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Old 07-28-2011, 04:35 AM
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tail lights inop but not evenly

Last week Saturday night I tried starting my '34 ford and the battery was almost dead. I used the jump starter and it started. I went to a friend's house to meetup with them to attend our Cruise night event. As my friend followed me, he noticed that my tail lights were acting strange, left rear brake light worked but the passenger side didn't. The blinker on the passenger side worked but the driver's side didn't. Did the jump start possibly cause a short or the bulb/s to burn out? I just had the whole tail light assembly replaced with new ones less then a year ago due to the blue dot in the middle of my previous tail lights being illegal in Hawaii.

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Old 07-28-2011, 06:41 AM
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Not possible that the jump caused the problem but it might be the tail light wiring caused the battery to die in the first place. Was the car fine afterwards and still taking a charge?

The jump is only putting the same volts on your battery as your alternator does except from another vehicle. If the jump did damage then your own alternator would have done the same

If the lights were dim or flickering you might check the grounds and general wire connections. Something lose? If there was a short circuit you'd blow a fuse
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbahotep
Not possible that the jump caused the problem but it might be the tail light wiring caused the battery to die in the first place. Was the car fine afterwards and still taking a charge?

The jump is only putting the same volts on your battery as your alternator does except from another vehicle. If the jump did damage then your own alternator would have done the same

If the lights were dim or flickering you might check the grounds and general wire connections. Something lose? If there was a short circuit you'd blow a fuse
The tail light wiring did not cause my battery to die. I left the dome light on for a week and this what probably caused it. I did not notice the lights flickering before hand but I'll check the connnections, fuses and bulbs. Thanks.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:41 PM
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I'm also assuming that the lights worked prior to this? If they're LED lights sometimes they do wacky things without a resistor in line. If it's regular bulbs, or worked normal before, then it has to be a coincidence and hopefully just a lose wire or even a lose bulb
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbahotep
I'm also assuming that the lights worked prior to this? If they're LED lights sometimes they do wacky things without a resistor in line. If it's regular bulbs, or worked normal before, then it has to be a coincidence and hopefully just a lose wire or even a lose bulb
Yes, the lights worked prior and they're LEDs which I purchased from Speedway Motors. I don't have a resistor so your prediction of "wacky" could be true.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:52 PM
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Some LEDS work fine. Sometimes they do weird things because they dont draw enough current to make the blinker system on older cars work. But for the brake light to do weird things Id say its a connection fault of some sort and not the LED system. Just my opinion, could be way off base
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbahotep
Some LEDS work fine. Sometimes they do weird things because they dont draw enough current to make the blinker system on older cars work. But for the brake light to do weird things Id say its a connection fault of some sort and not the LED system. Just my opinion, could be way off base
Thanks, I'll let you know what the problem was when its fixed.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:20 PM
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Time to break out the test light and multi meter.... i would start checking the connections between the harness and the led lamps... especially grounds. the rest of the circuit will vary depending on the way its wired inside ...ie like a ford, gm,etc...
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:22 PM
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Sounds like loose grounds

The only thing an LED tail light should affect....... is a very slow blink rate, indicating a burnt out bulb. You can fix it one of two ways, install a 50 ohm ballast resistor on each blinker circuit (4 total for fronts and backs) or replace the old bi-metal linker cans (flasher) for new integrated circuit/electronic flasher. The old bi-metal uses two dissimilar metals bonded together as a contact, as current is passed thru it one side of the contact, it heats up and bends the other away from a contact and the bulb turns off, it cools down .... re-contacts ...bulb on etc.... The LED don't draw a large amount of current, hence the bi-metal can't heat up very fast etc.... the 50 ohm resistor draws a lot of current etc....

Last edited by EOD Guy; 07-28-2011 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:38 PM
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First read first guess would be the turn signal switch all goes through that.

Sounds like you have, brake no turn on one side and turn and not brake on the other the common denominator here is the turn signal switch. Bad ground very doubtful, how can I say this, the bulbs brake/turn filament is lighting, just not operating, meaning as stop or turn indicators when that function is selected, via the turn signal switch...

Leds in the rear only, yes a load resister will do the trick and is needed, only acrossed the leds. The load is for the flasher so it will heat and flash.

I am confused EOD Guy, he has leds front and back, or just rear?

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Old 07-28-2011, 07:46 PM
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FWIW, you can damage electrical components like lights when jumping. It isn't real common but if an alternator goes to full field and if you revved the engine right after the jumpers were removed you could shoot 18 volts or more through the system. I've seen it burn out every bulb in a car before.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:39 PM
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Thanks guys, first and foremost....the easiest first by checking the bulbs. I only have LEDs in the tail lights which are practically new. If its not the bulbs, I'll take it to a professional to have if fixed and probably install a load resistor too. Anything electrical, I don't want to touch it, no second guessing is worth it is my opinion. That way, if anything goes wrong I can take it back with no extra charges applied.

EOD= I haven't the sightest idea on what your detailed resolution is but thanks for your input.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:15 AM
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Easy Day.... My detailed post delt with, why the old flasher can doesn't work well with LEDs and installing a 50 ohms resistor or new flashers would fix it

Pepi, why confused? He clearly stated it was his tail lights.

I Maybe, not so well, tryed to explain... to fix the all the turn signals, two up front and the two in the rear, you would need 4 resistors..... I assumed if you have rear LEDs you might, as I do, have them in the front also.

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Old 07-29-2011, 05:56 AM
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When I took my truck into the shop for some work they left the door open and it ran the battery down. They used an external jump start to get it going when I picked it up and it seemed fine. However, about 1 mile into my trip home I heard a loud squeal and all the lights dimmed. My alternator was working so hard to restore the battery that the belt started slipping and finally broke. I'm not sure what happened with your car, but the high charging rate on your alternator after the jump start may be related to your other problems.

The other item I would check is the taillight & running light grounds and the instrument panel ground. If one of those grounds are bad you get all kinds of weird light and blinker problems as the current finds the wrong path to ground. For example, I left the ground loose for my left headlight/running light when I did some engine work, and it screwed up my blinker indicator (always on) and the left taillight. One quick turn to get that ground tight under the hood and I had fully working lights again.

Bruce
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowbilly3
FWIW, you can damage electrical components like lights when jumping. It isn't real common but if an alternator goes to full field and if you revved the engine right after the jumpers were removed you could shoot 18 volts or more through the system. I've seen it burn out every bulb in a car before.
This is so bogus to be nice.

Point 1, a bridge rectifier controls the V & A in the alternator, aka regulator.

Point 2 EVERY BULB are you kidding, how would that happen and only if every bulb was on at the time, for starters.

Point 3 How about the rest of the electrical components are they protected some magical way.

If you want to help people at least get the facts close, good grief Charley Brown.
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