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Any idea what this thing is?


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When I replaced the brake light switch on my car a few weeks ago, the old switch had this red thing connected to it. The new switch (which looked identical to the old one) didn't come with this red thing so I just fitted it to the car without the red thing and the brake lights now work perfectly. However, at around the same time, the audio sound from my cassette player started playing up (the sound from the radio is still OK). Now I'm wondering if this red thing could possibly have something to do with that. It's probably just a coincidence but I'd be interested to know your opinions. Obviously I could re-attach the red thing to the brake switch to see if that corrects the audio problem but, as you well know, getting at the brake light switch is a total nightmare of a job. 

 

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Unless I am mistaken, it is a 1 microFarad capacitor. I am not much of an electrical whizkid. There are others on here that will know far more about it than me.

I can't think of any reason that you would want one across a brake switch?

Does the audio problem coincide with applying the brake or is it just random?

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Ah, that's interesting. So it COULD have something to do with the audio problem. I'm just puzzled as to why it only affects the sound coming from the cassette player part of the stereo unit. The sound of the radio itself is unaffected. 

I can't remember if the audio problem changes when I depress the brake pedal. I will try that tonight.

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2 hours ago, snowrx said:

Capacitors (condenser) were used to help prevent arcing across the contacts of ignition points, maybe someone was trying to keep from ever replacing their brake switch?

Well it didn’t work 😂. The brake switch was toast. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Capacitors are used for both radio interference suppression and arc prevention in switches. In audio systems the capacitor is generally found in the radio supply cables or around the ignition system ,the most common source of interference.  It looks to me that your car may have an on going problem with burning out brake light switches and a previous owner may have fitted it to help prolong the life of the switch ( which has failed again). It sounds like an overload on the brake light circuit or poor quality switches. Check the wattage and voltage of your brake bulbs and by any chance has a third ( high level) brake light been added?

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I changed my rear brake lights to LED a few years back - a straight replacement, bought from Amazon. Had no issues. No longer available - but this is the link VANSSI BAY15d 1157 LED 21-SMD High Power Dual Beam LED Tail Stop Brake Lights Bulb - RED (Pack of 2) : Amazon.co.uk: Automotive

 

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I can vouch for the 1st generation series of the Philips bulbs seen at link attached. Very intense and strongly coloured light, though requiring some adaptation to mate with the Rover sourced taillamp housing due to the single LED light source.

Cheers

https://www.powerbulbs.com/ca/product/philips-x-tremeultinon-led-gen2-py21w-twin

 

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