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No brake lights

1985 F250, no brake lights. Turn signals work; fuses all good. Hazard Warning flasher flashes front blinkers only, not rear blinkers. Switch at brake pedal was bypassed with no success.

It’s still too cold to leave my window down and use hand signals.


You need to use a test light to see if there is power to the switch.

Since the rear bulbs don’t flash with the hazards, I don’t think it’s a power issue to the brake light switch. I would suspect that it is either the multi-function switch (or hazard switch if it was separate in 85, I can’t remember), or it is the wiring to the rear bulbs.

The brake light switch is hot. I touched the jumper to ground while bypassing and got sparks.

The hazard warning switch is separate in the 85s. It’s the two-prong type, and IS flashing the front turn signals. I think the switch can’t be very complicated and can’t differentiate between front and rear blinkers.

The rear turn signals do work and those are the same filaments that the brakes use.

You’re talking about the hazard flasher, the thing that clicks on and off. I’m talking about the switch that you use to turn the hazard lights on and off with. The signal to the brake lights has to pass through this switch. The switch is usually on the steering column, as it is usually a part of the multi-function (turn signal) switch.

The hazard warning switch is on the column at about 5 o’clock. (BTW, with the hazard lights on, front flashing, touching the brake pedal stops the blinking off. Weird, huh?)

I’m afraid you’re right about the turn-signal switch. I was hoping for another answer. Thanks for the responses.

The trouble is with the emergency flasher switch, as Tardis stated. You engaged the switch and the brake lights worked. They should also work with the switch off of course but you proved the path is good to the lights when the switch is on. By moving the switch in and out a few times it may clear the trouble.

The brake lights nor rear hazard lights haven’t worked since I posted, so I must have expressed myself poorly. The hazard lights that stopped blinking when I hit the brakes were the front lights.

I think the problem in understanding the trouble was more on my part and not your description of the trouble.

I guess the trouble may be with the turn signal switch. If I was working on this I would be using a good wiring diagram for a guide and have a test light probe to verify power with. Good investments if you don’t have them already.

A 1,000 dittos to what Cougar just said.

Odds are your 85 is wired the same as my 87.

Based on what you say is and isnt working a quick look at the wiring diagrams tells me that you need a new multifunction/dimmer swith.

When you have GOOD wiring diagrams this electrical stuff is NOT rocket science.

Unfortunately my diagrams come from Ford Parts and Service Division/Training and Publications Department and all they show are a bunch of lines coming into a rectangle labeled “Turn and Emergency Signal Switch”.

NAPA has the switch at $104 (tilt column). This just gets better and better.

Thanks to all who’ve replied.

Looks like your diagrams are pretty much useless. I have the Ford EVTM (“electrical & vacuum troubleshooting Manuals”) for all my Fords. About 30 bucks apiece & worth 10 times that.

"OUCH Napa is mighty proud of that switch. The last one I replaced was on my 95 Taurus for 60 bucks. But that was about 12 years ago.

The 1985 F-250 EVTM will tell you how to VERY simply test the switch in a couple of minutes.

Try searching on “1985 f-250 elecrical troubleshooting manual” you might get lucky & find a used one. is where I purchased mine, but 1985 is probably no longer available new.

Well how about that. I just took a look at & they do still sell the EVTM for your 1985. It’s a steal at only 15 bucks.