How to Troubleshoot a Broken Ford F-350 Camera
This guide will help you troubleshoot and potentially determine the issue, and if it requires deeper maintenance, we’ll help you figure out what to do as a next step. And if you’ve come to the wrong place, looking for an installation guide rather than a troubleshooting guide, check out our easy beginner’s guide to installing a backup camera.
Remember, like with any repair, troubleshooting is an iterative process. You don’t want to change a whole bunch of things at once, as that increases the likelihood of errors, as well as making it really difficult to diagnose what the actual problem was in the first place. You can use this post as a sort of checklist to determine what the issue is, which might be helpful as well if you end up seeing a mechanic. And if you’re interested in more F-350 resources, the Camera Source YouTube channel has multiple guides that walk you through the backup camera installation process for different mirror types.
Before you try and fix the camera, make sure the problem is actually with the hardware. Are you sure the camera isn’t just foggy? We have great guides available to help with a blurry backup camera or to help you adjust one if your license plate is in the way. Now, let’s start with some of the most common F-350 issues.
Trace the wires
If you’re looking for a quick fix, you can try unplugging the connector for the camera that is found in the rear view mirror. For more details on that, you can see this forum thread.
This requires quite a bit of work, so only take this step if you’re determined to follow-through! Pulling off the access door on your tailgate and tracing the wire to the connector on the camera will give you definitive proof of whether or not your camera’s wiring is at fault. If you don’t see any big problems, give the entire thing a thorough cleaning and reconnect everything, and see if that makes a difference.
Bad Shifter Alignment
There might be a conflict between the wiring on your shifter and the backup camera. Luckily, this is a really easy test to do, you just need a friend.
Have someone stand behind the F-350 and then put the truck in reverse. If the back up lights do not come on, it’s very likely that your truck is not getting instructions from the shifter (though it is possible that both of these pieces of wiring are experiencing problems).
If it’s a shifter alignment problem, this can require quite a bit of know-how to fix. If you’re planning on doing it yourself, the Ford Enthusiast forums are a great resource for starting to figure out what to do, and acquiring a maintenance manual for your make and model is a great idea too.
Many times, if you’re having a wiring or lighting problem, the culprit is often a blown or bad fuse. Pop open the fuse box on your F-350. There might be one or two of them on your model, so determining how many is a good idea, but they are usually located on the right kick panel and/or under the hood of the F-350.
Installing a fuse is easy, just pull the old one out, make sure you replace it with one of the right type, and see if that solves your problem. If your problem goes away, you’re good to go. However, if fuses keep blowing or the problem persists, you might have a short-circuit, which might necessitate a visit to the shop.
A short circuit is when electrical current is allowed to travel along an unintended path, which can create all sorts of problems for your vehicle’s electrical system.
It’s unlikely that a short circuit is causing your problems, but here is a helpful article on diagnosing short circuits and determining if that’s your problem.
Get a diagnostic tool
For the very serious DIY-er, a diagnostic tool is a powerful necessity for troubleshooting most modern Ford trucks. Usually, a mechanic will plug into your vehicle’s adapter to run diagnostic tests, and most repair shops will have a huge supply of these adapters for different vehicles. Unfortunately, the connectors and adapters required for these tools and the requisite software required to use them can be expensive for at-home repair.
FORScan is a useful piece of software, and the organization that makes it does a good job providing information that you’ll need to find the right adapter for the right vehicle. Check out this page for more information, and here’s the website for their software as well.
Backup cameras are often exposed to some pretty harsh conditions, which means that they’re usually durable. However, just like any other piece of equipment, failure can totally happen. This is another simple test that you need a friend for. Have them wiggle around or flick your backup camera while the camera should be engaged. If it comes back on, or gives a momentary flicker of some kind, it probably means you need a new camera.
You can also disconnect the camera and check and see if any moisture or condensation has gotten inside of it. If this is the case, the camera might be beyond repair, but you can always attempt the tried and true method of immersing it in a desiccant like rice to see if that helps solve the problem.
If your camera has given up the ghost, and it’s time for a replacement, you can turn to us. Camera Source has a massive inventory of backup cameras for your F-350, so acquiring and installing a new camera is easy. We also offer cameras that can give you a front view of your vehicle, as well as providing continuous video so you can keep yourself protected from liability in the event of an accident. Get in touch with us, or browse our products to learn more.