2005 CLK500 Rear Light Problems - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Question 2005 CLK500 Rear Light Problems

Hey guys, I just picked up a CLK500 , and noticed the rear lights don't come on when I turn on the headlights. The brake lights, turn signals, and reverse lights all work in the rear though. I checked the bulbs on both sides, and they still look good. Checked all the fuses, and they look good still. Is there a relay for them somewhere? What else could it be? I ordered the manual for the car since it was missing when I bought it, but hasn't got here yet. Thank you for any help!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 08:03 PM
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The exterior lighting is all controlled electronically by the SAMs (signal acquisition modules). If the rear tail lights don't work properly, you should be getting error messages (generated by the rear SAM, displayed on the instrument cluster MFD). If this doesn't happen, i'd suspect a defective rear SAM.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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It said 3rd brake light out, but all of the brake lights are fine.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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So should I grab another rear SAM then? I was reading it would need to be programmed. Is that something you can do from the car, or will I need to haul it to the dealer for that?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 06:37 PM
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That 3rd brake light error is common. The LED strip can get small breaks in it internal wiring and although the lights work, you still get a fault.

If you get a SAM from a car exactly like yours (same morel, year and options) then it will need no programming.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 03:53 PM
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It said 3rd brake light out, but all of the brake lights are fine.
Where does it say that?

OP stated the 'rear lights', which we can assume to mean both left and right taillamps. If there is no +12 vdc at the sockets, the problem is probably the rear SAM, as rudeney has advised.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 06:26 PM
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Keyhole - he is the OP. It sounds like there are two problems. One is that the rear park lights do not come on with the headlights, but with no errors,. Then, there is a "3rd Brake Light" error. The lack of park lights (and without an error message) sounds like a SAM problem. The 3rd brake light error could be related, or it could just be a bad LED light bar.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 01:57 AM
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Keyhole - he is the OP.
So he is! I didn't notice that. I wish newbie posters gave us All the facts at the beginning....
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 02:32 AM
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If you want your third brake light to last a long time ,,,

Don't slam the trunk / boot lid.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 07:13 PM
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If you want your third brake light to last a long time ,,,

Don't slam the trunk / boot lid.
Yeah, it seems to be more fragile than one would expect. On mine, I never slammed the lid but it still started giving me errors. I took it out and disassembled it expected to find some bad LEDs or broken wiring, but I found nothing visually wrong. I put it all back together, using clear silicone sealant to reattach the plastic lens. I tightened the bracket just enough to hold it in place, and all was good.

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