- the difference between the original Visteon socket and the replacement socket (says "Uro" on the part) is in the contact for the center pin at the bottom of the bulb - the contact is larger in the Uro part.
- an additional problem is high resistance between the contacts on the outside of the socket and the contacts in the housing. Current flowing there creates even more heat and eventually melts the plastic housing so that the contacts in the housing come off and disappear inside the sealed housing - now you have a bigger problem. The bottom line is that the halogen H21W bulb is not a good choice for this application - too much current draw and too much heat which creates all the failures we've talked about.
A bit of good news - I found a way to fix a taillight that has had the contacts in the housing come off; I have to cut open the housing and do some rework inside to eliminate the damaged interface. Let me know if you need help with a melted housing. Unfortunately this fix does not eliminate all the heat problems with the bulb/socket, so the LED fixes are still needed. I am trying to develop an LED fix that is completely contained in the taillight without the external resistors; I will keep the group informed if I come up with something.
Bottom line: If you just have a burned out bulb, replace both the socket and bulb. If you have a melted socket you may be able to replace both the bulb and socket if the contacts between the socket and housing are still good. If the contacts in the housing have been overheated/damage you will need a more extensive repair since the housing assembly is no longer available. The sort of good news is that at least with any of these failures you still have a safe/legal car with any annoying fault indicator as long as the LEDs are still working (and the LED parts of these taillights seem to be pretty robust unlike the light bar).
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