Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone had problems replacing stock light bulbs with LEDs (longer life). I have the headliner out for insulation and thought I'd replace the front clearance bulbs while I'm at it. Will lower amperage LEDs confuse the CANBUS or cause other problems?
 

·
Registered
2014-159 HR in CT
Joined
·
3,748 Posts
Not sure of the clearance lights are monitored by CanBus.

I have read that some people either remove or put a switch inline with the fuse that feeds the clearance lights so they can be a little less "high profile" on certain roads.
Someone else here connected the red clearance lights in back to work like extra high-mounted brake lights, by using a relay.

I don't recall any CanBus issues.

The clearance lights are replaced from the outside of the van once you figure out how to reach them! >:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Not sure if this helps but on my sprinter led bulbs did cause problems with the canbus. When I changed the cargo area bulbs to led's they would never fully shut off, they had a slight glow.
The changed backup lights caused problems as did the tail lights.
The burned out bulb indicator was on all of the time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
904 Posts
I dont know the answer but as this is on my list of things to do ill be monitoring this thread for any info.

I purchased a new 2017 PM recently. I am AMAZED that it did not come with LED bulbs. It has me thinking that maybe I should have given the ford transit more serious consideration. If they were too cheap (or probably more likely too stupid) to use LED bulbs what other elements of the van are incorrectly engineered, archaic, or penny wise/pound foolish. I dont expect anyone to answer that as I have read about most of the issues here. Now I have a minor project on my hands to replace all of the PM bulbs with LEDs.
 

·
Registered
MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
Joined
·
4,748 Posts
This maybe of some use to someone.

The ProMaster has been designed and developed using European Spec incandescent lights. These lights are controlled by a computerized module called the “Body Control Module” (BCM). This module controls the left and right head lights, left and right DRL, the left and right front and rear running lights, the left and right front and rear turn signals, and the left, right and center brake lights, and the reverse lights independently. The BCM utilizes “smart” technology that has the ability to monitor the current (amperage) on some of the lighting outputs

ref:
https://www.ramtrucks.com/en/bodybuildersguide/2015/rampromaster/

click - Exterior Lighting Modifications / LED's

each manufacturer has issues, Ford replaced u-joints on the Transit with reinforced rubber, what were they thinking?
 

·
Registered
2014-159 HR in CT
Joined
·
3,748 Posts
Not to be too critical but, the fact that the Promaster doesn't have LEDs and the Transit does, doesn't fall into the category of "dealbreaker." The incandescent bulbs are not an indicator of incorrect engineering, IMHO.

LEDs are cheap and easy to substitute for "old-but-work-fine" bulbs in the PM. My 2014 Corvette doesn't have LEDs for the license plate lights, trunk light, etc., at 2.5x the price of a PM! I didn't think about a Ford instead!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,845 Posts
Why would anyone replace those incandescents with LEDs? CANBUS compatible LEDs are not cheap, don’t save any electricity and most of those old school lights will last the life of the vehicle. My 1995 Mazda Miata still has every origional bulb. I keep repair records and I checked. To suggest that buying a different vehicle due to this strikes me as a joke. It is a joke right? If so Ya Got Me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
904 Posts
Sorry, let me clarify: I dont think the use of incandescent bulbs over LEDs is a dealbreaker at all. It is somewhat of a minor detail. I was pointing out that LEDs that I thought it may be telling that the designers of this vehicle chose to incandescent vs LEDs. It seems like a shortcut/cost saving decision and made me wonder what other shortcuts the designers may have taken that I am not aware of. On my previous vehicles most of the incandescent bulbs have needed replacement before the usable life of the vehicle expired (lets say 20ish years 200kish miles). I was not aware that incandescent bulbs could have such great longevity, that is excellent, I hope I never have to replace the incandescent bulbs on my PM. I will need to replace all of the interior lighting with LEDs so that I can use a smaller camper battery system.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,845 Posts
Thanks for the explanation. All my camper lights are LED’s as are most of those in my house. I understand what a great technology they represent. This van is a Euro model of a previous generation than the current Fiat Ducato. I’d guess they had enough to do to get it cleared for the NA market that redoing the bulbs and computer control was just not high on the list. You may need to change bulbs long before I have had to but it is such a minor thing that leaving them and putting your efforts to other aspects of the van’s use is a better plan. Sorry if I jumped overboard but in truth I thought you were phishing for a sucker to take a line.
FCA has the expertise to do sophisticated cars, the 500 may be a better example. I just wonder if making this van with the latest tech is important to many of the buyers. If not why do it? Already the tech stuff seems to be the most questioned aspect of it. U-connect radio, CANBUS, transmission programing, and some service aspects have been the most often mentioned.
 

·
Registered
2014-159 HR in CT
Joined
·
3,748 Posts
I think we would all agree that for the camper side of the vehicle, the LED lights put a lot less load on the Aux Battery(s). The LEDS for camper lights do not have the CanBus-fooling resistors in them so they are very low power for lots of light!

Some campers turn on their big RV clearance lights at night... not sure why, but might be a reason to change to LED and power off the Aux Bat. Discussed on some of the RV forums....

Speaking of LED lights, I would recommend an LED lantern. I have a small one that uses 3 AA batteries and runs (at low light) for 90 hours. They also make a 3 D version that lasts for one month continuously on! Two companies seem to dominate the field... UST and Stream Light
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
Sorry, let me clarify: I dont think the use of incandescent bulbs over LEDs is a dealbreaker at all. It is somewhat of a minor detail. I was pointing out that LEDs that I thought it may be telling that the designers of this vehicle chose to incandescent vs LEDs. It seems like a shortcut/cost saving decision and made me wonder what other shortcuts the designers may have taken that I am not aware of. On my previous vehicles most of the incandescent bulbs have needed replacement before the usable life of the vehicle expired (lets say 20ish years 200kish miles). I was not aware that incandescent bulbs could have such great longevity, that is excellent, I hope I never have to replace the incandescent bulbs on my PM. I will need to replace all of the interior lighting with LEDs so that I can use a smaller camper battery system.
Keep in mind that the ProMaster/Ducato was designed in 2006/7. LED lighting was around but not used like they are today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This maybe of some use to someone.
The ProMaster has been designed and developed using European Spec incandescent lights. These lights are controlled by a computerized module called the “Body Control Module” (BCM). This module controls the left and right head lights, left and right DRL, the left and right front and rear running lights, the left and right front and rear turn signals, and the left, right and center brake lights, and the reverse lights independently. The BCM utilizes “smart” technology that has the ability to monitor the current (amperage) on some of the lighting outputs
ref:
https://www.ramtrucks.com/en/bodybuildersguide/2015/rampromaster/
click - Exterior Lighting Modifications / LED's
Thanks, phil & Co. That pub doesn't specifically mention clearance lights, but they are probably part of the headlight circuit being controlled by the BCM. Apparently I could also substitute LEDs if I do the prescribed "chicken dance" to disable the BOD (bulb out detection). But, I think I'll just stick with the factory bulbs and hope RD is right about their longevity. LED clearance lights may also be way too bright. FYI, the bulb holders in the front clearance lights on my 2017 can be removed from below. I haven't checked for outside access.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Where does the Transit use LED lighting (aside from instrumentation)? Headlamps are conventional, taillamps are conventional (and don't have the separate orange turn signals that I think are far superior), doesn't have the roof running lamps at all.

In 2007, when this generation of Fiat Ducato was introduced, LED lighting was certainly not commonplace. It's still more expensive than conventional lighting even today, and when a good chunk of your customers are fleets who care mostly about cheaper purchase price and don't give a darn about trendy styling, I find it hard to criticise Fiat's decision to use standard bulbs back in 2007, and I also find it hard to criticise FCA for re-using the existing Ducato parts wherever they could.

If you want to use LED bulbs to reduce current draw, for lighting that you are planning to leave on with the engine off, have at it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
After searching this forum it seems no one else is having the same headlight issue as me. I have a 2016 promaster with about 40k miles. I have replaced six headlights so far and the light switch on the blinker handle was replaced under warranty. Prior to the light switch going bad about a year ago is when I had a few headlight bulbs go bad. After the switch was replaced things were good until recently. I replaced both bulbs about a month ago and now the passenger side works intermittently. I checked to make sure the bulb was connected well in the socket. The funny thing about the headlight switch going bad is that I never turn it out of the on position, creature of habit I guess as I am used to vehicles with auto headlights. I use this van for commercial work and It is difficult finding time to get it into the dealer for service, and unfortunately my dealer has a horrible service department. Any thoughts?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,845 Posts
You have two separate things going on.
1. Those headlights have a lifetime. If they are on all the time they will need replacing often. Many slightly brighter replacement bulbs have even shorter lives. Read on the package and buy longer lived ones. DRLs generally run the lights at a lowered voltage to extend the bulb life. You don’t have that I guess.
2. Whether the lights come on is determined by the switch position AND the CAN-BUS. I suspect your problem has to be there. Good luck, you may need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
I have replaced six headlights so far and the light switch on the blinker handle was replaced under warranty.
Are you making sure to clean the glass on each new bulb with rubbing alcohol, and making sure not to touch the glass or any part of the housing when installing? The slightest amount of oil from your hands or dirt from touching the back of the housing when installing will certainly shorten the lifespan of the bulb.
 

·
Registered
2014 Ram Promaster 2500 159" diesel
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
The TSB for early bulb failure is to replace both headlamps with long life bulbs. I believe this is their hope that the van will be out of warranty before they fail again, rather than fix the defect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I just sold some LEDs to a customer with a Promaster. It's been about 10 days, and haven't heard anything from him yet. If he comes in, I will ask how they worked out. Most vehicles have no issues with them, including mine.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top