LED Brake Light Bulbs that Won't Give Error?

PatrickPresti

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Location
West Islip
TDI
2002 VW Golf TDI
Hi Guys,

Does anyone know of any 1156 LED that are currently on the market that won't give an error when used as brake light bulbs?

Thanks,

Pat
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
The ECU monitors both left and right brake light bulbs on your 2002 Golf. If both bulbs blow, the ECU throws a flashing GP light.

When I installed the ALH in my Vanagon, I placed a single light bulb assembly under the back seat for the ECU to monitor (made it very happy).

Considering brake lights are not ON very long, I'd try the resistors ........ not sure what Ohm would be best to use. However, I'd be more inclined to sort out the wiring and place a dummy light for the ECU to monitor.
 
Last edited:

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
You could use ohm's law to calculate, but the majority of LED's, whether it's the bulb or the tail light assy require the use of a 50W, 6-8ohm resistor.
 

Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
HI,

FWIW I just swapped to LEDS on my car and accepted the hyperflashing turn sigmals

Now "normal" flashes seem slow!

NOTE: On my car using the LEDS I used, there must be a slight feedback of electricity because when I use 4 way flashers, the outer edges on the third brake light also flash BUT I'm OK with that since if I have 4 ways on I want maximum attention and the outside edges of the third brake lights flashing also grabs more attention.

I was given a little grief (failed) when I got my car inspected in the evening tho (for the annual state inspection) because when I use my turn signals, the rear upper LED in my brake system on the opposite side will flash VERY dimly (I guess some sort of feedback loop or something also).

I remedied that by going back to the shop in the daylight when that was not visable due to the added brightness outside....personally I think the more things flashing the better to get people's attention.

Personally I resisted using resistors....I wanted to minimize electrical draw and resistors don't help in that regard.


Andrew
 

PatrickPresti

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Location
West Islip
TDI
2002 VW Golf TDI
There may not be any thrown errors but won't there be load issues? Ie the use of resistors will likely be necessary?
I have LED brake bulbs installed now but I am getting the flashing glow plug idiot light because it's detecting low amperage. ..
 

SC RIGGR

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Location
sc lowcountry
TDI
02 Jetta TDI 5-spd swap wagon and Jeep Liberty CRD
I recently reseached this, I havent done the swap to LED yet. I found a thread that remedied the hyperflash by cutting or desoldering pin 7 on an IC chip in the hazard switch. Apparently it deactivates the resistance sensor that activates the alarms
 

PatrickPresti

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Location
West Islip
TDI
2002 VW Golf TDI
I recently reseached this, I havent done the swap to LED yet. I found a thread that remedied the hyperflash by cutting or desoldering pin 7 on an IC chip in the hazard switch. Apparently it deactivates the resistance sensor that activates the alarms
I saw that too but I can't get that relay apart without damaging it...
 

Mike_04GolfTDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Location
Richmond, BC, Canada
TDI
Mine: 2019 Golf R DSG, Wife's: 2015 Golf Comfortline TDI
I recently reseached this, I havent done the swap to LED yet. I found a thread that remedied the hyperflash by cutting or desoldering pin 7 on an IC chip in the hazard switch. Apparently it deactivates the resistance sensor that activates the alarms
I tried this and found that my flasher module was not the same as those depicted in online instructions, and the mod did not work. So, it may work for some, not for others. Probably depends which batch of flasher modules they were installing that day.

Also, I believe there is some issue with cruise control not working without having a resistor on one or both brake lights. Even something like 10,000 Ohms allowed enough current to flow, for whatever the car was expecting to see.

I messed with LEDs on my car for a while, then gave up because I had the wrong flasher to do the mod, and because they were dim and useless. However, there must be better quality LEDs out there that would work. The ones I bought were cheap.
 

turbocharged798

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Location
Ellenville, NY
TDI
99.5 black ALH Jetta;09 Gasser Jetta
Proper bulbs do work. LEDs "replacements" tend to not work very well or last very long. Basically only good at draining your wallet...
 

wonneber

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Location
Monroe, NY, USA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen, 2021 Atlas,2003 Jetta 261K Sold but not forgotten
Also, I believe there is some issue with cruise control not working without having a resistor on one or both brake lights.
With the glow plug light on cruise control does not work and I think there was something else not working but don't remember for sure.
 

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
I was given a little grief (failed) when I got my car inspected in the evening tho (for the annual state inspection) because when I use my turn signals, the rear upper LED in my brake system on the opposite side will flash VERY dimly (I guess some sort of feedback loop or something also).


Personally I resisted using resistors....I wanted to minimize electrical draw and resistors don't help in that regard.


Andrew
Why didn't you just used diodes in the circuit then your feedback to the 3rd brake light wouldn't happen? Diodes only allow current to flow in 1 direction.

Also I'm confused on why resistors don't help minimizing current draw? That's exactly what they do; they draw current pushed by voltage and dissipate it through heat...so anything downstream of them doesn't have full current flow. That's exactly how your regular halogen tail lights work. They are resistors, that when get hot enough, release energy in light and heat...

I have LED brake bulbs installed now but I am getting the flashing glow plug idiot light because it's detecting low amperage. ..
Just for anyone's info if they're wondering.
Lets take a 3157 bulb because I just did the calculation for my truck which takes these for the front markers, and I went to switchback LED's. If anyone knows Dodge trucks, knows they are the most picky regarding lamp out warnings, LED's, HID projectors, etc etc.

A 3157 halogen lamp is rated at approx 2.1 A at 12.8V.

R=V/I , therefor 12.8V/2.1A = 6.09Ohm

P (Watts) = I^2 * R, therefor power dissipate = P = 2.1^2 * 4 =26.9 W approximately. This is given off in heat/light

Now lets say that we switch to an LED bulb. I'll use the switchback draw for example. @ 12V, there is a current draw of 250mA (.25A), which when you calculate for power above, dissipates about 3W. The reason for the low current draw is because of how LED's emit light. Lots of info on that.

.25A of current draw is much less than the 2.1 A of current draw, which is why we get the hyperflash when there are no inline resistors. Vehicle thinks there is a bulb out.

So what do we need to do? We need to make up the difference in current, so that the vehicle thinks the circuit is identical of one that has a halogen bulb.

The LED is requiring .25A, and the halogen bulb requires 2.1A

2.1A-.25A = 1.85A.

So, we need something inline with our circuit that is going to "mimic" or "draw" that extra 1.85A so the vehicle thinks its a halogen.

And that's exactly what resistors are made for.
R=V/I
R=12V/1.85A
R=6.5 Ohm

So we need a 6.5 ohm resistor in this circuit to make it think that there is a halogen bulb in there. 6 Ohm resistors are extremely common for this reason (the gold ones you see everywhere)

Asleep yet? We're almost done

Now, we know that resistors dissipate their power in the form of heat (in the case of a halogen, heat and light). How much exactly?

Let's go back to our P=I^2*R equation
P=2A^2*6 ohm = 24W.

So our resistor needs to be rated to handle this power. That's why there is a Watt rating on the resistor. Common ones are 25W and 50W. What's the physical difference? Size. To be safe because people will not always mount these where there is direct airflow, it's safe practice to design for double the power that is calculated. That would be around 48W. Which is why most choose the 50W, 6 ohm gold colored resistor.

So what else could you do if you don't want to wire in a resistor? Theoretically ( and some have done this) you could wire a regular halogen "dummy" bulb in-line with the circuit and tuck it away somewhere (not touching anything critical). No error to vehicle and LED works as it should.

Not sure if this will help the OP or anyone for that matter, just figured I throw out the information behind why hyperflash happens and how to get to the fix.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Good explanation.
.............A 3157 halogen lamp is rated at approx 2.1 A at 12.8V.

The LED is requiring .25A,................................
In short you can always plug in an LED, it might work, but if there are any monitoring requirements, they won't be happy.
So the next step is for someone to put together- The Definitive LED Upgrade.
It should be fairly simple to do, but will require wiring diagrams and basic knowledge of 'lectrics to put together.
 

mk3

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Wisconsin, USA
TDI
03 Jetta GLS 5-speed
member KrashDH has got it 99.9% right in post #13 below - just have to pick nits with the terminology "inline" wrt the resistors.

If you wish to mimic a load with a resistor it needs to be connected parallel (not series, not inline). A resistor placed in series with an LED bulb will tend to reduce current which doesn't help with any situation I'm aware of.

I tried some LED brake light bulbs and found the ECU does not like it. However, one LED and one Standard bulb was ok. Furthermore this helped me to noticed that the standard bulb was brighter than the LED. After I noticed that I gave up on the whole LED adventure and went back to standard bulbs.
 

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
member KrashDH has got it 99.9% right in post #13 below - just have to pick nits with the terminology "inline" wrt the resistors.
If you wish to mimic a load with a resistor it needs to be connected parallel (not series, not inline). A resistor placed in series with an LED bulb will tend to reduce current which doesn't help with any situation I'm aware of.
You're absolutely correct thank you for clarifying that. Most systems are measuring total current in a circuit.

I've been thinking multiple electrical projects on my vehicles, and one is reducing the brightness of a marker lamp on my tow mirrors so that when I apply turn signal power to it, there is a deviation between the dim running light and the brighter turn signal light. I need to put a resistor in series with the LED's for the marker power to dim them.

Got my projects mixed up!:eek:
 

joep1234

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Location
NC
TDI
former '04 Beetle TDI, now 2x '15 Audi Q5 TDI's, 2007 Dodge Ram 4x4 6.7
I had 2 brake lights out with the GP light blinking and my DSG wouldn't shift properly as well as the cruise didn't work either.
 

wonneber

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Location
Monroe, NY, USA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen, 2021 Atlas,2003 Jetta 261K Sold but not forgotten
KrashDH
You are correct with the numbers you used. :)

For others.
The gold ones should be mounted to metal, not plastic because of the heat they produce.
Mine have tiny holes (1/16th inch or so) to mount them.
One of mine burnt out so I'm back with regular bulbs again. :(
No more Wally World (AKA Wallmart) LED bulbs or resisters.

I'm wondering if the current sense in on one of the convenience modules and this can be adjusted with a hack. :confused:
 

Alchemist

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Location
Lethbridge, Alberta
TDI
'04 ALH Golf
Here is another lesson on the theory of brake light monitoring.

Brake light current is not measured, rather, cold resistance of the brakes lights is. The cold resistance of an 1157 lamp is about 0.4 ohm. This low value is typical of incandescent lamps, but it does rise rapidly when the filament heats getting to the 6.5 ohms calculated from operating current.

The two brake lamps in parallel have a combined resistance of 0.2 ohm, and since one side of the lamp is grounded, this is basically a ground connection on the hot side.

The brake light circuit is connected to the ECU which sees a ground when the brake lights are off. At the same time, the second part of the brake light switch sends 12V to another ECU input. When the brakes are applied, the switch reverses these connections so that the light circuit is now at 12V and the other part of the switch is no longer at 12V.

If the ECU sees something different, it interprets this as a fault and starts flashing the glow plug light.

Instead of dummy load resistors to simulate incandescent lamps, a relay could be used to provide a ground to the ECU when the brakes are off and 12V when they are applied.

The connections on the relay are:

85 to Black/Red wire at brake light switch
86 to ground
30 to Black/Red wire to ECU (Must be disconnected from brake light circuit)
87 to 12V source
87A to ground


HTH
 
Last edited:

TDI-WNC

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2018
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2000 Jetta TDI 5-speed
I replace brake lights in my 2000 Jetta with LEDs from deautokey.com, and no errors. Their LEDs are guaranteed to work without the need for any ballast resistors.


I tried LEDs from other vendors and got the glow-plug light on the dash. I was able to use the other LEDs, as I used the empty locations that are used as fog in other countries, and made a couple of jumper wires to power them. On US models nothing is connected to those sockets. Now there are 4 brake lights on the back, in addition to the 3rd brake light, much brighter than the 2 stock.
 
Last edited:

TDIDK

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Location
Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon
Here is another lesson on the theory of brake light monitoring.

Brake light current is not measured, rather, cold resistance of the brakes lights is. The cold resistance of an 1157 lamp is about 0.4 ohm. This low value is typical of incandescent lamps, but it does rise rapidly when the filament heats getting to the 6.5 ohms calculated from operating current.

The two brake lamps in parallel have a combined resistance of 0.2 ohm, and since one side of the lamp is grounded, this is basically a ground connection on the hot side.

The brake light circuit is connected to the ECU which sees a ground when the brake lights are off. At the same time, the second part of the brake light switch sends 12V to another ECU input. When the brakes are applied, the switch reverses these connections so that the light circuit is now at 12V and the other part of the switch is no longer at 12V.

If the ECU sees something different, it interprets this as a fault and starts flashing the glow plug light.

Instead of dummy load resistors to simulate incandescent lamps, a relay could be used to provide a ground to the ECU when the brakes are off and 12V when they are applied.

The connections on the relay are:

85 to Black/Red wire at brake light switch
86 to ground
30 to Black/Red wire to ECU (Must be disconnected from brake light circuit)
87 to 12V source
87A to ground


HTH

This is good stuff!! I've been looking for something like this that doesn't tear up the wiring harness or involve resistors that create a bunch of extra heat.



I'm looking at relays and since I'm an electrical amateur, I don't know quite what I'm looking for. The link below leads to a Bosch table that lists pinouts and circuit diagrams.
http://br.bosch-automotive.com/medi...e_s_a/downloads_7/MKG3_Relaisposter_de_GZ.pdf
I can deduce that part #'s "0 332 209 xxx" and 0 332 204 xxx" are close to what I'm looking for. Can you point me to which one works the best?
Maybe "0 332 209 150"? (20V, 50A, 5-pole, switching, no resistor in parallel)


TIA for any help!
 

DenCon509

New member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Location
Central Washington, USA
TDI
'06 Beetle
Just get a standard 5-pin relay at your local auto parts store; while you're at it, get a proper connector for it too.
I just hope you aren't doing this to a Beetle - after some 4 hours, ending in frustration, I gave up on doing the relay trick to mine - it is physically impossible to do. It requires using 2 hands and even with the switch disconnected, there isn't enough wire to pull down to reach and fit both hands in there.
Next thing is to try to find the black/red wire somewhere where I can work with it. Everything is so dang tight in the Beetle!
Bloody Hell!
 

darendru

New member
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Location
CA
TDI
none
After the appearance of LED lamps in the general sale, the question of their dimming soon arose. In this case, it is unacceptable to adjust the brightness of the light by changing the voltage or current, so most dimmers do not work correctly with diode lighting devices. The latter either blink after switching on or do not darken at all. If you want to control the intensity of LED lighting, you will need special LED lamps with adjustable brightness and light regulators. Then I decided to try ordering https://www.amazon.com/Flagpole-Energy-Battery-Illumunation-Vont/dp/B00YBDA7DC/ from the same company, and I really liked the quality!
 
Last edited:

dmann81

New member
Joined
Jan 25, 2023
Location
Melville
TDI
2003 beetle, 2002 beetle, 2005 golf, 2003 jetta
Here is another lesson on the theory of brake light monitoring.

Brake light current is not measured, rather, cold resistance of the brakes lights is. The cold resistance of an 1157 lamp is about 0.4 ohm. This low value is typical of incandescent lamps, but it does rise rapidly when the filament heats getting to the 6.5 ohms calculated from operating current.

The two brake lamps in parallel have a combined resistance of 0.2 ohm, and since one side of the lamp is grounded, this is basically a ground connection on the hot side.

The brake light circuit is connected to the ECU which sees a ground when the brake lights are off. At the same time, the second part of the brake light switch sends 12V to another ECU input. When the brakes are applied, the switch reverses these connections so that the light circuit is now at 12V and the other part of the switch is no longer at 12V.

If the ECU sees something different, it interprets this as a fault and starts flashing the glow plug light.

Instead of dummy load resistors to simulate incandescent lamps, a relay could be used to provide a ground to the ECU when the brakes are off and 12V when they are applied.

The connections on the relay are:

85 to Black/Red wire at brake light switch
86 to ground
30 to Black/Red wire to ECU (Must be disconnected from brake light circuit)
87 to 12V source
87A to ground


HTH
Hi, I’ve got the flashing glow plug light and no brake lights. Bulbs wires and ground are 100% as I can give them 12v at their junction in the loom and they all light up. Where does the magical red black wire go exactly from the brake switch? And how does it translate or make its way to the back through the loom to the back? Is there a transistor or something?

Also, with key on only, the red black wire at the brake switch reads 10v, 6v when I pull the abs fuse and finally zero when I pull the ecu fuse. Brake switch works proper I’ve only tried about a dozen of them to make sure including two new ones lol.
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
Dmann81, there is no transistor and no relay in the Brake Light circuit from the Brake Switch to the Brake Lights.

The Brake Switch has two separate circuits, one is normally closed for the Cruise Control (tap the brake and the cruise kicks out). That circuit receives power from Fuse 43. The other circuit (normally open) is for the Brake Lights which receives power from Fuse 13.

The ECU monitors the Brake Lights (which may have already been explained). From the Brake Switch, the wire is Red/Black (ro/sw). It splits with the same color scheme to each brake light assembly and one circuit goes to the ECU via the Black Connector (T10e/4), also the same color scheme. Thus, the ECU must be happy with the data it receives from that circuit(s).
 

dmann81

New member
Joined
Jan 25, 2023
Location
Melville
TDI
2003 beetle, 2002 beetle, 2005 golf, 2003 jetta
I’ve got an unhappy circuit. I’ve spliced a wire into the output red/black wire of the brake switch and ran it to the tail light junction. It has corrected the flashing glow plug issue. Must be a disconnect where the red black splits off to the ecu and to the rear. Thanks for the extra info. Between you and alchemist it’s gotten a bit clearer!
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
When I installed the ALH engine in my Vanagon, I set-up a single light bulb under the back seat out of sight to make the ECU happy, It works just fine. So, I suspect those wanting to run LEDs should consider a dummy light for the smart ECU. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

EDIT: The ECU does not monitor the top center brake light.
 

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
When I installed the ALH engine in my Vanagon, I set-up a single light bulb under the back seat out of sight to make the ECU happy, It works just fine. So, I suspect those wanting to run LEDs should consider a dummy light for the smart ECU. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

EDIT: The ECU does not monitor the top center brake light.
I've been up and down the LED testing road on my golf. Running all LEDs in the tails except the brake light. I'll be testing a tune that eliminates the brake light switch out bulbs out error. Downside is no warning will come up if both the brake lights or switch goes out. Not a big deal if you check your brakes regularily. In theory, this will let you run inexpensive LEDs for brakes
 
Top