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Lighting Forum
Angel Eyes, DDEs, lighted rings, Clear Turn Signals, LEDs, Xenon, HID, or Bi-Xenon. If it lights up and you want to discuss it, post here!

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Old 01-26-2014, 09:44 PM   #1
watisjdm02
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constantly replacing turn signal bulbs

I have to replace my front turn signal bulbs every few months. The bulbs don't actually go bad, solder tips pit in the middle. Any explanation on what might be causing this problem?
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:59 PM   #2
cvx5832
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Originally Posted by watisjdm02 View Post
I have to replace my front turn signal bulbs every few months. The bulbs don't actually go bad, solder tips pit in the middle. Any explanation on what might be causing this problem?
No explanation here, but i do get the same pitting on my 02, but strangely not on the same (also prefacelift) 03. Also within a few months. I just picked up a fine emery board to remove the pitting and dielectric grease for the contacts.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:05 PM   #3
Unforgivable818
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I don't have an an answer but it happens to me too. I've grounded with thicker wires on both tail lights as well as replaced both front corner connectors and I STILL have to do this a handful of times per year. I do use di-electric grease as well as lightly sanding them per cvx5382's mention. It's a major bummer and bothers me when sporadically/suddenly get front-bulb-out warnings. =/
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:46 AM   #4
Cavi Mike
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Not enough spring tension. Poor connection leads to heat which leads to poorer connection and arcing which leads to failure. You need to increase spring tension either by bending the tab or stretching out the spring - whichever your socket has.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:02 AM   #5
Megalocnus
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Too much pressure from the spring also can cause deformation of the leads over a period of several months, which ultimately results in poor contact, sparks and corrosion. I had this problem with my corners before. Initially I thought it's a low tension problem, (perhaps it was), pulled the springs to increase tension, but the leads were still going in less than a year. Finally solved the problem by pushing the springs a little towards the back and adding just a bit of copper anti-seize on the leads. The grease should be applied carefully: if you add too much you will short bulb.

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Old 01-27-2014, 01:08 AM   #6
Cavi Mike
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Deformation of what leads?
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:12 AM   #7
Bimmer4Lyfe
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Replace the receptacles - they are cheap and that will cure your problem.

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Old 01-27-2014, 02:12 AM   #8
Alex323Ci
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:47 AM   #9
cityjohn
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I agree with every one of you guys. I've replaced quite a few bulbs with good filaments just because the base got pitted.

Happy to say I solved my daily "bulb out" dash light by pulling the contacts up tight (and the side one), this time using a precision pick instead of just a screwdriver. This kept the spring contacts lined up.

I've never heard of them being too tight, nor have I heard about there being a problem with too much DE grease (mine's currently PACKED with it).

As far as the sockets being cheap, I had a hard time finding a good price on the "yellow" version (the ones that hold the amber-offset bulbs). Maybe I just wasn't looking in the right place.

Something tells me a Ford lightbulb wouldn't have these problems; they look like they just push in and stay:

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Old 01-27-2014, 04:37 PM   #10
Alex323Ci
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i have in the past had a bulb get it's contacts pitted aswell on my previous coupe. it was an aftermarket bulb (that was silver coated). i was wondering if you in this thread are having this happen to your stock bulbs or is it an aftermarket bulb issue being cheaper quality at the point of contacts?
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bimmer4Lyfe View Post
Replace the receptacles - they are cheap and that will cure your problem.

Exactly. Look at the contact strips inside the bulb socket. They're probably worn down. New bulb sockets are cheap.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:56 PM   #12
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What I have found is there is a plastic ring in the socket that holds the bulbs back against the terminals. This plastic ring snaps in a groove in the bulb housing. Over time, the ring will work its way out of the groove and move forward not quit 1/8". You will tell as the bulb requires hardly any downward force to drop the ears below the latching part. You will feel the bulb is loose in the socket.

Very easy fix if the terminals have not over heated from the bad connections. Use your pinky or a deep socket to press the ring back into the base of the socket and snap it back into the groove, then use a small amount of plastic adhesive around the edge of the ring and allow it to cure. Problem solved. I have fixed a bunch of these rather than replacing them.

New sockets will solve the problem for some time, but will fail in the same way, so I would also probably glue the new ones as well?
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