License Plate light going bad consistently...

bleu7

Original poster
Member
Mar 27, 2012
36
i was wondering if someone could help me narrow my problem, my passenger side license plate light keeps failing on me, it'll work for a week or less and then burn out the bulb, ive used regular bulbs and LED bulbs and same issues...

any input is welcomed thanks :biggrin:
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
The bulb dies to the point it won't work in the opposite socket? Very, very unusual for that to be the failure mode. It's not like a socket can manufacture 50V to burn out a lamp when it's only a 12V system.

A corroded socket with bad contacts could flicker on and off so fast that it artificially ages the lamp and that could burn it out. Just change the socket if you can't clean it up and get more pressure out of the contacts.
 

bleu7

Original poster
Member
Mar 27, 2012
36
the roadie said:
The bulb dies to the point it won't work in the opposite socket? Very, very unusual for that to be the failure mode. It's not like a socket can manufacture 50V to burn out a lamp when it's only a 12V system.

A corroded socket with bad contacts could flicker on and off so fast that it artificially ages the lamp and that could burn it out. Just change the socket if you can't clean it up and get more pressure out of the contacts.

That is exactly what I thought since the.socket looks pretty burnt orange which am guessimg its corrosion...

And I have actually not tested the.bulb that "dies" on the opposite socket which doesnt fail me ill give it a try today as well.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
I went to relocate my license plate and found that neither plate light works even with new bulbs. Thinking it is wire chasing time
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
HARDTRAILZ said:
I went to relocate my license plate and found that neither plate light works even with new bulbs. Thinking it is wire chasing time
I'll make book on a broken wire in the boot at the hinge area.

bleu7 said:
And I have actually not tested the.bulb that "dies" ...
Unless you check continuity of the lamp with a meter (difficult with LED lamps), or swap them (easy), then declaring them "dead" is a bit premature, and can lead to bad troubleshooting. A better description wouldn't use "burn out the bulb".
 

Denali n DOO

Member
May 22, 2012
5,596
Me too. Passenger side went first then the other followed. Also for me rear wiper don't work and liftgate lock keeps clicking. If I pull the two bulbs the clicking stops. I have the panels off right now looking at the wires and module. Looks like changing the plate sockets will be a PITA for sure. Maybe something within the module broke. It looks like it may open up so I'm going to have a look in the module.
 

bleu7

Original poster
Member
Mar 27, 2012
36
the roadie said:
I'll make book on a broken wire in the boot at the hinge area.

Unless you check continuity of the lamp with a meter (difficult with LED lamps), or swap them (easy), then declaring them "dead" is a bit premature, and can lead to bad troubleshooting. A better description wouldn't use "burn out the bulb".

i switched the my LED and my regular OEM lamp into the working side and they did not work, which leads me to believe i should change the socket now right?:redface:
 

Denali n DOO

Member
May 22, 2012
5,596
the roadie said:
I would pull out my meter and check continuity of the lamp (the filament one, not the LED) and check voltage at the two sockets. Without a meter, you'll be just guessing.

Okay Roadie I got a meter in my hand and honestly have never looked at one before. To check volts at socket I need to set it where? 200m, 2, 20,200 or 750/1000?
 

bleu7

Original poster
Member
Mar 27, 2012
36
Denali n DOO said:
Okay Roadie I got a meter in my hand and honestly have never looked at one before. To check volts at socket I need to set it where? 200m, 2, 20,200 or 750/1000?

Apparently you are one step ahead of me, so ill ask you do I check the bulb while its in the socket and if so how? :confused: :confused:
 

Denali n DOO

Member
May 22, 2012
5,596
bleu7 said:
Apparently you are one step ahead of me, so ill ask you do I check the bulb while its in the socket and if so how? :confused: :confused:

Ha, no I'm not ahead of you, I may have the tool in hand but no clue how to use it. I got screwdrivers and stuff but nothing like this meter, lots of settings. I'll have to read up on tonight n figure it out. :confused:
 

christo829

Member
Dec 7, 2011
509
Fairfax, Virginia
@Denali N DOO, based on your description of symptoms, betting you've got a bad wire in the harness where it passes
between the body and the door. Be prepared to probe the wire, as the break can be in the wire and not show in the insulation.

Since you're testing 12V circuits, you need to have the meter at 20V based on the divisions you noted earlier. Anything lower, and you
put it out of range. Higher, and you may not be able to differentiate voltage from "noise".

@bleu7, if you're checking the filament lamps, not the LEDs, use Ohms, not voltage. Most meters have an audible continuity
setting that can usually help check for a blown bulb or fuse. If the bulb checks good, then check for corrosion on the socket
contacts. Once you see that they're clean, then check for voltage. If there's too much corrosion, you'll never get a decent
connection with the tester.

Good Luck!

Chris
 

Denali n DOO

Member
May 22, 2012
5,596
Oops, I think I unintentionally hijacked your Thread and brought my liftgate issues here. I'll focus on my liftgate Thread and be sure to let you know if I find anything out about the plate bulbs. I just thought. It was a coincidence how the failure was similar to yours but I obviously have bigger issues back there. Thanks...
 

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