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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2008, 04:45 AM
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Default 3rd Brake Light/Rear Hatch

I just got a 2003 Beetle about a month ago and I was following my wife tonight and noticed the 3rd Brake Light doesn't work. I was wondering if the whole light would go bad like that or what it might be.

Also the rear hatch is weird. When you press the button on the remote or on the drivers door it pops the truck but if you don't jump to it and open it within like 1 full second it gets stuck and you have to press the button again. What causes this?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2008, 10:08 AM
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Yah, the 3rd brakelight could be bad, or a connection going to it. It is not all that hard to replace, there are like 2 screws inside the "handles" on the inside of the rear hatch, and that pulls out, then you can see two longer screws (if I remember) maybe 3, holding the 3rd brakelight in. Somewhere , there is a how-to on how to check it / replace it.

As for the lock, yes, that is normal. I think that is in case you accidently "pop" it while driving, etc. The hatch doesn't come flying open that way.

If you are ever by the back, unlock the hatch, and listen, you'll hear the lock motor itself back to hold the gate. It'll still be "loose" but it won't be open.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evanrude
As for the lock, yes, that is normal. I think that is in case you accidently "pop" it while driving, etc. The hatch doesn't come flying open that way.

If you are ever by the back, unlock the hatch, and listen, you'll hear the lock motor itself back to hold the gate. It'll still be "loose" but it won't be open.
That just isn't very much time to open the gate. I seriously can't just hit the button on the drivers door and walk to the back and open it. I have to open it a little and then go hit the button again. The only way I can get it open by using the drivers door button is by pushing it and running to the back and opening it.

And about accidentally popping it while driving seems sorta dumb because they can put a sensor that tells if you are driving or not. My other cars won't even pop trunks or hatches if the car is moving. Have to be stopped.
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:05 PM
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I solve the hatch problem by pushing the button, counting to two (or listening for the whirrr if you're close enough) and then pushing the button again.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:43 PM
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i have the same problem, is the fuse for rear brake lights the same for all 3 brake lights? or is there a separate fuse for the third/3rd brake light???
i checked the fuses and there's no problem with them...!!!

it must be a contact or it just stopped working because some cheapo chinese component stopped working... @#$@#$#@#!@#@!#!#$#!@#!@#$#!@@!#

thnx, help greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfromberg View Post
i have the same problem, is the fuse for rear brake lights the same for all 3 brake lights? or is there a separate fuse for the third/3rd brake light???
i checked the fuses and there's no problem with them...!!!

it must be a contact or it just stopped working because some cheapo chinese component stopped working... @#$@#$#@#!@#@!#!#$#!@#!@#$#!@@!#

thnx, help greatly appreciated!
Yeah I was wondering the same thing because I still haven't fixed mine and they are LED's so I know they're not Bad. It's got to be something simple like a connector or something. Anyone have any ideas? I really don't want to buy a whole new 3rd brake light module.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:40 PM
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i open the rear part and discovered no faulty connector, i still have to open the 2 or 3 screws in order to take it out of the housing...

i wanted to check here to see if there's a manual on how to take it out, to no avail... anyone knows where to find one???

also the lighting for my fan, temp control and a/c is gone, it's not the fuse! anyone knows how to change the buld or LED there???

any help greatly appreciated!!! ;-)
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:37 PM
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For the trunk release, it's a safety feature so that you don't unlock it accidentally to have it come flying open at a later point in time. However, mine lasts a bit longer ... I've never timed it or anything, but one second seems awfully short.

For the third brake light, it's really easy to replace. After taking off the plastic trim piece on the inside of the hatch, you can see three screws, they're Phillips-head. It's very easy to replace. You can get it from the dealership for about $40 if I recall, it's a tad expensive, but there's not really any other place to find it other than a junkyard maybe?

For the HVAC light that's out, it's only one lightbulb, and it's pretty easy to replace. I don't have the number or code on me, but it's here somewhere on this website if you search around ... probably the dealer will know what you're talking about too. It's only like a 75cent part. To replace it, turn the fan switch to the "2" position, then with a rubber glove or a pliers or something (I used a pliers covered by a rubber glove), just pull straight out on the knob. It doesn't feel like it wants to go, but it will. Then you can see the bulb just straight back there. The most difficult part is actually getting it in and out of the socket since it's such a tiny space and your fingers are too fat to fit in the hole ... I used some extra vacuum tubing I had laying around, but maybe a straw would work or something? You'll figure it out once you get the knob off. To replace the knob, just push it right back in.

Hope I helped!
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zappa26 View Post
For the trunk release, it's a safety feature so that you don't unlock it accidentally to have it come flying open at a later point in time. However, mine lasts a bit longer ... I've never timed it or anything, but one second seems awfully short.

For the third brake light, it's really easy to replace. After taking off the plastic trim piece on the inside of the hatch, you can see three screws, they're Phillips-head. It's very easy to replace. You can get it from the dealership for about $40 if I recall, it's a tad expensive, but there's not really any other place to find it other than a junkyard maybe?

For the HVAC light that's out, it's only one lightbulb, and it's pretty easy to replace. I don't have the number or code on me, but it's here somewhere on this website if you search around ... probably the dealer will know what you're talking about too. It's only like a 75cent part. To replace it, turn the fan switch to the "2" position, then with a rubber glove or a pliers or something (I used a pliers covered by a rubber glove), just pull straight out on the knob. It doesn't feel like it wants to go, but it will. Then you can see the bulb just straight back there. The most difficult part is actually getting it in and out of the socket since it's such a tiny space and your fingers are too fat to fit in the hole ... I used some extra vacuum tubing I had laying around, but maybe a straw would work or something? You'll figure it out once you get the knob off. To replace the knob, just push it right back in.

Hope I helped!
Thnx man!!!

you helped me a lot! especailly with the dash light;-)

i still can't believe nobody has found the fault with the LED break light... really weird... the LEDs are still working that's a fact... i dying to find out what is going bad... since many people had this problem and after they switched old for new and it works after that it must be within the LED housing... no???

great tip with the straw or vacuum tubeing... i will try that tomorrow, 00.14am here;-)


good nite from heidelberg, germany;-)
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:11 AM
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Glad I could help!
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-30-2009, 11:10 PM
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Default 3rd brake light problem

my 3rd brakelight has cracked after 9 years and i think moisture leaking inside could of killed it. this is a weird problem considering this an led strip and should out last the life of the car.

Last edited by mod7; 07-31-2009 at 01:58 PM..
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2012, 07:05 AM
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On my '02 Turbo S, the third brake light works only occasionally. My theory has to do with the wire going into the hatch at the top. It has to flex whenever the hatch is opened, so perhaps a short has developed in the brake light wire.

For the hatch delay problem, my solution is to get out of the car first, then push the release button (my remote is missing) and slam the door. If the windows are closed, the air pressure will push up the hatch so it won't lock itself when the release motor relaxes.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:33 AM
L33Registered Member L33 is offline
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Rear hatch release.

Hatch release problem started several years into ownership of my '99 NB. Recently replaced the gas struts because they failed to hold the hatch open and now the release works per design.

So, if some pressure is lost over time the struts will not open the hatch far enough to clear the latch.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:15 PM
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Default 3rd Brake light replacement.

For 3rd Brake light replacement please read my earlier posting:

Replacing Eye Level Brake Light
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:37 AM
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Default Water incursion

The third eye went out on my '03 beetle "Bugley", so I followed the instructions here today and sure enough it was water incursion. I could see a clear channel where the water leaked and got into the circuit board. Being Labor Day, of course the friendly neighborhood VW dealer parts dept was closed, so I ordered a replacement from CarID.com. Then I'll get to try to remember how to put all this back together.
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