inop gauges - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: May 2008
Vehicle: 1982 380sl
Location: Douglasville, GA
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inop gauges

I have a 1982 380sl. A couple of days ago I was cruising down the road and suddenly, my gauges went dead, just as if I had cut off the engine. The a/c still worked, as did the radio. The window lifts also stopped working. I don't have power mirrors or seats. I checked fuses, pulled cluster and "looked" for anything unusual, and checked contacts. Everything was pretty clean there. I put all back together, and now tac, clock, speedo, windows work, but weird things happen when I use turn signals: gauges flipflop, buzzers go off, and I also don't have gauge lights except for a/c and radio when lights are on. If I go out at night I will have to take along a flashlight to see how fast or slow I am going. Thanks for reading, and many thanks to all respondents.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 11:58 AM
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Date registered: Feb 2008
Vehicle: 2004 W220 (S430) ; 2001 R129 (SL500) Sport
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Pretty obviously a short or loose connection. Given the intermittent nature of the problem, it is likely a dirty ground connection since it seems to affect everything rather than one instrument or light. I'd get a wiring diagram if you don't already have one and see where the grounds for all that stuff are. Get some fine emery paper and lightly buff the corrosion off all the connections and reassemble the lot. Assuming it isn't a broken wire somewhere in the harness for the panel, that should remedy the situation. Twenty-seven years will create electrical breaks in the connections that keep the juice flowing. Since your disassembly/reassembly process remedied some of the problems, it's
probably that you scraped some of the accumulated crud off the connections with that. Even if they look clean, they build a layer of oxidation between the bits. If you clean everything up nicely--maybe even spray a little electrical cleaner on the parts in the process, you'll probably find everything shining bright and working like a charm when you're done. Good luck.

"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: May 2008
Vehicle: 1982 380sl
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Thank you. That makes sense. I will definitely give it a go.
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