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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Dash instruments problem?

Hi all

I am about to buy a reasonably proced second-hand (one previous owner) E320 CDI here in the UK. It has 131000 miles and a full service history.

The vehicle is 8 years old (2000 plate) and has an odd bit of rust here and there, only one small (small) scab on the front, a little on the rear arches and a bit under the doors on the seams.

However, while looking it over, I noticed that the dashpod/instrument binacle had one display that seemed fragmented and not clear.

It was on the very right hand side at the bottom, a small yellow LED/LCD display that I couldn't really tell what it was. Is it the service interval indicator ?

All the other electrics worked fine, no warning lights etc.

Does anyone have any links to photos of an instrument pod illuminated they could point me to, or even an owners manual .pdf or similar for that year of car so I can look what it is supposed to be.

Forearmed is forewarned, maybe I don't want the car beause of it? At this point I do not know.

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 02:10 PM
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LCD is a very common failure on the W210. I've seen it in at least half of the ones I've driven in. Others were clearly replaced.

Either deduct the cost of a full replacement out of the purchase price or force the seller to get it replaced before you purchase the car. The problem isn't going to correct itself, only get worse with time.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 11:12 PM
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This must be a face lift W210? Is it the LCD display at the bottom of the rpm display or the warning lights to the far right?

Like above, the small LCD display have had contact issues. I believe it is even more common on older W210 and C-class cars and it is mainly the odometer and the temperature display. These can be fixed too but it needs quite a lot of work to disassemble the cluster (no easily available MB spare parts).
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

It is an LCD display, looking at the photo, the one under the RPM, looks like a clock I guess.

I shall ask the dealer to try and fix it, however it is only a small trader, the car itself is only £3000, so I can imagine him not wanting to sort it - especially if it is a replacement as I bet I'm right in thinking they are ludicrously expensive.

There will be a one month warranty with the car, again I would imagine this will be for mechanical failure after buying it not wear and tear.

It's a pity as the car is fully loaded, not stupid amounts of miles, full sh and one owner.

I don't really feel competent enough to have a go at removing the cluster and reseating the connectors myself to see if that fixes it and certainly couldn't afford to get MB to do it here in the uk.

Does anyone have a link to the "tutorial" for removing the cluster that is aledged to be on this forum? My searches haven't yet found it.

I am surprised that MB have not offered a swap out service if this is a common problem, Audi did with the dash pods of the mk1 TT in the UK.

Also, if the worst comes to the worst and I do get it,and I can't fix it, is it just the external temp and clock that fails (which is liveable with I guess on a cheap car) all the "essential" functions still work ok ?

It's this model here:
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Last edited by wd40; 10-21-2008 at 01:37 AM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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further to my last post, I have found this place:

Cluster Repairs UK - Instrument cluster/speedometer repair, correction, modification and spares.

Looking at their pictures, it seems to be only the gaer change indicator that is currently dicky.

Without wishing to sound daft, bearing in mind the car is auto, what is the gear change indicator for?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
further to my last post, I have found this place:

Cluster Repairs UK - Instrument cluster/speedometer repair, correction, modification and spares.

Looking at their pictures, it seems to be only the gaer change indicator that is currently dicky.

Without wishing to sound daft, bearing in mind the car is auto, what is the gear change indicator for?
At the UK forum this has been discussed before. You might want to try a search, a couple of examples:
Odometer Display W202 - MBClub Forums
W210 Digital Clock in the instrument pod - MBClub Forums

The W210 section here might give pointers/instructions too.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 06:52 AM
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The temperature display on mine is going out. Eventually, the ODO (trip and total), gear indicator, and clock will all go bad. Dealers here refuse to fix them and their solution is to replace the cluster for approx. $1,000 US. I don't know if the trouble lights are affected, and think it's only what I mentioned.

As Diesel Benz suggested, check the W210 forum, up top, in the Stickys. There are some fixes outlined there. If you want to send it to a aftermarket shop, and have to ship it to them, you can buy simple and inexpensive tools to remove the cluster. If fixing it yourself, it has been advised that you also change all the backlight bulbs while you have it out. You might get lucky and that will fix your problem, but it sounds more like the LED (aka pixels) to me.

Regarding your question about the gear indicator: When you have the gearshift lever in the "D" position, the dash display will never change. But if you tap it to the left while in drive you will see it downshift from "D" to 4-3-2-1; from those various points, you upshift the car by tapping it to the right and it changes to show you which gear you are in.

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Last edited by Musikmann; 10-21-2008 at 07:05 AM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your replies.

Helpful, hopefully in the coming months I can add to the forums (not just take advice
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