High level brake light

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High level brake light

Post by yvonneid on Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:38 am

I have a 2003 Peugeot Boxer Harmony. I wonder if anyone can help me with this problem. I noticed water in my high level brake light, but can't dry it out as it seems to be between layers of the lens. There was also some water lying in the hollow behind the light fitting, which I've dried out. More of a problem was that the lamp wasn't illuminating. The spade connector and bulb holder contacts are all corroded, so I cleaned them up somewhat and managed to get a 5w bulb to light, but not a 21w (this was the size fitted when I took the light to bits). Is this because there isn't enough bare metal contacting in the connector, or is it only meant to be a 5w bulb? I see I could buy a complete new assembly for around £20, which I may do, but that doesn't seem to come with a new plug to attach to the van wiring. I have googled to see if I can buy this separately, but can't find one. Has anyone had to do this?  Alternatively, is there something I can soak the connector in to clean up the contacts a bit more? Thanks in advance for any advice smile!
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Re: High level brake light

Post by Peter Brown on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:57 am

There will be a second wire from the light assemble to a screw or stud fixed to the metal body. If there has been water in there, then that connection will be corroded as well, needing stripping and cleaning.

As the low wattage bulb illuminates there is voltage to the unit, but a high resistance connection(s) is preventing enough current to flow to illuminate the 21w bulb.

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Re: High level brake light

Post by bikeralw on Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:04 pm

Best to replace with a modern sealed LED unit. There are loads of sizes online, I'm sure you'll get one to fit. The van wiring plug can be snipped off and replaced with generic connectors.
Al.
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Re: High level brake light

Post by Peter Brown on Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:16 pm

bikeralw wrote:Best to replace with a modern sealed LED unit. There are loads of sizes online, I'm sure you'll get one to fit. The van wiring plug can be snipped off and replaced with generic connectors.
Al.
Good advice, but I recommend you find the high resistance problem in the wiring first.

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Re: High level brake light

Post by AutoSleepyDon on Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:37 pm

FYI the high level brake light is not an MOT failure. This surprised me but mine stayed broken for over 5 years.  Whistle1
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Re: High level brake light

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:04 pm

AutoSleepyDon wrote:FYI the high level brake light is not an MOT failure. This surprised me but mine stayed broken for over 5 years.  Whistle1


According to the MOT Manual,:-

Additional stop lamps fitted and connected must be tested. Where extra lamps are fitted and there is doubt as to whether they are connected, the benefit of this doubt should be given to the presenter.

https://www.mot-testing.service.gov.uk/documents/manuals/m4s01000201.htm

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Re: High level brake light

Post by AutoSleepyDon on Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:49 pm

So is that saying the high level brake light must be disconnected to pass an MOT?
So if the light comes on and is faint, then that will fail.
If it does not light at all (disconnected) then that will pass.

My high level brake light did not light at all and passed many MOTs, it usually didn't get mentioned by the MOT tester, was once as an advisory.
It wasn't really disconnected except by some fault, maybe a faulty earth as suggested.
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Re: High level brake light

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:17 pm

Yes I think if it doesn't light at all it is assumed not connected. I remember a previous discussion about multi-LED lights, and provided more than 50% light it is ok, if less than 50% a fail, but if none light then ignore.

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Re: High level brake light

Post by Greyhound on Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:25 pm

In my old Nuevo the high level light was full of water.

I just found a cheap similarly sized LED one on Amazon and plugged straight in.  Sealed it in with Sikaflex and all good.
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Re: High level brake light

Post by Bartfarst on Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:35 pm

AutoSleepyDon wrote:My high level brake light did not light at all and passed many MOTs, it usually didn't get mentioned by the MOT tester, was once as an advisory.
It wasn't really disconnected except by some fault, maybe a faulty earth as suggested.

The last time I discussed this matter with my regular and trusted MOT tester, he stated that as far as hi-level brake lights are concerned, if it's fitted then it has to work. Not sure about how many LEDs constitute a working light. However if my experiences with our Citroen C5 estate are anything to go by, once water got into the 'sealed' unit it caused widespread corrosion, rotting through all tracks on the PCB therein. I patched together an alternative and sealed the whole thing again with epoxy resin and it's been fine since.

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Re: High level brake light

Post by bikeralw on Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:48 pm

This from my MoT a few years ago. The high level marker lights must also be classed as extra lights. BTW, I replaced both within a few weeks.
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Thanks

Post by yvonneid on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:32 pm

Hi there, thanks to everyone for your replies. My van has just been mot'd and it was never mentioned, although I suspect it wasn't working then. The amount of corrosion in there certainly didn't happen in a couple of weeks. LED would be good, but direct replacements seem to be only available for 2006 on. I will investigate replacing it with a similar shaped generic LED one though, if I can't clean up the terminals enough, or get a replacement plug, to get a decent current to the existing one. Only investigated the water issue because I seem to remember hearing that water could ingress to the van via the high level brake light route. Ignorance is bliss sometimes right enough frustrating
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Water in High Level Brake Light

Post by Lady in a Van on Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:07 am

Hello there, just unscrewed mine to remove cover and found it full of water.  Doesn't appear to be any corrosion on metal plug-things though.  Might try drying it out with kitchen roll, replacing bulb and cover then sealing all round unit with flexible filler.  think_smiley_46
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Re: High level brake light

Post by yvonneid on Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:44 pm

Thanks again to all for their input. In the end I soaked the plug in vinegar and scraped the terminals with an awl, which was the only thing I could fit in, and now have a 21w bulb working. I sprayed the connections with WD40 and will also drill a wee hole in the bottom of the lens. If it gives me any more trouble I will try to get a suitable LED replacement.
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Re: High level brake light

Post by Greyhound on Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:56 pm

Bartfarst wrote:
The last time I discussed this matter with my regular and trusted MOT tester, he stated that as far as hi-level brake lights are concerned, if it's fitted then it has to work.
Bartfarst

He's not correct.

The rule is that if present, 50% or more of the light must work.  If less then 50% then it's a fail, but if disconnected it should be ignored.  Therefore when they start to fail people simply unplug them and it avoids the need to test them.

From the government website - https://www.mot-testing.service.gov.uk/documents/manuals/m4s01000201.htm

Reason for rejection - inoperative or less than 50% of the light sources illuminating.

Additional stop lamps fitted and connected must be tested. Where extra lamps are fitted and there is doubt as to whether they are connected, the benefit of this doubt should be given to the presenter.
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