65 220SEb CABRIOLET: WHAT ARE "CLEARANCE LIGHTS"? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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65 220SEb CABRIOLET: WHAT ARE "CLEARANCE LIGHTS"?

While changing bulbs in my W111 Cabriolet I found that there are two small 4W bulbs in tandem in the center of the tail/brake/turn-signal light cluster. The front one is the tail light and the one behind it is described in the owner's manual as the "clearance light". I could not get it to light up and have no idea of what it's purpose is. Does anyone know? Thanks!

Marvin Huey
Lawrence, Kansas

1965 220SEb Cabriolet, !994 E320 Cabriolet, 1999 ML 320, 1965 BMW R60 motorcycle w/ Steib sidecar
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-14-2010, 04:53 AM
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They are "Parking lights" in German

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Originally Posted by ketchsailor27 View Post
While changing bulbs in my W111 Cabriolet I found that there are two small 4W bulbs in tandem in the center of the tail/brake/turn-signal light cluster. The front one is the tail light and the one behind it is described in the owner's manual as the "clearance light". I could not get it to light up and have no idea of what it's purpose is. Does anyone know? Thanks!
I suspect those are what the Germans refer to as "Parklicht." If you turn your light switch counter-clockwise one stop the right rear lights and two stops the left rear illuminates. It was designed for parking on dark un-lit roads and avoiding someone running in to you.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-14-2010, 10:44 AM
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I have a slightly different answer. Clearance lights are lights to be left on when parked on the side of the road. If you turn the light switch one click to the left you activate the left clearance lights (front and rear). If you turn the light switch 2 clicks to the left you instead activate the right clearance lights (front and rear). (I may have left and right mixed up, but you get the idea). This is a common function on Mercedes cars from at least the 1960s and possibly earlier and continues past 2000, assumedly to present.

Some US cars do not have clearance lights enabled (same with rear fog light). In some cars, enabling them involves putting a bulb in the socket that is missing the bulb. In other cars, wiring and the addition of bulb sockets is necessary. Regardless, there are lots of Mercedes light fixtures (or Euro headlamp assemblies) that are setup for clearance lights.

On all of my cars, it is front and rear, not just rear.

Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
Past: 1971 250 C, 1985 300 TD, 1967 250 S, 1968 280 S,1981 300 D, 1982 280CE, 3 Facel Vegas, Borgward Isabella Coupe, Alfa 2600 Sprint, Volvo P1900 (yes), numerous less interesting Volvos, ...
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