How to Safely Replace the Turn Signal Wiring in Your 1997 Ford Taurus

How to Safely Replace the Turn Signal Wiring in Your 1997 Ford Taurus


Replacing the turn signal wiring in your 1997 Ford Taurus can be a daunting task, but with some preparation and care, it can be done safely and efficiently. In this article, I will walk you through the complete process step-by-step, from gathering the necessary tools and materials to installing the new wiring harness. Having working turn signals is crucial for safe driving, so it's important to address any issues promptly. With a little time and effort, you can restore your Taurus's turn signals to full operation. Let's get started!

Necessary Tools and Materials

Before beginning, you'll need to gather the following tools and materials:

Step 1: Disconnect the Battery

The first step is to disconnect the negative terminal from your Taurus's battery. This will cut power to the electrical system and prevent the possibility of shocks or shorts while working. Use a wrench to loosen the bolt holding the cable end to the terminal and separate the two.

Step 2: Remove Main Fuse Box Cover

The main fuse box that houses the turn signal fuses and relays is located in the engine bay, near the battery. Use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the plastic cover of the fuse box to access the internal components. Set it aside carefully.

Step 3. Test Turn Signals

Before removing any wiring, test that the turn signals are currently not functioning properly on your Taurus. Have an assistant activate the left and right turn signals while you observe the front and rear lights. Check for any lights that do not flash or flash rapidly. This will help identify the faulty wiring.

Step 4. Remove Old Wiring Harness

Next, you will need to remove the old turn signal wiring harness. There are connectors where the harness plugs into fuses or relays in the fuse box as well as leading out to the turn lamps. Carefully unplug all the connectors in the fuse box and use wire cutters to cut the old harness off close to the connectors. You can then pull the old harness out completely from the car.

Step 5. Install New Wiring Harness

Now you're ready to install the new turn signal wiring harness. Lay out the harness and identify the connectors for the various turn signal elements based on the included diagram. Plug each connector into its matching relay or fuse according to the instructions. For example, the front left turn signal will connect to the front left flasher relay.

Feed the remainder of the harness through the same path as the old one and out to each turn lamp. Take care not to let it get caught on anything.

Step 6. Connect Turn Lamp Wiring

Under the hood and inside the taillight assemblies, locate the wiring connectors for each individual turn signal bulb. Plug the new harness wiring into each connector. Double check that you have the proper right and left wires running to the correct bulbs. Secure the wiring with zip ties or electrical tape so it will not hang down or get caught in moving parts.

Step 7. Test New Turn Signals

With the new harness fully plugged in, have your assistant test the turn signals again. Both front and rear signals should now be flashing correctly. If any lamp still fails to work, re-check the connections for that individual bulb. The wiring colors should match left-to-left and right-to-right.

Step 8. Reinstall Fuse Box Cover

When the turn signals are working properly, you can reinstall the plastic fuse box cover in the engine bay. Carefully clip it back into place over the fuses and relays. This will protect the electrical components.

Step 9. Reconnect Battery

Finally, you can reconnect the negative battery cable terminal to restore power to the Taurus's electrical system. Confirm the turn signals still function before closing the hood.


While it requires time and diligence, replacing the turn signal wiring harness on a 1997 Ford Taurus is a very doable DIY repair. Following the proper steps and taking necessary safety precautions will allow you to restore your turn signals to proper functioning. Driving with working turn signals drastically improves road safety for you and other drivers. With routine maintenance and repairs like this, your Taurus can stay on the road and reliable for years to come. Let me know if you have any other questions!