Go with OEM or aftermarket turn signal/headlight/wiper switch on Ford truck?

My 1999 F250 Super Duty decided to give me a little trouble on the first night after daylight savings time went off. The headlights decided not to turn on so I stayed behind a slow semi with my flashers on to get home. Once nearly home, I no longer had street lights or other lights and was about to find a place to park it and call for a ride. I started messing with all the switches and controls for the lights out of frustration and all of a sudden I had LIGHT.

Anyway, experimentation shows it is definitely related to the dimmer switch for the brights which is part of the turn signal/wiper switch. Dimming the brights would sometimes cause the lights to completely go out again but messing with the switch got them to come back on. I figure the switch is failing so this workaround is likely only temporary.

Should I spring for Motorcraft OEM which costs around 5x as much as some of the aftermarkets or are the aftermarkets just fine? I know some things are just paying for the name but since this is a safety issue, I don’t want to save money but at a cost.

I deal with electronics daily and see harm caused by cheap junk aftermarkets. Are these cheap switches junk or made in the same Chinese factory with the Ford Motorcraft OEM units?

Could this also be something related to a sticking relay since that is downstream from the switch? I already went through this same thing with my fuel pump relay. The truck would start and immediately lose fuel pressure. Slamming the hood unstuck the relay and it would start and run fine until shut off once again. I figured it was either the relay or a loose wire/bad ground so decided to just eliminate the relay as the possible problem and that was it.

22 year-old truck?



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The ones on Rockauto are $62-$93. Are you saying Ford wants $300-$500?

I’d pick an oem one up at a scrapyard. But then again, I’m already there. Aftermarket would probably be ok, but get a decent brand. Tester or some of the others could recommend a decent quality replacement. I’ve had decent luck with “BWD”, which is probably Borg Warner, who makes some of the oem stuff anyhow. Do not know if BWD is an option on Rockauto

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All of the OReilly stuff is BWD from what I remember. I have to run now but the cheapos were like $25 and the OEM $120.

My other Ford truck is in the shop right now. Aftermarket front end components wore out far before I feel they should have so they are being replaced. They were the “upgraded” Duralast brand from AutoZone so told them to use whatever they would use if it was their truck. I have been so busy lately I am just debating about driving this truck to the shop and leaving it when I pickup the other one.

I always avoid Duralast brand from past experience. Check out what Rockauto lists. Or I’d gamble on BWD since it’s only 25 bucks. They may not be Borg Warner affiliated, I just guessed they might be. Good luck.

Rockauto shows the motorcraft one for $103.79

If you look under “Turn Signal Switch” instead of “Multi Function Switch” you can find the Motorcraft

Somewhere between “economy” and “oem” on RA’s site there should be something listed that would do nicely for a 20 year old truck, I think.

Those are the $62-$93 ones.
It doesn’t look too difficult, so if a cheap one wears out quick it wouldn’t be too hard to replace:
How to Replace Turn Signal Wiper Switch Lever 97-98 Ford F-150 - YouTube

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If the Motorcraft part is $100 and the aftermarket is $60, me, I’d go w/the Motorcraft part. If the switch is very easy to replace however, might be worth taking a gamble on a name-brand aftermarket version. How difficult is the replacement job?

On a late 90’s Ford, 2 or 3 screws to remove the Column cover, 2 screws and 2 electrical plugs to remove the switch. Should be able to do it in a hour, including getting and putting away the phillips screw driver.

Look at the youtube I posted.

The ones Ford sells are aftermarket also. Ford, like others, contracts out switches, lighting, and many other components.
They even farm out the seats.

The Ford switches I’ve done were very easy to change. No steering wheel removal, etc.
And I’ve never had an issue with any of the so-called aftermarket parts from the parts houses.

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It looks easy and everyone has told me it is likely just the switch. I see various numbers of terminals on various parts lists. They all fit my truck. Do I need to just pull the switch and see how many terminals it has?

Probably would be a good idea, especially since you’ve got that odd light duty F250 with 150 and 250 parts, if I recall correctly. Some of those terminals may be for cruise control equipped vs not. Would be true for GM, anyway. I don’t remember Ford’s cruise control switches exactly. They might just be on the steering wheel, so might not apply.

I have both now. The 1997 oddball is in the shop with the worn out front end components. I took it in for tires and mentioned I was hearing some noises from the front end. Once on the lift it was very obvious.

I have a 1999 Super Duty as well which is not too odd. It is the most basic model which is what I wanted. Everything that was offered mechanical that year is mechanical. Manual transmission, mechanical lever for the transfer case, manual hubs, you name it…