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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,

I recently started to experience problems with the headlight switch on my 96' C280. Thus, when I purchase the new headlight switch I got excited and impatience at the sametime so I forgot to see where the color cables on the back of the switch when i disconnected it. Now, I don't know where to insert the cables, one of the color cables (Brown) caught on fire because I inserted it in the wrong place. PLease help!!
 

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--1999 C230 Kompressor Sport--
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Switch

Hello all,

I recently started to experience problems with the headlight switch on my 96' C280. Thus, when I purchase the new headlight switch I got excited and impatience at the sametime so I forgot to see where the color cables on the back of the switch when i disconnected it. Now, I don't know where to insert the cables, one of the color cables (Brown) caught on fire because I inserted it in the wrong place. PLease help!!
I am pretty sure brown is ground on MBs. Ill get you some more concrete info in just a bit. :eclipsee_steering:
 

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previous 1998 SLK230, 1999 C230, 2016 SLK300
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Same issue, different year, different person.

A photo showing which color wires go into which slots on the headlight switch socket for a 1996 C280 would be extremely helpful and appreciated.

1999 C230 only 51K miles so far. I bought this car brand new in 1999 and I drive it every 3-4 months or so. Here it is 2019 and I just made the same stupid rookie error. I knew my headlight switch has felt differently for about a year. But everything still worked. This weekend, I was rearranging my cars in the garage and tried to turn on the headlights. The switch detent positions were noticably different and the headlights did not activate. I had just used the headlights earlier that morning. t was obvious the switch needed to be replaced. I found several videos for removing the switch from the dash, and I completed those steps. My 'switch' didn't separate from the plastic wiring harness (female part) and I didn't realize I should have wiggled and kept pulling. Instead, I opened the clips for the female side of wiring harness and tugged. Yup, it came apart. I instantly knew I'd screwed up. I have 11 loose wires and no specific idea which color wire goes to which pin. I quickly took a few iPhone pictures of the situation. I bought the WIS/ASRA shop manual software and spent a couple of hours installing and playing with it. I managed to get my car's build data card. But I don't know how to find or read the wiring schematics. This morning, I checked the local dealer and they can order the switch (000-545-62-04) for $107. Higher than other OEM prices I found online, but not a deal breaker. I asked if I could get a headlight switch wiring diagram, and was told no. I talked to one of the service advisors, freely admitting my mistake and asked for advice. It sounds like a plain switch replacement would be 1.5hrs labor + parts (maybe $250). There are a few older technicians who can probably rebuild the female side of the wire connector, but no one knows how long that might take. She guessed another 1.5hrs at least. Total repair is likely to be $4-500. I just finished skimming all 22 pages of the W202 forum related to 'headlight switch' and found this post multiple times, but no real answers. I'll keep searching on the internet some more, but unless someone provides clues, I'm probably stuck requesting a dealer repair. This is bothering me. I've used the MB SLK World forums numerous times and managed to find enough help to complete multiple upgrade projects successfully for my previous 1998 SLK230. I actually replaced my own headliner based off forum pictures. This spring, I finally traded the 1998 SLK230 for a super low milage 2016 SLK300. Right now, I'm in the middle of adding a backup camera for the 2016 SLK300 and I'm using SLK World forum advice. So I have faith in these forums and will continue to use them. I just might have a problem without a clear forum answer at this time. I have no plans to get rid of this 1999 C230. It's been a super nice car for me. In many ways, it still feels and represents Mercedes to me. The newer models haven't impressed me with their build quality (especially the Chrysler years). I'll keep searching the internet for help, but I'm losing hope.

IMG_2395.JPG
 

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previous 1998 SLK230, 1999 C230, 2016 SLK300
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1999 W202 C230 Headlight switch replacement....... I'm still on the fence about reassembling the female portion of the headlight switch wiring harness. But I did get 3 wiring diagram schematics that may help. One is for Xenon bulbs (not on my car), second one is for cars with DRL (not on my car), third one is for cars w/o DRL (probably closest to my situation). These are PDF files I received from a MB 'expert' repair site. The diagrams describe some of the wire to pin location numbers, but not all of them. I may have to guess, partially off which way the wires are pointing. I ordered an OEM switch from the dealer ($107). IF I fail on my reassembly attempt and have to ask for a dealer repair, at least the replacement part will have come thru their shop. Jim OB. Fingers crossed, hoping to get lucky.
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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Jim,
goto your local pick n pull. ;)

edit: If I recall correctly, the ones used for DRLs are the same. The DRL system on our w202 had a cigarette pak sized silver box that hooked up to the Headlight switch. I dont beleive the headlight switch had the built-in DRL circuit. All that was required was a simple unplugging the harness to the silver box; no more oem DRL for headlights and rear taillights.
To replace the oem DRL setup, we added LED driving lights on the bumper underside and tapped into accessory power, so would activate on ignition start-up.

edit2: Our 97 w210 AMG had the built-in DRLs to the headlight switch which needs to be swapped for those that want no DRL setup.
 

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previous 1998 SLK230, 1999 C230, 2016 SLK300
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I used the schematics to verify the 4 larger pin connectors. Those were the easy pins. For the remaining other 7 pins, I tried to connect them where the wires seem headed. After all, the wires were tightly bound for 20+ years, they weren't exactly hanging limp. I verified various functions of the switch were working; headlights come on, fog lights work, tail lights work. I decided to snap the two halves of the female end of the wiring harness back together. After assembling the switch back in the dash and buttoning up the under dash shield, I tested as many functions as I could. Seems like the two switch positions (left 1 click or left 2 clicks) might be reversed. I've never once used either of those functions. I think they're for illuminating either the left or right tail light if you've pulled over on the emergency lane. I can live with the results. I don't want to open that harness back up. I recharged the battery and put my tools away. I'm declaring victory. Part cost from the dealer was $113. My labor is free. Probably saved $200-$400 over a dealer repair after my initial mistake. I learned a few things along the way. Next up is fixing the headliner cloth. I've seen several videos about removing the headliner from inside the car. I'm hoping I don't need to remove a front seat. Wish me luck. I'm waiting for warm weather to tackle that job.
 
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