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1987 560 SEC
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Already tried a search to no avail.

Purchased new bulbs for headlamps. High Beams work fine. Low beams not at all. Checked fuses. Everything looks good. Anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks for your help!
 

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560SEC, 1988; 500SE, 1984; 500SL, 1983
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1,880 Posts
check your fuse box, and check your plug connections around the lights. I had bad connections around my plugs and a similar problem
 

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1993 300TE, 1995 E320 Wagon
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What kind of bulbs did you buy? Is it possible you got single filaments, as opposed to double? Do you have US DOT headlights or euros? Might be worth checking on the part #s. I am assuming that the old lights worked both Hi/Lo? Or were they both out, and hence you were replacing bulbs?
 

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1987 560 SEC
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Its fritzy. The old lamps would work in low beam and only the right highbeam would work and the left headlamp would go out completely. The bulbs that were in there looked fine. Both filaments were in-tacked. Then I replaced them with brand new sylvania 9004 dual hi/low filament. Now only the highbeams work on both sides...

?
 

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1982 300SD, 2001 f-150 4x4-348,000 passed tha benz!!
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426 Posts
What type of fuses do you have, copper, or aluminum, they can appear intact and actually be no good.
 

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Two '87 570SECs, one '87 560SEL
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4,467 Posts
What type of fuses do you have, copper, or aluminum, they can appear intact and actually be no good.
For clarification - the aluminum and especially the lead fuse elements have a probability of poor contact. The copper or brass looking fuses don't seem to have that problem. If you have the aluminum (and especially if you have the dark gray lead fuses) take the fuse out of the holder and verify the contact area is clean and shiny, no groove worn in it.

You might have a bad contact in the high/low beam part of the steering column headlight stalk. The easiest way to troubleshoot it will be to check voltages at the fuses and at the headlight connectors. I have a 1/4" wooden dowel into which I've glued a large (2") sewing needle. Using an alligator clip on the needle from the voltmeter, I can probe through the insulation on a wire without leaving a hole large enough to worry about but get a reading. Check the wiring in the bottom of the steering column where the headlight stalk harness comes through. I have a spare headlight stalk and I'm just lazy enough to unplug (but not remove) the installed one, then plug in my spare. Lots of ways to play here!
 

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2000 SLK230-LE
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375 Posts
I have a spare headlight stalk and I'm just lazy enough to unplug (but not remove) the installed one, then plug in my spare. Lots of ways to play here!
How hard is it to replace headlight stalks?

I think my headlight stalk is going bad. I can only flash my brights (pull), but if I try to turn the brights on (push away) they won't stay on. If I keep pushing it, they'll turn on, but once I let go of the pressure, both headlights are off until I bring it back to low beams...
 

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1987 560 SEC
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I am not sure what kind of fuses that I have. They look darn old and weathered. However, I cleaned each one of them and the tips are shiny. Still no luck....
 

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1989 M.B. 560SEL 300020. miles, 1991 300te 4matic 240000 miles , 1987 300SDL aprox 529000 miles
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4 Posts
I had the same issue with my 560. It turned out to be the sockets. My low beams would work for a time then stop then by themselves reappear. First check the fit of the new lamps in the socket. Then try bending the socket connectors slightly with the low beams on then place the lamp in it. I think the heat from the new lamps alters the socket. I replace my sockets about every 2 years in my 560, I have hids in my others with no issues.
 

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1987 560 SEC
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
By sockets are you referring the the female piece that the new bulb fits into?

If so, how would you bend the connectors while at the same time having the low beams on?

Thanks.
 

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1993 300TE, 1995 E320 Wagon
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1,895 Posts
By sockets are you referring the the female piece that the new bulb fits into?
Yes

If so, how would you bend the connectors while at the same time having the low beams on?
I think that this would mean taking the bulbs out of the sockets, bending the prongs slightly, then reinserting into the sockets. Then test the lights. Bending the prongs would help to improve contact between the metal parts.

The final option would be to replace the sockets with new ones (like you might do for a worn out receptacle in your house). This would be a simple wiring job, using wire connector/crimps available at Radio Shack or the like.
 

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1989 M.B. 560SEL 300020. miles, 1991 300te 4matic 240000 miles , 1987 300SDL aprox 529000 miles
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4 Posts
Sorry leave the lites on then remove the bulb from the socket and you will see three pins in the socket. Gently push each one over just a touch and replace lamp and see if lites. It may take a few tries as I cant remember which is low and which is high. A slight twist on the lamp in the socket may also show a bad contact. Hope this helps
 

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Thanks for the good info. This is my first post, the numerous threads on here have helped me a lot and I wanted to share something that may help someone else even though this is an old thread.
I ran into a lighting problem on an '87 560SEC. First the passenger side low beam wasn't working, then the right marker light and left low beam went out. I checked for power and ground at the electrical connectors on the headlight housings (euro lights on this car) and had none. I then swapped out the aluminum/lead fuses for brass and still nothing at the lights. Only when I took the fuse box apart did they come back on, and I realized that every time I messed with the lighting control relay they would flicker. I made sure all of the pins to the relay were tight and came to the conclusion that some of the contacts to the board inside the relay must be loose. I substituted a good used relay for this one and all the lights work without a hitch. Hopefully this helps. Thanks to all for the good suggestions in this thread.
Josh
 
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