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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6212
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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The 2016 explorer has "signature" lighting which cannot be

Customer Question

The 2016 explorer has "signature" lighting which cannot be disabled while the engine is running. There are several scenarios where this is unacceptable. I need a wiring diagram of the headlamp system so I can have a cutoff switch installed for the forward lighting.
JA: Has there been any recent electrical work done on the car?
Customer: Never.
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Several others have looked into the system programming but there is no option to disable those lights. I have not made any modifications to this point. A cutoff switch worked for one gentleman but he did not say how he wired it.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: Not unless there are other alternatives.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Ford Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 5 months ago.

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today.

If it were me and I wanted to do it I would connect both grounds to each other and run the now common ground into a relay. I would then control the relay with an obscurely located toggle switch somewhere in the cab.

Is this HID or no? Let me know and I will pull up a wiring diagram for you.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The signature lights are LED as well and the low beams. The high beams are halogen.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
they are all tied together in different ways/configurations based on the current switch position but as I mentioned there is always either full or low brightness from the signature lights regardless.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Are you able to advise the easiest way to access the needed wiring?
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 5 months ago.

The easiest way is directly at the headlight connectors. They each have their own ground.

I would not recommend putting a switch in the control (power circuit)

On the left headlight the grounds are the black/green (theres two of them) and on the right they are the black/green and black/grey. Tie all of those together and either run them through a heavy duty toggle switch or through a relay. The heavy duty toggle would be easiest but the relay would be more "proper".

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I'm assuming the whole housing, as such the front fascia would need to be removed to access the harnesses at those points.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Due to this being a new design I have no proper instruction on removing those covers and my dealer was not willing to provide them, "not user serviceable."
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 5 months ago.

Thats the only place you can really access a spot to disable JUST the headlights. The A/C, horns, windshield wipers and Im sure other things run off the same ground circuits. You should be able to get to the wiring without removing the fascia and stuff.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I will have to investigate after work in the morning. A good deal of those components are difficult to access
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 5 months ago.

Sounds good. Let me know if you need anything further. I will be standing by.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Is it possible to locate the wiring specific to the LED signatures. So they can be operated independent of the other lights. Power is supplied to them all the time so it wouldn't matter which light function is active.
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 5 months ago.

No. They get their power on the same circuit as the low beam headlights. It just commands it differently.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Would tying these together void the warranty since there is splicing of the harness?
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 5 months ago.

If you have an issue that could be proven to have originated at that splice. That would be tough to prove on anything but a headlight issue since you are only tapped into the ground side.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
There are two harnesses visible which split from a larger inaccessible bundle. One goes to the high beam socket. The other the front turn indicator socket. I don't know what's involved in removing the whole assembly, that would make things easier.
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 5 months ago.

I dont have the R&R procedure to give to you yet and I havent had to remove one yet so I cant say 100 percent for sure how to remove them and dont want to steer you wrong on it. I can opt out if you like and see if another expert can give you information on the R&R

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
My dealer's collision center may provide it but I highly doubt it. There may be a secondary option. I will look into that first.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Is there a wiring diagram to identify if either of those cables also control low beam function?
Expert:  Wayne Crawford replied 5 months ago.

I do not have a wiring diagram on it.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
OK
Expert:  A. Penland replied 5 months ago.

Can you give me the VIN# ***** the Explorer. I can contact a Ford engineer in Dearborn and see if there is a way to disable or install an on/off switch for the Signature Lights.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
1FM5K8GT8GGB78699
As I mentioned earlier the proprietary lighting scheme is fancy, however sometimes impractical.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 5 months ago.

I am not sure it is possible to disable the LED signature lighting on the headlights, but I will ask Ford engineer. They have more access to more information than I do as a Ford Service Technician. Those lights come on when the key is turned on and the lights off, and I cannot find in the wiring diagrams. But let me see what they can tell me. I should hear back from them tomorrow around noon if that is ok.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
That is fine. I'm sure they will say it was designed that way on purpose and there is no approved workaround.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 5 months ago.

Below are the headlight wiring diagrams and connectors.

Expert:  A. Penland replied 5 months ago.

Ok. The lights cannot be disabled. There is a wire called the LIN wire which is a wired network for the headlights. They get a signal when the key is turned to on and the signature lights turn on. If you disable this wire, the headlights will not work and will cause other issues in the vehicle which will cause more lighting issues through out the vehicle.