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ML430 - sold
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Discussion Starter #1
Just got back from a 1,200 mile road trip in the ML and I'm pleased to report it ran like a top and returned over 20mpg.

However, part way thru' the trip I noticed the rear passenger side brake light had failed - no problem, I'll fix it at the next gas station. WRONG !

Discovered that the plastic nuts are torque down way too hard and cannot be shifted, so decided to complete the road trip with a brake light out - no big deal.

This is where it gets interesting.

On arriving home I get out my socket set and remove the retaining nuts. Then following the intstructions in the handbook I pull at the light assembly - very hard, it won't budge.

Finally with a lot of force it comes free, but I notice the cheesy plastic retaining assy has broken in. Fixed it with some epxoy and a bit of vaseline on the pin to make it easier for next time.

Now, this is the bit which got to me - so the brake lamp had failed, no problem off down to the NAPA store with the failed brake bulb and other working bulbs, thinking I'd get a full set of spares - WRONG again.

Seems MB in their wisdom use a different angle offset for the locating pins on the indicator and other lamps - only the brake light is standard.

This means you're unlikely to get replacements without going to the dealer.

Another MB design tweak to maximize profit - why move the pins from 180 degrees to 120 degress ? Surely 180 is optimum ?

Moral - make sure the retaining nuts are not too tight, the locating lugs are greased and don't count on being able to buy replacement bulbs from auto spare stores.
 

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The rear light bulbs from Mercedes (with 120° pin offset) are 4 watt and not 5 watt like the usual bulb with 180° pin offset.

I noticed that with some wiggling the 5 watt bulbs with 180° offset fit and produce a better amount of light.
 

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ML 320
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It is true that the lightbulbs that MB uses are far less common, but I found them pretty easy after a few telephone calls.

The same bulbs are also used by several other european vehicles.
 
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