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3rd Brake light bulbs.

Machiner 55

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What happens when you put the wrong bulbs in the 3rd Brake light assembly?

Well... let me show ya.


This is another example of work performed by "Professionals".

This car came with a stack of receipts.

In that stack is a work order showing that these bulbs were changed.

How hard would it have been to install the correct bulb?

No need to answer. Rhetorical you know.

All work done on this car is suspect. I'm glad that I have the receipts.

It lets the PO off the hook for the work performed.

He probably blames GM for a poorly built car when in fact it was the yahoos that performed the repairs.

John F.



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I don't know what the difference in heat would be between #1141 and #1156 bulbs, but it seems that it would take a lot of "ON" time to melt the lens like that. I do agree that correct bulbs should be used. Were the brake lights stuck on? Did driver ride the brake pedal? Are the pads worn down?....... Just some thoughts.. Jim

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A quick search show the 1141 bulb is rated at 18.4 W 1.4 amps......the 1156 bulb is 27 Watt / 2.1 amps

The wattage is almost 1/3 more and it draws 1/4 more current. all this creats heat.

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Thank you for checking on this. It's obvious that the bulbs used were incorrect for the application. There's a reason the fixture had the bulb number molded onto it. The engineers who designed the system knew in advance that a larger wattage bulb would cause a problem. It never ceases to amaze me that some yahoo with a wrench in his pocket thinks he's smarter than the engineer/designer of the system. Couple that with the fact that the bulbs were made in China where QC is always suspect, who knows for sure what the true power consumption in them is. (They probably contain copious amounts of lead too)

A lesson to all. If a manufacturer takes the time energy and money to incorporate usage data information on a part, you'd better damn well abide by it. You are NOT smarter that them. As an example, they are held liable if the brake light switch sticks closed and the car catches fire before the battery runs down. Just because a part fits, doesn't mean it's the correct one. These are the types of things that must be considered before the design leaves the engineers table.

I had a store room parts guy get pissed off at me for often times asking him to look up and order a particular part because we no longer, or ever, had it in stock. I didn't know why until one day he accused me of "always trying to change things" instead of using what we had available and in stock. I told him I wasn't trying to change things but keep them as they are. Until such time as someone could convince me that "what we have on hand" was equal to or better that what the application called for I was going to continue having him order stuff. Be it a part, bearing, nut, bolt, screw, or whatever, that came off the machine I wasn't going to settle for anything less.

John F.


I'm 57. I'll be 58 in November. (I think 58 comes after 57, right?) I fear more, not having the ability to work on stuff or having to rely on someone else, more than I fear death itself.

One more thing. The brake light assembly I replaced the one in my '90 with came from an '88. So the assumption is that they are all the same for all model years. This doesn't include convertibles.

Edited by Machiner 55
Added "One more thing." (see edit history)
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