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Ambient lighting and mystery LED wiring


jc_zs
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Hello, new to the forum. I became the proud owner of a 63 plate Zetec S on Friday.

It's been a bit of an eventful weekend, having owned the car less than 24 hours someone has scuffed the wheel arch/back bumper on the drivers side. So slight i'm not sure what did it, possibly not a car.

More to the point, I have been looking into the ambient lighting. Which doesn't appear to do much, only I discovered that the previous owner has very kindly wired in some LED strips into the footwell. The passenger side appears to be dead, and the driver's side has three working LEDs so the wiring at least half-works. Only i've no idea what it's wired into.

I was going to guess the courtesy light, which has also been converted to blue/white LED with the reading lights (rear light is still yellow) but nothing I had a play with turned the strip off. I've seen a guide to doing the lighting that used the courtesy light, but these cables disappear under the front of the car somewhere. Wondered if anyone had any ideas without me taking things apart (with no clue what i'm doing)

Think the best plan is to buy some strips and see if they work. I've uploaded some images, i'll work out how to link them into posts later.

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19510616_10154965273108167_8076919615766093907_n.jpg

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The wires may go up behind the dash and then up the A pillars, under the head liner and wired to the courtesy light. To find out just switch the courtesy light to off so it doesn't come on when you open the door. If the LED doesn't light then that's what they have done. If you are getting new strips then you will need to cut the old wires and join the new strip. This can be done at floor level as the access is easier. Either solder the join, bullet connectors or heat shrink. If you are feeling ambitious then run a wire into the back too. I got brace and ran a wire into each of the front doors and put a bright white strip under the door pocket to light the ground when you open the door, and a red strip on the outer edge of the trim to shine out as a warning light to other cars in the dark.


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I just installed some of these and used the existing bulb holders in the footwell to wire them up seeing as the circuitry is all in place in my car. The footwell lighting activates when one opens the doors and turns off when you lock or start the car. If your car has bulb holders in the footwell, they may be wired into them from behind.

 

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I just installed some of these and used the existing bulb holders in the footwell to wire them up seeing as the circuitry is all in place in my car. The footwell lighting activates when one opens the doors and turns off when you lock or start the car. If your car has bulb holders in the footwell, they may be wired into them from behind.
 


Lol, I missed the easy option! Didn't cross my mind about having bulb holders in the footwell already. My wife's Titanium doesn't have them and it's a 16 plate.


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Just now, Jonro2009 said:

 


Lol, I missed the easy option! Didn't cross my mind about having bulb holders in the footwell already. My wife's Titanium doesn't have them and it's a 16 plate.


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My car is a 58 MKII facelift zetec focus, when upside down in my footwell working out how to install the led strips, I was surprised to see the bulb holders there, and even more surprised to find out the worked lol

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Thanks. An omission on my part as I didn't notice, then again neither did the main dealer I bought it off.

The black/red cables from the strips are connected to another cable with a grey cloth type braiding, the courtesy light doesn't affect it, starting up does though. I'm guessing they were probably for the original bulb holders.

I've not messed about with it up to now as I don't exactly mix well with electricity. Considering whether to get rid or just fix them properly. 

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Get the dealer to repair the mess they sold you.

Just the latest example of why a specialist AA or RAC check is essential when buying a used car.  You wouldn't drop big money on a house without a survey, so why drop big money in a car without one?

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If you follow the wires and see where they are joined to you will know what you are dealing with. If it is a bulb holder then it's likely to be a W5W socket and you can disconnect whatever is bodged into it and use something like the link below, then plug in an LED strip

Truck Car Auto T10 W5W LED Bulb Light Wire Harness Adapter 10 Pcs https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00B2ZC5MI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_jz7vzbGJ6JXD9


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On 7/1/2017 at 7:37 AM, Jethro_Tull said:

Get the dealer to repair the mess they sold you.

Just the latest example of why a specialist AA or RAC check is essential when buying a used car.  You wouldn't drop big money on a house without a survey, so why drop big money in a car without one?

Sussed it out. Found the little bulb holders in the footwell, the cables have been cut from them and the strips patched on. Evans Halshaw can sort it out. Could probably bodge the cables back up myself but i've paid them enough for a proper job.

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Sussed it out. Found the little bulb holders in the footwell, the cables have been cut from them and the strips patched on. Evans Halshaw can sort it out. Could probably bodge the cables back up myself but i've paid them enough for a proper job.


Good idea, hopefully they don't go down the 'sold as seen' route. If they do ask them to show you that on the contract/receipt you signed.


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What responsibility would the garage have to do anything though? It's a used vehicle, if it was new and it came out the factory like that then they absolutely would have to fix it. The act says car must be “of a satisfactory quality”, “fit for purpose” and “as described”. Please, don't get me wrong I think the dealer has got a responsibility to make it good but we all know what dealers are like even with new cars. I genuinely hope they sort it for you, but if they don't then come back here and I'm sure someone can help you with a work around that suits you.

That's interesting to know @Jethro_Tull I always thought sold as seen would be relevant but thinking about it, consumers have more rights now and quite right too. I'm thinking back when cars were handed over with 'sold as seen' on the paperwork lol


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