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View Full Version : DIY: Annoying Third Brakelight Flasher Removal



500
01-14-2013, 07:51 PM
These days, it seems many dealers want to pad their invoices with expensive (and "unremovable") dealer-installed options. One such item installed on my car is a Pulse(tm) third brake light flasher. Unlike a traditional relay flasher which many owners install on their own car, this is a solid state circuit which "pulses" the light rapidly when the brake is applied by making it dim and brighten. In need of a car, I didn't argue with the dealer at the time about this being "unremovable" and paid the $300 or whatever markup for this device (I had negotiated down past the sticker price anyway, so I was happy).

I'm not a fan in any way of these types of devices, and having never had one before, felt a little self-conscious about braking when I learned what it actually did when, by chance, I pulled up behind another 500 (a Turbo) sold by Fiat of Albuquerque. This simply would not do.

If you, too, find yourself in this position, this simple DIY will allow you a flash-free future of cheery motoring, leaving you only to kick yourself for having forked over three more Benji's to your dealer for no good reason. You can also use this DIY in reverse if you want a relay flasher/pulsating brake light system on your 500.

Step one: Acquire a flathead and phillips screwdriver, two hands, someone else's foot, and five of your own minutes. If you have the Fiat emergency toolkit, you'll find everything you need inside except for the limbs and intangibles.

http://i.imgur.com/bPNWX.jpg

Step two: Open your hatch and use that flathead to pry the two plastic buttons out of the piece of trim above your window. Then use the phillips screwdriver to remove two phillips screws.

http://i.imgur.com/vLU54.jpg

Step three: The trim is also held in place by two plastic clips on the far ends of the trim piece. Carefully bend the trim piece in the middle, and slide it off of one end first, then the other. You can just pull it forward, but that will break the clips and might lead to vibration down the road.

http://i.imgur.com/B4rLe.jpg

Step four: follow the wires up from your third brake light. There will be a black wire spliced into the black wire from the light - unplug this. Then, disconnect a yellow wire from the green wire on your brakelight, and a red wire from the green wire on the wiring harness where it comes down from the trunk lid.

At this point, carefully pull and the three wires (black, yellow and red) will converge at a small black rectangle the size of a stick of gum. This is the relay. Remove it from the vehicle. Mine was stuffed up into the metal hole in the trunk lid, yours may be mounted elsewhere.

http://i.imgur.com/VehF0.jpg

Step five: Connect the two ends of the green wire together. Then, carefully guide the plastic trim back into one of the edge-clips and the other. Reinsert screws and plastic buttons. Close trunk, make sure the brake light is centered and level (mine wasn't the first time I put it back together) and borrow someone else's foot so you can insure that the third brakelight now functions as desired (steady, no pulsing).

http://i.imgur.com/4mLEm.jpg

You are done! You can keep the relay for later, discard of it, put it in your mother's car, list it on eBay... the possibilities are ENDLESS. Enjoy!

http://i.imgur.com/ovt7d.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/piKln.jpg

Coming soon: dealer badge removal DIY. :)

-- Juliette

FTY
01-14-2013, 11:18 PM
Good Job..Nice write-up!!!!

Abarth Phreak
01-15-2013, 01:21 AM
I'll give you three washingtons for it....I love safety devices.

500
01-15-2013, 02:10 AM
LOL, Didn't catch that at first due to being totally worn out. Gimme an address and I'll stick it in an envelope fo free. :)

Prima 109
01-15-2013, 08:42 PM
FYI. That device or one simular is avialiable through 500 Madness for around $40.00.

trevc
01-16-2013, 10:28 AM
I purchased and installed one of those for my Abarth from Madness. Works well keeping people off my tail.

msjulie33
01-16-2013, 10:33 AM
[FONT=Arial]

Step one: Acquire a flathead and phillips screwdriver, two hands, someone else's foot, and five of your own minutes. If you have the Fiat emergency toolkit, you'll find everything you need inside except for the limbs and intangibles.


I know just the person who needs this (in my family) - not me :) Nice write up, especially the details on required limbs

500
01-16-2013, 08:52 PM
Hehe, glad it might be of use. If you or anyone you know wants to relay, I'll send it to you free. :)

-- Julie

Abarth Phreak
01-17-2013, 12:34 AM
LOL, Didn't catch that at first due to being totally worn out. Gimme an address and I'll stick it in an envelope fo free. :)

LOL...it was the only thing I could think of...lol.

Ill PM you.

EliRider
01-17-2013, 12:23 PM
(???$300??? from the dealer... uhm..)

Madness sells the Pulsar unit for $30. Well worth it.

http://500madness.com/500madness/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=257&product_id=143

This was my review comments a while ago... not sure if the product has changed from when I installed last summer.


Just installed this Pulsar module on my Abarth. Easy to install. Previously I rated this module 3 stars but now rate it 4 stars and recommend this module. It turned out that the documentation was slightly incorrect regarding jumper J3 for Long vs Short blink duration. By removing J3, a 5-6 second "long" duration blink is performed. I would rate this module 5 stars if it came with matching power connectors so that you did not have to cut the harness for installation. Nevertheless, installation was easy and I'm glad to have extra protection to notify cars behind me to back off.

500
01-22-2013, 01:53 PM
Like I said, it's a dealer markup on what's most likely the same product. I'd need to look at the invoice again, but it was something ridiculous like that. In any case, I got the total car price where I wanted it and didn't care either way about this thing being included in the end since I figured it'd be easy to remove. :)

-- Julie

Abarth Phreak
01-25-2013, 09:51 PM
I have a very nice almost new flasher relay....might get it installed this weekend.

Julie: Thanks!!!

beerchug

Corrnaus
01-26-2013, 01:36 AM
I was going to buy the pulsar when I saw it online, put then decided to do this instead

4846

buzzny
01-27-2013, 10:20 AM
Hi Julie,

"Coming soon: dealer badge removal DIY."

A hairdryer worked for me to get the Mello off. It was the 1st thing I did. The sooner the better so the paint doesn't fade. I got my 500 from them before they added the Pulse.

See ya around town!:burnout:

Abarth Phreak
01-27-2013, 04:19 PM
Julie...

Successfully transplanted the pulsar this morning. Thank you again. Your write-up was top notch and made the swap a piece-o-cake! Keep up the great DIYs!!!!

500
02-05-2013, 01:28 PM
Julie...

Successfully transplanted the pulsar this morning. Thank you again. Your write-up was top notch and made the swap a piece-o-cake! Keep up the great DIYs!!!!
You're very welcome! Glad to be helpful :)

Buzzny: Ooh, sounds like the Melloy stickers are an easy-removal. I've done some which are a total nightmare and thought a write-up from removal w/o paint damage would be a good idea, but if these are just heat-gunnable than I'm even happier :D