Recurrent tail light bulbs shattering.

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Old 04-26-10, 07:36 AM
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Recurrent tail light bulbs shattering.

Howdy all. I'm experiencing a rather odd problem with my tail light bulbs on my 2005 PT Cruiser. 3-4 months or so ago, I had to replace one of my tail light bulbs. That in itself is hardly unusual, though the bulb was shattered through on one side, which is something I've never seen before.

This weekend, I just found out that both of my tail lights were out. I replaced the bulbs again, and as before, the bulbs were both shattered on one side. Additionally, one of them had some yellowish residue coating the filament and the side of the bulb directly opposite from the shattered side.

So… I'm a bit concerned that something is going on with the vehicle. The bulb I had already replaced shouldn't have gone bad so quickly. I was quite careful to avoid contaminating it with my fingers when I put it in. I also did some searching of some PT Cruiser enthusiast forums, and I am by no means the first person to experience this, though the cause isn't known. One person insisted it was from condensation building up inside the assembly, something I find hard to believe since this would be a far more widespread issue if it was. The assembly has no apparent cracks, and the interior where the bulb sits in is clean. My gut instinct is that this is electrical, although I'm not certain that an electrical problem would cause a bulb to blow out like these have. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 04-26-10, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
One person insisted it was from condensation building up inside the assembly, something I find hard to believe since this would be a far more widespread issue if it was.

It actually is....The condensation comes from the drip rails, past the lamp housings, and into the seam of the tailight.

If there are no cracks in the lens, a "Light Smear" of clear silicone along the seam where the lens meets the housing should get you fixed.

As far as electrical, the only way to shatter a bulb would be excessive voltage....which would most definitely cause other symptoms in other systems.
 
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Old 04-26-10, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
It actually is....The condensation comes from the drip rails, past the lamp housings, and into the seam of the tailight.

If there are no cracks in the lens, a "Light Smear" of clear silicone along the seam where the lens meets the housing should get you fixed.

As far as electrical, the only way to shatter a bulb would be excessive voltage....which would most definitely cause other symptoms in other systems.
I certainly would have thought that an electrical problem wouldn't be so… isolated… to the tail lights, so that's a relief. Besides condensation, one of the possible causes that had been suggested was water from being in a car wash. I don't know how long my lights have been out, but that is an open possibility since it hasn't been too long since I ran it through one, and the last time the bulbs went out may have been right after having gone through one. I'm going to test that out for kicks before putting the silicone on since I have a spare set of bulbs handy already. Thanks for the info!
 
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