Problem with rear lights... any suggestions? - Smart Car Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Problem with rear lights... any suggestions?

Recently our drivers side brake light went out on our 2008 SmartCar. When removing the bulb I actually broke the bad bulb and then had a hard time getting the new bulb in.

Now both brake lights work. Both turn signals work BUT the problem is, at night when the headlights are on and the rear lights are on, the drivers side rear light doesn't work it works when braking and as a turn signal. It does not come on like the passengers side does. So now at night when driving down the roads with the headlights on, the back passenger light is on but the drivers light is not.

Has anyone experienced this?

Does anyone know if I can fix it or what I would need to order to fix it?

Is it possible part of the bulb isn't making the connection to light up at this time because when removing the bad bulb one of the prongs/things the bottom of the bulb touches somehow was bent and now is not touching?

All suggestions, insight, etc are extremely appreciated. I don't want my wife to get pulled over.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:10 AM
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Worse comes to worse left bulb carrier part number: A 451 820 03 77

When searching online for example you can use just the numbers and no spaces, or try adding the leading letter, again with no spaces.

I'm afraid I haven't touched the bulb in that position yet....
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:23 AM
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Your 1157 tailight bulbs have 2 filaments inside. One works for the turn signal/brake light and the other filament is just when your parking lights or headlights are on. Pull the bulb out of the right side of your Smart and try it in the faulty side. If that works you have a bad bulb. If it fails to light on the parking lights, you either have a dirty connection in the bulbs socket or a wire is broken. The Smart has a separate fuse for each side tailight, so you know. But since the brake/turn light works it's not a fuse or it wouldn't work either.
Get you a pencil that has a good eraser on the end of it. Remove the bulb and use the pencil eraser to "scrub" the 2 contacts inside the socket. That will shine them back up and clean them from rust or corrosion. Then try your bulb again. Remember the little spikes that stick out on the side of the bulb base are staggered on a 1157 bulb and it will only insert into the socket one way and still turn to lock the bulb in place. Also be sure that when the bulb goes in the socket that it is indeed twisting enough to "catch" inside the socket. They only twist a little bit, but if they don't twist quite enough you could be losing contact on one of the bulbs contacts on the end of the bulb base. I had a professor in my auto mmechanics class in college that used a potato to grab and turn a busted tailight bulb to get it out, but I never had much luck with that method. I always drive a wide flat screwdriver down in the center of the base or use needle nose pliers to twist the base as I was pushing down on the broken bulbs base. DCO
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:08 AM
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Sounds like a bad ground. When it goes bad, it grounds back through the bulb on the other side. Check the ground connections on both sides, and of course the wiring and bulbs on both sides. Also check any trailer wiring or accessories wired into the circuit as well as the fuses (mentioned earlier)
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:33 AM
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And DON'T touch the glass on the new bulb (use gloves)

The oils on your fingertips will dramatically shorten the bulb life.
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