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Discussion Starter #1
It only just started happening, its a e430 2000 and I think one of the license lights was about to go because I had a check bulb warning always when driving. Replaced one and removed the other bulb but it's still popping, where would I disconnect the power to the symbol illumination line to see if it's shorting? The dash lights come on for a second before it blows the fuse #11 the first time I replaced it it wasn't immediate, but now it is. I noticed the license light I replaced was blackened and didn't look broke inside ...
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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7,215 Posts
Do you have xenon headlights with automatic range control ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you have xenon headlights with automatic range control ?
They are xenon I believe, projector style aftermarket. I don't think range is auto or that they are on the same fuse. I did spill some liquid on the window switches but replaced the part, but I would think that their illumination is on the fuse 11 too
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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Don't any of the interior switch lights illuminate when you put the headlights on ?

The window keys are on the lower field control module and the key illumination comes from the instrument cluster through a rheostat to dim the lights. It receives power front cigarette lighter lamp, and this receives power from the illumination control module with the fuses at the dash side. Is it possible something is going on in the cig. lighter light and ashtray lighting area ?
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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7,215 Posts
Right. I was talking about the light around it and the ashtray light. The ICM feeds the cig lighter bulb and then goes to the Instr. Cluster for dimmable light to the switches and the cluster.

If you can, take the ashtray of cig light bulb socket and measure the resistance between the chassis ground, and the 12V feed side with the key out (no power). If you have a short, then you know problem area..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks you have all the tricks, im still a little questionable when it comes to testing resistance, but luckily I was right that it was probably moisture in the symbol lighting, or it will happen again when I hit a bump, idk but I waited a few days and the fuse isn't popping, what a relief. I did have an idea for a multimeter glove so I could get used to testing all sort s of surface resistance and have a better idea in the future.... thanks again I've been driving smooth since te last time you help me..
 

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1998 E320 base sedan @ 160kmiles
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7,215 Posts
I think it is more likely vibration / bump related than moisture. You have a 7.5 amp fuse which requires more than 10 amp of load to blow the fuse immediately. If the load (short) is slightly below the rated current for the fuse, it will take some time for the fuse to melt and open.

My fuse load listing shows auto headlamp range control, that is why I asked if you have (or had) xenon lights with range control. The headlight assemblies may have been replaced but the control hardware may still be there and causing a short. Just a thought (after you exhaust other possibilities).

11​
License plate lamp
Instrument illumination
Symbol illumination
Automatic headlamp range control
7.5​
 
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