Urgghh!! My drivers low beam is not working after replacing the bulb - Mercedes-Benz Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Member
 
tfvesquire's Avatar
 
Date registered: Feb 2015
Vehicle: 1981 380SL
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Posts: 148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Urgghh!! My drivers low beam is not working after replacing the bulb

So no major issues with my car after owning it for about 3 weeks now, just some minor and inexpensive headaches that were easily solved. I get into my car last night and see the dash indicator advising me my left low beam is out. Seconds later, I get a notice that my active lighting is inactive referring to the motor(s) on my intelligent lights.

I get home and after some careful inspection and removal of select parts, I accessed the left low beam xenon bulb. Get on the phone to one of the only parts stores in town still open and they have a replacement available. I confirmed it is the correct bulb and while wearing my surgical gloves I applied some bulb grease to the wire harness connector and carefully installed the bulb. Button everything back up, but it still doesn't work. I also noticed the left headlight has moisture/condensation inside which tells me a seal is leaking and the cooler outside temp combined with the intense heat from the bulbs could be affecting the bulb motors and bulbs. I carefully moved the headlight motor slightly left and right and up and down and it moved smoothly. As of driving the car this morning, when my headlights came on I did not get the active lights warning again, just the low beam is out.

At this point, am I safe to assume the low beam ballast has burned out? I don't mind buying a replacement for $150 and removing everything if it will solve my issue. I have resealed headlights with clear silicone in the past to reseal them so I don't mind that. I just don't want to go thru all the work of removing the front bumper to access the headlight, replacing the ballast only to be disappointed with the low beam still not working.

If anyone on here has done this ballast replacement with success please chime in. I will note that the rest of the headlight functions properly (led strip, turn signal and high beam) I don't know if the left cornering light only functions when the left low beam is on, but that bulb is not turning on as well. If the ballast for the cornering light has also burned out I would prefer to replace both while I have everything apart.

Thanks everyone and have a nice weekend!!

Ted

Last edited by tfvesquire; 04-19-2019 at 11:12 AM.
tfvesquire is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Member
 
tfvesquire's Avatar
 
Date registered: Feb 2015
Vehicle: 1981 380SL
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Posts: 148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
UPDATE:

Ok, so after researching how to fix my low beam issue I discovered there are actually three (3) ballasts on each headlight mounted underneath the housing. The only way to access them is to remove the entire headlight, which means I have to remove the front bumper to get to all the bolts. Not what I was planning to do with my newly purchased car, but honestly, if the headlights and ballasts are the original which I have no reason to suspect otherwise, that means they have lasted 8 years and 87K miles.

My only dilemma is whether to purchase all three ballasts since I have no idea which ballast controls the low beam. I spoke with someone online who informed me that the 3 ballasts are actually connected somewhat so if one goes out, it could affect the others. I have no way to test these at my garage so I have no alternative but to purchase three used replacements with warranties and replace one at a time until my headlight functions again. I don't know whether I will need to have my car scanned to clear any codes and have the electrical system "accept" the replacement parts.

I will post what I find out after I get the parts installed and switch everything on.

Have a great holiday weekend.

Ted
tfvesquire is offline  
post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 07:07 AM
Moderator
 
Skylaw's Avatar
 
Date registered: Oct 2004
Vehicle: 2013 S550
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 10,815
Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Quoted: 453 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Garage
I don't have specifics on the W221, but I had to go to great lengths on a W220 a few years ago. There is some info on what I did to remove the assembly without removing the bumper, and also sources of ballasts other than Mercedes. FWIW, https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w22...t-removal.html
dlafever likes this.

Warren

2013 S550

Formerly:
2010 S550
2005 S500 4-Matic
2000 S500
1978 450SL
Skylaw is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 07:24 AM
Outstanding Contributor
 
dlafever's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2004
Vehicle: 2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
Location: Aridzona, USA
Posts: 1,738
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylaw View Post
I don't have specifics on the W221, but I had to go to great lengths on a W220 a few years ago. There is some info on what I did to remove the assembly without removing the bumper, and also sources of ballasts other than Mercedes. FWIW, https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w22...t-removal.html
That's an awesomely helpful accounting of your experience, thank you!
dlafever is offline  
post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Member
 
tfvesquire's Avatar
 
Date registered: Feb 2015
Vehicle: 1981 380SL
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Posts: 148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
w220 and w221 headlight mounting different??

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlafever View Post
That's an awesomely helpful accounting of your experience, thank you!
So I read the attached link and the part that says the member did not have to remove the bumper to remove the headlight assembly on their W220.

I just watched a detailed video on Youtube about an owner removing their front bumper on a 2007 W221, removing the headlights and reinstalling everything. According to the video and the close up of the sides of the headlights, there is a torx screw stud that attaches along the side of the headlights that cannot be accessed unless you remove the bumper cover. That is probably why there are so may headlights for sale on Ebay with broken mounts because not all of the screws and bolts where removed before someone grabbed the assembly and pulled it forcefully to remove it.

If you watch the video I don't see how you could remove the headlights otherwise. That said, I know that my bumper cover was repainted when the dealer repaired my car well before I bought it so arguably all of the mounting screws and bolts should come loose fairly easily. I don't plan on removing the entire bumper cover and unplugging all of the parking sensors, headlight washer connections, etc. so I will have to rig up something that will allow me to pull the bumper cover out just enough to access all the mounting screws for the drivers headlight.

I believe I read the headlight washer pickup tube can be unhooked by turning the connection 90 degrees and pulling it free. If anyone has does this and that is incorrect please let me know asap so I don't snap something off or end up with a geyser of a leak from inside the bumper cover should I find the need to wash my headlights while driving.

I did purchase all three (3) ballasts that were confirmed to be in working order and tested with refund policies within 30 days or longer. I have been told various versions of which ballast controls what, but I think I am going to end up doing a plug a play until not only my low beam functions again, but also the active intelligent light and cornering light on the left side start working again. I am assuming that the malfunction in the cornering light and active lighting is directly related to the low beam not working, but I don't want to just replace that ballast, bolt everything all back together and find out my cornering light and the active lighting feature are controlled by one of the other ballasts.

Finally, I have read up on how to disconnect the battery and discharge the any stored electrical charge before removing the headlights. Is there any need to have my vehicle scanned after I reinstall everything so my Command System recognizes the new parts? Or will my computer scan everything connection, recognize the parts as OEM MB pieces and function as normal?

Thanks!!

Ted
tfvesquire is offline  
post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 12:57 PM
Outstanding Contributor
 
dlafever's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2004
Vehicle: 2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
Location: Aridzona, USA
Posts: 1,738
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Agree with you Ted, there is not a non-destructive way to remove the W221 headlamps without removing the bumper. BTW, I removed mine to fix the front radar sensors and it really wasn't too bad;

- Remove screws from under each fender holding the seam binding clip in place, remove binding clip
- Remove the screws on each side holding the front belly pan to the bumper
- remove 4 bolts from front of bumper, two behind the lower grille, two near the inner part of the headlight
- Slide the bumper out part way and disconnect the side marker lights (2 connectors) and radar sensors (1 connector). You can also do this if you remove the front belly pan prior to removing the bumper bolts.

No need to disconnect anything to do with the headlamp washers (at least no on my car, perhaps so on the 2010+ models) as they are mounted to the frame behind the bumper cover.

Last edited by dlafever; 04-23-2019 at 10:06 AM.
dlafever is offline  
post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 05:51 AM
Moderator
 
Skylaw's Avatar
 
Date registered: Oct 2004
Vehicle: 2013 S550
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 10,815
Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Quoted: 453 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Garage
Well, now we know about removing the bumper cover. Thanks for updating. Folks used to say you couldn't remove the W220 headlamp assembly without removing the bumper - which was not so. Based on your writeups, the W221 brings additional complications making removal necessary.

Ted, it would be helpful if you posted a link to the video you watched. The first of these shows low beam bulb replacement only. Hadam's thread at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w22...headlight.html has photos that show the bulb removal better. The second, which could use some serious editing, shows removal of the headlamp assembly and ballast (though the unit shown had only one ballast, not the three you mentioned). We'd love to see one showing your car better - or perhaps you'll post photos once you get underway.

and

Warren

2013 S550

Formerly:
2010 S550
2005 S500 4-Matic
2000 S500
1978 450SL

Last edited by Skylaw; 04-23-2019 at 07:19 AM.
Skylaw is offline  
post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Member
 
tfvesquire's Avatar
 
Date registered: Feb 2015
Vehicle: 1981 380SL
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Posts: 148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Hi Skylaw:

The second video you posted is what I was referring to. There is also another video posted by the same person demonstrating the re-installation of everything. I just received one of the ballasts and expect to receive the remaining 2 by this coming weekend. Since I don't have any faith that the other ballasts won't take a dump within a year after this repair, I am going to just swap out all three ballasts after I figure out which one controls the low beam and cornering light. Like I stated in my previous posts, I am assuming the cornering light feature and active lighting malfunctions are directly related to the low beam not functioning, but until I start swapping ballasts and testing functions I have no knowledge.

All I can relay on this is that I spoke with someone online who advised me these ballasts are connected so if one goes out it affects the others. I take that with a grain of salt considering all of the other functions of the drivers headlight (high beams, LED running lights, LED amber turn signal and switching between DRLs) all functions normally. I purchased all three ballasts tested and with a replacement warranty for under $300 so for that price I can hopefully have some peace of mind once I swap out my ballasts that could have been exposed to moisture that got into the headlight assembly. I researched the headlight seals and apparently the do sell a replacement seal. I was planning on carefully removing the clear cover and resealing the entire unit with black RTV gasket maker or a clear silicone. I've done this in the past on other headlights with good success that last many years.

I promise once I get the headlight working again and bumper back on the car I will post a few pictures of my car.

Ted
tfvesquire is offline  
post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Member
 
tfvesquire's Avatar
 
Date registered: Feb 2015
Vehicle: 1981 380SL
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Posts: 148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Any suggestions on disconnecting power to the headlights?

As I prepare to remove my drivers headlight this weekend to install replacement ballasts and reseal the housing I am a little concerned about what will happen when I innocently disconnect the negative cable and my system shuts down. What warnings will pop up on my dash and will I need to take it in to have the system rebooted? I've also read about using a 12 volt jumper hooked to the computer scan port to save the vehicle's settings while work is being performed. I don't have one of those so that is not an option.

Can't I just remove the fuse that powers the headlights? I assume the fuse is located inside the box located near the firewall in the engine bay. Since there is no "stored" power to my left headlight due to the ballast malfunction I don't run the risk of being zapped by 20K volts.

I am just waiting on the rest of my headlight parts so I can fix my car this weekend. It is supposed to rain cats and dogs so it will be a great time to pull the car into the garage and give it some much needed TLC.

Any pros or cons about leaving the battery hooked up and just pulling the fuse to the headlights, please post accordingly.

Thanks!!

Ted
tfvesquire is offline  
post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 10:44 AM
Outstanding Contributor
 
dlafever's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2004
Vehicle: 2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
Location: Aridzona, USA
Posts: 1,738
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
All of your settings should be preserved via the small 12v battery in the dash. On the pre-facelift cars there are three batteries; starter (engine compartment), consumer (trunk) and settings preservation (behind the dash). On your new beauty there are just two, the one under the hood and the behind the dash. As the lights are not just powered, but connected to the CAN Bus I would just be safe and disconnect the battery per the instructions.

Do you have complete instructions or need them?
dlafever is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Sedan Forums > W221 S-Class

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
Got Codes? Check this list Check Codes W210 E-Class 80 06-12-2017 09:00 PM
W140 Fix it Yourself Articles Merc600sec W140 S-Class 265 11-04-2015 11:17 PM
Left Low Beam - Not working MB2.5TD W124 E,CE,D,TD Class 2 11-04-2015 03:28 PM
Low Beam not working [email protected] C209/A209 CLK-Class 9 05-01-2015 12:35 PM
Replacing Xenon Low Beam Bulb mbrcool X164 GL-Class 4 12-12-2011 08:08 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 

Title goes here

close
video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome