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1997 V140 S420 LWB, 1992 R129 300 SL
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348 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How to replace bulb in 3. brake light (not LED)

Hi guys

After "being away" for about a year after selling my old ´91 400 SE and getting first a ´02 W210 E220 CDI and then - yuk - a ´02 Volvo V70, I´m now back again.
Last week I bought a black/black 1997 V140 S420 L with roughly 100K km on the clock.
I´m very satisfied with it!

Just realised that the third brake light bulb is out, and consulting the manual (in German...) it says that I should remove the cover, then turn the brake light to the left to get access to the bulb.

Could be that my school German is kind of rusty, but I don´t want to break anything back there. Can anyone who has done this please tell me how to replace the 21W bulb - in plain English? :D (or Norwegian hehe)
 

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1996 C36, 1995 S500 Coupe, 1985 190E 2.3
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301 Posts
The instructions for my '95 are:

1) Press tabs at both sides to remove cover.
2) Turn bulb socket with bulb counterclockwise and pull out.
3) Press bulb down, turn counterclockwise and remove.
 

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1992 600SEL
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154 Posts
If I recall, it's a halogen bulb, so don't touch new bulb with bare fingers. It will leave skin oil and shorten bulb life.
Good luck
 

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1997 S500V
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272 Posts
HI,

My instrument cluster lamp for burnt out light came on the other day and after checking around, my third high mount brake light bulb is toast. With bulb in hand, nobody, I mean no car parts chain has this simple bulb (Pep Boys, Oreilly's, Autozone, etc.) I do a search and this forum says we need and use a special $26 (MB dealership) 21W, 12VDC halogen bulb. So, I search the net and find a BMW biker forum that says we can use as an equivalent Philips #12452, Osram/Sylvania #64115, Napa-Wagner #47835, or Hella #78165. I haven't confirm this...

I visit the closest Napa and they are closed. On the way home, I swing by a VW dealer and bring the bad bulb in for sh*ts and grins. The parts guy goes, "That looks like a Beetle turn signal lamp". I say, "It does? It actually came off a MB..." 2 minutes later, he comes out from back and we match up the pair, same wattage and voltage with bayonet end. I grimace and lay out $10.70 and what do you know? IT WORKS!!!
VW #N-104-456-02
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
Hey, mos, nice find. FWIW if you're ordering other stuff autohausaz.com has it for $8.50.

Can you do me a favor if you still have your old bulb? Would you mind measuring it's length and posting it?

Thanks!

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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1997 S500V
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272 Posts
Hey, mos, nice find. FWIW if you're ordering other stuff autohausaz.com has it for $8.50.

Can you do me a favor if you still have your old bulb? Would you mind measuring it's length and posting it?

Thanks!

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
Greg,

Let's see: 1.5" long and 3/8" diameter
Autohaus shipping is more than the part..:eek:
Shopping Cart
I guess I need to order 5 oil filters to get the free shipping!

Best,
Mo
 

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1999 S500 Grand Edition
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2 Posts
Do I have to replace the bulb with a halogen? Do you think the car will know the difference? My bulb socket is missing so I just soldered a bulb directly into the third brake light housing. But my my bulb replacement indicator still comes up on the dash when i hold the brakes down for a few seconds. Every single light works on the car now. But the indicator still lights up. :confused:
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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7,776 Posts
Use the bulb from the rear interior side trim near the headrests ,( next to them ) ,i think they are called the reading lights ,it will fit into the third brake light ,just until you found whatever you need ,this is a quick fix only,after all when ever would someone use those lights anyway ,i never once used them yet .
Ciao
 

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1995 S320 SWB, 1997 S420 LWB
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192 Posts
My bulb socket is missing so I just soldered a bulb directly into the third brake light housing.
LOL!!! You did what???:eek: Seriously, the socket is $15 at the dealer. I just bought a replacement last week for my s420 because the 21watt bulb gets very hot and melts at the base. Don't mean to be an ass but you are driving a BENZ!
 

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1994 S420
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310 Posts
Center Brake Light Part is 104 455 02 pin offsets are the difference

.......

I visit the closest Napa and they are closed. On the way home, I swing by a VW dealer and bring the bad bulb in for sh*ts and grins. The parts guy goes, "That looks like a Beetle turn signal lamp". I say, "It does? It actually came off a MB..." 2 minutes later, he comes out from back and we match up the pair, same wattage and voltage with bayonet end. I grimace and lay out $10.70 and what do you know? IT WORKS!!!
VW #N-104-456-02
The 256 part you reference is a simiar bulb and the aligning pins are 120degrees and will not fit the base..your photo somewhat illustrates

True part is n-104-255-02 which aligning pins at base are 180degrees aligned.
 

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91 420SEL, 72 350SL, 99 S600, 05 Ford F-350, 09 C300, 10 Boxster 987, 12 GL450
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167 Posts
Do I have to replace the bulb with a halogen? Do you think the car will know the difference? My bulb socket is missing so I just soldered a bulb directly into the third brake light housing. But my my bulb replacement indicator still comes up on the dash when i hold the brakes down for a few seconds. Every single light works on the car now. But the indicator still lights up. :confused:
The indicator will light if the bulb draws a different current that the OE 21W halogen. I had the same problem and wound up replacing the socket which looked perfectly good, but wasn't! There are two types of bulbs/sockets used on the later model W140s. One uses a 20W halogen with opposing pins and one uses a 21 W halogen with asymmetric pins. The socket for the 21W bulb with the asymmetric pins is out of production, so replace it with the newer model socket (140-825-00--82) and use Sylvania 910152-012002. The newer 20W bulb is shorter and readily available. The socket cost me about $8.00 at the dealers, but can be had online for about 1/2.
 

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W140 1996 S320 Automatic
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18 Posts
The idiots who owned mine before me ripped it out like Neanderthals. The GD thing pops right out when you use the clips the way you are supposed to.

But someone upstream was right.

Effectively press the sides of the housing and pull back toward you.
It's a 2 handed operation and involves using your fingers to press on both sides and pull the cover back.
Turn the black socket to the left and it and the bulb will be released.
Remove/Replace bulb (some people grease theirs a smidge, but up to you)
Put the new bulb in the socket
back in and turn it right until you feel in snap into place
Replace back squeezing cover tabs in and pushing into place (they snap into place)

I'm currently stuck in short circuit Hell with mine so hope yours is just an old bulb.
 
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