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Old 11-03-2009, 01:53 AM   #1
alans09r
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Question LED Tail-light Mystery

A year or so ago I replaced my rear tail light bulbs with 9point LEDs.
Apparently these lights use less voltage than regular bulbs and therefore the little orange idiot light on the dash came on. I covered it with black tape, out of sight out of mind.
Sprinters built for Canada come standard with the headlights and tail lights on all the time.
Once the engine is started you can't shut them off, unless you did what I did and install a switch so I could shut them off.

Last week I purchased a pair of 24point LEDs for the tail lights because the 9point LEDs didn't seem bright enough, which can be a hazard in blowing snow which is just around the corner.

Despite these lights now been quite a bit brighter, the orange idiot light still stays on; however the strange part about this, is that now when I turn the lights off with the switch, they stay on very dimly.
Any ideas anyone?

Alan
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: LED Tail-light Mystery

Do they remain on for a long time or just a minute or two.
I have noticed LEDS don't need very much juice to run at minimum emitting mode.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: LED Tail-light Mystery

I was just going to write this up under LED dome lights, but it might be relevant to this thread.
I installed LED dome lights purchased from superbrightleds.com, got the festoon bulbs, and when the switch is off they emit a very faint glow. All the time. There is no way to make it stop without pulling the wires. I'm not too concerned about power loss, can't be much, but it is a mystery. I would guess it's because of all the computer sensing circuits and such feeding a bit of power to them.

When it comes right down to it, all this computer stuff really works on FM (F**king Magic).
Had a friend who liked to call them F.R.E.D.'s, or F**king Ridiculous Electronic Devices.
My memory is that that F word is used a lot in the auto repair biz. Wouldn't be surprised if it hasn't changed. Don't miss it.
Jef
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: LED Tail-light Mystery

The voltage drops when using LED lights, the ECU pics up on this and a falt is registed with a bulb defective.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: LED Tail-light Mystery

I would guess its the voltage drop of the sensing circuitry-the part that enables the dummy light.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: LED Tail-light Mystery

My Sprinter Pleasureway conversion has some LED lights added to the rear because of a safety issue. (The recall was due to the rear mounted spare tire interfereing with the view of the left signal when standing at the extreme right rear of the van.) Because all Pleasureway modifications must work in conjunction with the Mercedes components they do things right so there are no problems. I noticed the hardware supplied to do the recall included an in line device (possibly to regulate voltage) between the LED lights and the Mercedes factory harness. They mounted the device behind the tail lights. You may need to regulate the voltage draw to ensure the Mercedes systems work correctly. I cannot take a picture right now because we are wating for some new retaining clips and don't want to disturb this until we have the new clips.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: LED Tail-light Mystery

Cutting into wiring or modifying resistance in the cicuits can present problems. It shut down my turn signals because i was handling the wires to cut in the cornering lights. I think what happened was I cut the wrong wire and that disabled the circuit and only the dearler woth the Star gadget can turn it back on. The best way to add things is to run separate circuits back and fuse protection. Did that for cornering lights, airhorn, satelite radio etc
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: LED Tail-light Mystery

So

Can you take you take out the incadescent bulbs and add the LED bulbs to the existing cargo lamps or will that set off some dash lights or
confuse the computer?
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: LED Tail-light Mystery

Yup... same here... moved and shortened some stock cargo lighting wires, computer went nuts on me and flashers wouldn't work...
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Old 11-03-2009, 05:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: LED Tail-light Mystery

Cutting light wires doesn't create a problem, at least in my case. With the exception of the backup lights I've cut every light wire going to the rear end of FLUF. I have also cut the mirror turn signal wires. I wired blocking diodes into these cuts so I could drive the lights with the motorhome system. I did this 18 months ago and to this date have experienced no problems.

As far as the leds, and I'm reaching here because I just don't remember, isn't there a difference in the way that these two types handle ground?

gary
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