How To Test The Headlight Switch with a Multimeter (Ford 4.9L, 5.0L, 5.8L)

Testing the headlight switch on your Ford pickup (SUV or van) isn't hard.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to find out if the headlight switch is causing a ‘No Headlights’ or a ‘No Park Lamps’ condition.

NOTE: This tutorial covers quite a bit of Ford vehicles since the same headlight switch fits them all. To find out if this tutorial applies to your specific Ford vehicle, take a look at the ‘Applies To:’ box on the right column.

You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar: El Interruptor de las Luces Delanteras (Ford) (at: autotecnico-online.com).

Headlight Switch Troubleshooting Basics

How To Test The Ford Headlight Switch

Here's a description of all of the headlight pins:

Headlight Switch & Connector Pin Out
Pin Wire Color Description
B1 Black w/ Orange stripe Battery (+)
B2 Tan w/ White stripe Battery (+)
D1 Lt Green w/ Yellow stripe Power (+) for interior lamps
D2 Black w/ Pink stripe To all interior lamps
H Red w/ Yellow stripe To headlight dimmer switch
I White w/ Lt Blue stripe To instrument panel lamps
IGN Yellow w/ Black stripe Battery (+)
R Brown To exterior lamps
DN Orange w/ Black stripe To radio illumination lamps

NOTE: The colors of the wires (above) may not be the ones coming out of the headlight switch connector in your particular Ford vehicle but the circuit (pin) descriptions will be the same.

Testing the headlight switch simply involves testing the continuity of certain circuits.

To be a bit more specific... you'll be using a multimeter in Ohms () and probing between to terminals (on the headlight switch itself) to see if there's continuity between them.

If there's no continuity between them, then that circuit is bad and the headlight switch on your Ford pickup (SUV or van) has to be replaced.

NOTE: You'll need to remove the headlight switch to test it.

  1. The two pins that complete the circuit for the headlights are:
    1. pin B1
    2. pin H
  2. The two pins that complete the circuit for the park lamp are:
    1. pin B2
    2. pin R

Start Here: Testing The Headlight Switch

Depending on what issue you're having with your head lights (no headlights or no park lamps)... your starting point will be in one of two different tests.

NOTE: Before starting any of the tests below, take a look at this section: Melted Ford Headlight Switch Connector.

Alright, depending on what problem you're trying to solve, here's your starting guide

No Headlights

  1. The first test involves jumpering pins B1 and H and checking that the headlights turn on.
    1. For this test, go to: TEST 1: Jumpering The Headlight Circuit.
  2. The second test involves checking the continuity between pins B1 and H of the headlight switch itself.
    1. For this test, go to: TEST 2: Testing The Continuity Of The Headlight Circuit.

No Park Lamps

  1. The first test involves jumpering pins B2 and R and checking that the park lamps turn on.
    1. For this test, go to: TEST 3: Jumpering The Park Lamp Circuit.
  2. The second test involves checking the continuity between pins B2 and R of the headlight switch itself.
    1. For this test, go to: TEST 4: Testing The Continuity Of The Park Lamp Circuit.