Whelen auxiliary brake lights

whizznbyu

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2015 Golf Sportwagen 6 speed manual. B5 died at 302k miles.
I recently saw a on car I was following behind closely in rush hour traffic, a set of really bright auxiliary brake lights mounted on a license plate holder. These lights look like the bright 6 inch LED lights on either side of the rear license plate of police Ford Explorers. I did an internet search and came across Whelen. There is a model named IONR.
I would like some advise on how to wire these. Specifically how to wire them though the rear license plate light gasket. The other alternative is to drill a hole (think rust) through the rear deck. Both approaches would allow me to hopefully splice the wire to the rear brake light mounted at the top edge of the rear windshield.
I do have a trailer hitch and had the car wired for trailer lights. Another option I was considering is to mount the lights on the flat surface of what is considered the rear diffuser by means of a bracket bolted on to the plastic (non rusting) diffuser. Seeking advise on this planned project. Doing it because I want brighter brake lights than what the car came with.
Thanks
 

hskrdu

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2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
Doing it because I want brighter brake lights than what the car came with. Thanks
I would consider some of the other options available to Mk7 owners before drilling holes or attaching exterior lights. You can change to 5 brake lights via coding and some small adjustments (or add rear fog via the same manner). High quality LEDs will notably increase brightness and longevity. If your turn signals are still red, you can easily change to amber, which (I've found) has the effect of making the brake lights stand apart. Mk7 coding also allows intensity adjustments, but I have no experience with this, so someone else would have to chime in. The 5 light mod with bright LEDs is a sig improvement on its own. A rear fog is super helpful in low visibility situations (and sometimes to deter tailgaters).
 

whizznbyu

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Thanks. Is this done through VAGCOM? And if so can you sort of narrate which tabs to go to in order to do that change?
 

hskrdu

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For Mk7 5 brake light modification: Yes, VCDS allows these changes, as do some other systems (but I have only VCDS). I think there is a how to listed in our Mk7 forums, but (unusually) the better versions for much of this stuff might be at the UK Mk7 forums or the vortex Mk7 forum. Ross Tech also discusses it in many threads. There are also some videos that walk through the process. Depending on the LED, some owners also adjust the brightness, (and make sure the LED of choice won't cause a bulb-out error).

For the red to amber turn signal: This requires no coding, just removal of the red plastic lens inside the housing, and replacement with an appropriate amber bulb. A good LED will be brighter than stock, and (especially) when brakes are on with directional on, makes it much more apparent that you are turning. Not many DIY's on this, but it requires four steps: remove housing, use a pick or other tool to remove the plastic lens, change bulb to amber, install housing.

For rear fog: This requires adjustment to most housings so that the dummy bulb (chromed plastic) is removed and there is a spot for a new bulb. Then some coding for that location to receive a signal from the light switch, and a switch with a rear fog position. Lots of DIYs on this available.

PHAT-DUB started a Fred's version of Mk7 how-to's, and has links:
Scott02's thread with links:
Jedadiah's thread on brake lights:
From our Mk7 thread:
Others:
vortex rear fog:
 

Nuje

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2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2002 (swap from 2L gas); 2016 A3 e-tron
For rear fog: This requires adjustment to most housings so that the dummy bulb (chromed plastic) is removed and there is a spot for a new bulb. Then some coding for that location to receive a signal from the light switch, and a switch with a rear fog position. Lots of DIYs on this available.
There's no wire in the harness position that leads to the rear fog location, so instead of coding, the easiest thing to do (assuming you want that position to act same as inner position and come on as a brake light), is simply tap the existing brake light wire in the harness (can't remember which one it is off-hand) and add a wire off that to the fog position.
(Of course, you could always get stupid and do something like this. ;) )


(I've since gotten rid of that setup and put an amber turn signal in the outer lower position and have the other three bulbs act as brake lights (and DRLs).
 

hskrdu

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There's no wire in the harness position that leads to the rear fog location, so instead of coding, the easiest thing to do (assuming you want that position to act same as inner position and come on as a brake light), is simply tap the existing brake light wire in the harness (can't remember which one it is off-hand) and add a wire off that to the fog position.
Nuje- this process doesn't actually create a rear fog light, right? Just uses the rear fog position as a brake light? I was thinking of the coding DIY where the signal is reassigned from the driver reverse light. But I guess the OP could do this to both sides to have 5 brake lights without using the inners? Although the mod for adding inner brake lights is probably the quickest. BTW, can you post the coding for it? I'm sure it's in one of those links, but I didn't actually see it listed.
 

Nuje

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Correct - even if you have a switch with rear-fog capability and do the coding for rear fog, you don't get rear fog simply by putting a bulb into that position. To get rear fog capability, you'd need to run a wire from that position to....I'm guessing the BCM (?). Or at least, a controller somewhere.

(Just checked the wiring diagrams: Indeed the rear fog wire goes through a 10-pin connector somewhere and out to the J519 "Vehicle Electrical System Control Module". )

Coding (along with many others at one of the few remaining Google web"sites". )
Four (Five) Brake Lights
  1. 9- Central Electronics
  2. 16- 31347
  3. 10-Adaptations
  4. Left side inner:
    1. Change [8] Leuchte23sl HLC10 - Lichtfunktion C23 from Not Active to Brake Light
    2. Change [10] Leuchte23sl hcl10 - Dimmwert CD 23 from 0 to 100
  5. Right side inner:
    1. Change [8] Leuchte24sl HRA65 - Lichtfunktion C24 from Not Active to Brake Light
    2. Change [10] Leuchte24sl HRA65 - Dimmwert CD 24 from 0 to 100
 
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hskrdu

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Thx for posting. And I think the only wiring change is moving the connection from pin 4 to pin 5 on the driver inner, once the coding has reassigned the signal.
 

whizznbyu

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Thanks all. The above recommendation appreciated. This might be beyond my skill level. :(
 

hskrdu

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I'm sure you can find a video walk-through. The coding is probably 5 minutes, and I would think the wire swap to be simple. A jumper is probably required between reverse lights.
 

Nuje

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Thanks all. The above recommendation appreciated. This might be beyond my skill level. :(
If nothing else, simply replacing the stock brake light bulbs with good-quality red LEDs will make the brake lights "pop" a lot more.
There's a thread here about the Lasfit bulbs (albeit headlight LEDs) where it sounds like the company is putting some thought into the design and functionality of their products.
I've had good luck with KaTur brand - like these.
 
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Cuzoe

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If you want to avoid adding wiring from front to rear you could, as suggested, use one of the reverse light wires. You would also, as suggested, need to run a wire to connect the two reverse lights. They would now be using one leuchte (light) channel from the BCM. You would no longer get a reverse light fault unless both bulbs were out.

Then... you would take your "stolen" wire and wire it to the rear fog. You would re-assign that channel in the BCM. You would need a light switch with reverse fog function. And if your car doesn't have fogs already you'll have to run one wire from the light switch to the BCM. If your car already has front fogs you will not need to run this wire.
 

hskrdu

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In Christof's (The Bearded Detailer) write-up at the vortex, in talking about reassigning the driver reverse light to the rear fog, and creating a jumper for the reverse lights, he says:

"Before going any further, let me make it clear that if you do not have LED bulbs in the reverse positions, you will not be able to retain both reverse lights."

Is this because two incandesent bulbs in the reverse positions will draw too much power and trip an error? Also, are "CANBUS" LEDs needed when used to replace the two reverse lights in these circumstances (or any LED that fits a 921/W16W will do)?

Thread, post #26:
 

Cuzoe

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The BCM detects lighting errors based on resistance, too low being a short or too high generally indicating a bulb is out.

The BCM is plenty capable of running two bulbs from one channel. Obviously in that scenario, with the reverse lights tied together, you will not know which of them is out should one blow (or you won't get an error at all unless they both go out). But all you need to do is try various lamp types (there are 25+) until you find one that does not throw an error. Some of the names aren't super obvious but some of them are... 1W, 3W, 5W, etc.

None of the lights in the car are on the CAN bus. What is being sold as a CAN? Bus LED just means the LED has some circuitry in it that mimics the resistance of the non-LED bulb it is replacing. And because of that circuitry these LEDs are advertised to not generate light faults.

These faults, detected by the BCM, would be reported via CAN bus to other modules in the car... Obviously the dashboard and the vehicle status screen of the infotainment. But also some places you might not expect... brake light faults, for instance are reported to the distance regulation (adaptive cruise control) module. So if a brake light is out, adaptive cruise control (which you will have retrofitted if you have it on a TDI) will not work.

Long story long, "can bus LED" is really just a marketing term, and it might even cost you some money to have it in the product description, but it should just mean that a given LED will not cause a lighting fault. And if you have OBD11 or VCDS, you can just change the light type for that channel, or turn off error reporting for a channel altogether if you want to take the "nuclear" approach.
 

740GLE

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when "non-resistor" LEDS are installed there is ghosting that can happen, so it may not be "CAN system" system does send out a weak voltage and measure current and then flag if its abnormal.

My old Mk5 said the headlight was dead, i knocked it and the error went away, did that 3 times before the bulb finally burned out, smart system in there.
 
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