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Want to replace the fairly dull incandescent bulbs in my 2011 Ford Taurus with LED retrofit bulbs

Discussion in '2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology' started by Jessey, February 26, 2018.

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    1. Jessey

      Jessey New Member

      February 25, 2018
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      Ford, 2018 ECOSPORT
      On a whim, I decided to replace the fairly dull incandescent bulbs in my 2011 Ford Taurus with LED retrofit bulbs. This was working fine until I got to dome light over the rear seats. The dome light has three bulbs, 2 of the bulbs have individual switches and sit in rotating mounts on the outside of the unit. The third turns on only when a door is opened, and sits in the center of the unit.

      When I replaced all three incandescent bulbs with LED replacements, I found that the outside 2 lights stayed on continuously, were not affected by the switches that were supposed to control them, and stayed on after the car was turned off (the car will cut all power to the interior after a set period of time when the car is locked, and this is the only time that they would turn off).

      I know that some cars require a resistor to be soldered inline to LED bulbs in order to function correctly, so I measured the original bulb at 6-ohms and sourced 2 5.1-ohm resistors to solder inline with the outside bulbs. This did not fix the problem.

      But wait, there's more. In the spirit of testing, I put the incandescent bulbs back into the 2 outside sockets, and they were now staying on (the LED in the middle was still functioning correctly). I had thought the unit may be defective, until I put the LED's back into the outside sockets and put an incandescent bulb in the center socket, and the unit functioned correctly. The LED bulbs were now turning on and off, and even dimming.

      Realizing now that the LED bulb in the center socket was the culprit, I soldered in a 5.1-ohm resistor on the ground wire from the center socket — this did not solve the problem and the outside lights went back to being constantly on. So, I soldered in a couple more 22-ohm resistors I had laying around, topping out at a measured 51-ohms. This still had no effect on the outside bulbs, though it did take the incandescent bulb from 12.2v to a rather dim 2.8v and the LED from 12.2v to 9.8v.

      To summarize (TLDR):

      • When center bulb is incandescent, outside bulbs work fine.
      • When center bulb is LED, outside bulbs always on (don't respond to switches/turn off with car).
      • Center bulb functions as intended whether LED or incandescent.
      • Adding resistors (as specified above) did not change this.
      • These are the bulbs that were used, they are listed as being canbus friendly and are supposed to not give errors.
      • If it's not clear by now: I am not an engineer; I am merely an enthusiast with only a basic understanding of electricity and circuits.

      I appreciate any help that can be provided.


      Here are some photos of the bottom side of the PCB


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    3. domct203

      domct203 Elite Explorer

      October 11, 2017
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      Have you tried the resistors in parallel with the bulb (you have them in series now). That would better simulate the load of an incandescent bulb.
    4. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

      December 28, 2010
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      Welcome to the Forum Jessey.:wave:
      This is the 5th generation (2011 - 2019) Explorer forum. I suggest joining a Taurus forum. There are several out there. Here is just one I found with an Internet search; Ford Taurus Owners Forum


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