1993 Ford Ranger Headlights Turn Off

This 1993 Ford Ranger came in with the complaint that the headlights would turn off driving down the road. I wanted to duplicate the problem so I connected  my battery charger to the battery and set it on the medium charge rate. Turned the headlights on and waited for the lights to turn off. After six  hours they were still on so I started taking things apart to inspect. I removed the phillips headed screws from the lower steering wheel cover

I looked at the wires to see if there was any discoloration of the insulation that would indicate a loose connection.It all looked fine. I went ahead and pulled the top steering wheel cover off as well. It just lifted up with a little bit of maneuvering.

The plan now was to access the headlight switch. The ashtray assembly has to be removed before the trim panel will pull loose.

With the ashtray open there are two 7 mm headed screws. One each side, that have to be removed.

Then the assembly can be pulled out and positioned out of the way.

I was going to remove the radio using the “U” shaped tool I am holding but it would not budge. So I just left it in and pulled the dash trim panel loose.

I left the dash trim panel resting on the steering column to support the weight of the radio. I had enough room to access the 7 mm screws that hold then headlight switch in place.

There was obvious heat damage at the black/red wire (power in for headlight circuit)  and the red/yellow wire (power out to dimmer switch). I started the process of changing out the undamaged wires and splicing the damaged wires. a small screwdriver will release the locking tabs that hold the terminals in the plastic connector.

On the new connector, I had already removed all of the wiring except for the ones that I planned to splice in.

On the remaining wires I removed them one at a time from the old connector and installed them into the new connector.

Getting close.

One of the splice connections.

After completing the wiring work I wrapped the harness back up with electrical tape. To buy the connector that I used in this repair please click here.

If you enlarge the following picture you might be able to see the slight heat damage on two of the switch terminals.

To replace the headlight switch the unit has to be disassembled.

First pull the handle all of the way out until it stops.

Then push in the spring loaded button with your thumb as I did in the next picture.

While holding the button in, grab the handle again and finish pulling it from the headlight switch.

Unscrew the bezel nut and separate the switch from the mounting plate. reverse to install.

Snap the harness connector back into place and finish reassembly the dash components.

I prefer to use Motorcraft switches for Ford products as many of the offshore replacements just will not hold up. Just my experience.

4 discussions on “1993 Ford Ranger Headlights Turn Off”

  1. Although the WPT165 Motorcraft part is a good product, I have been using the same connector that was used in this repair for nearly fifteen years without a problem. That equates to over 100 units during that time frame. There is a link in the article to the part.

  2. I have the same problem on a 94 ranger..Do you think it would be any better to use the motorcraft headlight switch conector part # 165, which cost 4 times as much as a regular switch conector or just use a regular 10.99 switch?? thanks in Advance,, Anthony..

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