The Cadillac XLR’s Tail Light Offers An Opportunity For The Technically Inclined
Don’t Kick The $3000 Tail Light!
If you have been hit with unexpectedly expensive car repairs because of one costly part you might have some sympathy for the owner of a Cadillac who was surprised by the price tag of a replacement tail light. It seems GM designed an LED tail light with a rather fragile PCB which was covered in a layer of fixative to help keep everything in place and also makes replacing parts more or less impossible. To top it off, they chose to send signals to the light via a microprocessor as opposed to a simple switch for some reason which likely makes sense to someone.
Hackaday points out that making an LED light blink on and off is one of the most common first projects for someone learning electronics and that with a bit of thought and effort you might just be able to create replacement parts for people you know; possibly making a bit of money at it too.
First of all, there’s scope for an enterprising hacker to make a killing on a repair kit for owners faced with a three grand bill. Then, there’s another opportunity for us to be acquainted with the reality that the rest of the world hasn’t quite caught up with repair culture as we might imagine.