Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Hi,

Have just found that the brake lights and reverse lights on my Astra have stopped working. Tried changing a bulb or two, but makes no difference and anyway all the bulbs look ok.

HWMO took a look at the fuse box, and couldn't find a section for a fuse controlling both brake and reverse lights, but he's sure there must be one or at least hopes so, otherwise there could be a more sinister problem.

The fuse diagram thing has several indecipherable symbols on it, one of which might be the one we're looking for. So, I am told to ask, does anyone have any idea what fuse numbers control these lights?

Ta in advance for any help.
HF


"I'm very intelligent really, just got good at hiding it."
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Dynamic Dave
HF, before getting too carried away, are any lights working at the rear, or is it just the reverse and brake lights? The lights in question will be on separate fuses, so it seems unusual for both fuses to blow.

Looking in the fuse box again, the symbols you are looking for resemble similar likenesses to your high beam light on the dash - that being a \"D\" shape with lines coming off of the curved part of the symbol. And if you\'re really lucky, the symbol for the reverse light will have an \"R\" in the middle of the \"D\" and nopefully \"B\" for brake.

Vaugely from memory remembering back to my old Mk1 Astra, I\'m 99% certain the reverse lights and cigarette lighter shared the same fuse. However not sure if same applies to your Mk3 Astra. You could try checking to see if that still works. It goes without saying that the symbol on the fusebox lid will have a picture of a cigarette for that fuse.

If you\'re still stuck, I\'ll pop out and check the symbols on the fusebox lid of the Vectra for an idea of what you need to look for.
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Hi Dave, and thanks.

First, yes, all the other lights are working. And I guess as you say it's weird if both fuses have blown at the same time. (that's really helpful because we'd been thinking the two lights must have been on the same fuse for them to go at the same time).

From memory, there WERE a lot of symbols looking like high beam etc. There was no R or B, which makes it a little confusing!

The cig lighter is obvious - it has a picture of a cigarette on that, as you say! - so maybe that should be my first port of call.

I'll come back tomorrow and report any findings - in the meantime thanks for your offer to check the Vectra fusebox lid - it's highly likely that I will need you to do this, and it#s much appreciated.

HF
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Phil I
Sorry I cannot help with your lighting problems HF. I really think you are now about ready to purchase a Haynes Manual for your Astra or alternatively borrow from Library.

Happy Motoring Phil I
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Phil - you are correct of course! I should do it. I do think the advice given here is far more comprehensive and helpful than anything I've seen in a Haynes manual so far though ;)

HF
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Dynamic Dave
Unless you're good at reading circuit diagrams the Haynes manual won't be a lot of good to help identify what fuse protects what circuit. For this you really need the cars handbook, which will contain a full listing of fuses and the circuits they protect.

Surely there must be someone out who owns a Mk3 Vauxhall Astra (1992 to 1998 model) and wouldn't mind looking through the handbook at the fuse section for HF? Come on, don't be shy ;o)
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Andy P
IIRC, doesn't the handbook list all the fuses, ratings and where they are in the fusebox?


Andy
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - volvoman
The advice given here is good but it can be a lot easier to look at a picture/diagram so I reckon a Haynes manual is essential especially given your experiences with cars and the fact you'll probably be keeping the Astra for some time. B-I-L has the handbook doesn't he ? Have you still not asked him for it ? If not, why not ? Can't you just give him a call and see if he can send it or fax the relevant pages ?
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Morning all,

Well all the fuses seem to be ok, so it becomes a little more mysterious. Can anyone think of any other reason why these two things have both failed at the same time? Is it another job for my friendly local mechanic?

As far as the handbook goes (and Dave you are quite right in your assumption about me and circuit diagrams) - no V, my B-I-L doesn't have one, don't you think I'd have asked him for it by now if he did? ;) I ordered one ages ago which didn't turn up, and had really forgotten all about it till now.

HF
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - volvoman
no V, my B-I-L doesn't have one, don't you think I'd have
asked him for it by now if he did? ;) HF >>



NOPE ! ;-)
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Dynamic Dave
Well all the fuses seem to be ok,
Can anyone think of any other reason why these two things
have both failed at the same time?


Right, next thing to check is the wiring in the boot. It might be something as simple as a partially separated multiplug connector. Look at the rear of the light cluster and check the wires are fully clipped home, and then follow the wires to see if they lead to a common connecting block, and make sure that is also fully clipped together as well.

With all your antics of climbing in and out of the boot a while ago when you door lock siezed up, you might have inadverntally dislodged a wire that has only now developed a fault.
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Rob the Bus {P}
Thanks for your answers so far, folks. HF and I are totally bamboozled by this as all connectors are ok, all fuses are intact and all bulbs are fine.

One question that may be relevant, though. The connection set up for each side appears to be different - on the n/s there is simply a lot of wiring and connector blocks (all of which seem ok) but on the o/s there are just two wires and a black box that is screwed to a brackety thing. What is this? Could this be the culprit?

It is looking more and more that HF's friendly mechanic may have to have a look - more pink fluffy dice expense! (Own pfd!)

Cheers

Rob

"I'm built for comfort, not speed"
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - volvoman
I think it's more likely to be the antics they've been up to since RTB migrated that are the cause of the problem :-)
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Rob the Bus {P}
Ooooooh, cheeky.......! ;-)

Seriously, if anybody does know how to cure the problem, then there\'s a pint or two in it for you (and maybe a packet of lardy pork scratchings too).

Cheers

Rob
\"I\'m built for comfort, not speed\"
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Just dragging this thread down to a level that I can understand again - is my car actually illegal to be driving in its present condition?

Will be needing to drive it Monday which, it seems, will arrive before the problem has been sorted.

HF
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Dynamic Dave
Having no brake lights is an offence, although I'm not quite sure whether or not hand signals can be used instead as a temporary measure.

Reverse lights aren't compulsary.
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Northern Gasman
Sorry but you will find reversing lights as well as brake lights, have to be working in order to comply with the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 (SI 1989 No 1796) which is covered by the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Basically if reversing lights are fitted they have to be in working order.

More importantly, brake lights. If someone runs into the back of you, then claims your lights were not operating. You will increase your proportion of blame.

Bestr of luck.
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Phil I
If you can find a local branch of what used to be the retail arm of J. Lucas (now goes under various names but most of the branches are LSUK - a division of AEW Ltd.) These are usually staffed by really nice gentlemen who work on Saturdays and can sort your problem out at the flash of an eyelid (or even something more personal) Don't phone up just go round and put on your best Helpless Female Outfit.

Take credit card or notes.

All the best Phil I
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Thanks to you all for the advice.

I'll try doing as you say Phil, and hope for the best ;)

Will come back and report if any progress.

Ta very much
HF
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Reporting anyway even though there's no progress.

Unfortunately the nearest LSUK branch to here is in Tunbridge Wells, which is around 17 miles away - which, bearing in mind the legal and insurance implications mentioned above, I felt was a little too far away to risk driving to.

So I guess it's the local man on Monday - unless any of you geniuses out there can think of anything else I can try/check in the meantime?

Any more suggestions very gratefully received as always.

HF
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - sean
I'm sure everyone knows this anyway, but for completeness, the old Lucas is LSUK which means Lucas Service United Kingdom.
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Big Vern
I have had problems with the wiring loom connectors on my Vectra, especially the connector to the reversing sensor. This was very fustrating to diagnose the 1st time round! Take the connector of the reverse sensor on the gearbox and short out the two pins with the ignition on but engine not started, if the reversing lights work this shows that the loom and fuses is fine, if not work back along the loom shorting out or putting 12V on the wire as required until the lamp lights. The reversing sensor comes out quite easily if you have a deep socket, you can then push the ball of the switch and ensure that the two terminals are shorted when the ball is pushed in and open when not. if the loom is fine and the switch is fine (also helps if you can ensure the switch is operated correctly by the gear box, but in the vectra you need long flexible arms!!) then the only thing left is the connector. I fixed mine by bending then pins of the 2 way connector into a slight wave and tining with a bit of solder to increase the diameter of the pin to inprove the contact.

If you are not happy doing this then phone an auto electrican. I am sure they are aware how crap the multi pin connectors are in Vx cars.

Good luck
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Thanks very much for your suggestions, BV.

To be honest this is way above my technical capabilities, but I might be able to get someone to take a look for me later.

Failing that, I will do as you say and seek an electrician, although circumstances beyond my control now mean that it will be a few days before I can do this.

Will come back later to update on the above.

Cheers
HF
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Deryck Tintagel
I haven\'t read the whole thread in great detail but have you checked the brakelamp switch just above the brake pedal? If not try removing the connector from the switch, turn the ignition to ACC and short the pins on the wiring harness connector. If all is well the lamps should come on.

Alternatively, with the ignition in the ACC position try connecting the earth side of the brakelamp bulb directly to ground using a known good chassis connection. Without looking at the wiring diagram for the car I would say that the 12V side to the bulb should be a red (or possibly black idicating ignition feed) wire with a trace colour, and the earth side should be brown with a trace colour. Connect to the brown wire only!

If the bulb now illuminates the problem is either the switch or the wiring to the switch. If it doesn\'t illuminate then you may have a 12V supply fault
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Thanks very much Deryck, no I haven't made the checks you suggest. Again, way too technical for me, but I am going to print this page out and get someone to try everything suggested.

Cheers
HF
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
You havent changed any bulbs at the rear lately have you? Almost weekly occurence to find incorrect type of bulbs fitted ie one or two contact bulbs interposed or stop/tail bulb fitted to a single filament holder etc...
Andrew


Simplicate and add lightness!
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Phil I
Whilst you've been messing about pinging and MSDossing what have you done about your rear lights??? :-)

Phil I
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Andrew - no, it's a while now since I changed any of the bulbs - and I'm sure I did it correctly, as they worked fine at the time.

Phil - well the checks suggested above are unfortunately way above the capabilities of HWMO too, so a garage is the only option. However, for reasons irrelevant to this site, I got rather stitched up over some money last week and as a result cannot afford to take the car anywhere just yet.

Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - SpamCan61 {P}
I wonder if the brake & reversing light failures happened at the same time? If not then I suppose there is a possibility that in both cases the actuating switches are at fault, rather than the bulbs / wiring, but would be flippin' unlikely for them both to fail at once....
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Hi,

Dragging this up again because I have finally taken the car in to be sorted.

SpamCam, it sounds like you are right, because the mechanic tells me the switches for both the reverse lights and the brake lights need replacing.

No idea why they have both gone at the same time, or, I guess *if* they actually did - some have told me that reverse lights are not checked at MOT.

Anyway, I am quoted £49 (not sure if that's with or without VAT cos HWMO took the call) for the job, and have left car there to be done, as I don't really have any other choice.

Does that sounds a reasonable price for 2 switches? Absolutely no idea. Just am annoyed, a few weeks after paying out loads for the MOT, that I am having to fork out again.

Any opinions gratefully received, as always :)

HF
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Dynamic Dave
HF, yes it sounds a mystery why both switches failed at the same time, but £49 doesn't sound too bad a price. I guess it would take approx ½ hour to do the job, and looking at the autovaux website, a reverse light switch costs £3.95. No mention of a brake light switch price though, but I guess a similar price. Prob a fiver each from a Vaux dealer.
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - Mark (RLBS)
>>because I have finally taken the car in to be sorted.

\"finally\" is about right. About 3 weeks without brake lights ? tut tut.
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - HF
Dave - thanks. I guess I'm just not used to paying 'normal' prices, and it just bugs me that this has happened so soon after getting it MOT'd.

Mark - I know, I know - but I didn't actually say I've been driving it since the lights failed, did I?!
Oh no!!! Not more Astra problems?..... - volvoman
Mark - IME HF doesn't drive fast enough to need her brakes all that often ;-)

HF - you mean you've been letting RTB drive it with no brake/reversing lights :-)
 

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