How to Upgrade Backup Lights On Volkswagen Golf

How to: Install/Replace backup lights on Volkswagen Golf MK7 (2015+) USDM

This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of either replacing the backup light bulb or upgrade to an aftermarket LED bulb.

In this tutorial we are going to swap out our factory 921 halogen bulbs to our GX3020 CANBUS model.

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Recommended tools: Trim Remover / Pry Tool / Panel Remover Tool

Parts Used: GX3020 CANBUS LED (921 LED replacement bulb)

  1. Open the trunk hatch and there will be two covers.

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1a. Locate trim indentation, and using your pry tool, pull away the panel to expose lamp housing.

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2. Locate the backup light bulb socket. To remove socket, twist 1/4 turn counter-clockwise to unlock and carefully pull out the entire socket and bulb.

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2a. Use gloves to prevent direct contact to the glass surface of the bulb.  If the bulb hot, use a towel or heat resistant gloves to remove from the receptacle.

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Here is a side by side view to compare the stock bulb and the LED replacement.

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3. Install LED bulb onto the receptacle or socket and insert the entire unit back to the lamp housing.

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Always check the aftermarket parts dimensions and make sure the housing allows you to fit the replacement.  As you can see here, we were right on point in fitting the aftermarket LED replacement.

Test the bulb replacements before finalizing installation to ensure installation was done correctly. If there are no errors you can reverse the steps to put everything back together and begin troubleshooting.

Here is a photo showing a comparison to the incandescent bulb (left) versus the GX3020 (Right)

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What we found about this installation:

During the installation we have learned that the backup light circuit only has to be complete (like a fuse) for the error code to be prevented. We installed a CANBUS error free bulb and a NON CANBUS bulb and both were compatible with no error messages being triggered.

We replaced the bulb holder (socket), without any bulbs installed, and only then did we encounter a bulb out error.

Volkswagen Golf equipped with an Entertainment System.

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Volkswagen Golf’s without Entertainment System

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LED Switchbacks, the revolution of turn signals has begun!

Driving safety is the number one concern when operating a motor vehicle.  Whether your vehicle is a car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, or RV, you always have to consider safety.  One factor that may also affect your driving safety is how your vehicle signals when you are about to perform a turn.  With how innovative automotive LED technology has become, we now have the ability to improve how your turn signal functions so that other drivers can have a distinct view when you are approaching and/or about to signal, to alert them, that you are about to turn.

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JDM ASTAR offers LED switchback turn signal bulbs for almost any automotive vehicle.  An LED switchback bulb is a dual-filament LED lamp that supports two different colors of light for each filament.  The colors that the switchback bulbs support are amber, and xenon white.  A traditional incandescent or halogen turn signal bulb, usually, supports two filaments which are; low intensity(parking lights and/or daytime running lights) and high intensity(turn signals and sometimes parking lights).  Some may also only support a single high intensity filament.  High intensity means the brightness of the lamp has a higher light output.  Low intensity will lower the light output.  Your switchback bulb works very similarly but instead of “dimming” the second filament to give you a low intensity light, it will actually support a white colored light that measures at a color temperature from 5,800K-6,500K.  The high intensity filament will appear in a bright amber color.  The white color activate as soon as your vehicle begins to utilize the second low intensity filament.  How your vehicle utilizes both the high and low intensity filament, with the factory bulb, will give you an idea of how our switchback LED bulbs will function with car.  For most vehicles, you will have a white color for your parking lights or daytime running lights, and will switch to an amber color once a turn signal is engaged.  After the turn is finished and the signal turns off, the amber light “switches back” to a xenon white color.  The switchback bulbs will not flash “white-amber-white-amber” like you see with a lot of ‘knock-off’ LED bulbs that everybody tries to avoid.  They will flash like your original halogen bulbs and only in amber color.

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We offer LED switchback bulbs in a several different sizes from an old style dual filament size like 1157 as well as the latest sizes like 7443(T20), and 3157(T25).  They are also available in different chip sets from our AX2835, EX, and PX to our 3030 chip set so that you will have multiple options in light output.  Certain LED switchback bulbs like our PX, and 3030 series, will even support a non-polarity feature so that they will function with sockets that are equipped with a standard or CK/SRCK configuration!

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With most vehicles, if you utilize our switchback bulb, you will have the ability to use a white light for your parking lights, and an amber color for your turn signals.  Having this feature together with your turn signals will ensure that other drivers, in front of you, will have a much easier time noticing you, coming up from behind.  The fact that the parking lights are white and switch to amber will also make you that much more noticeable and thus improve driving safety. So next time you need to replace a turn signal bulb, do not just switch the bulb for a bright LED bulb, “switchback” to a revolution of LED turn signals.

 

-JDM ASTAR Team

 

 

LED Lighting, you have been doing it wrong!

How are my headlights supposed to be oriented inside the housing?  What type of bulb should we use for a fog light on my car?  What is better, a fan or a heat sink?  These are all questions for which we have not seen a single source provide answers for and that is what we are doing for you today.  We want to provide you with some tips when upgrading your vehicles factory lamps to high performance LED lighting.

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One of the most common questions we hear every day is how your LED headlights should be positioned.  Well, this can be different for some cars, and even if the model and maker is the same, it does not necessarily mean that the body is all the same.  First, you should understand how your LED bulbs will insert into your housing to determine what the final result will be, once installed.  JDM ASTAR offers adjustable LED replacement lamps that will allow you to correct the orientation.  The position of the diodes (LED chips) should always be in a side to side orientation, meaning, you should have one set facing at 3 o’clock, and the other set facing at 9 o’clock.  This will allow a nice and even 360 light distribution throughout the housing creating an even beam of light as well as evenly fill up the housing.  We cannot stress enough how poor your headlights will appear if you have the incorrect orientation, not to mention the glare may cause to other drivers. The last thing you want to do is create a hazard when operating your car.  Be very careful as there are many brands and vendors that will advise that the bulbs are designed to be this way, but, we have tested several types of housings, and style of lamps and have learned that the proper orientation for LED lighting is to face the diodes side to side unless you integrate a 3rd side that will provide an additional side of lighting to cover a high beam application.

For dual headlight setups, that provide low and high beams off one bulb, will use the same orientation side to side orientation but there will also be some type of shield or cover which should always be sitting below the diodes after you orient the bulb side to side.  If the shield sits above the diodes then flip it around now!  The shield or cover helps prevent light from shining down to ensure it does not reflect at a higher angle so the cover should always be sitting below the diodes.  For those unique LED designs that have a 3rd side with diodes mounted, there will be an off set chip that sits closer to the fan or heat sink.  It sits closer or deeper in the lamp housing to provide a higher light beam angle.  The 3rd side will usually cover the high beam application which should always face downward. To summarize, LED designs with chips on two sides of the bulb should face left and right.  LED designs with 3 sides should have the high beam side facing downward and the other two will face diagonally upward to where one chip sits at around 2 o’clock and the other 10 o’clock.

JDM ASTAR offers an option that allows an adjustment to the orientation in case your vehicle is one of those unique models that simply has the chuck lined up a certain way to where any type of LED replacement headlight will have bad orientation.

 

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Another question we have been hearing a lot lately is what type of lamp is appropriate for your application.  Well, of course, you should always consider heat as the number one factor as this is the most common reason why an LED fails prematurely.  But what type of lamp should you be going for?  A good tip is to simply check the wattage of the LED replacement.  Here is a table to keep it simple and to show you what type of lamp you should be looking for when replacing a factory halogen bulb on your car.  The table will give you a range of what you should be looking for to ensure that you buy the right LED bulb type for the appropriate application.  We cannot tell you how many times we have seen a 9005 fog light type LED bulb being used in place of a low beam or high beam application.  So next time you are in the market to replace a bulb that has gone out, just check the wattage.

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To get the best results out of your LED light replacements to is to replicate the same or similar light distribution of the factory bulb.  Most vehicles on the market have housings that are designed to distribute light from a bulb that emits light in a 360 degree orientation.  This will provide optimal results both in how well the light fills the housing as well as project the light.  There are some factors on the LED bulb that will help provide optimal results, but the ice breaker is where and how the light is emitted.  Factory HID lamps are the only exception due to the design of the housing being different.  Factory HID lamps can get away with using an LED replacement that does not offer 360 lighting, however, if the factory bulb is an incandescent, or halogen, then you definitely should be looking for an option that will provide lighting from more than one side.  Next time you decide to upgrade the factory bulb to LED, call JDM ASTAR where you will not only get the appropriate LED replacement, but you will have a team of professionals that will provide friendly advice on how to get the most out of your LED replacements, and do it right the first time, and every time. . . .

 

-JDM ASTAR Team

3157/7443 CK VS. STANDARD SOCKET

What is a CK/SRCK socket?

A CK/SRCK is like the traditional sockets you see in most Japanese, and American vehicles except the ground terminals are located on the same side of the socket.  If the ground terminals are located on the opposite side of the socket, then it more then likely is a standard socket.  We still encourage you to test the sockets using a multimeter.  To identify the ground positions.

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Standard Socket

What will happen if a standard LED bulb is used for a CK socket?

Only one level of brightness(intensity) will light up, and when the other application is activated, it will cause a short on the circuit.

How to distinguish between a  CK socket and a standard socket?

From our experiences, most TOYOTA vehicles front turn signal sockets are a CK type.  Sometimes, you can even see there are two terminals connected directly, which means they are the ground terminals.  You may also identify the ground terminal location from the wires on the back of the socket.  A test is still required, using a multimeter, in order to confirm the type. Also your original bulb will tell you if it is a CK or standard, most CK bulbs will say SRCK on the bulb base.

Why do I have a standard halogen bulb, but a CK socket?

The ground pins of halogen bulbs are not shared. The ground pins of LED bulbs are connected on the circuit board inside the LED bulb. The circuit board is necessary to help maintain the temperature of LED which will provide stability, and a long lifespan.