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Discussion Starter #1
I just installed LED taillights (brake lights), and my cruise stopped working. Or it would work and cancel after 5 to 20 seconds. I replaced one brake light with a standard incandescent light, and the cruise went back to working.

What I discovered is that LED taillights do not "pull" the 12v brake wire to ground as incandescent lamps do.... it has to do with LED's having a voltage drop of 1.2 volts. So this causes the brake line to "float" at 1.2v instead of being either at 12v or 0v. This "gray area" is enough to trick the cruise control into thinking you have hit the brakes. The solution is to make sure the brake line goes all the way to 0v when the brakes are not pressed.

There are two ways to do this. Make sure that ONE of the brake lights is incandescent. The best looking (most symmetric) is the 3rd brake light.

Another solution is what I did. Wire a 10k ohm resistor across the LED lamp for the 3rd brake light. I got my lamp from superbrightleds.com , and the plastic body has little holes in it. I was able to thread a 1/4watt 10kohm resistor into the body and simply bend the leads down just like the wires that were already on the lamp. Works like a champ. Best of all, I didn't have to splice the load resistors (which get very warm) into any of my wires.

By the way, my flasher don't spend the money for the load resistors for LED turn signals, just install a heavy duty flasher. It won't speed up when the LED turn signal lamps are installed.
 

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This would explain why I had my E back to the dealer six times to have the cruise repaired under warranty and they replaced everything from the steering wheel switch to the clutch switch to the ECU and it still doesn't work. I didn't realize the control unit watched the brake light circuit voltage so closely.

Luckily I have two such resistors laying around from my previous car. I'll install one tonight and see what happens. If that resistor fixes my cruise control, I'll owe you one :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
quick test

The quickest way to test this is to simply install ONE incandescent brake light. If your cruise suddenly starts working, you only need to install the 10k reisistor in ONE brake light. Since L/R/3rd brake lights are all in parallel, you only need one of them to pull the brake line to 0v. I chose the 3rd brake light because it's inside the cabin and only has two wires so there was no chance of getting brake and tail lights crossed up.

What kills me about this is that all it would take is adding a 5cent resistor to the lamps at the factory. Sure that resistor might not do the trick in american cars where the brake and turn are combined, but it would work in all the foreign cars.

Hope this helps.... if it does, I drink Amber Bock.
Wes
 
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