The Lone Ranger is in the dark


We recently acquired a '98 Ford Ranger supercab pickup. While admiring our new acquisition in the drive way, I noticed that there were a couple of little white lights on either side of the brake light above the cab’s back window. I assume that they are there to light the bed area at night. Problem is, I can’t figure out how to turn them on. I’ve gone over the cab very carefully, and looked at every page in the owner’s manual, but can see nothing pertaining to these lights. Can you tell me how to turn the darned things on?


Try putting the transmission in reverse, and see if they come on. They could be secondary back-up-lights in case you’re towing a trailer.



I had a '96 Ranger and it seems to me that the cargo light to illuminate the bed was controlled by the switch for the dome light. My memory is foggy as it was a while back.


my memory must be just as foggy as yours. i think that is correct!


The lights you see are connected to the interior dome light, if I remember correctly. Turn that on, and the bed lights should come on, too. I’m sure the owner’s manual will tell you how to do that.


Thanks for the help … the problem is solved. Turns out that Ford didn’t think it was important enough to include in the manual … and it wasn’t connected to the dome light. There is a little dimmer wheel for the instrument panel lights on the dash that, when you turn it past the brightest setting, will turn them on. In my defense, I did try that earlier in the day, but the switch apparently hadn’t been used in years and … if you didn’t hit the EXACT right spot, the lights would flash on and then go off again, even though the wheel was in the correct position. Tonto got back to camp tonight when I went out to try the dome light thing, and when I tried the dimmer again, told me that the lights flashed for a second. Repeated flipping of the switch has apparently cleaned it off a bit, and now Tonto and I can bed down in the back tonight and do a little light reading before drifting off.

Thanks for helping the old Ranger out!


Just remember that those lights are draining your battery every second they’re on.

Enjoy you’re “new” Ranger.