Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fun with Lights......not!!

Many of you may be aware that we were having some difficulty with our lights on the way home. For some reason we had lost some illumination, but retained other functions.

It was a little bit weird, we had turn signals but no clock light, brake lights but no ashtray light (we keep change there for "drive-thru and toll" ready access) and no glove box light. Most distressingly our taillights were not working and when rolling through the american countryside at 75-80mph before the sun comes up, taillights would be an advantage. We stopped in a couple places to try and remedy the problem, and eventually ended up "Googling" the issue.

It turned out to be a fuse in an unconventional location, which promptly blew again as soon as soon as it was replaced. Further diagnosis was necessary.

The trailer was duly unhitched and I replaced the fuse again. Everything came back on, okay the problem lies with the trailer wiring.

A trip to Walmart yielded a new set of lights. we had been limping along with the original set for the last two years, and had made numerous shrink wrap and baling wire roadside repairs. The kit came with lights with integral side and license plate lights, and all necessary wiring.

Of course things are never as easy as one imagines on setting out. Some persuasion was required to convince the old lights that they needed to give up their place for the new set. A hacksaw comes in handy for this sort of encouragement!!

Old lights removed, new wiring pulled and old wiring discarded it was time to test out the new lights. To my intense satisfaction everything worked....almost.

All lights were working except the left turn indicator. Further diagnosis showed that the problem was at the car, where a module had been wired in when the hitch was installed. The left turn signal works on the car, but the signal is not generated as far as the wiring connector to the trailer. Okay fans....time to get creative!!!

A small piece of wire was formed as a bridge jumper between the left and right turn terminals. This means in effect that all the lights work as intended on the car, and all the lights work on the trailer, but signalling a turn will result in both signals flashing at the back of the trailer.....................look out someone's turning some direction!!!

Hard to believe all this foolishness was caused by the left side trailer light wiring being abraded. This resulted in the dead short, the blown fuse and the fretting travelers racing across the northern US with no tail lights......eeeeek!

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