My 2000 Ford Taurus SE Wagon is suddenly eating through rear brakelights
(both left _and_ right) like they're candy. Is there an _easy_ way of
finding where the short sending a surge through to the bulb might be without
tearing my car apart?
Get a voltage check on your system first. If it is normal at average
RPM's, then recall where you bought replacement lamp bulbs. Quality
varies, so you may simply have some foreign made types with poor
durability. Using the wrong bulb has sometimes been reported as the
problem (if have a dual filament in a single socket) although it is
not clear why that is so.
I doubt it is a short that is sending the surge. What is the voltage coming
from the alternator? That is the fist thing to check. Next is the bulbs
themselves. Are they from the same batch? In the case of defective bulbs,
try another brand from a different sweat shop in China.
Could be the regulator in the alternator is not working properly and you are
getting voltage surges. Auto bulbs can usually take higher than the normal
14.4 you see in a 12V system.
I had a similar thing with my Mom's car, was blowing bulbs at a rapid
rate. Two things were the problem. First, I was using a discount brand
of bulb. Dad got some real ones, which worked better. Second, the
ground connection wasn't quite touching the bulb. I had to put a bit
of electrical tape on the other side of the bulb to force it over a
bit, so it would touch the ground connection more firmly.
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