Cts third brake light
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Cts third brake light in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Looking for a 2003 Cadillac Cts Brake light - working or not. mine is out for the third time and ...
  1. #1
    denniscts's Avatar
    denniscts is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS
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    Cts third brake light

    Looking for a 2003 Cadillac Cts Brake light - working or not. mine is out for the third time and tired of spending money on E-bay for used ones that just burn out after time. I want to use it to make an LED brake light cheaper than those e-bay thieves. Let me know if anybody has one. Maybe after I perfect it I can post it here for other people to fix theres much cheaper.

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  3. #2
    kdstrum's Avatar
    kdstrum is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): '08 CTS 3.6L DI FE2 RWD
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    Re: Cts third brake light

    yes please let me know how to repair this item

  4. #3
    mprest99's Avatar
    mprest99 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 Cadillac CTS
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    Re: Cts third brake light

    I had mine go out too. I was able to take the red lens off... after carefully prying ... take your time. I bought some 6 inch led lights and the transformer that works them... I installed them and resealed the lens. I have had no problems yet... So.. it can be done...

  5. #4
    concorso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Cts third brake light

    Ive thought about doing a led retrofit to the CHMSL (i guess you can still call it that?)... But I actually like the neon tube, it has a smooth red glow to it that I like. Looks like this lense comes apart easier then the brakes lights as well.

    Kael, intrigued at all?

  6. #5
    jgabrielson's Avatar
    jgabrielson is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2003 CTS
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    Re: Cts third brake light

    Yea, Its a neon tube alright and you cant use LED's in its palce b/c of the voltage. I had mine go out a few months ago and bought an "LED" replacement kit online. Total waste of money! The best thing to do is just fork it up and buy another one used, I did and been running great since then. While your at it, go ahead and replace the other brake lights too, if they give way, your Traction control system will come on and not work until you do, its a good $7 dollar investment while your replacing the center light.

  7. #6
    Kael's Avatar
    Kael is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): The Mighty Kael, 2004 Black CTS, Every Option
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    Re: Cts third brake light

    Hmm I knew it was a neon tube but I never really gave thought to it.
    the thing should last for a long time.

    do we have any pics of the thing?

    if you want you can go the LED route and put them in a plastic sleeve that is translucent (fogy appearing) to get the neon affect.
    or you can use some electro luminescent products. although they are usually not very bright.

    hmm dennis, you say you have had other burn out. care to send me one of the old ones so i can muck with it?
    there shouldn't be a problem with burning out the LED's if the right resistor is ran to them. just tape off the old neon transformer and run a power feed off of one of the brake ligths. no real biggie.

    Quote Originally Posted by concorso View Post
    Ive thought about doing a led retrofit to the CHMSL (i guess you can still call it that?)... But I actually like the neon tube, it has a smooth red glow to it that I like. Looks like this lense comes apart easier then the brakes lights as well.

    Kael, intrigued at all?

  8. #7
    Kael's Avatar
    Kael is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cts third brake light

    wow. two min of research and I turned up this:

    *Special note March 2008* The CTS 3rd brake light cannot be rebuilt. It is a neon lamp vs. LED lamp. Either the internal glass tube (s) fails, or the amplifier fails. The amplifier has been sealed in a way it is impossible to repair.

    In addition: There is currently a 6 month national back order for replacement CTS lamps thru the Cadillac dealer network. Also, production for the CTS lamp has ended in the US. This tooling is currently being shipped overseas for production there.


    so Umm wow.. I totally have to generate something up for you guys.

    hey wow.. they look like this:




  9. #8
    denniscts's Avatar
    denniscts is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cts third brake light

    I know they are neon I know what to hook up I just need an extra broken third brake light so i can experiment with before I do it to mine so I make sure everything works out and I don't have broken one i can't re-install .

  10. #9
    azfara is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): CTS
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    Re: Cts third brake light

    I bought my car used and this light was not working. Dealer gave me $400 price tag for it. I bought a water proof red led strip from ebay $12 and open the lamp threw out the neon light and inserted this strip and attached the connections. It is bright and nice. The advice I will give is that when you open the light be careful because the front red part can be cracked easily. I did that with mine I think If I cut open the back part that would have been much better. You can glue that part and since it is on the back side it will not be visible. Any way I am still using this led light and it is working fine. almost 1 and half year now. You can buy the strip from ebay and look for the auto strip may be 30 cm. Measure the light first.

  11. #10
    Sammy Z's Avatar
    Sammy Z is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): CTS 03
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    Re: Cts third brake light

    I replaced mine with LEDs as well. I used a Dremel tool and opened it from the back the sealed it with Silicon Sealer when I was done. I did it with White LEDs and the result was a Pink Brake light :-( so I did it again with Red LEDs. Works great.

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