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The Saga of the Trans Am Parking light

This is a discussion on The Saga of the Trans Am Parking light within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; ^^^I know you said no cracks in the housing, but did you verify no cracks on the top of the ...

  1. #181
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    ^^^I know you said no cracks in the housing, but did you verify no cracks on the top of the housing? I find the grease causing corrosion hard to believe also.

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    Senior Member Schmalgar's Avatar
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    If you've been through water shortly before each outage, then there's a leak. I could never see an obvious crack, I think water was just coming in from above somewhere. I was easily able to correlate the issue to rain. Literally every time I got caught in the rain, or even washed the car, the bulb would blow until I put in the dielectric grease. Now, I did have to do it TWICE. Apparently the first time I didn't put enough grease in there. The second time I really slathered it in that socket, and since that second application I have had no issue. Possible that you need to slather more in there as well?

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  4. #184
    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    ^^^I know you said no cracks in the housing, but did you verify no cracks on the top of the housing? I find the grease causing corrosion hard to believe also.
    Yes, no visible cracks. The housings are both fairly new (bought new ones along with the LEDs).
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmalgar View Post
    If you've been through water shortly before each outage, then there's a leak. I could never see an obvious crack, I think water was just coming in from above somewhere. I was easily able to correlate the issue to rain. Literally every time I got caught in the rain, or even washed the car, the bulb would blow until I put in the dielectric grease. Now, I did have to do it TWICE. Apparently the first time I didn't put enough grease in there. The second time I really slathered it in that socket, and since that second application I have had no issue. Possible that you need to slather more in there as well?
    I think I've mention this earlier in this thread, but not sure. . . If you notice, the parking light housings are directly below our flip-up headlights, which obviously allow water to drain on top of the housing, whether the headlights are open or closed. This design feature just adds to the problem with the design flaw of the housing itself. And I agree that there could be a crack that is not obviously noticeable.
    As for the dielectric grease, maybe I am not putting enough on. But there was enough on there that all contacts were still completely covered, except where they touched the contacts in the housing, obviously. And under the the grease, green corrosion. I took a picture with my phone but isn't clear enough. So I'm just wondering, if in certain circumstances, if the dielectric grease could actually hold moisture under itself on the contacts.

  5. #185
    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    I guess anything's possible, but I don't see how the water will displace the grease.

    Gullett, have you seen the Indiana thread in the mid-west section? Are you going on the cruise the 21st?

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    I don't think I've looked at that thread in a few weeks, so I didn't know about it. I'll go to the thread now . . .

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Dude, and you call yourself a Hoosier lol?

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    Aaaand the Saga continues. . . .

    The driver's side was fine for a few months after I cleaned the contacts, but I noticed on Saturday that it was a lot dimmer again. I took it out to find more corrosion. After cleaning both the bulb and the socket, it still only lights up on the top . . .

    I emailed Autolumination and explained what was going on. They said that the bulb was probably ruined and was due to moisture and heat . . . . I expected an answer like this from them. I have not noticed any moisture in these housings since they've been changed (2.5 years now). And the whole point of using LEDs was the low operating temperature. I know they do not get hot. Another unsatisfactory answer from them.

    I've been talking with a few different LED companies about their suggestions. It sounds like the DRL's may eventually kill the LEDs if they aren't made with this scenario in mind. I'll keep you guys updated.

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    You are going to have to install dehumidifiers in each housing, as well as route new vents in from your a/c before this is all over

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Time to just disable the DRLs...that'll end the saga

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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    Aaaand the Saga continues. . . .

    The driver's side was fine for a few months after I cleaned the contacts, but I noticed on Saturday that it was a lot dimmer again. I took it out to find more corrosion. After cleaning both the bulb and the socket, it still only lights up on the top . . .
    Click for full size
    I emailed Autolumination and explained what was going on. They said that the bulb was probably ruined and was due to moisture and heat . . . . I expected an answer like this from them. I have not noticed any moisture in these housings since they've been changed (2.5 years now). And the whole point of using LEDs was the low operating temperature. I know they do not get hot. Another unsatisfactory answer from them.

    I've been talking with a few different LED companies about their suggestions. It sounds like the DRL's may eventually kill the LEDs if they aren't made with this scenario in mind. I'll keep you guys updated.
    Mine did the same thing.
    They went out with no apparent reason.
    I am using a digital blinker also.
    I believe that Autolumination's products do not have a decent duty cycle.
    They are made cheap.
    We need MIL spec assemblies for our application.
    Thats where we need to look.
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  12. #192
    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y2KArcticSS View Post
    You are going to have to install dehumidifiers in each housing, as well as route new vents in from your a/c before this is all over

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    probably!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    Time to just disable the DRLs...that'll end the saga
    I know i know . . . it sure looks like I'm fighting a losing battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nowhereman View Post
    Mine did the same thing.
    They went out with no apparent reason.
    I am using a digital blinker also.
    I believe that Autolumination's products do not have a decent duty cycle.
    They are made cheap.
    We need MIL spec assemblies for our application.
    Thats where we need to look.
    Superbrightleds claim to build their bulbs for DRL application.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    Time to just disable the DRLs...that'll end the saga
    I was thinking the same thing. Although mine are still working (camaro's I've had/own don't seem to have this problem) when I'm driving something else and I want the parking lights on, I just use the dash switch

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I was thinking the same thing. Although mine are still working (camaro's I've had/own don't seem to have this problem) when I'm driving something else and I want the parking lights on, I just use the dash switch
    On most other vehicles, the parking lights are usually the dimmer of the two filaments (unlike the DRLs which are the brighter filament). And as I discussed on the first page of this thread, I like the looks of DRLs, especially now with the LEDs. I believe the problem would be solved if the quality of the bulbs was better.

  15. #195
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    On most other vehicles, the parking lights are usually the dimmer of the two filaments (unlike the DRLs which are the brighter filament). And as I discussed on the first page of this thread, I like the looks of DRLs, especially now with the LEDs. I believe the problem would be solved if the quality of the bulbs was better.
    The DRL's also come on if you turn on the parking lights (with ebrake engaged) and they also act as your turn signal blinker. (that's how they've worked on all my 4th gens)
    So they still act as a parking light (with light switch on) as well as blinkers, even if you disable the DRL portion. Then like I said, if you want them on, just turn on the dash switch Then they are on only when you want them to be and would cut down on the wear and tear.

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    I understand how it would work if I disabled them; I just don't want to. I like that the DRLs come on when the ignition is turned on. If we were talking about the stock incandescents, I would understand your point. But there should be minimal wear and tear with the LEDs. With much lower heat and the supposedly longer life of the LED, it should be close to the same wear and tear as having them completely off. That's my whole point with this thread. The LEDs as DRLs worked fine for two and half years; but for the cost, they should have lasted longer. Hopefully, this is only because of the manufacturer's insufficient product.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    I understand how it would work if I disabled them; I just don't want to. I like that the DRLs come on when the ignition is turned on. If we were talking about the stock incandescents, I would understand your point. But there should be minimal wear and tear with the LEDs. With much lower heat and the supposedly longer life of the LED, it should be close to the same wear and tear as having them completely off. That's my whole point with this thread. The LEDs as DRLs worked fine for two and half years; but for the cost, they should have lasted longer. Hopefully, this is only because of the manufacturer's insufficient product.
    Hard to say. Why is it then that all the birds seem to have this issue and the camaro's don't?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    I understand how it would work if I disabled them; I just don't want to. I like that the DRLs come on when the ignition is turned on.
    Okay, next you are going to tell me you want the car to drive all by itself too,,huh?

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Hard to say. Why is it then that all the birds seem to have this issue and the camaro's don't?
    I've never owned a 4th gen Camaro, so I'm not sure, but I would guess the housing still has cracks form due to the heat of the DRLs. The design of the Trans Ams', not the Firebirds', parking light housing is the worse. This is due to the socket coming in from the bottom. Therefore, when moisture enters the housing through the heat cracks, it then settles in the upward facing socket. I know my bird has cracks in the housing, but I drilled weeps in the lowest point on the bottom of the housing and have never had a problem with it since. The Trans Am cannot be fixed this easy, since the socket is the lowest point on the housing.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    Aaaand the Saga continues. . . .

    The driver's side was fine for a few months after I cleaned the contacts, but I noticed on Saturday that it was a lot dimmer again. I took it out to find more corrosion. After cleaning both the bulb and the socket, it still only lights up on the top . . .
    Click for full size
    I emailed Autolumination and explained what was going on. They said that the bulb was probably ruined and was due to moisture and heat . . . . I expected an answer like this from them. I have not noticed any moisture in these housings since they've been changed (2.5 years now). And the whole point of using LEDs was the low operating temperature. I know they do not get hot. Another unsatisfactory answer from them.

    I've been talking with a few different LED companies about their suggestions. It sounds like the DRL's may eventually kill the LEDs if they aren't made with this scenario in mind. I'll keep you guys updated.
    I had the same issue with LED bulbs from VLEDS.com. What happens is the solder is melting away due to the high temperature of DRL running on all the time. In mine I could clearly see the missing solder. I email them and they issued me a full refund. Mine only lasted 2 months. I went back to just regular bulbs. If it bothers me I will turn of the DRLs.

  20. #200
    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTA98 View Post
    I had the same issue with LED bulbs from VLEDS.com. What happens is the solder is melting away due to the high temperature of DRL running on all the time. In mine I could clearly see the missing solder. I email them and they issued me a full refund. Mine only lasted 2 months. I went back to just regular bulbs. If it bothers me I will turn of the DRLs.
    Really? The ones I have barely even get warm. And to melt the soldering, that has to get pretty hot! I'm glad they refunded you, because it sounds like something was definitely wrong.

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