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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a police car pulled up alongside me today and warned me that I had no brake lights. I checked and found both brake lights were not working but the high level brake light works fine.

It's pretty unlikely that both bulbs will fail simultaneously, so I suspect a blown fuse. I've checked the fuse listing in the manual which tells me to check fuse 2 (10 amp) in the glove compartment fuse box.

Fuse 2 controls the brake lights but no separate fuse is listed for the high level lamp, which I must therefore assume is on the same circuit, meaning the fuse should be OK.

I will check the fuse and both stop and tail bulbs as soon as I can, but how is it that the high level lamp is still operational and if the fuse and bulbs are OK, what next?

I replaced a failed stop lamp about 6 months ago and it has been fine since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just checked fuse 2 and it is intact.
 

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the standard lamps are 21W, so nearly 2A each, but the high level one is LED, and requires negligible current.
as always with lamp oddities, check the earth.

also check the other lights, to see if any are miss-behaving.

ps, when you remove fuse2 does the high level light stop working?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Indicators, tail lights, fog lamp and reversing lamps all working normally thanks Gremlin. I shall check whether the high level lamp works without fuse 2 tomorrow if I can. Then I suppose I will have to remove the rear clusters and have a look at the bulbs, which I remember being a bit of a ballache from last time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fuse 2 removed and high level light does not function. Replaced fuse and high level light functions so it must be on the same circuit. I'm going to have to take the clusters out and see what's going on in and behind them with the wiring and check the bulb filaments, fitments and earthing. I hope both bulbs have not blown as I only have one spare.
 

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Hi,
The conditions under which both bulbs could fail simultaneously are when one filament causes an inrush current enough to melt the other bulb filament but not enough to melt the fuse, or, tungsten filaments don't like mechanical shock like driving over bumps etc. Cattle grids and railway crossings are examples.
I've lost one of my sockets inside the panel while removing the lamp cluster!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Probably the case Pegleg. Just removed the offside cluster and the bulb had blown. That was the one I replaced about 6 months ago.

Having replaced it with my only spare, I now have a working offside and high level brake light but no nearside. I'm not going to remove the nearside cluster until I have a couple of spare bulbs, so a quick trip to
Halfords tomorrow to get a few spares.

The bolt that releases the cluster is tight as **** for my weak fingers, but managed to release when wrapped with a cloth to give me a bit of extra grip. I didn't like the idea of gripping with pliers or a mole grip die to limited space and fear of snapping the head off, though it does seem quite strong.
 

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I thought you could get a 10 mm socket on the end of the 'bolt' so could remove it without twisting it sideways too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Gremlin, I will try a 10 mm socket on the nearside cluster. I guess that will save my fingers and thumbs some work. Hywel, I had no idea you could get longlife S&T bulbs . I don't recall ever seeing them.

On a side note, with all the rain we've had in the last few days, I wondered if removing the cluster might reveal some moisture. But no, everything in and around was clean, dry and very shiny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FYI Europarts (just down the road from me) seem to have S&T bulbs for around 50p or 60p each. I may pop in next time I'm passing and stock up on a few. Halfords were somewhat more expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Job done. new bulbs from Europarts at 33p each and all is working fine (famous last words). I too lost my 10mm socket behind the trim Pegleg. That involved removing the plastic plate along the boot lip, removing the side pocket and pulling the trim out to retrieve it. At least that bit was pretty easy.

Those screws that hold the lamp cluster are mighty tight for the first 3 or 4 turns on the way out and on the way back in. Still, at least they are secure, I suppose.

All in all, a bit of a faff to change a stop and tail light.
 

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Consider yourself lucky. Some cars are a nightmare to change headlamp bulbs. I know of one model where you have to remove the airbox!
Fortunately B Max headlamps are a doddle.
 

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Consider yourself lucky. Some cars are a nightmare to change headlamp bulbs. I know of one model where you have to remove the airbox!
Fortunately B Max headlamps are a doddle.
on the b-max you have to remove the airbox top to change the battery ;-)
 

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Pretty simple though. The vehicle I was referring to requires the whole airbox out plus a few other bits.
It's my view that vehicles should be designed that exterior lighting can be replaced without the use of tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's almost as if they design cars to be as difficult to fix as possible to try to get owners to pay the extortionate prices their main dealers charge for service. I can't see why it is necessary to use specialised or bespoke to vehicle tools to fix anything. And don't start me off on crumple zones where little more than a minor shunt leads to a right off.
 
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