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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I recently acquired a 2001 156 saloon and the bulb out warning light is driving me crazy! The car had no front side lights and a broken lens on one of the front fogs when I got the car - easily fixed but still the bulb out warning is illuminated. Checked everything else except... are you supposed to be able to read the odometer in the dark because I can't. Is there possibly a bulb out there?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Jim
 

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are you supposed to be able to read the odometer in the dark because I can't. Is there possibly a bulb out there?
Of course you are so you must have a bulb out behind the dash, but I don't know if this would bring the bulb warning light on.

Have you checked both rear number plate lights are working?
 

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Checked rear number plate lights?
 

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Blown speedo bulb (1 of 3 i think) on a previous alfa was the reason the warning light was on mine. Never got round to fixing it cos I could still read the speed at night
 
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Have you checked
a) is your offside rear tail light constantly very faintly illuminated ( check at night )
b) have either your front sidelights or rear tail lights been "linked" by the previous owner running a wire between them.

If either answer is yes I suspect the common rev counter failure
 
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On a facelift 156...

Foglight bulb outages don't normally bring on the bulb failure light

I had the odometer bulb fail and it didn't bring the light on either

...yours might have a bad earth somewhere - check all cables and clean connections!
 

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Yes, double check everything before stripping it all apart. A high resistance but working bulb will bring the light on. So just a poor(ish) connection but with a working bulb will still show an error.
Don't know about display bulbs bringing the warning light in though; it never did on mine and I had one bulb not working on my old 156.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Car is pre-facelift if makes any difference.

I stripped the speedo on Christmas Eve and found two bulbs out and of course I only had one spare. Since I couldn't be bothered going to Halfords (Don't! They are all I have handy!) the story continues...

Hope you all had a good Christmas.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #11
update

Hi

Eventually replaced 3 bulbs in the dash and 1 in the high level rear brake light but to no avail. since I can find nothing else to check or fix I guess I'll just have to live with it. thanks for the suggestions.

Jim
 
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Right...

Bulb out is usually only on when bulb is supposed to be on (so brake lights when you touch brake or other lights when you turn them on).

Light on all the time is supposed to signify fuse or wiring problem IIRC. So if all your lights work as normal either someone has altered wiring like suggested earlier or a dash issue showing warning light incorrectly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
"common rev counter failure" Please tell me more - the rear tail lights are 'linked' I've just discovered.

Jim
 
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There is your problem... obv a break on wire so been linked causing issue. If you can find break and fix it you can remove wire linking them and all should be good :)
 

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"common rev counter failure" Please tell me more - the rear tail lights are 'linked' I've just discovered.

Jim

If your tail lights glow faintly in the dark even when your lights are supposed to be off, this indicates a problem in the rev counter if I remember correctly. Try searching the forum - it has been discussed quite a lot in the past.
 

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"common rev counter failure" Please tell me more - the rear tail lights are 'linked' I've just discovered.

Jim
The "bulb out" warning ciruit is controlled by a series of chips that are on the rev counter, when one or more of these blow then it sets up an open circuit to one of the rear lights (usually drivers side) so the light is perminently on albeit glowing very dimmly which causes a drain on the battery and the "bulb out" warning light is always on.

The bodge fix for this is to link the rear lights and disconect the open circuit.

The correct fix is either to replace the rev counter or to replace the blown chips - both of these are explained in a number of threads.

Just be thankful that you have a 156 and not a 147 because when this occurs in a 147 it means repalcing the body computer.
 
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