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brake lights

 
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Old 18 Feb 2017, 11:57 pm
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Default brake lights

Folks - so, I've had 2 PT cruisers for 12yrs+, one a 2003 LTD, the other a 2004 LTD. Now I'm just down to the 2004. Over the years I've changed the brake lights probably 4-5 times covering both cars. I don't know why they'd go out so quickly, but it was 5mins to change them, only needing a screw driver, so I didn't fuss to much. It was only ever the ones below the indicators - the one in the middle has never needed changing.

Well, i realized the lights were out again about 3 weeks ago, so i changed them both. No biggie. Today, i realized they're out again! So i don't mind changing them every other year, but i figure if both only lasted 3 weeks, something is wrong. I've verified and reverified I'm using the right type.

Any advice for what I can do to test, or if there's something else that typically goes bad on these cars that I should be replacing instead of just the bulbs?
thanks in advance,
Matt
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Old 19 Feb 2017, 02:00 am
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Default Re: brake lights

The tail lights are common to have moisture getting to them when it rains and water gets inside the bulb area. When this happens the bulbs go bad.

If there is no moisture check to see if the wires going to the light bulb sockets are burnt. The sockets tend to get hot spreading to the wires behind the sockets.
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Old 19 Feb 2017, 02:25 am
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Default Re: brake lights

That was my issue with the moisture. I mean, My taillight housings would be full with water after rain or snow. So, I drilled 2 holes on the bottom to let the water drain immediately. Worked so far and replaced the brake lights with LED Bulbs. Makes a big difference.

However, if there is no moisture then I would suggest cleaning the contacts inside the socket. I used a small flat head screwdriver with a clean fresh rag and it helped wonders. But, I do not know if that is the best thing to do. Maybe other materials used to clean them but i'd get other suggestions on that rather than do my method. Unless others agree with it.

If that doesn't work, then I do not know.
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Old 19 Feb 2017, 08:21 am
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Default Re: brake lights

Did you verify that your sockets have a foam or rubber gasket, like in the pic below, to seal against the housing?



If they are missing, you can easily make some by buying a roll of self-adhesive foam weatherstripping, put the sticky part on the socket.

Also, check that light housings don't have any holes melted in them, some bulbs burn hotter and can cause this.
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Old 21 Feb 2017, 01:30 am
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Default Re: brake lights

Thanks for all the advice guys. I took the tail light housings back off for close inspection - both have the same issue - a break and hole inside that is allowing water to flood the brake light. I completely removed the housing and found evidence of water inside the brake light portion. I drilled a couple of small holes in the brake light housing to let any water flow out, replaced the bulbs, and then ordered the replacement housing from Rock Auto. After close inspection the existing housing was in pretty bad shape, full of cracks, so I figured replacing was the way to go. Fyi it's $30 per side at Rock Auto.
Thanks again!!
-Matt
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Old 21 Feb 2017, 06:19 pm
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Default Re: brake lights

...and a worthy way to finish the thread should someone else run across the same issue - the replacement tail light assemblies arrived to today from Rock Auto - $30 each - not only was it a perfect fit, it came with the sockets and gaskets installed AND new light bulbs for both the brake light and the indicators! Great value!!! Rock Auto part numbers: CH2800145 and CH2801145.

thanks again for the advice!
-Matt
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Old 21 Feb 2017, 09:29 pm
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Default Re: brake lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
...and a worthy way to finish the thread should someone else run across the same issue - the replacement tail light assemblies arrived to today from Rock Auto - $30 each - not only was it a perfect fit, it came with the sockets and gaskets installed AND new light bulbs for both the brake light and the indicators! Great value!!! Rock Auto part numbers: CH2800145 and CH2801145.

thanks again for the advice!
-Matt
Thanks for the info and happy everything is worked out. I will check out the site myself as my Driver Taillight Housing has a big crack between the brake and turning light and will have to replace them both. Replace 1, replace the other. lol.
Need to do the same for the headlight housings but for that I will more than likely be getting these....

Chrysler (06-10) PT Cruiser 16 Color / Color Changing LED HALO Headlight Set | eBay
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