Our Ford Freestar recently had its annual state-mandated inspection. The (overzealous?) mechanic failed the third brake light (it has a series of 9 red LEDs). I didn't speak directly with the mechanic (yet) and the only "problem" I see is that one of the LEDs doesn't light up when braking and one next to it is dim. Overall, the light is highly visible when braking. I disconnected both the unlit and dim LEDs from the assembly. Interestingly, if I use the LED that appeared dim to connect the posts on a 9v battery, it lights up and appears very bright. The "dead" LED doesn't light up at all.
Rather than $150 to have the mechanic replace the light assembly, I'm leaning towards picking up a through-hole LED and connecting/soldering it in place. I have rudimentary electronics and soldering experience/ability. Any suggestions or things to look out for? Do I need to worry about voltage requirements for a replacement LED? If you can point me to a good choice for replacement LED, perhaps (nearly) identical to the LEDs in my assembly, it would be appreciated.