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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old October 22nd, 2018, 18:07   #1
Chris_TDI_98
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Question Reverse lights... Reverse polarity?! ***

Quick question for you experiences with the wiring diagram for the rear reverse lights.
Are the rear reverse lights SUPPOSED to be reverse polarity according to the wiring diagram (which I donít have)?!
Center pin NEGATIVE, ground/shell POSITIVE?!
Trying to find out if my previous owner mucked something up and resulted in reversing the polarity of the rear reverse lights??
I want to make it be the NORMAL polarity, unless VW did indeed design the car to have rear reverse lights wired in reverse polarity...!?
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 19:48   #2
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I seriously doubt it. Get a voltmeter to verify.

-Todd
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 21:26   #3
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The outer cylinder portion of the bulb should never be positive. If it is on your car then someone has mucked it up.

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Old October 22nd, 2018, 21:43   #4
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Unplug it at the transmission and use the brake lights as back up lights. That was my solution. you have to mix in a little "back and pray" too.
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Old October 23rd, 2018, 02:43   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddA1 View Post
I seriously doubt it. Get a voltmeter to verify.
I did. When I made the original post, it was after having verified with the voltmeter. Itís wired with reverse polarity! This explains why todayís new arrival ďreverse light LEDsĒ were failing to light up. Filaments donít mind about polarity, yet most LEDs do mind. (Other LEDs have electronics built in that accept either polarity just as filaments do.)
Will trace this back tmrw to fuse panel if I must and fix it.
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Old October 23rd, 2018, 23:31   #6
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I ran into the same thing. I was too lazy to try to figure out a fix.
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Old October 24th, 2018, 08:03   #7
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My suggestion would be to trace the wires back as far as possible and see if there is/was a new socket spliced in ! My former 2002 Jetta had brown wires as the ground wire.
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Old October 24th, 2018, 10:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_TDI_98 View Post
Will trace this back tmrw to fuse panel if I must and fix it.
Easier to cut and splice at the light panel, if youíre not particular about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetta_Pilot View Post
My former 2002 Jetta had brown wires as the ground wire.
Brown or brown with tracer, is standard ground color, from what Iíve seen on my VWs.

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Old October 24th, 2018, 10:56   #9
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One wrinkle in the equation is, I’ve installed an electronic trailer light module in the trunk area by splicing onto the rear left tail light harness. It’s rather simple electronic module which powers the trailer lighting harness based on the state of the three separate rear lights (tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals), deciding logically whether the left or right trailer light should be off (car lights off), low brightness (tail light), high brightness (brake or turn signal). Could it be the cause of reversing the polarity? I doubt it but asking anyway maybe you guys have some insight.
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Old October 24th, 2018, 14:00   #10
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I'd be willing to bet they're all reversed. I did the same as you last year, bought some led's off ebay hoping to have brighter reverse lights. When they didn't work, tested with dvom finding the reverse polarity on the car.
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Old October 24th, 2018, 16:04   #11
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Anyone here got VW contacts on LinkedIn ? Can we ask the VW mk3 vehicle electrical system design team Why TF they engineer the reverse lights to run off positive ground ie reverse polarity ?
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Old October 24th, 2018, 16:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetta SS View Post
I'd be willing to bet they're all reversed.

My B4V definitely isnít, but maybe Jettas are.

-Todd
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Old October 26th, 2018, 06:44   #13
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NO, defiantly not
I dint know of any car, let alone a light socket that has the outer casing the + or common. EVER
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Old October 31st, 2018, 09:41   #14
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Saw on vortex they go to the connector inside the trunk and cut off the Locking tabs so that the plug can be plugged in backwards. Alternatively they are using a pin extractor to pull the wires out of the plug to reverse them that way.
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Old October 31st, 2018, 18:01   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongler98 View Post
NO, defiantly not
I dint know of any car, let alone a light socket that has the outer casing the + or common. EVER
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetta SS View Post
Saw on vortex they go to the connector inside the trunk and cut off the Locking tabs so that the plug can be plugged in backwards. Alternatively they are using a pin extractor to pull the wires out of the plug to reverse them that way.

Interesting, that this has occurred enough times that threads are created, about it.

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