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    Thread: Bulbs "burning out" consecutively

    1. Member Time for a GTI's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 02:23 PM #1
      Well I tried this in the MkV forum without much luck. We'll see what TCL has to say I guess. The question is this: Is it possible that these bulbs keep actually burning out one after another after another or is it more likely some electrical issue that's causing them to go? The dealer keeps telling me that it's a coincidence but I find that hard to believe.


      Quote Originally Posted by Time for a GTI
      So the wife drives a 2009 Jetta. It has roughly 40K on the clock. In the last 2 months or so we've had a number of lights "burn out".

      First, one of the brake lights went. I replaced it myself.

      Second, a side marker went. I thought it was odd that two lights would go within a couple days so I ran a fault scan with the VagCom. Something to the effect of "Intermittent electrical signal" came up (can't find the log...I think I may have lost it when my hard drive fried). Because of the oddness we brought it to the dealer.

      Dealer replaced sidemarker and oh, by the way, you had another 2 rear lights out. Replaced all the bulbs for me without asking (for $50 ). The dealer states it's normal though. They see it all the time...bulbs going all in close proximity to each other. Sounds fishy to me since it's now 4 lights in the course of 3-4 weeks or so. But hey, what do I know?

      Driving away from the dealership her dash light comes back on. She drives back, oh you have a headlight out. We'll change that for you too...no worries though, no charge. No, no you don't have an issue...this is normal...we swear.

      Since then I've changed the driver's side DRL (last week) and today she called me to tell me her passenger side DRL is now out.


      That's 7 bulbs in 2 months. That can't be normal can it? What does the wisdom of the MkV forum say?
      Quote Originally Posted by Time for a GTI
      My main question is whether or not it's possible the bulbs are going or is there some electrical issue?

      Scanned the car again just now with the passenger side DRL out. This is the return from the lighting section.


      Address 09: Cent. Elect. Labels: 3C0-937-049-30-M.lbl
      Part No SW: 3C8 937 049 D HW: 3C8 937 049 D
      Component: Bordnetz-SG H54 2602
      Revision: 00H54000 Serial number: 00000001102043
      Coding: 14058E234004150007140000001400000008730B5C00012000 0000000000
      Shop #: WSC 00066 000 00000
      VCID: 32600564AD34409

      Subsystem 1 - Part No: 1K1 955 119 E Labels: 1KX-955-119.CLB
      Component: Wischer 171008 021 0501
      Coding: 00038805
      Shop #: WSC 00066

      2 Faults Found:
      00978 - Lamp for Low Beam; Left (M29)
      010 - Open or Short to Plus - Intermittent
      Freeze Frame:
      Fault Status: 00101010
      Fault Priority: 1
      Fault Frequency: 1
      Reset counter: 154
      Mileage: 77648 km
      Time Indication: 0

      Freeze Frame:
      ON
      Voltage: 14.30 V
      ON
      ON
      OFF
      OFF
      ON

      00979 - Lamp for Low Beam; Right (M31)
      010 - Open or Short to Plus
      Freeze Frame:
      Fault Status: 01101010
      Fault Priority: 1
      Fault Frequency: 1
      Reset counter: 118
      Mileage: 78964 km
      Time Indication: 0

      Freeze Frame:
      ON
      Voltage: 14.00 V
      ON
      ON
      OFF
      OFF
      ON


      Why two faults? Would one of them still be from the one I replaced a couple days ago? The cluster indicator did go away (immediately) when I replaced it.

      Also, not sure what this is all about.


      Address 19: CAN Gateway Labels: 1K0-907-530.lbl
      Part No SW: 1K0 907 530 Q HW: 1K0 907 951
      Component: J533 Gateway H07 5063
      Revision: H07 01 Serial number: 060908F2000273
      Coding: ED807F060003021002
      Shop #: WSC 01084 444 89147
      VCID: 356A3E785C5A571

      1 Fault Found:
      01044 - Control Module Incorrectly Coded
      000 - -
      Freeze Frame:
      Fault Status: 01100000
      Fault Priority: 1
      Fault Frequency: 254
      Mileage: 75497 km
      Time Indication: 0
      Date: 2000.00.00
      Time: 00:53:37
      Scotch. It's time.

      Quote Originally Posted by Buford T. Injustice View Post
      Wow such Canagay. Much hairy. So cuddles.

    2. Banned seadoo2006's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 02:34 PM #2
      There's a good reason for this:

      VW sucks at making cars with working light bulbs.

      Seriously, drive around and tell me how many VWs have a tail light out compared to any other car manufacturer ... I have an album on Facebook devoted to "MK4s with burnt out tail lights" ... pretty funny shiate.





      Oh, and it's not just me who has noticed:

      http://forums.redflagdeals.com/volks...lights-785059/

    3. Member VwG60Kid's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 02:42 PM #3
      there is truth to the vw sucks at making cars that don't burn out bulbs... every dub i have owned has gone through bulbs at 10x the rate of any other car I have owned.

    4. Member VR6 GLX Man's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 02:45 PM #4
      I currently have two bulbs out in my jetta, im part of the burnt out bulb club also I guess.
      VRSociety #293

    5. Member Time for a GTI's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 02:47 PM #5
      I drove a MkV GTI for 6 years and I can't recall a single bulb burning out.....

      So what is the correct course of action? Just keep replacing the bulbs? There's no faulty electrical business going on behind the scenes that's causing it?






      edit: also keep in mind we're talking about a 2009 here...not a MkIV or earlier lighting shenanigans
      Last edited by Time for a GTI; 06-12-2012 at 02:52 PM.
      Scotch. It's time.

      Quote Originally Posted by Buford T. Injustice View Post
      Wow such Canagay. Much hairy. So cuddles.

    6. Member VwG60Kid's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 02:48 PM #6
      i keep a complete set of bulbs in my corrado at all times for just that reason... have two bulbs out right now that i haven't gotten around to fixing yet though... drivers side parking light and passenger side license plate light. I think alot of the problem in the CE2 cars was lazy ass wiring... running all the power for the headlights THROUGH the headlight switch for instance.

    7. Banned seadoo2006's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 02:51 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Time for a GTI View Post
      I drove a MkV GTI for 6 years and I can't recall a single bulb burning out.....

      So what is the correct course of action? Just keep replacing the bulbs? There's no faulty electrical business going on behind the scenes that's causing it?
      Yup ... pretty much what I did ... I used to keep a small box in the spare wheel well with extra bulbs when I owned my MK4 ... two sets of every bulb the car had ... headlights, running lights, tail lights, brake lights, turn signal bulbs, 194s for the repeaters and city lights, and a couple plate lights ...

      Part of owning a VW my friend ...

    8. Member someguy123's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 02:52 PM #8
      VW, more bulbs than you can replace pal.

    9. 06-12-2012 02:55 PM #9
      My 2006 MKV keeps burning out the inside bulbs of the "circle" brake light. Every 6 months i'm replacing both inners, no clue what's up with that yet. I've owned VW's for 15 years now and generally i find that they go through bulbs more than any other car.

      On my B5 passat it was my H7's, barely used them and when i did, one of them would be out. Expensive but hey at least they were easy to change.

      My mk4 gti, city lights always burning out. PITA to change so I would leave them til I had a headlight or high beam go out to make it worth my effort.

      on my MK2 it was the bumper signal bulbs. Couldn't make contact with a ground with anything but oem bulbs and even then, i'd hit a bump and out would go the light parking light. I eventually cut these off and wired in some good old GM flashers.

    10. Member Time for a GTI's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 03:02 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by someguy123 View Post
      VW, more bulbs than you can replace pal.
      vroom vroom
      Scotch. It's time.

      Quote Originally Posted by Buford T. Injustice View Post
      Wow such Canagay. Much hairy. So cuddles.

    11. Member BobL2438's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 03:03 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by maxxam View Post
      My 2006 MKV keeps burning out the inside bulbs of the "circle" brake light. Every 6 months i'm replacing both inners, no clue what's up with that yet.
      I have the same situation with my 2006 MKV... I keep a set of bulbs in my glovebox because its only a matter of time after the first goes out that the others will too.

    12. Member Egz's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 03:05 PM #12
      And I thought GM was bad with their DRLs.

    13. 06-12-2012 03:13 PM #13
      Never had problems with my MkIII or MKIV GTIs. B5.5 Passat only had a tail light go out once. Our 97x though had serious lighting gremlins... taillights, and recurring DRL's (including melted connectors and bulb bases). No clue as to the OP's issue... a recurring burnout might indicate short, but different bulbs who knows...

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      06-12-2012 03:23 PM #14
      yep my mkiv gli def is eating thru bulbs, and when a bulb is out does your traction and abs light come on, because mine are, but when I replace the bulb the lights go away on my dash. I have replaced all the bulbs and as far as I know none are out besides possibly the 3rd brake light and possibly the liscense plate light, maybe thats why those stupid abs and traction lights are on...hmmm
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      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...28rs-gli-build

    15. 06-12-2012 03:43 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by seadoo2006 View Post
      There's a good reason for this:

      VW sucks at making cars with working light bulbs.

      Seriously, drive around and tell me how many VWs have a tail light out compared to any other car manufacturer ... I have an album on Facebook devoted to "MK4s with burnt out tail lights" ... pretty funny shiate.



      Oh, and it's not just me who has noticed:

      http://forums.redflagdeals.com/volks...lights-785059/

      I don't see this around here at all nor did I ever experience this on my MKIIIs, MKIV or MKV GTIs. The ones that always have burned out bulbs are the Chevy/GM trucks with the small running light, always the passenger side it seems.

    16. Member rbloedow's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 03:57 PM #16
      Ever try bulb grease? I had the same thing happen in my previous car - a friend told me to use bulb grease because there was a little moisture in the headlight.

      After the grease, the problem was solved.

    17. Member
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      06-12-2012 04:01 PM #17
      I have used the bulb grease on the bulbs I have had to install, I think one of them burnt out relatively quickly but it couldve just been a different bulb...did other people get not a check engine light but the combo of the ABS/traction light on when they had bulbs out or was that just me??? on mkiv that is
      04.5 GLI- GT28RS, AWIC, DM Rods, koni reds, ECS/Porsche 2v2 BBK, Mocal Oil Cooler, Bosche 550s, Madmax DV, Do Tuning!, Quaife, clutchmasters FX350, Greddy type S EBC

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    18. Member Time for a GTI's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 04:04 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by rbloedow View Post
      Ever try bulb grease?
      That's not like blinker fluid, is it?
      Scotch. It's time.

      Quote Originally Posted by Buford T. Injustice View Post
      Wow such Canagay. Much hairy. So cuddles.

    19. 06-12-2012 04:05 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Time for a GTI View Post
      That's not like blinker fluid, is it?

    20. Member BetterByDesign's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 04:07 PM #20
      I have all kinds of bulbs, tools, electrical tape and plastic bits in my trunk. Are you new to VW or something?
      Brazil 2014

    21. Member Time for a GTI's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 04:12 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by BetterByDesign View Post
      Are you new to VW or something?
      Nope. You new to being smug?
      Scotch. It's time.

      Quote Originally Posted by Buford T. Injustice View Post
      Wow such Canagay. Much hairy. So cuddles.

    22. Member WhitePoloCT's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 04:27 PM #22
      I had a MkII Golf that would burn out the left hand side tail lamp quite regularly. Then I had a Polo that would do the same for the right hand side tail lamp. My fathers MkIII Jetta would burn out the left side tail lamp bulb. My Cabrio has burnt out one left side tail lamp bulb.
      Quote Originally Posted by alleghenyman
      Let's just say I like my women like I like my cars - fast, cheap, kinda ugly and beaten up, unreliable, dangerous, unwanted....
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      06-12-2012 04:35 PM #23
      I had this problem with our '03 Audi A4. It's their crappy bulbs that they stock at the dealership. Once the free-service period was over and I replaced the bulbs myself, they last much, much longer.

    24. Member koolkevin43's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 04:41 PM #24
      I've never had a bulb burn out on my MKII, MKIV, or my B3 Passat. Wait, scratch that. I had to replace a license plate bulb on the Passat that looked old enough to be the original from '93.

    25. 06-12-2012 04:48 PM #25
      What do you think that big storage compartment in the trunk is for? It's for replacement bulbs.

      I think I've replaced just about every bulb on my 08 over the past year or so. Even the interior.
      Quote Originally Posted by xtravbx View Post
      No one was talking about crub sensors, whatever those are.

      And also, what are "fents, burshes, and briks." ?

      We must not have those in Florida.

    26. Member Live-Wire's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 05:14 PM #26
      Sounds like a bad regulator in your alternator or a really bad connection somewhere. It's putting out the ~14V it should, but there is probably a lot of random spikes, alternating current leaking through, and just noise in general.

      VW's do seem bad for bulbs, tho I haven't had many issues luckily. Typically many burnt out bulbs = alternator or a really bad connection somewhere causing arcing. Almost every other electrical system in the car has it's own power regulator (to step down from the 12V to something like 5V or 3.3V for the electronics) and can take out spikes, bulbs are a direct feed from the alternator. As are solenoids (which are way more resilient since they are a coil of wire... a bulb is a tiny hair of tungsten filament). Since they are not protected from spikes, they feel the wrath of a badly maintained electrical system first.

      Check the lugs on your battery first. Un-couple them and make sure they are solidly installed into the battery - I've had a buddies cars' battery terminal literally fall off. Clean the terminal and clamp ring with emery cloth or steel wool - get any/all corrosion off. They should be very clean, and tightened properly... Cover them with di-electric grease (or a water repellent grease if you can't find di-electric grease at an electrical supplier) once as this is achieved. I 'fixed' a Mk4 with constant electrical problems and no-starts because the owners battery and terminals were just corroded. The arcing in the terminals due to the high draw of a charging battery on the alternator can cause voltage fluctuations along the entire electrical system. Last result after the electrical system has been addressed (I'd look at fuses and relay bases for being corroded too. Not to mention the chassis ground points) is to replace the regulator in the alternator. It might be damaged. This is the last step tho. Even a weak regulator by design should be able to handle the demands of the electrical system as long as there are good connections.

      This is why washing a car engine is not recommended. It speeds up this corrosive process that ruins electrical systems.

    27. Member YellowDieselGolf's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 05:20 PM #27
      I've replaced three or more headlights and at least eight brake or tail lights. Strangely, the remaining bulbs have been ok since new - fog, indicators, reverse and low beam.

      < MK4 GTI
      I'm a country member.

    28. Member Time for a GTI's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 05:56 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Live-Wire View Post
      Sounds like a bad regulator in your alternator or a really bad connection somewhere. It's putting out the ~14V it should, but there is probably a lot of random spikes, alternating current leaking through, and just noise in general.

      VW's do seem bad for bulbs, tho I haven't had many issues luckily. Typically many burnt out bulbs = alternator or a really bad connection somewhere causing arcing. Almost every other electrical system in the car has it's own power regulator (to step down from the 12V to something like 5V or 3.3V for the electronics) and can take out spikes, bulbs are a direct feed from the alternator. As are solenoids (which are way more resilient since they are a coil of wire... a bulb is a tiny hair of tungsten filament). Since they are not protected from spikes, they feel the wrath of a badly maintained electrical system first.

      Check the lugs on your battery first. Un-couple them and make sure they are solidly installed into the battery - I've had a buddies cars' battery terminal literally fall off. Clean the terminal and clamp ring with emery cloth or steel wool - get any/all corrosion off. They should be very clean, and tightened properly... Cover them with di-electric grease (or a water repellent grease if you can't find di-electric grease at an electrical supplier) once as this is achieved. I 'fixed' a Mk4 with constant electrical problems and no-starts because the owners battery and terminals were just corroded. The arcing in the terminals due to the high draw of a charging battery on the alternator can cause voltage fluctuations along the entire electrical system. Last result after the electrical system has been addressed (I'd look at fuses and relay bases for being corroded too. Not to mention the chassis ground points) is to replace the regulator in the alternator. It might be damaged. This is the last step tho. Even a weak regulator by design should be able to handle the demands of the electrical system as long as there are good connections.

      This is why washing a car engine is not recommended. It speeds up this corrosive process that ruins electrical systems.
      Thank you, very informative and helpful. Wait, where am I?

      I'll take a look at the battery and hookups.
      Scotch. It's time.

      Quote Originally Posted by Buford T. Injustice View Post
      Wow such Canagay. Much hairy. So cuddles.

    29. Member LouieTHEkid's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 06:58 PM #29
      if a bulb keeps popping its not the bulb. you have a short somewhere in the wiring harness. over time these things happen. Buy a DMM, watch some videos on youtube and get to gettin.
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    30. Member 330iZHP's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 07:07 PM #30
      I feel like I see more VWs with a burnt out rear bulb than I see with all of them working

      this reminds me to go mention to my neighbor that her golf has a burnt out left rear tail light

    31. Member Spinnaker's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 07:17 PM #31
      Both my brake lights just went up. Charged the $6 up to having such a strokeable dash.

    32. Member hardcore4life's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 07:29 PM #32
      I replaced headlight bulb twice and my break light twice in the last 5 and the half years, my passenger side mirror bulb burned out but i don't bother with that since i'm getting rid of the car in August

    33. 06-12-2012 07:34 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by hardcore4life View Post
      break light twice
      The what light?

    34. Member 71DubBugBug's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 07:55 PM #34
      how often do you see a new beetle, 98+ with one of the headlights out!?

      Replacing those bulbs got rather annoying

    35. Member
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      06-12-2012 07:58 PM #35
      Wow that's pretty insane.

      Is the filament burning out, or is the bulb shattering?

      I've probably replaced 2 bulbs in the 12 years I've owned the Prelude

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