the rear bundle. I assume they are all grounds. It has this inline (see photo) they appear to be thicker copper wires that have been partially exposed at some point. When I do the oms test on either side of it, the reading continually changes and zeros every now and then. I put a jumper wire around it, bypassing it to see if it was the problem but still no luck. I'm hesitate to cut it off and replace it with wire because I don't know what it is.

4 people found this helpful.
68,650

The larger wire appears to be a ground. Black wires are ground wires, if someone didn't begin splicing things together haphazard. The solid black wire coming off the plugs for the tail lights is the ground. The multi colored wires should be the power side. Try to trace them and see if they lead to the plug you have in the photo. Backprobe at the tail light socket with the headlights on to determine which wire is the taillight. Use the ground probe on a metal portion of the vehicle. If you have power going to the socket, but no lights, since all are out, you will have to find where the ground is broken.

7 people found this helpful.
68,650

From viewing the photo there seems to be a broken black wire. Has it been pulled out of the socket/cut?

2 people found this helpful.
68,650

Attaching a copy of the tail light wiring diagram for 2010 F 150. Ground is not solid black, but black/green. If you have difficulty reading the codes I can send to you by other means if you wish

15 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful
850

I'm not sure what to make of that, I've never used wiring diagrams before. The frayed wire you see is braided steel I think it's added to the bundle for strength but I could be wrong I don't see any broken wires.

1 people found this helpful.
68,650

Ask around of your friends or relatives. Anyone with basic electrical knowledge should be able to locate the problem within minutes.

3 people found this helpful.
850

I appreciate the help! It looks simple enough I'm going to try to muddle my way through it.

3 people found this helpful.
850

Fixed! Man thanks for all the help OJ! Even though I can't really tell what the numbers and symbols mean that diagram led to the fix by showing me which wire top follow. It ended up being the burned ground connection in this connector. I found it at the rear most part of the underside of the truck bed. It was nicely concealed in a cavity that the tail light wires run through. There was very little slack on the wire bundle to work with. The burned pin you see in the connector is the black green ground wire.

28 people found this helpful.
50

I had the same problem and the black/green wire that goes to the rear under the spare tire was bad.

5 people found this helpful.
130

So do you just replace the connector and attach new wires to all of them

3 people found this helpful.
850

I just replaced the one wire and bypassed the connector.

7 people found this helpful.
40

I had same problem on my 2010 f150. After 3 repair attempts I replaced the taillight wire harness. 170 bucks. No more problem.

4 people found this helpful.
10

would this be the same solution for a 2009 f150 lariat 4wd? Ran out of solution after checking the fuses and bulbs.

1 people found this helpful.
130

If you trace the wires from your wiring harness where you would connect to a boat trailer under the bumper and you will need to remove your spare tire. Trace the wire along the frame and is on the driver side of the spare tire you will find a white connector that is a multi pin connector. Unplug this clean it out and plug it back in that is where my short was at. I attributed the problem of corrosion due to backing a boat into the water and the connector getting put under water. You can turn your ignition on cut a blinker on and then grab the wiring and when you hear it start blinking you will know That the connection is made. Hope this helps

10 people found this helpful.
20

I have no idea what that part is called so don't know how to order a new one. or how to by pass the plug.

2 people found this helpful.
10

You guys are awesome! Mine went out last night. Today went right to connector and BOOM! Thanks for sharing........Jason

1 people found this helpful.
20

2010 Ford F-150 lariat . No brake lights , blinkers were hyper flashing but not lightning up in rear of truck. No emergency flashers.Cargo light worked, all lights in front of truck worked ,Back up camera came on when brakes were pressed and stayed on while driving FORWARD. No Backup camera in reverse. Dealer changed 2 pigtails .. only the pigtails , no harness. $ 500.00 they said was due to moisture, I never launched a boat , only drive it on the weekends and it’s parked in a garage every day.

2 people found this helpful.
270

Thank you everyone for the Q&A on this. I dropped the spare tire on my 2010 Ford F-150 XLT and located the harness/connector that GuruW1MC mentioned. Pulled it apart and clicked it back together while I had the key in the ignition and the turn signal on and VIOLA everything (brake lights and signal lights) came back on. Going to get back under there and treat the connections with some electronic cleaner since mine just seemed like a little corrosion problem and not a burnt wire or connection. Thanks again!

2 people found this helpful.
20

I unplugged the harness and plugged it back up back working

2 people found this helpful.
270

@Drewva24 I did the same thing but ended up eventually bypassing the connector and joining the black/green wire together with about 8 inches of extra 14 guage wire and two shrink wrap connectors. No more problems and it has been 3 weeks.

2 people found this helpful.
270

@Guru9D3QGS pulling the connector apart was no easy task since the wires that it connects have very little slack. I took a lot of grunting and pulling while in a very inconvenient and uncomfortable position and was just as difficult to get it back together once I got it apart. Notice the tab that locks both sides together is on top and getting a screwdriver in there is almost impossible but doable with lots of patience hence the next time the lights went out I opted to cut the one wire (green & black) and bypass the connecter.

2 people found this helpful.

I bypassed all the wires on that connector! now i dont have reverse lights everything else works. tag light is bad too any ideas

270

@Guru9TL6HB, I would say that if they worked before you bypassed the connector that you missed one or one connection is not correct. If the reverse on the tow is working I would follow that wire. The door on the tow connection tells you which wire is which.

I had the same exact problem with my 2010 F-150. No rear lights at all. My cause was in the connector plug itself, just between the spare tire and the rear bumper. Although it looked completely solid and intact, whenever I gripped it with both hands and shoved it tighter together, the lights started working, as long as I held it tightly together. When I released, it disconnected once again. I assumed if I cleaned the connector pins it might solve the problem. It didn't. I unplugged it, cleaned both ends really good with electrical connector cleaner spray, let it dry, and reconnected it. That did not seem to help. Now that I have isolated the problem, I have to figure out how to replace or repair that connection without getting a completely new harness. That is where I am at right now. Still not fixed.

270

You can bypass that connector and splice and heat shrink wrap those wires there. The connector is there so that you can simply disconnect them if you needed to. I had one bad connection there and cut that wire and spliced it together. I have not had a problem with the rear lights since then and it has been months. Good luck!

1 people found this helpful.

Thanks for the info everyone, same problem for me too. Richie, will any 14 Gauge cooper wire work? I simply cut the green/black wire at both ends of the pin connector and heat shrink wrap the wire on? Getting tired of having to reconnect to he pin connector every so often.

270

@tmitch9 Yes any color 14 gauge wire is fine and yes, you can twist them together and heat shrink wrap them. After a few days have gone by you will no longer mentally worry about whether your lights are working or not because the problem has been resolved.

270

@tmitch9 You are welcome and BTW my original post/repair was over a year ago and I have still not had to go back under there because of no lights, however I have had to relocate fuse 27 (look that up if you haven't had the problem yet) which is a whole different problem that you may or may not encounter but if and when you do you will be stuck because your fuel pump fuse has literally melted but that is a whole new thread. Good luck!

Okay @richie, are you saying those 2 problems are related at all? Thanks for the heads up.

270

@tmitch9 No, the problems are not mechanically related, the relation is the 2009-2014 Ford F-150, in my case 2010 4.6. Just thought I'd give a heads up on the fuse relocation because it totally caught me off guard and had me stuck after going out for a loaf of bread.

10

You guys rock! I just unplugged mine....some white dust fell out of the connection....nothing appeared to be burnt. I plugged it back together and presto -- everything works again. Just needed airing out, one imagines. Thanks, fellas.

1 people found this helpful.

Same problem until I pulled the connectors apart, pulled the connector attached to the frame, let it hang down and got a face full of water! I let the 2 cables hang down for @ 1 hour, heated them with a heat gun, reconnected the harness, all the lamps are back to normal. How it got water in that connector I can't figure out, except maybe from the carwash. I need to waterproof that connector.

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