It is better to have knowledge of correct wiring color codes for tail lights of Ford F250 Super Duty pickup trucks. It will help you prevent the problems arising from faulty wiring connections that can damage the light bulbs.
Ford F250 tail lights have 6 wires with different colors for each function. Light green with orange stripes is for the left turn, and orange with light blue is for the right turn signal. The color of the tail light wire is brown, and the ground wire has a black shade. Reverse light has mostly a pink hue, and CHMSL wire has green color. You should use a minimum of 16-12 gauge wire for different connections for tail lights. You can use a multimeter or test meter to trace the wiring for Ford F250 if you don’t have color codes available.
This article will facilitate ford owners in upgrading the lights or troubleshooting any faults in the circuit. We will also discuss other aspects like gauge size for different wires in the harness for tail lights and where or how to find the correct wiring diagrams for its circuit.
How many wires are in the connector for the Ford F250 tail lights?
Ford F250 tail light connectors contain 7 pins for connection with various options. One wire among the 7 is spare and does not connect with any other options.
For example, one wire is for the left turn signal, and the other is for the right turn signal. There are other pins for the park light, reverse light, and ground point.
In some models, there is also extra live wire for center high mount stop lamp (CHMSL) wire to indicate the truck’s stopping by a rear glass-mounted light. In the case of a trailer, all these wires also connect with its tail lights.
Color codes for Ford F250 Tail Lights wiring
Ford F250 from 1996-2016 has the same color codes for tail lights. In addition, tail lights for Ford F250 contain options for indicating turning left or right, brake light, parking light, reverse light, and CHMSL. Each option has a specific wire in the wiring harness controllable from different driver controls.
A light green colored wire with orange stripes is for the left turn signal. An orange wire with light blue markings is for the right turn signal. Furthermore, both light options turn solid red when the driver presses the brake pedal.
A brown-colored wire is for connection with the license plate illumination light. It also acts as a park light. It also serves as the connecting wire for tail lights on the trailer attached to the Ford F250 pickup truck. Therefore, in its colored wiring diagram, you will see a brown wire for tail lights.
The ground wire provides the return path of current for all options in the tail lights. Mostly, it is black and connected with the ground point on the truck frame. However, you can expect some other colors and verify them using a test meter.
The reverse light wire is of pink or black color. In some models, it is purple with green or orange stripes. I have also seen it with green wire and brown tracers in some trucks. Therefore, you should check its color for your specific model of Ford F250.
In some vehicles, an additional third tail light is mounted in the center of the rear window. A CHMSL wire having green color is optional and available in some models. However, it remains hot, like brown wire for tail lights.
Where to find the color codes for the Ford F250 tail light?
You can find the color codes for the tail lights of Ford F250 Super Duty pickup trucks in its service manual. It contains a wiring diagram for various circuits starting from the power junction box to the specific system indicating the colors of wires in abbreviations.
If you don’t have a wiring diagram for a particular pickup truck model, you can consult online forums to find one.
Furthermore, you can also seek help from experts or the trucking community regarding the color codes of all wires in the wiring harness for the tail lights of the Ford F250. Suppose you are going to replace or upgrade the tail lights on your Super Duty truck with aftermarket solutions.
In that case, they also have their installation guides indicating the factory wire and modified colors for their products. If you don’t know about the electrical connections, you can also hire the services of an expert mechanic, who will sort out things for you.
How to trace Ford F250 tail lights wiring without color codes?
If you don’t know the color codes for the tail light circuit on Ford F250, you can trace it using a multimeter. Depending on the truck model or modifications by earlier owners, there can be differences in its wire colors.
Therefore, physically testing is a more precise method. First of all, find the switch for tail lights. Mostly it is closer to the brake pedal on the driver’s side. Change its position for its intended purpose and use a multimeter to check which of the wire gets hot or receives +12V from the battery.
For example, brake lights will activate when you press the brake pedal. Similarly, reverse lights will turn ON when you put the vehicle in reverse mode. In this way, you can check each wire’s function in the tail light wiring connector for Ford F250.
Do wiring color codes remain the same for all Ford F250 trim levels?
Ford F250 Super Duty pickup truck is available in 6 trim levels, including XLT, Lariat, XL, Platinum, King Ranch, and Limited.
Despite varying engine options and other luxurious features, wiring color codes for tail lights remain the same for all of them. However, there can be differences in the wiring diagrams and their connections for different model years.
But for a particular model year, you will find the same number of wires, gauge size, and colors irrespective of their trim levels.
However, be careful while buying a second-hand truck, as its owner has changed its wiring diagram according to his requirements.
In that case, consulting the owner manual or finding the wiring diagram for each wire color mentioned will come in handy.
What is the wire gauge for Ford F250 tail lights?
According to my research, never to use a wire of less than 16 gauge for any circuit in your Ford F250 pickup truck. Moreover, its size also depends on the type of wiring connector and the intended purpose of that particular wire.
For example, the minimum wire gauge for left and right turn signals or brake wires should be 16. But I will recommend using a 14 gauge wire to be on the safer side. Similarly, for brown-colored wire for tail lights, you can use 16 gauge wire.
On the other hand, ground wire provides a return path for all components in tail lights. Therefore, it should be a larger gauge size of 12, and you must secure it with any clear point on the truck’s frame.
Similarly, for reverse lights, you can use a heavier 12 gauge wire and a relay controlled with existing backup lights. You can also check for the fuse rating and upgrade it to a 15-20 amp rating fuse to prevent its frequent burning due to overloading.
What is the purpose of color coding for wiring on Ford F250?
The color coding scheme for tail lights wiring on Ford F250 provides a standard way to track different circuit changes. Irrespective of the owner change, this pattern of wiring with specific colored wire for each purpose will facilitate the modification of tail lights or their up gradation.
Their most significant advantage is during the troubleshooting of any fault or malfunctioning in any particular function of tail lights. Knowing the wires’ color coding allows you to easily trace the faulty wire by identifying its hue.
For example, if tail lights are not turning ON, instead of checking a whole bunch of cables, you will look for brown-colored wire in the wiring harness and check for its voltage level.
If the measured voltage is 12V when you activate its switch, then the problem is in the bulb. In this way, it will save time to troubleshoot the fault in the circuit.
Moreover, it will facilitate you by avoiding any need to memorize the wiring for all circuits in your pickup truck. Using a wiring diagram, you can trace the complete path for each wire from its junction box to the end component.
Therefore, the color coding scheme is imperative for efficient troubleshooting of all electrical systems in Ford F250 Super Duty pickup trucks.