Headlight sockets melted. What's the cause; how to replace? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 09:04 PM
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Headlight sockets melted. What's the cause; how to replace?

Noticed my headlight low beams cutting in and out. Wiggling the light socket would cause them to go on and off. Once I pulled the bulb out (difficult), I could see melted plastic that once formed the female sockets. Happened on both headlights. Anyone know what would cause this on a 97? How are the sockets replaced since the wires appear to be formed into the socket and the wires go off through the headlight assembly into the great unknown?

SLer

97 SL500
Orlando
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 09:57 PM
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Bit tricky to know if you are not the only owner.

Have seen something similar when people have modded the original bulbs for extra-bright light bulbs which have too high a wattage rating, get too hot and therefore melt the housing.

Maybe somone realised what was happening, or didn't like and reverted back to original bulbs before mountings useless thereby looks like stock bulbs but these weren't causing the problem.

Alternatively, it could be just gremlins...

1997 Benz SL500 (R129)
2001 Benz ML320 (W163)
HONG KONG
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 01:51 AM
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It's usually a bad electrical contact that causes heat to be generated and the fact that the low beams were intermittent would back this theory up.
If the bulb sockets aren't too far gone I would check and clean the contacts also the bulb's soft lead (as in Pb) contacts as well as checking the spring pressure which is what holds the contacts together.
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 06:53 PM
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Had the same problem, poor design.
Wires/connector, to thin.
But it is easy to solve.
Cut some small copper strands from thin wire stuff them in the connector holes,
and cut them, check for shorts.
Then push the bulb in.
It is been over a year.
Keeps on ticking.
Regards,
aam.
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 08:22 PM
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I have the socket...$20 shipped to US

DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT!!!
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aam View Post
Had the same problem, poor design.
Wires/connector, to thin.
But it is easy to solve.
Cut some small copper strands from thin wire stuff them in the connector holes,
and cut them, check for shorts.
Then push the bulb in.
It is been over a year.
Keeps on ticking.
Regards,
aam.
Well, kept on ticking until we discarded the older headlamps in favor for the xenon headlamps! :-)

AFAIK, this problem should only occur on US-spec vehicles which use the DOT headlamps. These headlamps use the HB1 bulbs which have connector pins barely adequate for 55 watt bulbs. As AHMORRIS stated, if anyone has tampered with the headlamps and attempted to use an overwatt bulb, they will often cause damage to the headlamp's connector.

You can shim the connectors which can work, but ultimately the connector should be replaced.

- Mike / ClearCorners.Com
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 04:16 PM
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R129 Headlight Sockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheVpwr View Post
I have the socket...$20 shipped to US
TheVpwr
If you still have one I'm interested to buy it.
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2007, 08:43 PM
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FYI, you may want to check with the folks over at Susquehanna Motorsports Home Page - they're a great company and should be able to supply OE connectors for that application.

Like I said before though, be warned... the optic performance of the US-spec halogen headlamps is rubbish.
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2007, 08:58 PM
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On my 98 I had the problem of the left beam not working at all, the entire left side actually, I rewired the left headlights to the rights and got a 40 fuse instead of 25, just be sure to keep the wires seperated from each other once there connected.
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2007, 12:48 PM
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i wouldnt recommend upping the amperage of your fuse unless you're looking for trouble. you want to fix the problem and not increase fuse rating, especially since your wiring is still the same gauge!!!

something like this could cause a fire...
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