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Exploding lights?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12 Jul 2007, 09:01 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Default Exploding lights?

New to the forum, I appreciate any help I can get here!

I recently purchased my 2003 orange Dream Cruiser a few months ago. Whoever had it before me kept it in immaculate shape, and the car has done wonderful. I call it Orange Slice! And I absolutely love it, except for one minor thing...

My brakelight light bulbs keep exploding!

I've replaced them three times, and I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem? I open up the taillight assembly and the brake bulbs are shattered inside. My first thought was that water was getting into the assembly and steaming up, but I can't find any trace of it. Is there a short somewhere? How much on average would a repair like that cost? Would a short even cause the bulbs to pop? Has anyone else had this problem before? I've never seen it in any cars that I've owned. All of the other lights in the rear are working fine, including the backup light, the upper brake light and my turn signals. It's only the lower brake lights, and they simultaneously explode.

Sorry for being so wordy! Thanks for any help!
-Cassandra
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Old 13 Jul 2007, 08:44 am
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Default Re: Exploding lights?

WELCOME to the forum.

I'm not really going to be able to help much. I usually can help because I belong to most of the PT Cruiser forums and have seen or heard of almost anything that can go wrong, but I've never heard of your problem. Are they the original taillights that came with the Dreamer? The big give-away is when you said they both explode at the same time. Sounds like a large surge is getting to the brake circuit to blow both bulbs. If moisture was the problem, I don't think both would blow. You also didn't say in what time frame that you've had to change the bulbs. Are they only lasting a couple days before exploding, or over a six month time frame? I'd start by putting a volt meter on the bulb socket and have someone step on the brakes to see what kind of voltage your getting. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will come along with more advice.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 13 Jul 2007, 02:22 pm
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Default Re: Exploding lights?

welcome and i agree with crewzin if it was water getting in it wouldnt be both bulbs blowing out keep us posted on what you find
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Old 14 Jul 2007, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: Exploding lights?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
WELCOME to the forum.

I'm not really going to be able to help much. I usually can help because I belong to most of the PT Cruiser forums and have seen or heard of almost anything that can go wrong, but I've never heard of your problem. Are they the original taillights that came with the Dreamer? The big give-away is when you said they both explode at the same time. Sounds like a large surge is getting to the brake circuit to blow both bulbs. If moisture was the problem, I don't think both would blow. You also didn't say in what time frame that you've had to change the bulbs. Are they only lasting a couple days before exploding, or over a six month time frame? I'd start by putting a volt meter on the bulb socket and have someone step on the brakes to see what kind of voltage your getting. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will come along with more advice.
I believe it's the original taillight assembly.

This is the 3rd round of bulbs I have to put in... I would say they seem to be going every 6 weeks or so. No clue how many times they went BEFORE I bought the car!

It occurred to me last night that that the wrong size fuse may be in the car... I'm going to check the fuses tomorrow morning.

Thanks for your input, I'll keep updating as I figure more out... It's getting very frustrating! I have a good friend who is a mechanic and he looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears when I told him what was going on.
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Old 16 Jul 2007, 08:04 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Default Re: Exploding lights?

Welcome.
Never heard of your problem.
You can try LEDs - they can't blow up
Product Listing - CAR

Get the red 3157 25 LED ones - they're like $8.00, and ought to outlast regular bulbs.
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Last edited by quicksilverdon; 16 Jul 2007 at 08:09 am.
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Old 16 Jul 2007, 03:02 pm
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Default Re: Exploding lights?

I'm going to try the LED's and see if that fixes the issue.... I suspect a short in the wiring somewhere, but I don't have the funds to tackle it right now. Going to put a volt meter on it next weekend.
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Old 16 Jul 2007, 03:57 pm
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Location: new york, ny.
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Default Re: Exploding lights?

Shattered brake light bulbs? As in Broken Glass?

Not just 'black and not lighting up anymore'?

1- Voltage Surge ? In which case the high-mount brake light would also be burning out. And the amount of voltage needed to shatter an automotive bulb is pretty high.

2- Physical Fault? Is the socket out of place, causing the brake light bulbs to be hitting something?

3- Wrong Bulbs (Double check with your owners manual, or in a good parts shop).

By the way: LEDs can blow. You just gotta feed them enough voltage
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Old 22 Jul 2007, 04:49 pm
03TurboGT's Avatar
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Default Re: Exploding lights?

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
Welcome.
Never heard of your problem.
You can try LEDs - they can't blow up
Product Listing - CAR

Get the red 3157 25 LED ones - they're like $8.00, and ought to outlast regular bulbs.
Just what i was thinking. If you can blow those up, i'd start worrying!!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05 Aug 2007, 12:05 am
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Default Re: Exploding lights?

I bought my PT Cruiser in 2002 and have begun to have a similar problem. I've already replaced two rear lights that appear to have exploded. Has anyone found the cause? The only thing that has changed in the last few months is the way I wash the car. Instead of hand washing the car, I've been taking it through an automatic car wash.
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 01:21 pm
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Default Re: Exploding lights?

This has just started happening to me. I have a 2003 GT Turbo that I have had for about 15 months. No customization as far as I know. Here is my series of events.

1. 12/7/2007 Dealer replaced rear hatch door lifters on both sides.

2. 12/11/2007 Nice person how followed me into a parking lot said that they had almost hit me as I had no tail lights on either side but the third brake light was fine and the turn signals were fine. Got out the Torx and both sides had badly cracked bulbs. They were not blackened or burned out looking. One bulb was a chalky yellow inside of it and the other was a chalky blue inside. Both were such that you could not see through the glass. They were so cracked that I had to wear gloves to get them out of the sockets. Got the meter out and no strange voltages. Replaced the bulbs with Sylvania 3157 LL - twice the life.

3. 1/14/2007 Discovered that the passenger side tail light had blown again. This time the blub was cracked but clear - no chalky stuff - but it was not blackened either. If that was twice the life, then I had better go get a case!

It just seems odd that for 13 months nothing happens. Then the dealer is messing around in that general area and wham the car starts acting up. I guess there is a possibility that it now requires more force to close the rear hatch. With all the potholes this time of year, if the bulbs can't survive a near by slam of the hatch, they are not going to survive the bad roads.

I will have to check my records but I did not take my PT through a car wash in December that I remember. But I did take it through the car wash 01/09 or 01/10. But it is touchless and I have taken my PT through it may times without this happening. After the car wash, my PT goes straight to its nice cozy garage.

I would greatly appreciate if anyone has any ideas about this issue.
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