Common Ford Headlight Problems

The headlights on your Ford vehicle are a critical safety feature. Like driving with worn windshield wiper blades during a rainstorm, defective headlights affect your ability to see and react to road hazards. Also, your vehicle may be less visible to other drivers if your headlights aren’t working well.

Headlight failure compromises your safety - as well as other drivers' safety - on the road. That's why it's important to be proactive and stay on top of your Ford's headlight issues. If you own a Ford, this guide may help you.

The most common Ford headlight problems are:

  • Burned out headlight bulbs
  • Headlights working intermittently
  • Difficulty switching between the low and high beams

If you’re experiencing one of these problems, it may be a simple fix. Let's discuss each issue in more detail.

Burned Out Headlight Bulbs

Ford headlight bulb

Headlight bulbs typically last between 500 and 1,000 hours. Some bulbs can even last thousands of hours. Sometimes a headlight bulb can burn out well before then. The most common reasons for this are:

  • Too much play in the bulb socket
  • Excessively high voltage (above 14.5 volts)
  • A defective bulb

If your headlight bulbs keep burning out, it's worth taking the time to figure out the root cause of this recurrent problem.

Replacing a headlight bulb on your Ford is simple enough to do on your own. The specific steps may vary from vehicle to vehicle, but in general the steps are as follows:

  1. Unplug the wiring connection from the back of the headlight bulb.
  2. Many bulbs are held in place by a clip, which will need to be unfastened before the bulb can be removed.
  3. Remove the defective bulb, and insert the replacement. Wear gloves to avoid touching the bulb glass with your fingers. Oils on your fingers may cause the new bulb to overheat and fail prematurely.
  4. Fasten the clip, and plug the new bulb into the wiring connection.

It’s a good idea to replace your headlight bulbs in pairs. When one bulb burns out, the same bulb in the other headlight may not be far behind. We carry the most common OEM replacement headlight bulbs for your Ford.

If your headlight still doesn’t work even after replacing the bulb, check the vehicle’s fuse panel. Your Ford may have a blown headlight fuse.

Headlights Working Intermittently

Another common problem reported by Ford owners is intermittent headlight failure. The headlights would flash or flicker on and off. This is a common issue because there are many different possible causes:

  • Dying car battery
  • Failing alternator
  • Loose light bulbs (this is common when only one of your headlights is flickering)
  • Loose connections in the headlight assembly
  • Improperly seated headlight fuse
  • Damaged headlight components
  • Faulty headlight switch

If you're in this situation, check all the possible areas of failure until you find it.

Difficulty Switching Between The Low And High Beams

high low beams

This issue is likely the result of switch problems. This may be the case if you experience any of these issues:

  • You have trouble engaging your Ford’s high beams
  • You have trouble switching between the low and high beams

If one of these issues occur, there might be a problem with either your headlight switch or dimmer switch. As these switches age, they may overheat and become damaged. Or the contacts within the switch may become dirty, which causes the switch to not engage properly.

The good news is that these switches are fairly simple to replace. We carry OEM replacement dimmer switches for many Ford vehicles. We also carry a wide assortment of OEM replacement headlight switches.

Need Replacement Headlight Parts?

Are you dealing with any of the above issues, or another headlight issue? Either way, we have the replacement parts you need. We offer genuine OEM Ford parts at wholesale prices. Check out our catalog of OEM Ford headlight parts to find the part(s) you need. This headlight assembly for 2001-2005 Ford Super Duty trucks is one of our best sellers.