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Thread: LED sidelight flashing - possible fix...

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb LED sidelight flashing - possible fix...

    Hi all,

    I got my 2007 SRi CDTi on Saturday. I did a welcome page but it got deleted when the forum went down.
    Anyway, after collecting the car, I straight away ordered HIDs, and LEDs for the sidelights and number plate before reading this forum...! Silly mistake.

    I read everything about the LEDs flashing so decided to try it for myself to get a better understanding - you're all right, they flash after turning lights off, locking car etc etc.

    Now, me being me, I can't just bung filament bulbs back in and forget about it, so I've had a think and come up with a 'theory', but I'm no electrician so would like advice from you guys please!

    The LEDs I've got have built in resistors which prevent the error warning on the dash no problem, so why do they flash?
    People say that it's because the bulb checking system sends pulses of current round the car to check the bulbs every few seconds, and this current is very small, not enough to illuminate a filament bulb, but enough to illuminate an LED.


    My theory....
    If you fit a capacitor in parallel with the LED bulb, the capacitor should store all the current that's being sent round then discharge the current when the lights are next turned on.

    The only downside, if this works, would be that when you turn off your lights, the capacitor will discharge before the LED goes out, so the LED will stay lit for approx half a second or so. Not much of an issue really.

    I looked online earlier and with the help of a Yahoo answer, I did some very approximate calculations and it would appear that for the LEDs to stay on for 0.5seconds after turning off, we would need approximately a 900uF (micro Farad) capacitor in parallel with each LED.

    Only thing is though, I'm not sure if this is enough capacitance to store the current from the bulb-check.
    Or, when the capacitor fills up, for example on a long journey with lights off, will the bulbs flash intermittently, but at much greater intervals than without the capacitor?


    Like I say, this is a theory that my non-electrically-minded mind has come up with, so no guarantees it will work, but I'll be giving it a go in the next couple of weeks anyway.

    You can buy capacitors and Scotchloks from RS Components so if you want to give it a go, feel free!
    Or if you have advice like... 'don't be stupid, that would never work', or 'you're a genius', you'll put my mind at rest!


    Thanks,
    James

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    Sounds good logic to me, exactly what i was thinking. I will be attempting the same thing with Leds soon so keep me posted! 900 sounds easily enough to me....

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    Regular Member Dazzy2006's Avatar
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    It might work - might not but the question is why?

    seems alot of hassle just to get led lights to work, i think u can get mtec 501 sidelight bulbs which give off a crisp white light which nearly match hids

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    the lights stop flashing after a while anyway dont they?

    mine do this with LED sidelights, but they stop after maybe 30 seconds, i assumed it might be somthing to do with the alarm arming?

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    Full Member Big Sig's Avatar
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    If your going to all that trouble then just leave the std lamps in there tucked away and connect the LEDs up aswell

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    Regular Member ChrisBilly's Avatar
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    What Big Sig said. You can hide/tuck away the filament bulb, to keep the warning off, then run a wire to the led's from the interior illumination circuit. I've wired my led bumper lights, footwell lights and grab handle lights to the cig lighter socket illumination (i think grey/yellow wire) so they all come on when I unlock with key press and side light switch.

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    Regular Member Dazzy2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Sig View Post
    If your going to all that trouble then just leave the std lamps in there tucked away and connect the LEDs up aswell
    - u could also do what a few other forum members have done and fit the original sidelights in the fogs

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    Full Member Leemarksmith's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra

    Trim : SRi (VXR Styling)

    Engine : Z19DTH (Re-mapped)

    Year : 04

    Mileage : 110k

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    Hardwire from the illumination grey/yellow wire... Takes 30 mins and no errors...

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    Thanks for all the replies guys.

    Regarding the yellow/grey wires from the interior illumination for the cigarette lighter, if I hardwired this, would the sidelights be on all the time?
    I want the LEDs to just work as normal sidelights, not on all the time.

    My most favourable idea so far is the capping of the standard bulbs and adding in LEDs. The only issue is I would have to purchase a pair of 501 bulb holders.

    How do these ideas work with the number plate bulbs too?

    Thanks for your help,
    James

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    Full Member Leemarksmith's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra

    Trim : SRi (VXR Styling)

    Engine : Z19DTH (Re-mapped)

    Year : 04

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    What i did below....

    http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112369

    And no, the yellow/grey is for dash illumination, so the new side light holders will only be on when you turn the light switch and the dash comes on...

    Also the side lights will now come on with the fob when you 1st unlock the car, same as the dash. which i think is pretty cool too. Any questions just ask

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