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1996 E300 Diesel
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 96 E300 Diesel and the instrument cluster works about a third of the starts but 2/3 of the time it doest work. Does that mean it is bad or just a short in it somewhere? When it does not work the needle on the RPM gauge vibrates. There is no rhythm or reason to when it works just random. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,678 Posts
When you say it does not work, does it mean NONE of the gauges and the indicators, digital display (if any) work ?
Does it light up when the headlights are on, even the rest of the display not working ?

Have you checked the fuses for the cluster for corrosion / looseness in the holders ?
 

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1996 E300 Diesel
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Only the gauges are not working, as far as I can see all the warning lights and the digital display is working but am not able to clear the "windshield wiper fluid" warning that comes on after the engine is started. And it does light up when headlights are on. I have checked all the fuses and checked for corrosion and connections, all looked ok. Like I said the gauges will work sometimes, when they dont the RPM needle gauge jumps at 0.
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,678 Posts
If you are not able to clear the windshield wiper fluid indication, then this is a local function, and the processor inside is not able process the button depression. The same processor controls the speed, rpm displays and gauges. It appears that it has some powering issue, maybe a bad electrolytic capacitor(s) that needs to be replaced. Over time, these capacitors age and bulge. There are companies that can test repair the cluster.
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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6,678 Posts
New Cluster should work, but the mileage needs to be adjusted as it is stored in the IC chip (if I remember right.

Here is the diagram for the I Cluster for your car. As you can see, the buttons and gauges are controlled by the IC controller electronics, and external indicator lights are controlled by external modules, sensors, switches.
 

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Premium Member
1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
Joined
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6,678 Posts
You cannot. There is a chip inside that needs to be programmed with the current mileage, or transferred to the new cluster.
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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8,064 Posts
Time to replace a bunch of capacitors... Do it before you short out a chip or transistor.

Martin
 
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