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SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

[Help] 2003 Honda CRV brake lights.

About 4 months ago I had the vehicle in for new brakes and they told me the brake lights weren't working. $50 to change a bulb.

Fast forward 4 months, the wife is stopped by police for no brake lights. I get it home and find one is not working. Take it apart and the lamp is good but the socket contacts seem bent. Fix that and light works. Take it back to police and say see.... it doesn't work Cop taps on the light and it works. I get it home both right and left are out. Tap on both sides and they start working.

Anybody hear of this before?, I couldn't find anything. The lamp sockets are part of a harness, of course. Is this a problem with CRV's?
--

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

Do you ever have problems getting it out of park?
--
Sand



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by Cho Baka:

Do you ever have problems getting it out of park?
Nope, no problem with park position. Just tried it again, banging on the side of the lens will get it to go off and on.

That's those big tail lights that cost $$$$



Both sides but right is worse than left.
--

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein


Kringle
Dr.D
Premium
join:2004-02-27
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:3

Check your ground connection to the lighting assemblies.



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

1 edit
reply to SparkChaser

Perhaps just price out new taillight harnesses (as you said they include the sockets), replace them and the bulbs.

I would say it isn't worth the aggravation.

Edit:

Asking about getting it out of park was due to my thinking that it might also have a brake switch problem. Obviously this isn't a sure fire test, there are potentially other variables (e.g. a cable type interlock).

If in fact the intermittent simultaneous failure of both taillights is due to the harnesses/sockets, then I would really not want to wait, as it is a very serious safety problem.

I would even consider reporting it to the NHTSA.

--
Sand



TheHarvester
Premium
join:2006-08-25
Dana Point, CA
kudos:3
reply to SparkChaser

Most dealers will be able to get just the pigtail assy. (light socket with a few inches of wire). No need to replace the entire wire harness. It would be best to solder the wires together than to use but connectors. Also try Dorman products as they make all kinds of items like that also.



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

TheHarvester:

Thanks for the clarification.

The ones I am familiar with come with the sockets and about 8 to 12" of wire with a connector on the end. Price from the dealer was between $24.00 and $50.00.

Beeron:
One thing to be cautious about is that some (many) of the sockets are weather sealed and have special keys and lengths to ensure correct fitment/placement of the bulbs. Universal replacements may not have these attributes (or will need to be carefully selected to get the right mix of attributes).



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit

Thanks for all the suggestions but I now have to admit bad trouble shooting and conclusion jumping.

When I took the lamp out the first time and saw the bent contact bent it back put in the lamp and it worked I figured the socket (harness).

When the other side started doing it, I had trouble accepting that both sockets failed in the same way at the same time. This morning I, with a cup of coffee and an ohmmeter, discovered that both lamps had intermittent connections. Looking at them the filaments are intact, the lamps look fine. With the ohmmeter I can see the intermittent connection. Somewhere between the filament and the base it is intermittent and only the brake part of the lamp. (2 filament lamp)

Well two new lamps installed and we'll see how it works. I have to take the car in for state inspection. I WILL ask why the $50 Honda lamps last 4 months.

EDIT: reflects new information



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

1 edit

1 recommendation

Three things can happen to light sockets and bulbs to cause intermittant failures.

1] The lead contacts on the bulbs base can wear down from vibration and replacing worn bulbs with new ones fixes that. Look for dented or worn flat lead contact pads.




2] The sockets are sometimes made from cheaper plastic and deform from the bulbs heat making the contacts loose instead of their normal tightness which builds up more heat from resistance then the bulbs are no longer making firm contact. Replacements are available at most Automotive Parts Jobbers.




3] The harness ground(s) can come loose or/or form corrosion and would need to be checked and undone from the ground point, cleaned as needed, and then reinstalled with a star washer to cut/bite into the metal better for a superior ground.




Regards,

Doctor Olds
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

A fourth thing can happen, the bulb can fail.

Thanks for your reply. I did consider those, thinking it was the first one, in my situation. However, that was not it.

In my case I can take the lamp (the car is 50 feet away ), connect an ohm meter and watch the resistance go from 2.5 ohms to infinity when I tap on it.
--

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein