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Mini Cord
06-13-2012, 06:40 AM
Some time ago my license plate light failed in my car, both lights were off and I got a message on the EVIC.

Since then I have been keeping an eye on other 500s and have seen that many of them have one light out. Since the lights cannot be changed, nor repaired, the whole trunk handle assembly has to be replaced, making repairing it expensive. The EVIC only displays a failure message if both lights are out.

So, keep on checking that both lights work properly before your warranty runs out.


Hope this helps someone out there.

twillyspree
02-01-2013, 07:35 PM
Looks like there are starting to be numerous complaints about license plate light failures, mine just did - and this relatively new car failed a state inspection. it even showed up in one of the major magazines (MotorTrend or Car & Driver, I can't remember which), and other forums. I'm currently checking, but preliminary investigation is showing it's NOT and easy fix. Most states do not have a vehicle safety inspection anymore so.... Watch Out! If you get pulled over at night in Dade County FL in your Pop and can't figure out why - it's probably your license plate light..... A BIG item with law enforcement....

Andree
02-01-2013, 08:00 PM
Looks like there are starting to be numerous complaints about license plate light failures, mine just did - and this relatively new car failed a state inspection. it even showed up in one of the major magazines (MotorTrend or Car & Driver, I can't remember which), and other forums. I'm currently checking, but preliminary investigation is showing it's NOT and easy fix. Most states do not have a vehicle safety inspection anymore so.... Watch Out! If you get pulled over at night in Dade County FL in your Pop and can't figure out why - it's probably your license plate light..... A BIG item with law enforcement....

Doing quick Google search, looks like it's been mentioned on this forum:
http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?4923-Lights-out!-License-plate

And on other forum:
http://www.fiat500owners.com/forum/9-fiat-500-engine-technical-discussion/7284-license-plate-light-new-fiat-i-havent-got-clue-about-2.html

Could be design flaw, and hopefully will be updated with improved "guts" to just swap out.

twillyspree
02-01-2013, 08:21 PM
I found this on youtube that makes it look simple but.... It's not the same fixture, I already checked. If changing a burned out bulb is going to be a major "Rube Goldberg" item on the car, I may be cancelling plans to buy an Abarth now. Hundreds of dollars just to replace a burned out light is..... RIDICULOUS!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arUBZ-cq03g

SeaDawg
02-02-2013, 02:09 AM
Looks like there are starting to be numerous complaints about license plate light failures, mine just did - and this relatively new car failed a state inspection. ....

What state inspection. Florida does NOT have a state inspection requirement. I agree that law enforcement wants to be able to see your tag for any number of legal reasons. However, this problem, which does NOT appear to be that wide spread based on my reading in at least one other major FIAT 500 forum, is covered under the 4 year 50,000 mile warranty. They do have to replace the entire chrome piece on the hatch, which contains LEDs and NOT light bulbs, that will probably require some time to procure the part. But, other than the inconvenience there should be no cost to you. If you are cited by the police, presentation of the repair should be enough to avoid any fine.

twillyspree
02-02-2013, 01:05 PM
The article was in CarandDriver magazine, "Long Term Road Test Update"

"a burned-out bulb in the license-plate bezel required replacement, under warranty, of the entire assembly. For some reason, you can’t just stick in a fresh bulb. We suspect the reason is only understood if you speak Piedmontese."

I agree with Andree, could be a design flaw and also agree with the magazines assessment.... Kind of dumb to not make it a simple bulb replacement for such a minor thing....

Andree
02-02-2013, 07:03 PM
The article was in CarandDriver magazine, "Long Term Road Test Update"

"a burned-out bulb in the license-plate bezel required replacement, under warranty, of the entire assembly. For some reason, you can’t just stick in a fresh bulb. We suspect the reason is only understood if you speak Piedmontese."

I agree with Andree, could be a design flaw and also agree with the magazines assessment.... Kind of dumb to not make it a simple bulb replacement for such a minor thing....

I'd guess they were using the LED technology so the bulbs would NEVER have to be replaced. Hence, no replaceable bulbs. The lifespan of those lights can be like 5 years continuous usage, or more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED_lamp

However, the lighting assembly is on the hatch. Which is slammed. I don't expect a lamp's bulb to keep working if I throw it on the ground a few times every time I use it.

My guess is that the bulbs are NOT burned out, but have become disconnected after the hatch has been slammed, and it's a design flaw.

Where's the Fiat guy? He could pass this on to HQ. Because the parts replaced are probably not sent back to corporate for examination, they're just "burned out bulbs". They might NOT be burned out bulbs. They might be disconnected bulbs. Which is something they can address now on the assembly line, and replace as needed for current owners.

twillyspree
02-02-2013, 08:15 PM
I'd guess they were using the LED technology so the bulbs would NEVER have to be replaced. Hence, no replaceable bulbs. The lifespan of those lights can be like 5 years continuous usage, or more

Interesting point, and they (LED's) would have worked forever.... Rock solid, EXCEPT for the environment they're in. I "baby" the hatchback, catching it on before latching, but nevertheless, inspection station; FAIL - insufficient illumination of license plate.

On a good note, the car has been fantastically free of any trouble in the first 11/12 months of operation with just over 10k. Compared to a Toyota Tacoma I bought years ago - the Tacoma was a complete Edsel the first year - AC failure, brake light failure......

MrFiat
02-02-2013, 11:06 PM
Interesting point, and they (LED's) would have worked forever.... Rock solid, EXCEPT for the environment they're in. I "baby" the hatchback, catching it on before latching, but nevertheless, inspection station; FAIL - insufficient illumination of license plate...

I take mine to the dealership where I bought it for the annual inspection. That way, if they find anything wrong they're obliged to fix it under warrantee.

Andree
02-03-2013, 04:51 AM
Interesting point, and they (LED's) would have worked forever.... Rock solid, EXCEPT for the environment they're in. I "baby" the hatchback, catching it on before latching, but nevertheless, inspection station; FAIL - insufficient illumination of license plate.


My old VW cabriolet had one side marker lamp that needed an occasional smack to get it working. Loose connection. Took it in for fixing several times. Never was "fixed". And that was the side that had been mashed by the previous owner(s).

Fiat problem could be loose connection, substandard part, put together improperly/inadequately, jostling during assembly of entire part being put together or while it's installed.

My interior right-side reading light died a couple days after getting the car. I don't know if it was burned out, loose, defective, or what. It's a 2013, so it wasn't overused, and it was picked up with plastic on from the distant dealer lot.

I did freak out totally over the light going out, wondering if this was a sign of impending doom. But the light hasn't gone out since, and I don't know the cause originally.

Might be good to note ANYTHING that could be a factor in the lights not working. Like severe weather temperatures. And mileage at which the failure occurs. Maybe even the roads frequently traveled. Some roads are smooth (we like smooth). Some roads have craters. And if you regularly drive bumpity-bumpity-CRATER roads, I suppose that could do some damage to all sorts of parts.

twillyspree
02-14-2013, 10:58 PM
Might be good to note ANYTHING that could be a factor in the lights not working. Like severe weather temperatures. And mileage at which the failure occurs. Maybe even the roads frequently traveled. Some roads are smooth (we like smooth). Some roads have craters. And if you regularly drive bumpity-bumpity-CRATER roads, I suppose that could do some damage to all sorts of parts.

The car has had an idyllic "Life of Riley"..... garaged stored, gentle driving...... A Ferrari would have had it tougher.

If it can't pass a state inspection because of something in "other cars" that is bone-headed simple to fix..... A light bulb.... Not good.

I can't afford hundreds of dollars just to replace something that should have been "just a light bulb" to keep the sucker on the road a few years from now.

SeaDawg
02-14-2013, 11:26 PM
The car has had an idyllic "Life of Riley"..... garaged stored, gentle driving...... A Ferrari would have had it tougher.

If it can't pass a state inspection because of something in "other cars" that is bone-headed simple to fix..... A light bulb.... Not good.

I can't afford hundreds of dollars just to replace something that should have been "just a light bulb" to keep the sucker on the road a few years from now.

Did you not get this fixed under your 48 month 50,000 warranty? AND it is NOT a LIGHT BULB, they are LED's. Just because LED's are normally long life items does not mean that 100% of LED's will NEVER fail 100% of the time. If you're worried about what MAY happen years from now, perhaps you should sell the car NOW and save your nerves.

twillyspree
02-15-2013, 01:23 PM
Did you not get this fixed under your 48 month 50,000 warranty?

Not yet. The car is used during the daylight hours so the license plate light is not an issue. I figured I'd wait until the next oil change (I have the free oil changes program) to do it, kill two birds with one stone, and then, right before the warranty runs out, check the bezel again. My primary "crank" complaint with Fiat is why they turned this into a LED system instead of a common bulb you could pick up at an auto parts store... Seems like a "Rube Goldberg" item that violates the "keep it simple stupid" concept..... I contacted my dealership and they confirmed they have had other cars with the same problem - they were shocked (the dealership) to discover it was not a simple bulb replacement also - so it's not just me that thinks it's kind of dumb.....

bryanintowson
02-15-2013, 06:03 PM
I have found after a year of owning my FIAT - one cannot look for logic in its design. It may be assembled in Mexico by Chrysler but at its heart, it is an Italian car. It's designed with emotion sometimes - logic gets sacrificed. It is the way it is.

Part of having car guy street cred is owning an Italian car - you have to love them and understand that they're.... just different. :beguiled:

cmj912
02-15-2013, 09:00 PM
I read someplace that the reason it is an electronic latch, completely enclosed, with LED license plate bulbs is because of space. There wasn't room for both a conventional latch mechanism as well as wiring and bulbs. So they went with something that would probably have a longer life than most and was smaller.

ruster1971
02-18-2013, 01:03 AM
I am a Fiat mechanic and have replaced a few hatch handles for licence-lights out. The LED bulb is on a circuit-board and suppose to be sealed unit but water is getting in & shorting out. The lamp unit snaps out of the handle but is not available by itself; at least not yet. Ask for the old handle/part back after replacement; usually only 1 light goes out and you can remove the good lamp unit for a spare.

twillyspree
02-20-2013, 01:41 PM
Part of having car guy street cred is owning an Italian car - you have to love them and understand that they're.... just different.

That's true... The mechanics up here will crack a joke about it but you can tell, they get a kick out of the car at inspection time.... If you're down in Towson, you might already know what I'm putting up with here in South Central PA and the archaic PA state inspection. I'm just across the state line, just past Shrewsbury. Contrary to popular belief, most states do NOT have vehicle safety inspection anymore but unfortunately, PA, don't go changing on us.... Stop by for a beer sometime if we can wrestle it out of the package store....

twillyspree
02-20-2013, 01:59 PM
Some time ago my license plate light failed in my car, both lights were off and I got a message on the EVIC.

Since then I have been keeping an eye on other 500s and have seen that many of them have one light out. Since the lights cannot be changed, nor repaired, the whole trunk handle assembly has to be replaced, making repairing it expensive. The EVIC only displays a failure message if both lights are out.

So, keep on checking that both lights work properly before your warranty runs out.


Hope this helps someone out there.

I definitely have the date/mileage when the warranty runs out. This is turning into a common item now (license plate bezel failure) with the brand new Fiats, mine went out after just a few months and "Car and Driver" mentioned it briefly on their long term test vehicle.....

Andree
02-25-2013, 04:39 AM
I am a Fiat mechanic and have replaced a few hatch handles for licence-lights out. The LED bulb is on a circuit-board and suppose to be sealed unit but water is getting in & shorting out. The lamp unit snaps out of the handle but is not available by itself; at least not yet. Ask for the old handle/part back after replacement; usually only 1 light goes out and you can remove the good lamp unit for a spare.

How hard is that lamp unit to replace? If one did have replacements available?

Is there any pattern at all to which models or years have the problem? Like a specific time frame when the cars were made that seem to have the problem?

I can pretty much guess I'll end up with it, as my only options for a damage-free wash is via a touchless high water pressure auto wash. We do not have access to water in the parking garage and are not allowed to hand-wash our cars in the parking garage even if we drag down our own buckets. It's a safety issue with slipping on the slick concrete.

I don't wash the car every week, but don't want to worry about lights failing from washing the car!

If you can, let us know if/when the "lamp unit" will be available on it's own and what the part numbers are. Are they the same on each side? I'm guess so, as you said we'd have a spare, without specifying left/right sides.

CommanderCody
02-26-2013, 12:26 PM
I can feel sympathy for twillyspree who spoke of not being able to afford hundreds of dollars for a bad license plate bulb assembly. That's a lot of bread and I would hope it's an infrequent event. In response, bryanintowson says not to look for logic in its (Fiat) design. I sort of feel that way too. You kind of make a leap of faith. I did when I bought my 2008 smart car.
But, sadly for me, let's jump to 4 yrs. out and Mr. Warranty has gone out the back door. Suddenly something simple, really simple? goes haywire. I'm not talking of eating a valve on your 35000 mile engine but something one would reasonably not expect to happen so early on. I'm looking at a design flaw. Costly flaws - that mess with your wallet. And we all know that when people mess with your wallet they're messing with your mind. In my case a busted windshield washer resevior. That will be $300 please. An engine warning light (first time in 35000 miles). Mr. Cdr Cody your Oxygen sensor is kaput. That will be $666 please. Let me help you off the floor. I wasn't worried before but I am now about simple things taking me to the cleaners.

bryanintowson
02-26-2013, 02:38 PM
I'd rather pay to fix my FIAT 500 than my Acura. I felt like I should not have had to put so much money into a *premium* *Japanese* *luxury* car. New rotors at 40,000 (TSB to replace them if they warped before 30K - thanks, Honda!), new AC compressor at 80,000 (Honda eventually settled out of court on a class action suit regarding the failure of this item and I was compensated but at the time I was heftily out of pocket) , internal dash and console lights failing at 85,000 because of bad wiring, driver's side heated seat failing at 75,0000 (never got that one fixed) and a transmission that started dithering at low speeds around 50,000 miles (never got that fixed either).

1. I never drove that car like I stole it. I babied it for the most part.
2. I was never in any accidents.

All those failures were expensive to fix and I would like to believe I should have had to do any of them. The roads around where I live are medieval and the BMW-like suspension on the TSX was beating me up over broken pavement. It got horrid gas mileage (28/33 claimed - 23.5 real world average) and it was quickly becoming a money pit. The myth of bullet-proof Honda shattered before my eyes. Most cars are all the same these days, get something that makes you smile and enjoy it is my new mantra.

My FIAT is relatively simple (base Lounge) and I love it to death. If Dante needs a repair that I have to shell out for, I'm readier now since it's an Italian car made by Chrysler in Mexico. I knew what I was getting in for. But I can't help myself from smiling when I see it and doubly so when I drive it.

twillyspree
03-04-2013, 02:34 PM
I'd rather pay to fix my FIAT 500 than my Acura. I felt like I should not have had to put so much money into a *premium* *Japanese* *luxury* car.
********************************

My FIAT is relatively simple (base Lounge) and I love it to death. If Dante needs a repair that I have to shell out for, I'm readier now since it's an Italian car made by Chrysler in Mexico. I knew what I was getting in for. But I can't help myself from smiling when I see it and doubly so when I drive it.

I had an Acura TL (06) I got from Frankel Acura and it was a nice car. It was relatively problem free except for a heated passenger seat that failed. There was a recall on a power steering hose (they were concerned about heat affecting the hose) but it never failed inspection. One of the reasons I sold the car was because it was just to big for a manual shift - it never seemed to feel right. A Toyota truck (Tacoma), also a 2006 model was a complete Edsel in comparison to the Fiat. Problems erupting with A/C, lights, and now in it's later years - way too much corrosion for the environment it's been in, but, sure enough, it passes inspection.

For a comparable period of time, the Fiat has actually been more trouble free than both other vehicles!!! I actually expected more problems (I had a Fiat when I was a kid) and have been pleasantly surprised. It's just annoying to have it not pass inspection for such a small problem that in the other vehicles, would have been simply snapping a bulb back in or checking a fuse....

newcastle
03-18-2013, 12:22 AM
I have had the same license plate light problem. After waiting for about a month and a half for replacement handle, it was fixed. I see many with lights out.
There definately seems to be a problem.

tryphon
03-18-2013, 08:23 PM
Sorry, duplicate post.

tryphon
03-18-2013, 08:24 PM
I can feel sympathy for twillyspree who spoke of not being able to afford hundreds of dollars for a bad license plate bulb assembly. That's a lot of bread and I would hope it's an infrequent event. In response, bryanintowson says not to look for logic in its (Fiat) design. I sort of feel that way too. You kind of make a leap of faith. I did when I bought my 2008 smart car.
But, sadly for me, let's jump to 4 yrs. out and Mr. Warranty has gone out the back door. Suddenly something simple, really simple? goes haywire. I'm not talking of eating a valve on your 35000 mile engine but something one would reasonably not expect to happen so early on. I'm looking at a design flaw. Costly flaws - that mess with your wallet. And we all know that when people mess with your wallet they're messing with your mind. In my case a busted windshield washer resevior. That will be $300 please. An engine warning light (first time in 35000 miles). Mr. Cdr Cody your Oxygen sensor is kaput. That will be $666 please. Let me help you off the floor. I wasn't worried before but I am now about simple things taking me to the cleaners.

A million 500s have been built. I would not worry about a major design fault. Small stuff, OK (and I am sure it will be addressed and solved), but this is not really a new model, it's only new for America.

cmj912
03-19-2013, 01:21 PM
I think it was mentioned that the unit is not the unit used in the European car. Once the changes were made to the hatch (shorter license plate length, different taillamps, bumpers, etc) they fashioned a one-piece device that was small to save space, etc.
Therefore it is a new device and perhaps prone to failure. My Sport's is fine, on my Pop the electronic latch itself failed which necessitated replacement of the unit. They actually had a new one in stock.

There is MUCH out there on the internet about latch failure. The new electronic release variety is apparently not a really great technology.

Someone said something about asking if you can have the old one because the bulbs CAN be replaced, it just doesn't come alone right now. Then you've got a spare bulb.

wilbmeister
06-21-2013, 09:20 PM
Found this old post and wanted to make a comment.

On my way home from the Abarth Experience today I stopped for gas in northern PA just south of Binghampton, NY. As I was getting gas a guy pulls up in his 500 and asks how I like my car. He really liked his but just came from getting his rear hatch handle replaced because the bulb burned out. I didn't know that you had to replace the whole thing. My bigger surprise was that he told me the dealer said it wasn't covered under his warranty. I don't know where he bought it but that doesn't sound right. He said it cost him $150. My thought was if this happens to me I might spend the extra bucks and get a carbon fiber one. I wonder how they work with bulbs and replacement?

twillyspree
07-05-2013, 10:38 AM
It's been awhile since I first posted about the license plate light/bezel failure. It was agreed that I would just get it done the next time I was up for an oil change and the 16k service (I had that free oil change bonus they ran for awhile) and said I would call to make sure they had the part.

The tech said "Oh, we know about that, we have them in stock already.", So it does look like they knew (Fiat) there was a problem with the LED system.

I also, unfortunately, had one of the cars that had the known rear seal problem and they repaired that also. Both items were covered by warranty.

With the car completely fixed - I promptly sold it....... And bought an Abarth!

Macchina Divertente
07-05-2013, 11:52 AM
If the light burns out on our Pop and it isn't covered under a warranty, I will wire in an aftermarket bulb in place of the LED.
$150.00? No way will I pay that to simply illuminate a license plate!

Felnus
07-05-2013, 12:12 PM
If the light burns out on our Pop and it isn't covered under a warranty, I will wire in an aftermarket bulb in place of the LED.
$150.00? No way will I pay that to simply illuminate a license plate!

Since you have 2013, I wouldn't worry about it. Although it has not really been confirmed officially by FIAT, I believe there was some sort of issue with the chrome hatch piece that was causing the lights to blow. The service writer at the FIAT dealer that replaced mine confirmed that it was possible to replace the LEDs but the FIAT procedure called for the entire chrome hatch piece to be replaced.

ciddyguy
07-05-2013, 11:53 PM
I read someplace that the reason it is an electronic latch, completely enclosed, with LED license plate bulbs is because of space. There wasn't room for both a conventional latch mechanism as well as wiring and bulbs. So they went with something that would probably have a longer life than most and was smaller.

Exactly, and I read that due to the size of our license plates (being shorter in length), there just wasn't room for a common bulb arrangement due to the latch mechanism.

Thus the LED setup here in the US and Fiat isn't alone in this regard. Take a look at many other cars built in the past year or two, many of them have LED for most types of lighting, but at least the license plats are in the end, especially on many lower end cars where LED can still be rather pricy.

Also, check the harness between hatch and opening, that rubberized section of wiring harness to wire the hatch may also be a culprit. That is, check the wiper too to ensure it works as it should.

I've seen liftgates (vans, hatchbacks etc) whereby none of the electircals, even the electric defroster grid stop working due to that part of the wiring harness chaffing and going bad from opening/closing of the hatch over time.

I've seen a similar situation with my former 88 Honda accord with the pop up headlights as the right side wiring harness for it went bad, necessitating a replacement, and that was in 1999, and I'd had the car a year at that point (with something like 130K miles on it too).

mbfrezon
06-03-2015, 07:18 PM
I take it, since my license plate lamp doesn't look like what the "how-to" videos/photos look like, that mine is one of the ones that can't be easily replaced. In the interest of answering someone else's question about it, since my dealer has been pretty clueless about it, I'll upload what I saw when I took the one side out. They look like this:

1813918140

More than a little annoyed about this silliness.

vstardude
01-15-2017, 10:13 PM
2012, both of mine of mine have been out for about 9 months. No cel light, just waiting for Fiat to become reasonable about the price for new bulbs, and yes there is power to them,just fixed the harness for the hatch.

Fiat500USA
01-15-2017, 11:11 PM
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aCamgmdoGPU/VA8Iysw4baI/AAAAAAAAWbQ/iWQMmX7HqAU/s600/Fiat_500_License_Bulb.jpg

What about retro-fitting these late model lights? I don't have confirmation if they fit, but it is plausible. Maybe grab one out of a salvage yard, or they aren't really that expensive new. You'd have to come up with a connector, but again a salvage yard may help or the dealer. This is what I would try if I didn't want to pay for the original setup. If you try it let us know.

ottoscorch
04-22-2017, 10:07 PM
When my lights failed on the license plate ..instead of replacing the handle and light assembly ..I replaced the whole hatch as I was also having problems with the latch/lock mechanism as well as the rear defogger ..found the wiring problem in the boot between the body and hatch to have been severed internally ( whether it happened during the build process or what I do not know )the mechanism and the handle assembly would have cost more by them selves. hence the complete unit

vstardude
05-12-2017, 05:47 PM
I finally repaired my license plate lights, 13$ dollar LED dome lights,that was for both lights. Very simple,remove lights from handle assy. Use a little brain power. New lights fit perfectly in housing. Glue lens back on housing. Put back in handle assy,and presto. I probably will go through the process again,and change from 4 led setup to a 2 led setup. My new taglights are brighter than my backup lights,which might be a little to much, just have to see how it goes. Pics show lights and also hatch wiring harness. http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26703&stc=1http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26702&stc=1http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26704&stc=1http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26705&stc=1http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26706&stc=1http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26703&stc=1http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26702&stc=1http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26704&stc=1http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26705&stc=1http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26706&stc=1

afcor
11-03-2017, 10:50 AM
Could you provide a little more information here? I've tried getting the clear plastic top off the light without much success. Then, what did you do with the new LED bulbs? Did you have to modify them in some way? What do you mean by "a little brain power"? Am I to assume that all you needed for this repair was a pair of needlenose pliers and a flathead screwdriver? I'd appreciate any pointers you can give here. Both bulbs are blown, I don't especially want to spend $300 on a repair, and of course you can't buy replacements anywhere... Thanks!

Andy

bryanintowson
11-03-2017, 11:37 PM
agree a full write up would be helpful.

mbfrezon
11-04-2017, 09:30 PM
Since my car couldn't pass inspection then and since FIAT refused to do anything about it, I went to a nearby shop that does custom LED lighting for trucks and souped up cars. I brought them my manual and the information I'd scraped up while waiting for the dealer or corporation to do something and for less than the local dealer wanted, they installed a small LED strip over the license plate with no problem at all. THey told me that I'd made their job easy because the manual had the fuse/wiring info they needed. [sidebar note: I had to get a paper manual from FIAT USA because they feel that a quickstart guide DVD should be all you need...) Anyway, two years later the lights are still working great and people comment on how nice and bright they are.