Brake light issue

johne

New member
We borrowed our friends 2004 Sprinter to see if we want to buy it. We have been fixing a lot of little issues to make it safe. We replaced about 10 bulbs so far but there is an issue with the brake lights on the right side in the rear.

Initially the upper bulb (1157) in the housing was working when the lights were turned on but the 2nd filament (brake light) did not light when the brake was pressed. I tested the two contacts and the one contact does not get electricity but not the other. I tested it at the plug that goes into the housing and the wire is not hot. The brake lights on the other side works fine. Unfortunately I introduced a new problem when I touched the test light to ground and the contact that was working and now neither contact has power. I checked the fuses and they all appear to be ok. I am only aware of the fuses on the left side of the driver seat - there may be more.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
 

sailquik

Well-known member
johne,
There are more fuses up forward up under the dashboard.
Part of your problem may be that you are going to your local auto parts store and buying generic 1157 bulbs.
Check your owners manual and get the correct bulbs from a Mercedes Sprinter dealer.
T1N Sprinters are extremely sensitive to using the factory specified replacement lamps.
Using generic lamps can cause any number of issues.
In the plastic pouch with the manuals there is often a sheet with the "fuse map" on it.
That will show you where all the fuses are located and identify which ones you may want to look at.
Hope this helps,
Roger
 

chads

New member
Are these things that sensitive on the bulbs?
Good to know.
I have a Mercedes 230 that is finicky with one of the clearance lights maybe that is the problem.
Chad
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Johne,
First let me extend you a hale and hearty welcome to the forum. welcome2.gif

Be certain to inspect the fuses very carefully for separated links (blown). They can look OK with just a quick inspection.

Here's some info on the fuse blocks. One under the seat. FB #1 is under the steering column.
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24683

Some additional info is here.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?p=99430#post99430

Good hunting. vic

P.S. - My 1157 and many other generic lamps purchased at local parts houses are working just fine in my Mercedes Sprinter. So far there is no sign of rejection by the other OEM parts. No shunning takes place which I've noticed.

012FuseBlock#1wNotes.jpg

013FuseArrangementBlock1and TurnSignal.jpg
 
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johne

New member
I want to thank everyone who posted information here - it is very appreciated. I was able to locate the issue with the fuse I blew and have corrected the problem i introduced.

I will still need to investigate why the wire for the right rear brake light is not getting any voltage. The problem may be up near the brake light switch.
 

johne

New member
BTW I was able to search for 2004 Dodge Sprinter Owners Manual and found a link to the entire Sprinter manual which has great diagrams and information.
 

glas1700

Member
Winnebago installs taillights that are equipped with 1157 bulbs in all of their Sprinter Class C motorhomes, both T1N and NCV3, and it has never been an issue. Both of my tail/brake bulbs are 1157 and they've worked fine for close to eight years. Based on this, I consider bulb sensitivity to be a myth.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
The modules which hold the bulbs fail regularly.
I agree that they can be a problem. As robust as they look it would seem they wouldn't have any problems, but there are some weaknesses in the design.

In this case, as he has no power in the wire feeding the unit then that would point upstream.

vic
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
I want to thank everyone who posted information here - it is very appreciated. I was able to locate the issue with the fuse I blew and have corrected the problem i introduced.

I will still need to investigate why the wire for the right rear brake light is not getting any voltage. The problem may be up near the brake light switch.
In a US Sprinter, the brake light wires first go to the LEFT (driver's) tail light, and then from there to the RIGHT taillights.
So: if the LEFT side brake light is working, it's not a problem up front.

Full 2003 and 2006 service manual (schematics are section 8w) available at: http://aie-services-2.net/Sprinter/

--dick
 

great waloo

the great waloo
I'm the owner/friend of the vehicle Johne is talking about and he told me of the issues (yes, there are more than one). I tried to get at the brake light switch, but I could not get my big hands up there to pull it out. Meanwhile, a read a few similar threads on this issue and found something to look at. Aqua Puttana's "some additional info" https://sprinter-source.com/forums/sho...9430#post99430
thread above, led me to an idea.

I tried simply swapping the right and left plates. Sure enough the problem moved to the other side, so I figured it was a bad right plate. I called my local dodge shop and asked if they had one, yes they did for $147.00 bucks! I couldn't believe it. So I tried Aqua's suggestion on cleaning the contacts on the brake light, AND THAT WORKED LIKE A CHARM! We will see if this fix holds up.

In addition I have always had the ABS ESP traction control light issue for years. I spent a good $300.00 to try to solve it to no avail and just gave up. It started when I had a sprinter mechanic replace the rack and pinion steering assbly. He and I had a long and heated argument about it and I was stuck with the issue (No, I didn't get my money back either). Interestingly I noticed after a couple of times having dodge reset the codes, the lights would come back on as soon as I made a full radius turn of the steering wheel to the left. They would stay on and after a couple of comical Henny Youngman like comments by the dodge clowns along the lines of my comment "they come on each time I make a full left turn!" "Well then don't make a full left turn, they said!" I just gave up. I did notice something interesting though. A full radius turn to the left is 1 3/4 turns of the wheel. A full radius turn to the right was 1 1/4 turns of the wheel. I think maybe a simple adjustment will finally solve this issue for me. Stay tuned. Guess this wasn't a quick reply was it.
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
.... It started when I had a sprinter mechanic replace the rack and pinion steering assembly. ... Guess this wasn't a quick reply was it.
A specific procedure should be followed when installing a steering rack or otherwise disturbing the alignment/coordination/calibration of parts.

That definitely could have been the start of your dash light safety system problems.

Some information is here.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?p=77894#post77894

I recall that Dennis Lindenengineering gave some very good detail and tips (as always) for steering rack replacement. A advanced search using him as a member name will likely surface the posts.

The difference of steering wheel rotation which you mention sounds like a red flag to me.

I'm not so great with quick replies either.

Good luck. vic
 

sailquik

Well-known member
Vic/great waloo,
Yes, in any alignment effort on any Sprinter, getting the system set up so all the sensors know where straight ahead is....is ultra critical.
The accelerometers need a reference to "0" position steering to activate and actuate correctly.
There is a very detailed "how to establish 0 steering angle" in some of the workshop manuals.
Many Sprinter owners have had issues with alignment shops that did no pay attention to where 0 position steering is.
I believe it takes a Sprinter specific scan tool or the MB SDS system to correctly identify the critical 0 steering position,
and then you do the rest of the alignment from that point.
Isn't there a sensor in the steering wheel or steering column for this. I know it's super critical to get the steering wheel
indexed back to the original spline if you ever remove it.
Hope this helps,
Roger
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...
I believe it takes a Sprinter specific scan tool or the MB SDS system to correctly identify the critical 0 steering position,
and then you do the rest of the alignment from that point.
...
Hope this helps,
Roger
There are some specific details which are critical. On the T1N I know that many repairs are possible by following specific procedures so that the expensive scan tools/interface is not required (eg. - carefully position and lock the steering wheel to keep all the original coordination of components).

That may not be true on the newer NCV3 models, but this is in the T1N section.


vic
 

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