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Discussion Starter #1
Hi lads and lasses,

i haven't posted for a while so firstly apologies for that.

I am hoping one of you can help me out or give me a little advice.
I have had this car a while now and the reverse light has never worked. I've tried changing the bulbs, checking the fuses and today i have replaced the reverse light switch... still no joy.
I'm assuming there is obviously a wiring problem somewhere but cant see any obvious signs on the short length of wire that's visible before it disappears off into the loom.

So can anyone give me advice of where to start and also as im fairly inexperienced when it comes to wiring i wanted to know if i could just cut the connecting block off the wiring loom and run this direct to the battery (with an in-line fuse) to save me the hassle of locating the fault?

Thanks
 

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have you got a multi-meter?

check for 12v at:

-the connector where the bulb sits
-fuse
-both sides of switch

from where you identify 0v, turn the multimetre to Ohms/resistance and do a resistance check of the wire. typically it will show 0.6 as a good wire. 1 means its crap and that wire is broken.
 

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I had this problem after the garage fitted my new flywheel and clutch. I checked and replaced bulbs first, checked fuse then went to the switch. The switch looked fine but I cleaned it and inside of the plug. It worked fine there after but took a few attempts to clean it fully.

Dont bother with contact cleaner.. I used GT 85 but Im sure WD 40 will do the same. I beleive the switches are ok in general, its the crap that gets up inside the spades of the harness that foul up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for your reply guys.

i havent got a multimeter unfortunately.

i will clean the connector block with wd-40 tomorrow to see if that helps. to clean the actual switch itself due i just give it a good soaking?

also is it worth wd-40ing the actual hole where the switch inserts?

cheers
 

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Personally I wouldnt remove the switch and clean. Im not sure, but I wouldnt want any unspecified fluids other than gearbox oil going into the gearbox.

Give the switch a massive soak, use tissue to mop up any left overs but I dont think its a problem if you dont get it all off. The harness and up inside of the spades I found to be the problem area for mine, give that a big blast and let the fluid run out for a few minutes.

If that doesnt work, Id go about testing if the harness connections are making a circuit... either a multi meter or a simple bulb with some wires going to each spade should do it. The harness is constantly live and you shouldnt need to select reverse for the connection to show as live, the switch is there for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Btw this might sound like a stupid question but when I'm cleaning the electrical connector I'm guessing I have to disconnect the battery (both neg and pos) before doing so?
 

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I never have... and never blown any fuses or caused any bsi faults. i think as long as the cars off and the circuit isnt live, ur fine
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again samwell.

I've give everything a good soaking (also soaked the old switch to try both on car) but still nothing working so looks like ok doing to have to buy a multimeter to check these wires out..
 

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No need for a multimeter... use one of these things, hell of a lot cheaper and simpler to use. im borrowing one at the moment... the end is pointed and pierces the wire but doesnt damage it...:

Check out this item I found on eBay: End time: Oct 20, 2012 8:20:23 PM Item: 6 - 24V ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT TESTER AUTOMOTIVE TEST CIRCUITS ALLIGATOR CLIP URL: http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=280851753009 Alt URL: 6 - 24V ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT TESTER AUTOMOTIVE TEST CIRCUITS ALLIGATOR CLIP | eBay (Sent from eBay Mobile for Android)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well..what a can of worms I've opened here...

again any advice would be great.

On lending a multimeter I have found that I have a permanent live to the reverse bulb holder. it is at a constant 12v even when reverse it not selected. what's even stranger though is when you place a bulb in it only gives out about 1.4 volts?

So there sounds like there is a wiring problem somewhere.

can anybody give me any advice where to start?
 

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Well, i had written a nice long reply to this but it seems to have dissapeared... probably my phone playing up! Grr. ok, well basically i said try a bsi reset, it sounds deeper and darker than simple electrics, but i could be wrong and thats all i have left to think of... good luck!
 
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Simpliest check of all of reverse light switch.

Remove the connector and fit a jumper wire between the two connector terminals, turn ignition on. Check if lights are working, if not, either the switch is faulty (usually) or there is a wiring problem

As regards removing the switch, no fluids will be spilt.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi David, I've checked and replaced the switch to no avail.

I'm just concerned that there's a permanent live to it even without the reverse light switch connected!

All the other lights work but could the bulb holder connection (the plug in at rear) be faulty?
 

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Hi. I know this thread is slightly old and I have stumbled across it. However, I was wondering if you managed to locate the issue as I am having the same problem. I have also got constant live even when not in reverse but the light doesn't come on.

Would be grateful if you could share. Thanks
 
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Hi. I know this thread is slightly old and I have stumbled across it. However, I was wondering if you managed to locate the issue as I am having the same problem. I have also got constant live even when not in reverse but the light doesn't come on.

Would be grateful if you could share. Thanks
I wouldn't read into the constant live thing too much, mine does it as well (first discovered when I tried to use an LED bulb) mine however does work correctly

Check switch first to make sure that's ok

I always assumed the constant live was for bulb failure warnings, sending a small amount of current that isn't enough to light a standard bulb but could be detected if the bulb failed
 

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reverse-light-switch-problems-25468

The rear left light cluster is a through point in the wiring loom on the way to the reversing light. One big plug in and three or more little ones out. Small brown plug out goes to reverse light. Pins can get pushed into the cluster housing and don't make contact with the plugs properly. Remove light cluster and follow green and red wire route through it. You may find that you have power to the big plug but not out of the little brown one due to dodgy contacts. Look at all the pins on the back of the light cluster and check they are all the same height. If one is shorter than the others in has been bent inwards and can be straightened simply by pushing it back from the inside of the light housing. The earth to the reversing light has to make contact through this arrangement so there are more connections than needed really. My Pug 205 suffered this as well as a failed switch. Fun! Had similar power on all the time but on the earth wire. ??? Just had to bend the bent pin back on the small brown plug and fit new switch. Reply to old post but may help. Cheers!:thumb:
 
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