Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

CTS 3rd Stop Lamp

Center high mounted stop lamp on 2003 CTS burned out. Dealer wants $664.86 + labor to replace. Are u kidding me? Any options to reduce cost? Difficult to DIY?


Aren’t these LEDs? If they are and the whole array is not working, I’d look for a broken wire or failed voltage drop resistor first. If they are not LEDs but are incandescent lamps then wouldn’t the lamps be replaceable? An LED or two can fail but not all at the same time unless there is another problem that keeps power from the lighting the array. I wonder too, even if it is an LED array, if it might be possible to replace individual LEDs with a little work by an electronic repair type person.

Otherwise search for a scrapyard part.

Sorry, don’t know more; just trying to help.

Yes, they are LEDs and entire array is out. Maybe it might be a connection issue. I’ll remove the lid applique and take a look.

Appreciate your help.

I took a look at an LED Christmas light set that I just bought. The individual lights are removable with two replacement lights provided. One light removed and the whole set of 50 goes out and now I think that your stoplight array might be wired in series also and one bad light can stop electrical current to all. If you can get at the back side to apply power to each LED to make sure that it lights, you should be able to pick out the bad one. Keep in mind that current to an LED must be limited so too much power could ruin the LED being tested and polarity must be correct or the light will not work.

I suggest that if you have access as noted then go to a Radio Shack store and explain your situation to someone there who can help. I’d ask for a battery holder and a resistor of the proper value for testing individual LEDs or they might recommend a cheap DMM (digital multimeter) with an Ohm scale.

As for a replacement LED, Radio Shack might have what you need otherwise a car parts store should stock an LED stoplight that you could buy to salvage an LED for your stoplight. The LED might be embedded in epoxy so you might have to dig it out but to avoid paying the $664 it is worth a try.

Likewise, I don’t think all the lamps are burned out. The wiring is rather simple. If the left and the right brake lights work, the problem is with the center light assembly, or its power (12 volt).,2775602/initialAction,repairGuide/shopping/repairGuide.htm?pageId=0900c152800a3d41#hd1-1-1
There are a lot of ways to skin this cat…replace individual lamps with leds, or tiny lamps, …replace with a center mount brake light from ANY kind of car from the salvage. Do anything to keep the personal treasury intact.

Are you certain that the stop lamp is LED and not neon?