What are error free led bulbs and why are they needed? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 08-21-2016
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What are error free led bulbs and why are they needed?

What are CAN-bus Error Free LED bulbs?
CAN-bus Error Free LED bulbs are LED bulbs that have resistors that are internally/externally attached. European vehicles are the typical candidates for these types of LED bulbs as the electrical system on these European cars have sensors that detect whether the light is working or not. Since LED bulbs draw far less power than the stock filament bulbs, the vehicle’s computer may think that the bulb is out so it'll throw an "error message" or "bulb out" warning the driver that the light is out; thus the name "error free". The resistor’s job is to mimic the power draw of the stock incandescent bulbs to trick the computer to think that the bulbs are drawing the same rate of power so the vehicle does not throw any error messages.

Do I need error free bulbs?
If you own a European vehicle, you will most likely need error free bulbs. Many European vehicles such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Range Rover, Jaguar and many more use a CAN-bus (controller area network) system that monitors the activity of lights on the vehicle to detect if they are operating or not.

Since LED bulbs draw far less power than the stock bulbs, the vehicle’s can-bus system detects the low power draw and determines that the LED bulb is faulty. To stop this from happening, error free LED bulbs have resistors that are built into the light which mimic the power draw of the stock bulb which stops the error message from occurring.

Error free LED bulbs are most commonly used for exterior lights such as the turn signals, head lights, parking lights, license plate lights and more. Interior lights typically do not need error free bulbs, but for certain vehicles, it is required.


I have error free bulbs, but they still throw an error, why?
With vehicles that require error free LED bulbs, there is a specific way to install the lights to make sure that there is no error message. Please follow the steps below:
1. Take out the LED bulb and replace it with the stock bulb, turn on the vehicle, and confirm if the error message is cleared.
2. Turn off the vehicle and re-install the LED bulbs (make sure it is the correct side of polarity or else the vehicle will record the error message again). If the LED bulb is installed, but the polarity is incorrect, you will have to start the troubleshoot again from step one (1).
3. Close all the doors (trunk and hood if open as well), lock the vehicle, and wait 10-15 seconds. After this period, start up the car and turn on the lights to check for the error message.
This is a strange procedure to do, but what we have found in the past is that it does work out well for majority of the vehicles we’ve dealt with.


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#2 Old 05-27-2018
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For the newbies!


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#3 Old 11-03-2018
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I've been a professional vehicle test driver for ten years and I didn't know how to avoid error codes, I just thought I was buying INOP bulbs!

Under all that crust, there's still wet behind the ears!
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#4 Old 11-18-2018
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@jbanks15
Thanks for this information, Jeff.
So am I correct in understanding that an error-free LED bulb will not generate an error if the LED fails since the resistor is in parallel with the LED, or are these bulbs "smart enough" to take the resistor out of the circuit when the LED fails?
Greg
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#5 Old 11-18-2018
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If the led fails, you will get a dash message like
front side marker bad or whatever the terminology is

bad is bad, whether an led bulb or not

is that your question?


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#6 Old 11-19-2018
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@jbanks15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
If the led fails, you will get a dash message like
front side marker bad or whatever the terminology is

bad is bad, whether an led bulb or not

is that your question?
That's the way I would hope it would work. But, a CANbus Error Free LED is error free because there is an additional resistor in parallel with the LED, not in series, to provide a current that is detectable by CANbus. It looks to me that if the LED fails, current will still continue to flow thru the resistor. Therefore, the CANbus would not detect a failure unless there is something in the integrated chip that cuts the current to the resistor.

I guess my question boils down to this: Have you experienced a failure of a CANbus LED and has CANbus identified the failure?

Thanks,
Greg
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#7 Old 11-19-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchetta View Post
@jbanks15

That's the way I would hope it would work. But, a CANbus Error Free LED is error free because there is an additional resistor in parallel with the LED, not in series, to provide a current that is detectable by CANbus. It looks to me that if the LED fails, current will still continue to flow thru the resistor. Therefore, the CANbus would not detect a failure unless there is something in the integrated chip that cuts the current to the resistor.

I guess my question boils down to this: Have you experienced a failure of a CANbus LED and has CANbus identified the failure?

Thanks,
Greg
Yes Greg

If one of my license plate leds goes out, i get the message
left license bulb out

I can only speak of the led canbus error free bulbs I get from ijdmtoys

https://store.ijdmtoy.com
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#8 Old 11-20-2018
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Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
Yes Greg

If one of my license plate leds goes out, i get the message
left license bulb out

I can only speak of the led canbus error free bulbs I get from ijdmtoys

https://store.ijdmtoy.com
Thanks, Jeff. Based on your experience with these types of LED's I'll probably give them a try.
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#9 Old 11-20-2018
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led plates are 10-041
trunk interior are 10-105
parking lights were 10-036
footwell were 10-092
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#10 Old 11-21-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
led plates are 10-041
trunk interior are 10-105
parking lights were 10-036
footwell were 10-092
Thanks, Jeff, P/N's are very helpful.

Regarding headlights, I think you might have done the full fixture replacement with SPYDER. If not, did you replace any of the lights in the OEM fixture? I understand that there is a beam pattern concern with replacing the bulb in the projector lens, but I might consider doing the high beam, turn signal and fog.

And while on the subject, did you replace any of the rear lights, such as the backup and turn signal?

Thanks for your time and Happy Thanksgiving.
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#11 Old 11-21-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchetta View Post
Thanks, Jeff, P/N's are very helpful.

Regarding headlights, I think you might have done the full fixture replacement with SPYDER. If not, did you replace any of the lights in the OEM fixture? I understand that there is a beam pattern concern with replacing the bulb in the projector lens, but I might consider doing the high beam, turn signal and fog.

And while on the subject, did you replace any of the rear lights, such as the backup and turn signal?

Thanks for your time and Happy Thanksgiving.
My headlights are oem
nothing replaced except the egg yolk turn signals (replaced with chrome, turn amber when used) and the led parking lights

no rear lights replaced except interior trunk and license plate bulbs...all to leds

Happy gobble gobble to you and yours also!
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#12 Old 11-21-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
My headlights are oem
nothing replaced except the egg yolk turn signals (replaced with chrome, turn amber when used) and the led parking lights

no rear lights replaced except interior trunk and license plate bulbs...all to leds

Happy gobble gobble to you and yours also!
@jbanks15

If not too much trouble, P/N for egg yolk turn signal?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchetta View Post
@jbanks15

If not too much trouble, P/N for egg yolk turn signal?
you can get them on amazon and ebay

https://www.amazon.com/CPW-Chrome-Co.../dp/B01NAPWXFC
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#14 Old 11-21-2018
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Another one

https://www.amazon.com/3157-3057-335.../dp/B0090NF8AK
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#15 Old 11-21-2018
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you can get them on amazon and ebay

https://www.amazon.com/CPW-Chrome-Co.../dp/B01NAPWXFC
I did not get them from ijdmtoys.

don't believe they carry em
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