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cruise control, fog light switch bulb question


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7 replies to this topic

#1 hohieu

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 01:06 PM

I'm taking care of some annoying minor but annoying things on my 99 forester. The illumination on the cruise control switch, located on the dash below the left most vent along with the fog light and heated mirror switches, was out -- the orange on/of indicator light still worked.

I took the switches out to find two tiny bulbs for each switch that screw in similarly to the bulbs in the instument cluster, except much smaller. The on/off bulbs have brown backs while the illuminating ones have black ones. I tried replacing the bad bulb in the cruise control switch with a working one from the heated mirrors switch to verify it was just a bulb issue, and it burned out the bulb? So now I have two bad bulbs.

Two questions:

The bulbs I need are marked TSN & and TSE on the plastic backs but look identical. Are they indeed different?

And are these dealer only items?

#2 ferret

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 01:22 PM

Only difference should be the colored "lense" over the bulb giving it the green, or no lense so it's white.

Go to Radio Shack, and in their drawers of discreet parts, find a 12v 'grain of wheat' bulb. 2 to a package. Either $1.29 or 1.99 for a package. Then remove the old bulb from the base, bend the wires around the old base, transfer the colored lense 9 covering and cut the wires.

#3 hohieu

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 02:02 PM

cool, thanks ferret!
$1.49 for two 12v/60mA bulbs, which are shorter but are brighter than the oem ones. My car has orange coverings for on/off indicator bulb and none for illuminating bulbs -- the buttons themselves must have a green in them.

It's a good idea to disconnect the battery or at least turn the ignition to off when removing and replacing the bulbs as it's very easy to short them out. I thought there might have been a short in the wiring, but I shorted a couple of the bulbs when removing them. Good thing I bought some spares.

#4 ron917

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 04:07 PM

Has anyone tried fitting LEDs into the switches? I have enough switch bulbs out now so that it's becoming an annoyance - fog lamp switch, hazard flasher switch, both seat heaters. The HVAC control lamps were out for a while, but came back to life on thier own :confused:

Mine's a '99 Outback, if it matters.

#5 porcupine73

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 10:28 PM

LED's should be doable. Just use the right size resistor in series. R=V/I
So for example if your LED wants 20mA @ 2V and you are running it off a 12.8V system, the proper resistor is R=(12.8-2V)/.020A = 540 ohms.

#6 ron917

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 12:23 PM

I know about current limiting resistors and such, so no issue there. I'm more curious about what size LEDs and resistors would fit best in there, and how to mount them. This will be yet another project to go on the list of things to do after I redo the upstairs bathroom, new garage doors, rebuild the deck, paint the house, etc.

#7 porcupine73

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 04:16 PM

Cool. Yes for space, maybe those little pin size LED's would work well. The power dissipation for the resistor is say 20mA*10.8V=216mW, so 1/4 watt resistor should work. 1/8W would be nice because they're small but they can't take the load, not continuously anyway.

Maybe there's some new fancy LED's made for vehicles that can just run on 12-14V?

#8 Commuter

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 02:34 PM

For those interested...

There is a big looooong FAQ sticky on this topic.

Commuter




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