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What are CAN-bus Error Free LED bulbs?

CAN-bus Error Free LED bulbs are LED bulbs that have resistors that are internally/externally attached. European vehicles are the typical candidates for these types of LED bulbs as the electrical system on these European cars have sensors that detect whether the light is working or not. Since LED bulbs draw far less power than the stock filament bulbs, the vehicle’s computer may think that the bulb is out so it'll throw an "error message" or "bulb out" warning the driver that the light is out; thus the name "error free". The resistor’s job is to mimic the power draw of the stock incandescent bulbs to trick the computer to think that the bulbs are drawing the same rate of power so the vehicle does not throw any error messages.

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Do I need error free bulbs?

If you own a European vehicle, you will most likely need error free bulbs. Many European vehicles such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Range Rover, Jaguar and many more use a CAN-bus (controller area network) systems that monitors the activity of lights on the vehicle to detect if they are operating or not.

Since LED bulbs draw far less power than the stock bulbs, the vehicle’s can-bus system detects the low power draw and determines that the LED bulb is faulty. To stop this from happening, error free LED bulbs have resistors that are built into the light which mimic the power draw of the stock bulb which stops the error message from occurring.

Error free LED bulbs are most commonly used for exterior lights such as the turn signals, head lights, parking lights, license plate lights and more. Interior lights typically do not need error free bulbs, but for certain vehicles, it is required.

To determine what type of lights you need, you can search the year, make, and model of your vehicle on our website. If you do not see your vehicle listed or if you have specific questions regarding what light to get, contact us and we’ll assist you with finding the correct light for your application.

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There are so many error free LED bulbs to choose from, which one is right for my vehicle?

We carry various types of Error Free LED bulbs that come in different specifications and sizes; some of our products have a brief compatibility guide and lists the vehicles the bulb is compatible with and what light it replaces.

However, we also have products that are not compatible with all vehicles, if you do not see your vehicle listed, we recommend you to contact us with your questions and we’ll get back to you with a recommendation.

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I have error free bulbs, but they still throw an error, why?

With vehicles that require error free LED bulbs, there is a specific way to install the lights to make sure that there is no error message. Please follow the steps below:
1. Take out the LED bulb and replace it with the stock bulb, turn on the vehicle, and confirm if the error message is cleared.
2. Turn off the vehicle and re-install the LED bulbs (make sure it is the correct side of polarity or else the vehicle will record the error message again). If the LED bulb is installed, but the polarity is incorrect, you will have to start the troubleshoot again from step one (1).
3. Close all the doors (trunk and hood if open as well), lock the vehicle, and wait 10-15 seconds. After this period, start up the car and turn on the lights to check for the error message.
This is a strange procedure to do, but what we have found in the past is that it does work out well for majority of the vehicles we’ve dealt with. If the troubleshoot above still does not work, please contact us and we’ll find an alternative solution to the problem.

When first starting your engine, you will get what is called a “cold error message” which is a normal occurrence. Neither your LED bulbs nor vehicle have any issues.

The cold error message normally happens when you upgrade your stock bulbs to LED or even when using the stock bulbs in cold weather. When your LED diodes are not in use, your car will detect that they’re disconnected. Your stock bulbs experience the same event in cold weather, building up a strong resistance that virtually disconnects them from your car. In either case, your onboard computer will not detect your light bulbs and a bulb-out warning will show up.

When you first turn on your LED bulbs, you will find they will properly function and the error message will go away. Rest assured that there is no defect in your LED light bulbs or your vehicle.

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