GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 166 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi:

So my LED replacement "bulbs" came in last week and I ran into a few snags. Here they are in detail in case others are doing the same mod. Note, I *will* solve this problem. So if you want to wait and save yourself a lot of pain, please do so. I'd love others to benefit from my work.

Anyway, on with the list of issues:

  • Long LED modules are too heavy for the front headlights
    The longer units (which tend to be brighter) act as a lever and tend to fall out. Shorter units will not have this problem.

  • You need to make sure the retainer "wedge" on the LED module is defined enough
    It seems that a lot of replacement LED "bulbs" don't have the retainer wedge on the base of the module molded "high enough". Because of this, the retainer pin on the light housing doesn't hold the bulb in tightly.


Picture notes: The black LED module is too long. The silver LED module is round and flat bottom which really helps support the LED modules into the socket. Amber factory bulb for reference. Also note that the wedge on the base is better defined on the silver LED module as well as the amber glass bulb.


  • The LED "bulb" base needs to be circular and flat
    This will help support the LED module in the base when inserted.


Picture notes: Stock amber bulb inserted into the socket for the front turn signal. Notice the flat base on the bulb in relation to the socket. This helps support the bulb.


Picture notes:Flat bottomed LED module works perfect. This particular one isn't as bright as I like.


Picture notes: Lack of flat base on this LED module allows for very little support and when combined with the length of the module, will fall out in short order while driving.

  • You will need load resistors on the turn signal
    This is a bummer for me as I wanted to maintain the efficiency that the LEDs have to offer. At least it is only for the turn signals. :)

  • The backup lights require 7440 bulbs- finding LED "bulbs" that aren't 7443 is difficult
    When you look for 7440 led modules, they almost always show 7443 bulbs which have four wire pins instead of two. The 7440 bulb only uses the innermost two pins and NOT the outer two pins. See picture below. The problem is that the bulb holder for the backup light in the rear cluster has "blocker pins" in the socket to keep you from inserting a 7443 style bulb.


Picture notes: I found this bulb reference online to help explain the problem.


Picture notes: This is the backup light socket. Note the blocker pins where the outside pins on a 7443 bulb would go.


Picture notes: Bulb reference from 2016 owners manual

So the above items are my challenges so far. I'll update everyone as I make more progress.

-Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,101 Posts
I have the same black LED bulbs in my Volt for the turn signals. I noticed the same problem of them popping themselves out. My solution was to simply wrap the base with a little electrical tape. They've been in for over a month, and haven't had any issues yet.

I've been thinking about tackling my reverse light. I have a couple 7443 bright white LED bulbs. I think maybe if you manipulate the pins, you could get them in there. Maybe that's a project for me for this week/weekend?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Please everyone keep this up--for now I'm living vicariously through you... but as soon as I take delivery I'd like to follow directly in your footsteps!

I really do appreciate the effort and the sharing, many thanks...

Cheers,

NC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
I am a bit confused, I know that the turn signal, license plate, and reverse lights are not LED, but I thought the rest were LED.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to share this. Is anyone else kind of disappointed that they are still using so many incandescent bulbs? I think the problem is that LED's are essentially zero maintenance and should mostly last the lifetime of the vehicle which takes away a profit center for the dealer. I may just be cynical. I wonder if the BOLT since it will be all EV will have more LED for the aux lighting? Granted this aux lighting uses very little energy, but still. Incandescent is largely an obsolete technology.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,356 Posts
I have the same black LED bulbs in my Volt for the turn signals. I noticed the same problem of them popping themselves out. My solution was to simply wrap the base with a little electrical tape. They've been in for over a month, and haven't had any issues yet.


Been there and done that with my aftermarket LED install not fitting quite right into the base although just a dab of non-conductive RTV aka liquid nails was my homegrown solution!;)

I ended up installing the 192 Lumen 7443 Switchback LED Bulb - Dual Function 60 SMD LED Tower - A Type - Wedge Retrofit into my Gen1. Also had to install the LED Light Load Resistor Kit - LED Turn Signal Hyper Flash & Warning Fix since the Volt's BCM detects the lowered LED load as a blown incandescent issue and will hyper-flash!:eek: That is too bad that the Gen2 still has this 'feature'!:rolleyes:






BTW: If you do install aftermarket LEDs and required load resistors please make sure you give these power resistors plenty of space/room and don't let them touch anything (should be hanging free) since these puppies will get EXTREMELY HOT no joke if you leave the turn signal on for any significant amount of time such as several minutes with the Hazard flashers left ON...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
That is too bad that the Gen2 still has this 'feature'!:rolleyes:
Fast-flash for incandescent bulb failure is required by FMVSS / CMVSS. You won't find a car built in the past 15 years that doesn't have it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,356 Posts
Fast-flash for incandescent bulb failure is required by FMVSS / CMVSS. You won't find a car built in the past 15 years that doesn't have it.

Still unfortunate GM continues to even use Incandescent over LED in the latest Gen2 Volts forcing those who wish to upgrade to LED to cut into their wiring harness in these new vehicles in order to install the proper load resistor(s) to fool the BCM.

GM could have worked better to make the BCM somewhat less sensitive to allow for lower-load aftermarket LED installs...after all there is a big difference between NO LOAD = blown incandescent vs very low load efficient LEDS!;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Does anyone have the measurements for the bulb? The bulbs I am looking at are 1.90" long and 0.88" in diameter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Anyone figure out the turn signal replacement bulb 7443NA yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Anyone figure out what bulb works for the interior trunk light (inside the hatch)? Seems odd that all interior lights were bright white LEDs, then you open the trunk and there's the traditional yellow-ish hue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Anyone figure out what bulb works for the interior trunk light (inside the hatch)? Seems odd that all interior lights were bright white LEDs, then you open the trunk and there's the traditional yellow-ish hue.
Yes, the same bulb as the lic plate light... W5W (aka 194 or T10).. just replaced mine.. much better lighting.. check this pic out:



I used this LED for that photo and it works great, but since there is no reflector in the bulb holder in the liftback, a flat 180 style would be sufficient.

-Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,356 Posts
In order to aid the backup camera, wouldn't scoring the brightest backup LED replacement be appropriate?:confused:

https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/tail-brake-turn/filter/Bulb_Number,7440,197,8896:

At the above link, you can sort from brightest high to low and there is a 550 lumen 7440 avail although it may be just a tad bit oversized for the Gen2....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
For the brightest reverse lights, may be best to not go with watts larger than the OEM bulb. Does anyone know how many watts it is? Quick search online shows a 21W incandescent 7440 that looks similar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
Anyone figure out what bulb works for the interior trunk light (inside the hatch)? Seems odd that all interior lights were bright white LEDs, then you open the trunk and there's the traditional yellow-ish hue.
I wanted something super bright...so I went with a board with LOTS of LED's.
https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...led-rectangle-pcb-lamp-w-wedge-base/836/2087/
(unavailable now, but something similar should be)



It did require taking a dremel to the lens, cutting and modifying the contacts and soldering everything together...but all the LED's face out, making the absence of a reflector a non-issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
]Funny you were thinking the same thing as me! This is what I'm testing now...

ledlight.jpg

The first version I got didn't work. I'm waiting for the second version now.

-Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update...

So in my years of retrofiting LED bulbs in other cars (BMW, VW, Chevy Trucks, etc.), I have never had more problems than with this 2016 Volt! (And I thought BMWs with CANBUS current monitoring were bad!)

Anyway, the latest snag I have run into is with reverse LED lights... Check this picture out...



That picture was taken at dusk with the car completely turned off and parked!

Basically the BCM is allowing a bit of current to flow through the circuit, slightly illuminating the LED backup modules. Of course, this isn't noticable with regular incandescent bulbs, but with efficient LEDs... it is a problem.

I'm currently testing a solution and should know over the weekend if it works reliably.

Getting closer... almost there!

-Ed
 
1 - 20 of 166 Posts
Top